madrugada*…

So, I was up at 4:00 a.m. due to some annoying post-nasal-drip crap that was trying to choke me to death. So after many attempts to find a position that was compatable with sleep, I gave up and and got up. Sigh.

I know it looks like I’ve totally abandoned this blog and, although that’s not quite right, I have found it hard to get myself excited about posting. Partly because I’m in that odd space where one book is finished-ish (in other words I’m sick of it so after my latest victim reader finishes with it, I will apply suggested changes judiciously and then release it into the cold, cruel sea of agent-rejections) and the next book still just some notes on my computer…so that’s been the repository of the drips and drabs of creative energy that I’ve had. But mostly I haven’t posted because, as usual, inertia has me firmly in it’s grasp (in other words, I’m a lazy-ass.) I suppose it’s a bummer that the ten many people who read this now have proof that I’m a slacker, but oh well. In the words of a member of the Rat Pack*** “I gotta be me.”

Hasta la vista…

*madrugada** can be loosely translated as butt-early.

**And who knew Madrugada was the name of a band? And not just any band…a Norwegian band with a Spanish name who sings in unaccented English. Life is funny, no?

***Interestingly different than Pack Rat. Hmmm…

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on nests (empty), books (classic) and iced tea (skillfully made)

So, my youngest child is now gone away to college. There is nobody under the age of 49 living in this house right now (and in four months there will be nobody here under 50, but I’m trying very hard to not think about that.)

Not sure what I think about this empty nest thing yet. Even though he didn’t spend all that much time hanging out with mom and dad, the house definitely feels emptier with him gone. I do understand that chicks eventually leave the nest, so things are as they should be. However, I suspect that the silence left in my musician-son’s wake will continue to bother me for a while.

This morning my garage door jammed, trapping my car inside. So, I hopped into musician-son’s car and drove it to work. On the way home, I rolled down the windows (it was 75 degrees) and popped in his Black Keys CD. I played it loud. Very, very loud.

Oh yeah, I read Vonnegut’s Slaughter House Five on the airplane, and if any of you haven’t read it, I recommend it. It’s one of those rare books that manage to be smart and funny and weird but is still very full of heart. Poo-tee-weet?

And to cap off this obnoxiously random post, here’s a video a friend shared with me. I am not sure, but I think that this guy might be defying some law of physics. Bear in mind of course that I’m one of those liberal-artsy people who never took physics….but still… It’s pretty cool, right?

the shape of things

Okay this one is mostly for writers, sorta for readers, and possibly for those who might want to hear a very quick lecture by the man who said something this smart:

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.

So instead of putting the video last, I’m putting it in the middle and some more junk after it.

So, Because it gave me a way to feel productive while not actually working on my novel, I took a minute to graph the shape of it:

Although this doesn’t really match any of Kurt Vonnegut’s shapes, I’m pleased to see it goes up and down enough that something must be happening in there.

How about it, my writer friends…any of your stories like one on the video or totally different?

And to all my reader friends–are any of you Vonnegut fans? I’m embarrassed to say that I’m not sure I’ve read anything by him…is that possible? Seems like at one time I owned Cat’s Cradle, but I don’t remember anything about it. And so I just hopped on Amazon and ordered Slaughterhouse Five because, honestly, if I haven’t read it, I should. And if I’ve read it and forgotten then I certainly should. (Unfortunately this is happening with increasing frequency. Sigh…)

And one last Vonnegut quote for the road:

Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.

And my response to that would be, “uh oh…”

I think I’m in trouble; I like semicolons.

Ha!

How is this for a resolution?

To live fully, to love wastefully and to have the courage to be my most complete self. *

I found this statement in a totally unrelated article, but I liked it so I stole it. (Yes, I plagiarized my New Year’s resolution. Perhaps this bodes poorly for my writing in 2012.)

So, because of a special event we have coming up later in the month, my job has been a little whack lately…and in just over a week we’re flying up to Boston with our youngest son to get him settled in at college. These two things and my usual freakish control issues tendency to worry have combined to create a ridiculous puddle of overwhelmedness that I keep wanting to splash around in. Prime time for wallowing is apparently 2:30 a.m. even though I do understand that there are few actual problems that can be solved at 2:30 a.m. **

But, I know the craziness is temporary and soon my job will return to it’s normal occasionally-stressful-but-mostly-fun self. And my house will be too quiet and calm with my musician son so many miles away. I might have to take up another hobby. Maybe chess. Or boxing. Or….

