Archive for January, 2008

Christmas Presents

aileen.jpgI just moved over to WordPress from blogger.com. Blogger decided that I was somehow spamming on my blog and has locked me out for three days. So forget them! I’ve found that site not very user-friendly anyway.

So even though I’ve been off for a glorious two weeks, I’ve gotten very little writing done. *Sigh.* But I have been doing a lot of visiting. I think I may actually get more writing done when I’m not on break!

I did receive some books as Christmas presents, which is always lots of fun. I just read “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s a memoir about her journey to Italy, India, and Indonesia, to search for love and God. Truly one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. I highly recommend it.

But then I read Alice Sebold’s “The Almost Moon.” Well, I should say, I read the first 100 pages and skimmed over the rest because it was so awful. You might remember hearing about or reading “The Lovely Bones,” which at the time, I really liked. On second reading, I didn’t like it as much, but she still had some really beautiful passages.

Her second book, though? The narrator was unlikable, and then she goes and murders her mother. And then tries to cover it up. There is noย other story thread, and the narrator shows little remorse.ย Oh well. I was happy to get it as a gift, because I truly did want to read it. Sometimes reading a horrible book teaches me about what not to do, and here I learned lots! ๐Ÿ™‚

I should be working on my novel, but I think I may go watch an episode of “Lost” (season 3, another Christmas gift.) I’ll watch just one episode. I think. ๐Ÿ™‚

What I’m reading: “The Bright Forever” by Lee Martin

What I’m listening to: “Amie” by Damien Rice

What I’m working on: More revisions of Diminished Fifth.


Read Full Post »

So I was thinking about the upcoming New Year, and what I’ve accomplished this year, and decided: I really need to write more. And I need to hold myself accountable. Between teaching full-time, commuting about two and a half hours a day, and raising my three and a half year old daughter Jenna, I really don’t write as much as I should.
So I decided to create this blog. To rant, to vent, to discuss, and to tell anyone who wants to listen what, if anything, I’ve accomplished. The title of the blog (“In the center of chaos”) comes from a passage from Natalie Goldberg’s “Writing Down the Bones”:
Okay. Your kids are climbing into the cereal box. You have $1.25 left in your checking account. Your husband can’t find his shoes, your car won’t start, you know you have a lived a life of unfulfilled dreams…Your feet are swollen, you need to make a dentist appointment, the dog needs to be let out, you have to defrost the chicken and make a phone call to your cousin in Boston, you’re worried about your mother’s glaucoma, you forgot to put film in the camera, Safeway has a sale on solid white tuna, you are waiting for a job offer, you just bought a computer and you have to unpack it. You have to start eating sprouts and stop eating doughnuts, you lost your favorite pen, and the cat peed on your current notebook.
Take out another notebook, pick up another pen, and just write, just write, just write. In the middle of the world, make one positive step. In the center of chaos, make one definitive act. Just write. Say yes, stay alive, be awake. Just write. Just write. Just write.
I love that passage, because it is so true. I could just be a music teacher and a wife and a mother and a friend, and worry about groceries and bills and cleaning house, and when the next episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” is on. In many ways, I would be happy, but I think part of me would feel empty. And right now, with as busy as I’ve been, I’m letting my writing go to the wayside. I just can’t do that anymore.
So for those of you who haven’t read my work, here’s the deal: I’ve written three novels and several short stories. The first novel sucked, the second novel was a bit better but still unpublishable, and this third novel I think has potential. So I just need to rewrite it until it’s perfect (not an easy task, I can assure you, and I’ve rewritten it a dozen times) and then get it out there to agents. But then I run into another problem: no one really wants to publish someone who’s not been published before. So then I’ve tried to get some of my short stories published, but that’s not easy either. It’s like a job interview where the employer tells you they want someone with experience, but how are you supposed to get experience if no one will hire you?
Of course, it could just be that my work isn’t ready yet. ๐Ÿ™‚
So I’ll keep chugging away…well, probably not too much over the next few days, since tomorrow is Christmas Eve, the next day of course is Christmas, and then on the 27th we’re going up to Michigan to visit my parents, then through Canada to go to New York (the state, not the city) to visit in-laws. Then, finally back to Ohio.
In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. Stay warm. ๐Ÿ™‚
What I’m reading: “Paint it Black” by Janet Fitch
What I’m listening to: “Shy that Way” by Tristan Prettyman & Jason Mraz
What I’m working on: Revisions of Diminished Fifth. And I’m going to think about where I’m going with a short story about a storm, two sisters, and the mom who abandons them.

Read Full Post »