Saturday, October 28

I am in love. Her name is Delli. She is fast...

Two days without New Delli and I thought I would loose my mind.

What began as a quick in and out for a memory upgrade, revealed a misbehaving hard drive as the true reason Delli has been dragging her ass everytime I asked for something the last few weeks. Turns out she was quite capable, just hamstrung by her owner's illusions of internal brilliance (yeah, tampering with the settings). I felt truly awful for complaining that she was already too old and obsolete to handle the job, and maybe I aught to finally switch to a mac and give up this PC- of-sh*t.

So, with tears welling, I agreed to leave her at the shop for a thorough once over by the kind guys at Circular Systems.

In two days I realized how pitifully dependent I am on my sweet Delli. A hundred times a day my fingers reached for the keyboard that wasn't there: check email, make notes, IM Amira...I fretted over short story starts that would be lost if she didn't return intact (why, oh why didn't I back things up more often?!) I fussed over the fact that I am a few chapters away from finishing my friend's crit, and how would I type up the last bit without the assistance of my little helpmate (you mean I might actually have to take notes, on a piece of paper -- with a PEN?!)

So today I had just gotten over my anxious waiting spell when the call came. Of course I missed it, I was at the gym, watching Yo Mamma and trying not to ruin the intensity of my lunge sets with snorts of laughter. I got in at four thirty and checked the message. Could I possibly brave bumper car afternoon traffic to go downtown to pickup my darling?

You bet your ass I could.

Together again, and so much faster than before. I love you Delli, I do, I do, I do... I promise never to f*ck up your settings again. Pinkie Swear.


Wednesday, October 25

Two years worth of advice...

In the movie The Lake House, architect Alex Wyland (Keanu Reeves) from 2004 asks Dr. Kate Feldman (Sandra Bullock) from 2006 what the world is like in the future. She jokes that not much has changed aside from the shiny silver unisuit and flying cars, etc. Eventually she replies, "not much."

While trying to carry a pretty ridiculous premise over some appalling disregard for the grandfather complex in time travel, with a romance that lacks any chemistry between its main stars (when they finally do kiss it looks like he's about to eat her face and she wants to run like hell), the movie did leave me with a question.

I often see the question about giving yourself advice as a younger person -- say 5 to 10 years -- but rarely as short a duration as two. Is it that we don't think we have enough distance from our two years ago self to give advice? Or that we're still undergoing the same challenges and still haven't quite got them figured out? Something else.

I put the challenge to myself. What would I tell Eddie of two years ago. Twenty five years old, not yet having attended CW and only a year into her first "real" job. A lot has changed for me in two years. I think I would have a lot to say.
  • Don't be so afraid of change, of not knowing what comes next. In the end, it always comes out alright.
  • Being alone is good sometimes, it teaches you things about yourself you can't learn when someone is standing right beside you.
  • Just because you're friends with someone doesn't mean things can't change and you "grow away" from each other. Have the grace to let go when the time comes.
  • Keep up your yoga practice, no matter how hard it gets to integrate into your daily life, it will keep you sane when the world feels like it's falling apart.
  • Don't date Jesse. Sometimes friends should just stay friends.
  • Call your parents more often, tell them how great they are and that you love them, even when they drive you crazy.
  • You will live without the Mustang. You will love your next vehicle so much more. Let go.
  • Don't give up on the E-Bass. We really should know how to play an instrument well by now.
  • Eat more oatmeal. And floss EVERY DAY.
  • Get Echo into that agility class you were always meaning to sign up for. He won't be young forever.
  • Write more. You've got talent, now work on the skill.
  • Most of all, be good to yourself. Let go of the need to judge. Hug yourself when things get hard. And love yourself, a lot. Be gentle with us. We've come a long way and still have miles to go, Spirit willing.
That's my list. What would you say to your two years ago self?


