Wednesday, December 29, 2004

True Loves

Tonight while cleaning out all the stuff I've shoved under my bed over the past year, I found my favorite photograph of myself with my old boyfriend. Not G, but one a couple before him, the boy I was with during college and for a year and a half afterward. The picture was taken the day I graduated from college. I was sitting in the football stadium with the other members of my class, none of whom I knew since I was graduating before all my other film school friends. Todd snuck up into the stands to surprise me, and we had the guy sitting behind us take our picture. In it we both look purely, simply happy, and deeply at peace, which is something we rarely were. I remember showing it to my step mom after it was developed, and she told me that she thought Todd looked really proud of me, and when I look at the picture, it makes me smile to be able to see that. I'm so grateful that I have that picture, some little bit of proof of something. The fact that Todd is still in my life is greater proof of that something, whatever exactly that something is. He is someone I know without a doubt I can count on to care about me. Even when I am wicked to him, even when I ignored him for months on end because I was in love with someone else, even when I'm dreadfully dull, I know that he's there, and he'll never not want me in his life. When we were dating, he used to tell me that he worried that if we ever broke up, he would lose my friendship, and I cruelly assured him that he most definitely would, so he'd better not break up with me. I'm so glad I wasn't able to keep my word on that. There are very few (in fact, truly only a few, as in three) people in my life who I can be completely honest with about my feelings and my state of mind, who I know I won't scare away or repulse when I admit that I'm having a hard time. When I tell him things, when I show him my vulnerable, aching side, he doesn't judge me. He formed his opinion of me long, long ago and he's never changed his mind or decided I was no longer worthwhile. This isn't to say that our friendship is perfect, because it's actually quite flawed in many ways. But the relationships that I've tried to make perfect have fallen out of my life, and this one has remained. I can hardly think of anything better then having something like that.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

For once!

We are having a true, honest-to-God thunderstorm right now. Mira and Max are going absolutely crazy because they've totally forgotten what thunder sounds like in the past 4 years. I practically have, too!

I wish it weren't already 5:00PM so that I could curl up and take a nap, which short of sitting on a porch swing with someone you love, is the best way to enjoy a storm. Instead, I will make some tea and turn the lights low and just listen, for the few minutes that it lasts.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

I've been thinking a lot this holiday season about that particular song lyric, and how it seems to sum up all that I most want in life, and all that I'm finding difficult to achieve right now. It's not that I don't have moments of feeling comfortable and joyful, but they've been in short supply as of late, and so the search continues.

The thing is that in many ways, I *do* have a comfortable life. I have a cute apartment with lots of soft pillows and good smelling candles, and I take a hot bath every night with sweet pea scented bubbles. For Christmas my mom got me a crock pot and a panini press, so I've now more ways then ever to make yummy, warm food to have with a glass of red wine. I have two cats who love to cuddle, and a heater that is noisy but effective. Physically, there is no reason for me to feel any discomfort whatsoever, really. But there's a hole, and I feel it, and it does in fact cause me to feel uncomforted in some really important way.

As for joy, until fairly recently in my life (within the last couple years), I hadn't really figured out how to truly experience or embrace it at all. I wasn't sure I even had the right tools with which to feel purely happy. I am very, very blessed to have learned I was wrong about that. But true joy, the kind that brings tears to your eyes and makes your skin tingle, is so rare. I haven't felt it for a while, and I miss it tremendously. Now that I know it's possible, it's hard to be without it. It turns out that a lot of the things that bring me deep comfort are also the things that bring me the biggest joy, and it's my greatest wish for myself, and for others, that those things come around once again to the places where they are lacking.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

And then there are other days...

Writing this week was significantly harder then last. Every word seemed to be a struggle, and when I was finally able to get something on the page, it all seemed trite, boring and out of place. I'm at the point where my characters' first impressions are there, and I need to now plunge into the deeper development of them. This is always where things get tricky for me, and when that is added to just a general lack of good ideas (which seemed to be the deal this week), it makes coming up with even five pages rather difficult. I don't know it was because I was so focused on website stuff this week, or if it's due to the holidays coming up and all that brings with it, or if was simply my hormones messing with me (which they are doing a lot of right now), but there were several times this week when I found myself staring at the screen, on the brink of tears.

Morgan says that I should go easier on myself, not have so many goals to meet each week, or at least not be angry with myself if for one reason or another I'm not able to meet them. I had to explain to her that right now, these little goals for myself are all I've got. My love life is in shambles (the debris of which I'm constantly having to climb over) and my career is severly off track from where I imagined it would be at this point. The things that are holding me together right now are my five pages a week and my almost completed website. If I can't at least live up to my expectations in those areas, I'm not quite sure what I will do with myself.