Oh just check out the video. Previously mentioned musician-son found it for me, and it’s so random and strange that it’s somehow totally awesome.

_________________________

*And finish, really finish, my stupid book and start another one. (This part is all mine.)

**Okay, some problems can be solved in the wee hours. Once we had a dog to whom my husband someone gave about a cup of bacon grease as a treat. As I recall we had to get out of bed at 2:30 a.m. and clean up, solve that problem.***

***Okay, I know adding an endnote to an endnote is probably against the rules, but did anyone else notice that I talked about a puddle in one paragraph, and then in that paragraph’s endnote I mention an entirely unrelated incident that also concerned a puddle of sorts? This was totally unintentional, but perhaps one more sign that I should be in therapy of some sort. Or maybe at least go buy red galoshes.

I choose discipline…this week anyway

We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.
       –Jim Rohn

So, I’ve been suffering the pain of discipline lately–back working on the edit-from-hell. Sorry haven’t posted here much. Apparently there are only so many useful words in my brain at one time, and I’ve had to use all the good ones working on my novel. All I have left for this blog are goofy ones like…scuttlebutt or blanche or twaddle.

Christmas was nice around here…nice and quiet. Maybe too quiet? I don’t know. Why is it that I really love having a quiet holiday, but then when it’s over it seems like it didn’t really happen? I don’t think I miss the chaos of a relatives-in-town mixed with small-loud-children but I almost miss the feeling of relief when things quieted back down. Maybe I need some chaos to really relish the calm. Or maybe I’ve lost my mind. You decide.

And while you’re making that decision…answer this question:

no good deed goes unpunished

So, I’ve been spending my spare time on the maddening task of trying to copy a painting I did years ago (except on a smaller scale) and it totally sucks ass. The original is acrylic and because I am a master procrastinator, I put off starting it until acrylic was my only option if I’m to have it ready by Christmas. (This is for my daughter…she plans to give it as a gift to someone who had seen and liked the original.)

Nothing like spending hours working with a medium I a hate (after years of working with oil, I have totally lost my acrylic mojo) but also using a frustrating medium on a painting that I’m bored with before I ever put brush to canvas. Did I mention that this whole project totally sucks ass?

But, I love my daughter and it’s the season of giving and all that crap, so I’m happy to do it, damn it! Plus, it has been providing an excellent excuse not to work on the book-edit-from-hell. However, since I hope to finish tomorrow, I will probably have to either go back to working on the book, or come up with some new crazy-ass thing. I’m betting I’ll work on the book, but you can’t completely rule out the crazy-ass thing. This is me, after all.

I hope all ten many of you are well and having a happy holiday season. I may whine about this painting-which-totally-sucks-ass and the novel-edit-from-hell, but not for one minute have I forgotten how blessed that I truly am. My family, my friends, my dogs, my home, my job, my health…blah blah blah… you get the picture. Sigh. It really is all good.

And just because I think this is random and funny and awful all at the same time:

it’s all rainbows and unicorns

So, I had an art teacher five or six years ago who told our class, “You can draw anything you want in this class…but I don’t want to see any rainbows or crying unicorns.”

I will admit that when I picked up a pencil and looked at a blank piece of paper that first day, I really…I mean really, really wanted to draw a freakin’ rainbow and a crying unicorn. I didn’t. of course. I just drew whatever he’d suggested that we work on that first day, but I still remember the feeling of that pencil in my hand, and the grin on my face. God, how hard I had to fight to keep myself from acting like a five year old.

So, is this a silly story about resisting a childish impulse? Or is it an allegory about the string of concessions that is an adult’s life–day after day doing what should be done rather than following a heart’s desire? Or is it just a sorry excuse for a blog post? You be the judge.

I’ll leave you with this:

Happiness isn’t at the end of the rainbow.
Happiness is at the beginning of the rainbow.
Following the rainbow is happiness,
not getting to the end of it.
– Werner Erhard