Why I Didn’t Write Today (And How I Dropped A Pant Size In A Week)

I didn’t even have time to eat today.

Stresssssss.

It’s going to be a long year.

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Day Sixty-Four: Days I Don’t Write

Yesterday ended up being a Non-Writing Day. Don’t get me wrong, Non-Writing Days (NWD) are necessary outside of my isolation cave, but yesterday was a Planned Writing Day (PWD) so it hurts to lose it.

The worst part is, I had no excuse. Sure I had a lot of things reach a “Cannot Put Off/Take Care Of Now” culmination that left me sorting through my sub-par to-do list, but just when I should have finally checked-in on the writing front Le Novio put on Workaholics (I told him to… I thought I was stronger than that!) and BAM! NWD.

Days I don’t write or don’t reach projected goals hurt me. They physically cause me pain and it lingers with me until I make up what was lost. I am just a lump, wandering around feebly until I have a Great Writing Day under my belt again. Nothing breaks my stride like a NWD.

I have a lot to do (non-writing) today, which does not lead to good projections for a Great Writing Day, but I’ve decided to sneak writing along with me anyway. I’ve promised this section finished by the end of the week, but I’m still a chapter shy and the ones before are a mess. I have a lot to do.

Le Novio was frustrated (I think… he’s hard to read sometimes) that I wanted to bail on the bar tonight. Of course I want to go to the bar tonight! It’s martini night and I like to watch him drink girly pink drinks. He didn’t buy my whole “I don’t want to be one of those couples that comes as a packaged deal” thing. (Even though it’s true.) I can’t empty my bank accounts for distractions… it just makes me more dependent on jobs and other things that I’ve intentionally put on a back-burner to steal the time for this project.

I just want to write… Everything else needs to be secondary. Is that so bad? Is that selfish of me?

I haven’t done much to prepare for my future. I mean, I’m going to grad school and overwhelmingly excited about it, but I realize here, while Le Novio is off at work, that after this I’m going to have to get it together. I don’t want to spend my life waiting for someone to get home and doing the grocery shopping. I want to make something. I like to contribute (especially financially, as much as I hate money). I don’t want to be tossed under the rug or denigrated. I want to work hard at something.

So NWDs hurt me. They make every choice I have made seem like a paltry excuse to waste my time (especially to me). To me, this is not a waste of time. This is not “flexible hours.” This is not just a fun excuse that leads to me slowly slipping out of competition. I’m not down. I’m not out. I’m working my damnedest to get in!

Day Sixty-Three: Politics for Eleven-Year-Olds

Ah, there is nothing like spending the morning on the phone with an insurance company to really start your productive day! Every time I talk to these people, I want to set the world on fire and burn it to the ground. Nothing makes me feel more anarchist than a capitalist insurance company…

I see why so many of these dystopian novels are so popular today… God, we live is a dystopian society, except everyone sees that it’s wrong and no one know what they can do. I don’t know what to do. It just makes me angry more than anything, and nothing breeds ignorance like anger.

I love how in all these dystopian novels, the rebellion always comes. The hero stands up and fights it… Fights who? Books have literal bad guys. Why can’t it be that obvious in life?

Anyway, not meaning to wax political. I’ve been thinking about this because my main characters are eleven, but I can’t help but write them to know the pitfalls of their society (which is not the same as our society, my book is fantasy). They are basically enlightened children. They walk around like tiny adults. They know what’s going on. They see more of their world than I know of mine…

But will a young reader understand that?

I don’t want to underestimate my audience, but I’ve stopped writing for children and started writing my story as it needs to be told. What’s worse, to lower yourself to your reader or to lower your reader needlessly?

I’ve started writing this book as if speaking to the eleven-year-old version of myself. What did I want to hear? What did I believe in? It certainly wasn’t boys and magazines.

Finished chapter 16 yesterday. And the book keeps marching on.

Day Fifty-Eight: A Liebster Award?