Luckily, I finished my pages a couple hours ago (with half a day to spare!) and actually felt good about the final few paragraphs, which will hopefully put me in a good position to start back up again on the 27th (taking next week off to celebrate Christmas as properly as possible). Baby steps.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

If you must read one, I recommend "Writing Down The Bones"

I have no idea where bursts of creativity or inspiration come from, nor does anyone else, at least not specifically, or else there would be no need for hundreds upon hundreds of books about how to well, um, write books (or whatever other artistic thing one endeavors to do). But wherever it comes from, I've got a little patch of it this week and I'm rather happy about that. I think it's primarily due to the fact that I'm starting to get some real stuff DONE and it's creating the desire to want to do more. Hmmm... weird de ja vu... did I already write about this? Anyway. I've put myself on a very strict schedule for working on my book ("working on my book" is the absolute cheesiest thing in the world to say. Well, besides "working on my screenplay." Ick.). I'm giving myself a weekly page minimum just like I used to have in college, which was the last time I wrote with any true regularity (besides during Lent this year), and it seems to be working well. I've tried other methods in the past such as writing for a certain length of time each day or a certain word count, but nothing stuck. My schedule and emotional whims are too unpredictable to force myself to writeeverydaywithoutfailorImustnotreallywanttobeawriter. With this new thing, if I miss a day I just have to make up for it by Sunday night. And so far, with that in mind, I've NOT missed a day. The website is also coming along really nicely, and working on it sort of feels like my "job," but in a good way (have come to associate anything that seems like a "job" to be bad over the past several years). I love, love, love working on it and thinking about it. It serves as a good distraction from the other things that have camped out in my brain recently (they've not gone anywhere, but they take naps more frequently when I've got stuff to concentrate on). It's nice to feel good busy. I've so longed to have that feeling again. It's been ages. Years. It's come at a really extraordinarily high price, and for that I feel quite sad. I guess I'd like to think that one thing didn't cause the other, that I could be on this track even if I didn't just recently have my heart stomped upon, but who knows. One does what one must, I suppose, and if you're lucky, you find some small silver lining while doing it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

"The kissing couple is next."

For most of this year, I have been without a soundtrack. Normally, I almost always have a cd that I am in love with, that I keep constantly playing in my car, and have pangs of longing for during the hours when I can't be driving around listening to it. I will listen to the same cd for month after month after yes, another month before finally retiring it with a respectful sigh to the cd shelf. In the past these albums have ranged from movie scores to the Beatles, but most often they are someone's well written, highly-singable musings on love (if either brilliant lyrics or singalongablity are lacking, the time I can stand to keep it as the featured pick shoots way, way down). I find myself in need of something that fits this bill, but everything I've tried lately has come up short. I don't know if I've become too quick to boredom, or if singers have just gotten lazy. But I guess that a great deal of the value is in the discovery, so I will keep looking...

Thursday, December 09, 2004


I did something unexpected yesterday. After having spent most of my life loving my hair color, and being told by every hair stylist I ever went to that I should never dye it, I went ahead and did just that. Over the past year or so (it might have been much longer then that, or much shorter, but my ability to perceive these kinds of things seems to not exist), my once very uniquely colored hair had become very dull, and I had failed to notice it. Like so many other things in my life, my perspective is skewed. The things I thought I had all in line, all on track, have gone completely awry, and other things I thought I'd never get a handle on are starting to slip into place. I'm bewildered. So I decided to change my hair. The most difficult thing about doing it was that I knew I would be saying goodbye forever to the hair I grew up with, the hair my dad loved to call "butterscotch." Even though it hadn't been butterscotch for quite some time, it was sad to officially let it go (it's more "coke with cherry syrup" now, by the way). Odd how hard it can be to give up something you don't even have any more. But I am trying.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Caramel Apple Cider

I'm drinking my tea early tonight because I have to be up at a more extreme time than usual tomorrow so that I can make my hair look pretty. Unfortunately, I'm realizing that not all teas are created equal. While this sleep tea was the only kind of tea I drank for years (having not been all that in to tea until recently, and drinking it only for the sake of helping with my insomnia), I have suddenly become a bit adverse to it now that I've been drinking my very lovely English Breakfast tea (purchased London) in the morning. Must find caffeine free version of like quality.

On the surface, this was a productive day for me. We're making great strides with our website, and it's starting to look real. I'm pretty excited about this. And after work, I started back doing something I haven't done for a long while but plan to do more often, which is bring my computer to the coffee shop so that I can write without the distraction of internet for a couple hours each day. I have always sort of thought people who did that were dorky (and not good dorky), and were just trying to look all writerly. But I've come to understand why a place like that can be condusive to creativity. I got more done in my time there today then I have in the past several weeks at home. Besides, it's fun to watch people go in and out (famous people count for today: 4), and make up stories about how they've spent their day. The guy sitting next to me was writing furiously in a college ruled notebook. I didn't want to be rude and stare at what he was putting down, but I noticed an awful lot of "I"s, so perhaps a journal, or an angry letter to someone. He kept sighing as if the words were taking a lot out of him. I know the feeling.