Green Apple Books (or Why San Francisco Is Going To Bankrupt Me)

I have an obsession with books. I think if I’d had more say in the matter that, when I moved two weeks ago, I would have left all my clothes in Florida and packed suitcases full of books.

My empty bookshelves remind me of my empty soul.

But then there’s Green Apple and, if I spend even five more minutes in this shop I’ll be toting around my bodyweight in literature and probably broke.

But really?! Who turns down a shiny, new Franzen for $4?!

I have a book problem. No, I won’t get help.

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Day Ninety: What’s Next?

God, has it really already been 90 days since I started this blog and project…? Ninety days and I still haven’t even finished the first draft. Damn.

I want so badly to hole myself up again and finish this book and my feeble attempts to make in back to Florida with enough time to spare to do so have failed miserably. My mother needs to see me, my doctor’s appointment got postponed by two months, my father needs me to give him my car to take care of while I’m out of the country (I.E. give to my brother who will most likely kill it).

Today is my first stationary, non-committed day and even still… I have a dinner date and a ton of laundry.

I should have worked harder and gotten it done sooner. I feel like a failure, like I’ve blatantly missed my deadline.

But, in a way, maybe it’s good. I’d still like to finish the work in the next month, but I never wanted to rush into doing something with it. Starting school again means I won’t have the time to more than idly flip through it in my stolen moments, and maybe that’ll be the best excuse I need to set it aside for a bit.

Nevermind, even if it were written, it wouldn’t be ready. I wouldn’t be ready to publish it. It’s genuinely not good enough, still.

So I have spent the day trying to research ways to make myself ready. Going to the Bay Area is a huge step-up from Noweheresville, Florida and even New Orleans, so I’ve started looking in to possible internships with Literary Agents and Bookshops. Bookshops in the Bay are a whole new breed of literary community. Some of them have their own presses even. I, while in San Fran, fell in love with Booksmith and am now lusting for a job with them.

Sadly, most of the agents I looked at in the area only offered unpaid internship work. I’d love to do it, but school isn’t free (sadly, I did not get in to a free program) so I’m going to need some source of income and time for class… so I don’t know how feasible an internship is. Even though it would be a great opportunity to prepare myself for what comes next and see if I can actually write something printable.

Ah, if only I had a trust fund!

My ambitions exceed my financial limitations. Surely, there must be some way to make at least a little money in this field? I’ve heard a lot of stuff about Manuscript Readers. Anyone know anything about that?

Day Eighty-Six: Life Must Be So Much Easier With Money

Alas! Salvation! My thoughtful, wonderful father surprised me a few weeks ago by offering to book me a cute b&b here in the city. I swear to god… I want to live in this exact house if I ever get rich!

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My room has a turret! I’ve always wanted a turret. And I’m currently at a wine and cheese cocktail hour, finishing my third glass of wine (oops!) and countless plate of cheese.

I also took a glorious bath in the biggest tub I’ve ever experienced… Now I’m finally a bit less hobo-smelly!

Mmmm wine.

Meanwhile, my brother and cousin are both texting me various locations they would like for us to visit. Munich, Paris, Switzerland, Dubrovnik (that’s my bother’s choice… Apparently Peter Dinklage is a fan… What a GOT dork). No idea how I’ll afford it, but I’d love to go everywhere!

God, wouldn’t it just be great to be rich? I mean, great and horrible (because I’ll always be cheap at heart). I walk around this city (although I’ve always done this in Nola too) and start picking my future home… A lovely Victorian on Alamo Park circa Full House 1996. If only money weren’t an object…

Which brings me to my writing! In that my writing has been sincerely on-hold for the last week. After all the touring and exploring, I’m so exhausted I can do little more than grumble about the overpriced housing market (I will never be able to afford an apartment in this city!). I did write over 20 postcards in the past two days… Does that count?

Until then… I’ll just continue to pretend I’m not unemployed in this beautiful mansion…

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Day Forty-Four: Mardi Gras

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Made it to New Orleans in time to catch a parade called Muses (it’s an all women’s Krewe). Had a good time. They throw shoes out to lucky folks and–hooray!–I caught one so… looks like it’s going to be my lucky year.

I’m sorry. I don’t know what to say now. I’m in recovery. Let’s just say I had to take a little nap in the bathroom this morning. Lucky Year is starting off right?

I have to go to a Ball tonight. Wow, poor me. I HAVE to go to a Ball. My life is so hard. It’s a lot of pomp and circumstance and people throwing money around like it’s candy. It’s hard to watch when you only have $25 in your checking account.

I love this city. I love Mardi Gras, but New Orleans is the city with the strangest priorities. Have a speeding problem in your community? Stop fixing potholes and no one speeds anymore. Have a drug problem? Sell alcohol everywhere and at all times, then you just have legal drug problem.

It’s a very strange place. Wonderful. Interesting. Magical. And insane. If I weren’t writing Fantasy… Every story that takes place in this world that I hereafter write will probably be set in this city.

Day Eight: On Money

I hate money. I do. I hate it so much that if someone asked, and it was viably possible,I would just give away all my money. But, sadly and apparently, I need this stupid exchange of dollars to exist in this world.

When did it become so expensive just to exist?

Currently I’m living off the grid and therefore very cheaply and at the generosity of others, but it feels like I had to give up every aspect of my life to do so and even then… I’m barely scraping by. Why? Just because the goal I happened to be pursuing is one people pay retroactively for? Because I couldn’t handle putting away all the parts of myself that I loved best in favor of the parts of me that someone was willing to pay for?

People pay me for my time, but if I could buy anything with my money, I’d buy my time back. I don’t want to save for the future. I don’t know who I’ll be in the future. I know who I am now. I want to live my life now. I am never going to have more use for my time than I do now at 23. I’m not getting any younger/more hopeful/more determined. Now almost feels like my last chance.

But after taking a big hit on my mother’s birthday financially, I finally gave in though and applied for a few childcare jobs, but found myself cringing every time someone talked about committing to a regular schedule and open hours. I am so tired of being paid to be at someone’s beck and call. I can’t really do this whole project at that rate. It would take me forever. But I guess they’re right when they say, “Don’t quit your day-job.”

So, after finding some encouraging resources for writers in the Writer’s Market I now worship at the altar of, I decided to check a few of them out. There are some wonderful people out there who really want to support the writing community and bring out some hidden potential in the literary community (specifically THEIR literary community and let me tell you backwoods Central Florida does NOT have a literary community so that’s out). There’s this Awesome Foundation that seems very cool, albeit a bit outside my specific realm for this project. I think if I ever get rich I would just give my money away to young writers. I’d like people to have the chance to peruse what I’m aiming for too.

So I applied for ALL OF THE MONEY and am now VERY RICH! Yay! The. End.

Not.

I have a very serious question for you guys: If someone is applying to recieve money from you, a private grant, or for a contest that would award (not even a lot of, really) money, why would you charge them $80 to enter? Geesh! If I applied to even one of those, then I wouldn’t be eating for the next two weeks. Someone is making money here and I don’t think it’s the writers.

I think what I’ve learned more than anything by this exercise is that the literary community is crazy exclusive.

I can’t apply to your contest because I haven’t paid membership fees for the past year? Then who are you ACTUALLY awarding this money to? People that already have extra cash? What about the people that need it most? I don’t fit into these subsets of specialty writers. I’m just a young girl trying to write a story for children because it’s all I love to do. Why doesn’t that measure up for anybody? Why can’t I get paid, not a lot, just enough to make that possible, for that?

Since when did it become so expensive to do what makes you happy?