Tuesday, October 24

Butterflies and The Pickup

So I posted "The Pickup" to my writer's group today. I'm actually a little proud of it because it's the SHORTEST story I've ever written. So short, in fact, it can actually be legitimately considered a Short Story, rather than a novelette masquerading as one (think: blue whale in a bikini)

Of course, even before I hit Send, the butterflies are raging up against my collarbones and kamikaze-ing themselves into my ribs. I actually had to talk myself into it. The dialogue went something like this:

The Writer: Come on, it's ready, go for it.
Me: Are you sure we shouldn't read it outloud one more time?
The Writer: SURE? Are you out of your mind? No, if we read it again I'll be out of mine, now push the button.
Me: But the ending. And the title. I don't like the title.
The Writer: You NEVER like the title. Now shut up and push the button.
Me: Don't be mean, I just want to make sure we haven't missed anything.
The Writer: What are you talking about, we ALWAYS miss something, that's what the group is for. Now quit babbling and push the goddamn button.

So that last passage officially marks me as a drama queen. He he he.

The funny thing is that submitting something new to the group revived a lot of very good yet very scary memories of writing at CW. I realize it's been almost a year since I've produced anything remotely new in the short story department. At least anything I'm willing to brave the Butterflies to let anyone else read. Rewrites don't take half the guts to submit as something entirely new.

Confession: I'm convinced I will never really get over the Butterflies. I'm convinced that the trick is to get learn to ignore, or at least turn the music up on the little buggers. I actually really like getting critted, but that period between the polish and the crit is the most nerve wracking time of my life. Every single time it happens.

Having that distinction helps. I'm not afraid of heights -- its falling that scares the shit out of me.

So it goes.


Monday, October 23

Oh God and did I mention...

NaNoWriMo starts next week. So begins my mantra for the month of November: I am going to finish this year, I am going to finish this year.

Rinse, Repeat.

But, first I have to start.

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How I Found God

Ohh! God likes beer. And college bars. Guess I'm not in too much trouble then...

Check out the delightful "How I Found God" by the amazing Ann Leckie at Son and Foe Magazine.

YEAH, Ann!

P.S. Saw Anne Lamott at Grace Cathedral in SF on Sunday. She was honest, fun, wonderful and inspiring. Did I mention she is one quirky woman? Plus she has an amazing sense justice tempered with off beat humor. We need more of that in the world.

P.P.S. Sorry I've been off the radar lately...I'm changing the scenery of my life (again), critting a friend's novel and trying to polish up my own shorty "The Pickup" before I leave. Details certainly will follow. Pinkie swear.


Tuesday, October 3

Where have I been?

Heather's most awesome Mayfly was published by Strange Horizons last week. Read HERE.

(So okay, this isn't our first publication and I should have been linking to them before this...Yeah, duh. If you haven't yet, check out Cat Rambo's blog. She keeps track of these things much better than little ole me. To all my fellow Clarion wastes -- 'policies for not growing a brain sooner. Will link as you publish, darlings!)

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Dear Mom, Please lay off the email forwards...

My First Renaissance Festival*

*Actually it was a medieval "Festival of Courage" which I like better just because I can spell it without looking it up.

I'm a bit embarrassed to say I've never been to one of these things. And if you've never seen a guy walking down the street in full armor you are TOTALLY missing out.

I went to oogle the weirdness and wound up working the admissions booth - welcome to life in a small town. It turned out to be the best places to be at a medieval festival: I got to see all of the great costumes, heckle the plain clothed and wander around the entire festival for free. Plus they fed me. Always a good thing.

I have to say I'm pretty hooked. I got a bit into it: I had the security guard snorting laughter after I told a trio of teenage girls in princess gear, "Good luck finding your princes, and don't go kissing any frogs."

So I've spent the last few days working on a costume and "story" idea for next year's fair (aka "how in the world a blackgirl ended up in medieval Europe") Any ideas? History experts out there that can solve this one?

All else fails, maybe I'll just go as a little brown fairy...