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Last night a very nice blogger, whom I thank very much, Cook’s Reviews, nominated me for something called a Liebster Award. Apparently this is just a means of discovering new blogs and sharing random things about yourself. I’d been nominated for one before, but declined to pass it on because I’m a horrible person I didn’t think it was suited to my end goals as a blogger/Author.

To be honest, it seemed like a kind of silly thing to do, but maybe that’s just because I’m bad at this whole “promote yourself” concept. And not a very nice gal… Since it was very nice of people to nominate me.

However, I have changed my mind and decided to do, what I am now calling, an EXTREME LIEBSTER AWARD! This is like a normal Liebster in that you say 11 facts, answer 11 questions and pass on 11 more to your favorite blogs, blah blah. The twist is… you want random facts? We’re going to get as random as possible!

Let us begin on this EPIC JOURNEY (I’m into the ALLCAPS today…)!

Eleven Random Facts about me even though this blog is supposedly anonymous:
1) I once electrocuted myself by chewing on my father’s cell phone charger. Why? I don’t know.
2) In a similar vein, I apparently had a chewing fetish as a child… particularly for hard, plastic objects like remote controls. Recently, while visiting my mother, I asked if my family dog had chewed up the gnarly object that was once our TV remote and she just looked at me hard and cold like, “Really…? Really?”
3) I have no intention of ever getting married and having children despite attempting to make a career here out of writing for children.
4) Currently, I am not wearing pants.
5) I make fun of people for putting too much sugar in their coffee, but, when alone, I make my coffee hard-core sweet. Just to be a jerk.
6) One time, as a child, while tubing on a creek with my little brother, my father swung a turn a little too wide and crashed me into the piling of a dock. I’m not dead yet!
7) I’m overly-competitive at board games. If you knew me for even 5 minutes, you would probably know this. I once hit my younger brother over the head with a solid plastic Monopoly board (Star Wars Episode One, Limited Edition).
8) I have a secret savings account dedicated to one day buying a Private Island. It has a whopping $800 in it. One day… One day!
9) I had a not-so-secret dream as a child that after I graduated college I would buy a VW Microbus and road trip across the country. I never did that… But I still think I should.
10) My characters for my book were originally created by the Four-year-old I used to babysit for one day when she refused to take her nap. We wrote a story together. It was about a girl, Bean (my current protagonist), that told overly-creative lies, particularly about a Hippopotamus destroying her bedroom (which does not happen in my book).
11) One of these facts is made up.

Now I answer eleven questions in an overly-honest, cringe-worthy manner:
1. What made you start blogging?
I read that I should in the Writer’s Digest. Also, I’m secretly very narcissistic and respond overly well to people paying attention to me… If we’re being honest here.

2. Which book (books) has been the most influential in your life?
Harry Potter. They got me started in Fanfiction (I gasp to tell you that… my life’s great mortification) where I wrote lots of smutty stories about Harry hooking up with Ginny because I was 11 and obsessed with the word “snogging.”

3. If you could only choose one, who would your favorite book character be? Why?
Uhhh… Jeesh. That’s unnecessarily difficult. I always quite liked Catherine Morland in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. I thought she was a stupid, little romantic that I could really relate to. I also like Elizabeth Bennet, of course, because she’s so snarky and moderately insulting, yet everyone likes her. Le Novio once told me I had some real stinging/witty comments (perhaps he meant this as a bad thing?) and all I could think at the time was, “Alas! I have done it!”

4. What is your favorite book series?/What is your favorite standalone?
Series is 100% Harry Potter just because it was my first and I honestly don’t read too many series outside of children’s lit. My favorite book… there are a lot. My favorite book I read in the last year was Eugenides’ Middlesex or Mary McCarthy’s The Group. I also recommend Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Pessl to everyone I meet because it’s so intense and has the best, twisted ending of all time.

5. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 books would you need to survive?
That’s unclear. Would I want survival handbooks or something to literally help me survive, or would I want just books that would entertain me? If the latter, then the last three books I just mentioned plus a Joshua Ferris book to keep me laughing (hilarious). And probably The Count of Monte Cristo to help me plot my revenge against whoever stranded me on the stupid island.

