Thursday, November 13, 2008


Well, NaNoWrimo is not going as swimmingly as I'd hoped. I'm several thousand words short of where I should be at present, and every time I sit down to write I keep wanting to write the other stories I have in my head, not my current one. Gaaa!

On a positive and non-writing related note, I got ten days off work in December and I've saved up enough so that I'll be able to keep my promise to myself to leave the country at least once in 2008. Only problem now is deciding where to go! Huzzah!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Well, I've had two brothers for all 22 years of my life, but now I have a sister.

Welcome to the family, Laura!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Time Management

I have four jobs.

Up until recently, it didn't sound like a lot, but now I'm really starting to burn out.

Job #1: a retail job where I put in 40 hours a week.

Job #2: a cleaning job where I put in 6 hours a week.

Job #3: a babysitting job where I put in 5 hours a week

Job #4: a childcare job where I put in 3 hours a week

There are 168 hours in a week. I work 54 of them. I sleep about 58 of them. I spend at least 10 of them driving. I spend 3-4 hours watching TV, and 2-4 hours watching movies. I spend about 5 of them reading. I go to church on Sunday, which gives up 5 hors of my day. Weekends are usually taken up with social activities, which, while fun, also involve more time in the car and more time out of my day. I'd guess with driving and lunches/movies/hanging out/going out that I give approximately 12 hours a week to friends and family.

Which leaves me about 16 hours out of the week to myself, the majority of which fall on weekends or in half-hour or hour blocks in between everything else.

I have to get my cleaning job done before Sunday, but I've now got family driving in for my brother's wedding this weekend. I've got a family dinner in three hours, a bachelorette party after that. I've got rehearsal dinners and haircuts, not to mention that I need to shave my legs and paint my nails and prettify myself in order to be a bridesmaid Saturday. I've got to edit the baby pictures video for the reception. I've got to finish the cross-stitch sampler I'm adding last minute to their wedding present. I've got to wrap their wedding present. I've got to eat. (I just realized I forgot to add eating to the list above, not to mention ordinary but necessary everyday things like showering or time in the bathroom!)

I don't know how I'm going to get it all done.

I have no idea.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I wish...

There's a story that's been following me around since I was 11 years old.

I remember the first day it came to me. I wrote a brief half-page about a mischievous girl who gets caught after pulling a prank. I didn't know anything about the girl's life, or the other people in the scene, or the world outside that one little room. But I had enough sense when my Mom rang the bell for dinner to press "Save File." I called the file "anna.sam" (all the old Amipro files had .sam at the end), thus naming the heroine that would be running around my head for the next eleven years and counting.

Young Anna, short for Anastasia I discovered on subsequent visits to the computer over the next week, was a girl just like me: bored with where she's at and longing for adventures. Unlike me, though, she found just what she needed to propel her out of that boredom--but at a cost. By writing down a single wish, she ended up changing her whole life and the course of an entire nation. She finds fun, but also danger. She gains friends, but also enemies. And she loses in some ways too. She loses safety, loses any hope of a normal life. She loses some friends, and she loses some fights and she often loses perspective. At times, she even loses hope.

The story has been unfolding itself on different scales and in different manifestations, but come November, I'm finally going to unleash it. I'm tired of putting it off, of thinking I'm not ready to dive into this thing, that I'll do it wrong, mess it up, be nothing but a miserable failure.

Eleven years is long enough.

If I had to write down a single wish, it would be this: I wish I could tell this story the way it needs to be told.

Doing that, I think, will be a grand adventure.

12 Days to NaNoWriMo!

Friday, October 17, 2008


How to spend a rainy Friday night? With friends: drinking wine, talking, and giving each other makeovers.

Most of the group shots are on other people's cameras, but here's a sample of me below:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Scum (Or Something Like It)

My little brother turned 21 yesterday and who forgot to call (or even text) to wish him a happy day? That would be me, his one and only sister.


I'll see him at the wedding, where he'll be a groomsman. Maybe I'll buy him a drink or something. Still, I feel pretty bad.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Crossing Things Off

It's very satisfying to cross things off your list, especially things that have lingered toward the bottom of several lists and at the back of your mind, just waiting but continually being put off.

