If someone had been taking bets when I was in high school about what hobbies I would have in my adult life, I’m certain most folks would have put money down on writing. But no one would have cast even a single penny into the pot for improv comedy.
Yet here I am– a newly minted company member of the DSI Comedy Theater.
I’ve been refreshing the news pretty steadily since yesterday morning. I worked nowhere near the Navy Yard during my time in DC, but I know someone who does. He’s alive and well. Like the rest of us, he’s waiting to find out who didn’t make it home.
I imagine there’s going to be a lot of talk about guns over the next few days. Because the victims were likely adults and the gunman decided to attack a naval base, I doubt the conversation will have the same intensity that it did after Newton. But one question will still be there.
The television was on when I walked into Mr. Martelli’s classroom. At first, I thought he was cuing up a video for us to watch. But since we had barely cracked the 1800s in our AP US History class, I thought it was odd that there was a skyscraper on screen.
By the time I got to my seat, I realized that we were watching the news. Two planes had hit the World Trade Center. We were watching smoke billow in real time. We were watching people die in real time. We were watching evil in real time.
I fell asleep on my couch, and unlike some people (meaning YOU crazy, couch-loving Worsham sisters), I don’t sleep particularly well on couches.
Last night’s couch sleeping brought on a dream of travel to Europe, which would have been a great dream except I missed my connecting flight AND I forgot to pack my underwear.
A security guard felt the lack of underwear in my bag was suspicious and pulled me out of line for questioning. So I was stuck in some random German airport, trying to convince a guard whose English sucked that a lack of underwear wasn’t sufficient grounds to accuse someone of being a terrorist.
As illogical as it was to be labeled as suspicious due to a lack of undergarments, my dream self was very distressed by the whole mess. I woke up agitated and was ready to pen a nasty letter to the Chancellor of Germany.
I also woke up to this:
I don’t like using the flash on my phone camera, but the cuteness would have been wrecked if I had to get up and switch on the lights. Plus, his squinting makes the picture even cuter.
I forgot about the letter pretty quick, and eventually I picked up the cat and went to sleep in my real bed. There were no more dreams about Europe or crazed security guards.
Still, if you’re planning on travelling to Europe any time soon, double check that you have underwear packed in your bag.
As of today, I have written every single day for 100 days straight. That’s a pretty damn good chain. One I hope to keep growing for a long time.
Now the secret sauce, the whispered spell, the talisman that led to this chain is not a fancy new iPad, a special app, or a handwoven notebook made from recycled sunflower leaves. It’s not a lucky pen, a spiffy hourglass, or a lollipop that was licked by Neil Gaiman. Nope. It’s a Google Doc.
Yet this is no ordinary Google Doc. It’s the collective calculator of literary calculus, the almighty slayer of perfectionist psyches, the engine of writers’ hopes and dreams, The Magic Spreadsheet.
::Cue choir of cheer-drunk angels::
I’m currently reading Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. In every writing text I read, I tend to find something useful, but this is the first book during which I am literally screaming, “THAT’S ME! THAT’S ME!” every other page. Between the copious amounts of highlighter and scream spit gathering on this book, I doubt I’ll ever re-sell it.
Not that I would want to.
Lamott validates a lot of the writer neuroticisms I struggle with: the perfectionism, the desire to write a whole book in one day, the assorted critical voices that descend up you and machete your self-esteem into ribbons as soon as your fingers hit the keyboard.
I have a post on fantasies over at Searching For Superwomen today. Check out the first sentence:
One of the most common arguments I hear against increasing diversity in speculative entertainment is that fans don’t want to experience stories that resemble the real world–they want to escape it.
Now begone and go read the rest.
Last night, I put the finishing touches on the first draft of my current novel project. Scrivener says the draft is around 120,000 words.
However, I never got around to telling Scrivener that it shouldn’t count any of the notes I wrote or those five chapters that I rewrote entirely.
So the draft isn’t as bloated as Scrivener tells me it is, but it’s still way too damn big.
I think this picture (which, to the best of my knowledge, is the only group picture in existence of my 10 year high school reunion) captures the essence of the night perfectly. It was a blur.
There were so many people to catch up with that I had to snatch food in between conversations. That was probably a good thing because the Newark Country Club’s bacon-wrapped scallops were heaven on a toothpick, and I’d have shoved a metric ton of them into my mouth if there was no one there to talk to.
You know those weeks in which you barely have time to breathe? Ones in which you’re just so busy that one blink will carry you from your office on a college campus to a stage in front of a packed audience singing the most mangled opera you ever sung in your life?
Perhaps most people don’t experience that when their lives are flying by, but most people don’t perform live in an Improv show the same week as they are in the production stage of a major work project, helping the boss prepare for a visit from the big boss, and managing a cat having toilet issues.