6. Do you prefer buying your books in stores or online?
Stores. Used book stores preferably although I grew up in a Barnes and Noble… There’s a nice bookstore here in New Orleans with an adorable cat that once jumped on the two-year-old I nannied for’s head (she was ok!). That was kind of funny, actually, so I’ve liked that place since.

7. How do you choose to organize your bookshelf (by genre/author/size/color/etc.)?
There is absolutely no organizing principle. I don’t even always use shelves. They are more likely just stacked in the order I’ve read them in, so they tend to organize themselves by the phases of my life. I do have separate stacks for those I haven’t read yet, though.

8. If you could have dinner with any author, who would it be and why?
JK Rowling? Mark Twain might be interesting because I’d like to figure out how he managed to confuse which way the Mississippi River flows in Huck Finn… Kind of a big error… Maybe the Bronte sisters so I could smack ’em around a bit (Not a fan, sorry). Or Nicholas Sparks to ask a) If he’s only one person, and b) If he’s ever going to come up with a new idea to write rather than publishing the same crappy romance over and over again.

9. What is your favorite genre?
All of the above. There should be a genre called “Good Books.” I guess the book I’ve read the most is the Dictionary though…

10. What is your least favorite cliche?
Cliche endings. If I can predict your ending at any point in the story, you’re writing it wrong.

11. Do you enjoy background noise while you read or do you need silence?
Yes. I listen to music, typically. If I’m really on a roll though, I can listen to/tune out almost anything. Yesterday, I got to listen to the neighbor’s favorite Opera CD on repeat. That was grrrreat.

Now I make up questions:
1) If you were a tree (i.e. stationary and silent, but still conscious), where would you want to be planted?
2) On a scale of 1-10 (One being “Love them;” Five being “I sometimes want to undo the top button after large meals;” and Ten being “I’d rather rip them off in public and walk around in my undies!”), how much do you hate pants?
3) Have you ever noticed how terrifying squirrels look up close?
4) What book would you like to be written into?
5) What is the oldest item in your fridge? Why haven’t you thrown it away?
6) Your favorite condiment is what?
7) Getting a tad personal: Who is the most interesting person you have ever kissed?
8) What ice cream flavor best describes you as a person?
9) Are you having anything interesting for dinner tonight?
10) Have you ever accidentally set anything on fire? If so, what?
11) If you could get a tattoo, what would it be and why? If you already have one or more, what are they and their significance?

Now for my nominations of the 2014 EXTREME LIEBSTER AWARD! (I.E. Blogs I think deserve more traffic and don’t care if they do this thing or not)

1) Neuron Tree’s Scribing English because she entertains me.
2) Like Star Filled Skies because she’s adorable.
3) kelzbellzphotography because she’s brief like a twitter.
4) Zen/Xen because he’s insanely honest.
5)Strugglesaurusrex because she’s the poet of my dreams.

Ok, I’ve put waaaaay too much time into this already. Too much to write. Bye.

Thanks for being awesome, everyone. And for reading all of this. For that, YOU deserve an award.

Day Fifty-Five: Getting Started Writing

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Lately, I’ve been having a lot of trouble getting started writing. I sit down at my computer, get ready to write and… about six hours later actually write something, but first I have to…

1) Sleep just a little bit longer.
2) Check my e-mail.
3) Set up a new Word document.
4) Text with friends.
5) Do I need to go to do any errands? Post office maybe? Walgreens? No? Damn. Why did I even put on pants then?
6) Make coffee.
7) And breakfast.
8) What about the grocery store?
9) Text Le Novio: “What are we having for dinner?”
10) Current events. That’s important. Cool… String theory!
11) Any new HBO shows I should watch? What do you mean I’m all caught up on Girls?
12) Hello Facebook, anything exciting today?
13) Nope.
14) Write three sentences… Good work. God, I want cake now.
15) Eat cake.
16) That was the best cake ever. I should go to the gym.
17) Get dressed for the gym.
18) Sit down to put on gym shoes.
19) Nap.
20) Sit down in front of laptop. Watch cursor blink.
21) Maybe I need music?
22) This is a great song. Let me research this band at length.
23) Wow, I’m learning so much about science!
24) I should water my plants.
25) And read this book.
26) Any blog notifications?
27) How about writing a blog now?
28) Text friends about blog post.
29) Obsessively check blog for notifications.
30) I’m too cold to write.
31) Find blanket.
32) God, Le Novio’s couch is comfortable. Pretend to nap but actually play Candy Crush and text friends.
33) Le Novio: “I’m leaving the office. Be home in 20.”
34) Actually start writing.

