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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Onward

Hey. I’m in Las Vegas airport waiting for my connecting flight to San Francisco/my new home, which is very weird concept. Not sure if that’s because I’ve been moderately homeless in recent months or if, well, it just isn’t home yet. I don’t even have a bus route yet.

But I have a job and new sheets and an elderly roommate. And so I guess now it is my home…

Anyway, I haven’t been writing as I’d hoped to, but I have been tearing my book to shreds in my mind. In a good way. In a way that, I know, makes the story better, but only illuminates how much work I still have to do on this story.

I figure that writing a book is like doing a puzzle. At first, you just put the puzzle together in the easiest way possible. And as soon as you finish the puzzle, someone tells you you have to do the puzzle all over again in a whole new way. So you have to set about rearranging everything as if you’d never solved the puzzle in the first place, but you still want to come to the same puzzle in the end.

So now I’m rearranging my puzzle. It’s a lot to do, but I feel my excitement mounting all over again. It’s almost as exciting as it was when I’d first thought the whole thing up. I’m dreading the work, but I fall more in love with this puzzle every day.

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.

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: 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 Eighty-Five: God, I Love Bookstores

Normal tourists take pictures of sights and maybe some good views… I take pictures of book stores like a fan girl at a Harry Potter premier.

My cousins asked me while in Denver where I wanted to go last weekend, I remained apathetic for three days until I sniffed out a bookshop as we left the ice cream place. I made them both stand there while I explored my wonderland like a tiny Alice.

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Finding great bookstores is like my special tourist talent. San Fran has some great things to offer… I’m so excited to make them my new homes. I spent most of my day wandering in awe around The Booksmith up on Haight Street (pronounced more like “hate” than “height”, I have learned like a shameful ignoramus). God, is there any sight more beautiful?

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The store is practically plastered with staff recommendations. It has a whole children’s wonderland. They even have beautiful versions of the classics! I think my dream now would be to find my own book on their staff picks for the week… Maybe one day!

In other news I have picked my Grad School! California College of the Arts MFA Writing class of 2016 (wow, when did it become 2014?)! I hope everyone is as excited as me.

Now I must go bask in the splendor of my newest book. Isn’t it pretty?

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A lovely day spent sprawled out in Golden Gate Park writing a stack of postcards and reading in the sunshine. Ah, now that’s my kind of touristing!>