I accomplished at least three of those type things. Cleaning out storage boxes. Reattaching my car's rearview mirror (a deer hit my windshield, but fortunately the damage was minimal (to my car and the deer). He limped off, and the only damage to my car was the rearview mirror falling off. Um... let's see. I vacuumed. That had been on my list. And I started compiling pictures for a project I'm working on for my brother and his fiancee. I promised I'd do their "embarrassing baby pictures" slideshow at their wedding reception in two weeks. I'm cutting it pretty close on that one.

Paws is snoozing and I'll join him soon. It's an early morning tomorrow (3am anyone?), and after playing hookie today I have a feeling that alarm will buzz all the more annoyingly in my ear.

On an entirely unrelated note, I just realized that NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, aka November) is coming up soon. I've crashed and burned in past attempts, but this year I really want to go for it. So I want to start getting myself psyched up now. Which is probably why I'll end every blog leading up to November with a countdown. During November, I'll end every blog entry with my word count.

18 days till NaNoWriMo!

Fall Cleaning

In order to not be the total scum of the earth and sleep away my perfectly good (if not honestly come by) day off, I'm doing a bit of fall cleaning. Take out the trash and recycling? Check. Sweep away cobwebs from the windows? Check. Laundry? Check. Dishes? Check. Bathroom? Check. Even cleaning out desk drawers and computer files.

Maybe I'm trying to neat-freak my crazies away. So far so good. We'll see how it goes from here.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Once a year I go crazy.

It usually starts around October, which is when the cooler winds of autumn blow in down in this neck of North Carolina. Leaves start to change, stress levels start rising at my retail job, but it isn’t either of those factors that triggers it: not the changing of seasons or the added pressure as we prepare to embark into the holidays.

Something just happens.

There’s a quote by author Lord Dunsany in one of his “Wonder Tales” where he writes “in the blood of man there is a tide, an old sea current that is somehow akin to the twilight; it brings him rumors of beauty from however far away, as driftwood is found at sea from islands not yet discovered. And this springtide or current that visits the blood of man comes from the fabulous quarter of his lineage, from the legendary, of old. It takes him out to the woodlands, out to the hills; he listens to ancient song.”

Around October—though it varies each year; I feel pangs of it sometimes in August, and other times it waits dormant until nearly December—that tide Dunsany talks about pulls out, receding into the vast ocean of Otherness, of I-Know-Not-What. And it tugs at me and it pulls at me, and I just feel the urge—no, the need—to go. To leave. To hop a plane or just get in the car and drive. To hike up a mountain or whoosh through the subway catacombs of some distant city. To lose myself and find myself and possibly truly be myself in a way that I can’t where I am right now.

Reality tugs back. It’s a regular tug-of-war. I have a job and a place, pets and family nearby and friends that would wonder where I’ve gone, and why so suddenly. If I hate my job, I’m tempted to quit it. If I like my job that makes it even harder. And then there’s money. Money for tickets, for hotels or hostels, for gas and food and things to do.

Reality can be very mean. But very persuasive.

It’s here again. I’m going crazy. My job is a nice well-paying job with a reliable schedule. I don’t love it but I don’t hate it. I have a cheap but nice apartment with friends and family nearby. Already I’ve applied for three new jobs, have called in sick to work tomorrow (though I’m absolutely fine), and really had to talk myself down from clicking “yes” on those tickets to London on

What is it? What is this that happens to me?

“The woodlands…the hills,” the whole vast world is calling. And here I am. And here, it seems, I’ll stay.


Mr. Paws in the flesh. Guardian of window ledges. Watcher of the Door. No apartment is safe without him prowling about inside.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bad Day

Yesterday was a bad day. But there are always bad days. Today seems better by comparison.

My bad days are usually a physical experience, where I can feel the bad vibes rushing through my veins, almost like the opposite effect from an alcohol glow. Overactive imagination much? Perhaps. But it was heavy and dark and awful, and I'm ever so glad the sun is shining today.

Mr Paws is my cat. He's an indoor cat, but he thinks he's a jungle cat. He often makes a break for it when I enter or exit my place, and probably 1/3 of the time he succeeds. He tends to jet into the forest for several yards or so then suddenly stop, so I nearly trip over him in pursuit. It seems that only partway in he remembers there's no food bowl out here. Mr Paws really likes his food.

I'm headed out. Work calls, but it's a slow day. Lazy days at this job are always fun.

Ciao Bella!