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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Sorry, I’m Not Sorry

I realize that I only made it a week through my proposed schedule of postings, but it’s moving week and I’m staring hopelessly at piles of clothing and trying to decide what to take and what to burn in grief.

I am very bad at packing.

So the proposed postings will have to wait. And you guys will just have to forgive me for being a lying little blogger. And I will just have to figure out how to condense matter to my needs. And then we will all be happy.

San Francisco on Friday. Oh, dude, I’m nervous as hell.

The Calm Before The Storm

I don’t actually think I believe in the calm before the storm. The storm always breaks well before the rain, you can feel it in your mind, watch the darkness gathering in the distance, pulling you towards it like a wave rolling towards the shore. Feel the dread in your guy, heavy in the air, saturated.

York was lovely, a truly adorable city, but marred by the doom waiting to tip over our heads, the water balloon already in transit to smash into our face.

You’re never just paranoid. You know when something isn’t right. When something has gone unsaid.

I made myself horribly sick on it and have made the long-overdo pact with myself to give up drinking. Not in a black and white way. In a way that’s like… Why have I ever invested so much time and energy to make myself sick in a new friend’s dirty toilet for a day?

How would I need that when there is this?

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Also, we went to a drag show.

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But now we are back in Edinburgh, waiting out the storm. Maybe one of these days the rain will stop.

Onward to York!

Am finally, ginormous cup of coffee in hand, sitting down in my friend’s living room for a bit of writing. No excuse why I’m not doing this until 8:30 at night other than the fact that I have recently become addicted to looking for apartments to rent in San Francisco that would be in my budget (also, fajitas)… Which is a fun game in that it’s a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack and stabbing yourself repeatedly in the eye, in that it’s both impossible and (did I mention?) really fun (no, a microwave and a minifridge do not count as a kitchen!).

I know it’s too early to find and August lease… I just can’t stop looking. I have the irrational fear that I’m going to miss something amazing.

Or maybe that’s perfectly rational. I don’t want to live in Buffalo Bill’s living room!

Anyway, I’m on the 9:00 a.m. train to York with my friend to visit her second most beloved British city. I’ve never been so it should prove an educational experience. Then back to Edinburgh for a few days, Croatia for a long weekend, two days t bid Edinburgh adieu before Dublin Part II (Revenge of the Irish) and a one-way plane back to Florida.

I won’t even get started on the epic birthday roadtrip I’ve planned thereafter. I’m like Carmen Sandiego, one never should know where I’ll pop up next (also I look a bit like a flasher in a trench coat).

But for tonight… I believe I have a book to write.

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Day Ninety-Nine: Failure

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Dublin succumbed to it’s nature and dawned a cold and rainy day. Much more like it, Dublin! It would have been sad to have spent my entire visit in perfect sunshine. Due to the rain, however, my daily park nap was cancelled and I dragged my little brother around museums until our ankles swelled and we both fell asleep in a Costa Coffee Shop (irony).

Trinity College’s Science Gallery had an awesome little exhibit on failure called Fail Better. Some of the stories were quite inspiring in a way… Samuel Beckett’s own failed works, Dyson’s 5,000 failed prototypes, Christopher Reeve’s determination to see spinal injuries walk again, Alfred Nobel’s failure that led to his own brother’s death… I read that next year (although I haven’t investigated this further), according to a re-interpretation of Nobel’s will, that there will be a Nobel Prize awarded for failure.

I think that’s beautiful.

Failure in a way is the best thing that can happen. Without failure, how do we learn what we are capable of? How do we create something new?

Failures are innovators. Try something, and if it doesn’t work, try it again. Try it until your heart is broken. Try it until your fingers bleed. Try it until you die. Because really the only way to fail is to quit.

Find that one thing you love and work at it every day. If you can even get that far, you’re no longer a failure.

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Day Ninety-Eight: No More Writing Advice

I hereby refuse to read any more writing advice blogs/columns/articles/quotes.

The internet is flooded with advice on how to be a great writer. The irony is that most of it is horribly written. Or boring. Pedantic, mysterious, blunt, optimistic… Everything! I can’t take it anymore.

All I have actually learned from this impossible array of mostly conflicting advice is that the writing process is particularly personal. Have you ever noticed that no two people brush their teeth the same way? Watch them. Watch anyone. If even a simple act like brushing one’s teeth is a unique act of individualism, how could any two people write the same way?

The best way to learn how to write is to read and write as much as possible until you stumble into your own method.

I’m not saying don’t read publishing advice. I’m not saying don’t read other authors… Do. As much as possible, read their every word. I even like interviews about other writers’ writing process.

But to think that someone can sit you down and show you the exact method of creating a writing process? Of creating a character? Narrative? Story? No.

From now on, I write the way I write. It changes day-to-day. It’s sometimes impossible. Maybe it’s not the most efficient. Maybe I use a lot of adverbs. But it’s mine.

Day Ninety-One: Happy People

Pretty sure Le Novio’s neighbor is watching Ellen right now while simultaneously singing Pharrell’s song “Happy” at the top of his lungs (that makes day three, he sounds like a dying squirrel). God, he smokes a lot of drugs, but he sure is happy.

I am less happy because, while I’m excited about my trip, I have so much to do before I go. Including saying a prolonged goodbye to Le Novio that will officially end our month of “not living together while both of us live in his apartment”.

I made a choice a few months ago to give up the life that was making me really damn depressed and try something else for a while. I wanted, and felt I deserved, to be happy. The eternal quest, right?

I couldn’t hold on the the remnants of things that made me happy and expect them to get me by forever. I need to make something new.

But nothing is ever going to make me 100% happy 100% of the time. I’ve had to give up lots of things that I love in this quest for happiness. Really, I’ve had to give up almost everything. People that mean the world to me, a city that I love, and the first awakenings of financial freedom.

Sometimes, you just have to tear down your life and rebuild.

So let’s start rebuilding.

With that, once again, I say goodbye to New Orleans.