Or is that just me?

Day Forty-Nine: To A Louse

A young woman’s head itches.

She wakes up in the morning and scratches her head until it burns and flecks of blood dry on her fingertips. She spends an entire sleepless night rolling around in her own sweat, scratching until she goes mad with exhaustion.

Accustomed to working with children, her mind immediately jumps to the doomed conclusion. She spends another sleepless night scratching and scratching while she researches lice on her mobile phone until her eyes go dark.

She buys another bottle of prescription dandruff shampoo. Her denial is palpable. She just can’t bring herself to admit it and spend an entire day laundering her boyfriend’s apartment and scraping minuscule bugs off her scalp.

She just keeps itching.

Finally, she hits her breaking point. She calls her insurance teladoc repeatedly trying to get a prescription. Her insurance does not care. She walks eight blocks to her nearest Walgreens and tries to duck shamefully among the over-the-counter pesticides. She buys a lot because she has a lot of hair. Messy hairy. Knotted hair. Hair that sheds all over everything. Hair that will take days to comb with that tiny bug catcher.

She hides the box in the checkout line. It always takes 45 minutes to check out at this Walgreens. The man at the counter feels her shame and drops the box hastily into a bag as if her bugs are already crawling over it. She pays for $50 worth of extraction supplies. She’s back on her Ramen Noodle diet for another month, she thinks while scribbling her name on the checkout screen with her finger.

She showers in water so hot it makes her skin turn red and lumpy. Oh, god. How is she going to tell her boyfriend? Her friends? Everyone she’s had contact with in the past month?

It takes an entire bottle of the rancid cream to coat her hair. She has to fish her bras out of the sink and shoves every garment in her infected suitcase in the hall to await the wash. She mixes tea tree and olive oils into a spray bottle she’d fetched off the “Dog Training” aisle.

The ten minutes is up. She fishes up an expendable bowl… the kind she’ll never be able to eat out of again without flinching and fills it with scalding water in the bathroom sink. She rakes the comb through her hair for the first time. The second time. Then, frantically, a third, fourth, fifth, hundredth time.

She can hardly face the disastrous results. It’s worse than even she could have predicted. Impossible, even.

The comb is completely clean.

No bugs. No little terrors hanging on her scalp drinking from her blood like the parasitic vampires that they are. No South Park style saga to escape her violent pesticides.

With a violent wave of revulsion, she peers into the mirror. The realization is startling.

And still her head itches.

Day Forty-Eight: Carry On

Happy Mardi Gras! Skipped the festivities to hang out with a small child of epic proportions and then hole up in a coffee shop. No regrets. It was already raining on my parade.

I’m over celebrating… plastic treasures.

It’s been a week since I’ve done any solid writing. Oops. Things are about to get serious… I swear. I just feel about ready to hibernate until I can keep my eyes open without caffeine assistance. It may take years…

I swear I was really enjoying writing this book. I just have an epic hurdle to cross and then I’ll roll right along. Most of my ending is already written.

In hindsight, it was probably dumb to create a blog to promote my writing and make it anonymous. Oops. I believe this is where I make some broad generalization about hindsight.

I’m trying to grasp the concept of honesty… It’s so relative, the line between fear and social etiquette. I wish I could just say something I really, truly mean.

Why can’t I stop philosophizing? I do enjoy it, but it’s not moving my story. Must move story.

Carry on, my wayward son.