Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

Mindless debauchery update

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Dammit.

I got nothin’.

I suppose when every day is mindless debauchery, it’s so hard to differentiate.

Sometimes I do think about perpetual mindless debauchery as an option. Minus the occasional periods where you’re forced to sober up and deal with your shit (or so says your parents or loved ones or parole officer), I suggest it might be preferable to what I commonly think of as “the real world.”

Freaky food

I don't know what this is. I'm not sure I want to know. Maybe some kind of messed up cream pie with cherries and, uh, green weeds? At any rate, what matters about this picture is this: it's the least of the evils when you type 'debauchery' into Google Images. ***shudder***

Who needs “the real world” anyway?
Unless you’re rich or famous or otherwise high on the hog, the real world kind of sucks. Regularly.

In other news, I thought I’d attempt to give you some uber-boring but hopefully slightly amusing updates on my latest distraction. Oh yes. It is now official (and I’m even thinking of getting business cards made). I am Vanessa Wolf: international cat sitter,  writer, and raconteur.

Man, I love the word raconteur, and now thanks to Jack White (whom I also love although the live Union Forever album is a bit – well – rough, and Meg’s terrible drumming shines in all the ways you wouldn’t want it to) it’s in somewhat more common vernacular now so I could actually use it without seeming like a snob, but then again, most people probably aren’t super-familiar with the actual definition, just the band, and maybe it’s a bold claim to make about my own self (although I would like to learn it was put on my tombstone or at least mentioned at the funeral) so it’s probably best if I just keep it to myself as I have been doing for some time now already.

Speaking of which (and I swear I’ll eventually loop this around to where you can see the relevance), a girlfriend of mine was in Italy last week and on a trip to make connections in the leather and textile worlds. In her first email to me she related that she’d “met a wonderful Italian man. He is 80-something and owns a fabric shop where I spent $150 on a jersey silk wool blend. He spoke to me of harmony, poetry, and magic.”

So, like you, I wondered if she might actually be having some kind of affair with this elderly dude. Hell, with Viagra and Roman blood, I guess you never  know…

Thankfully, she followed up with some texts where she explained further that he did say something to the effect of, “please don’t wait me wait so long before you kiss me” but no such thing ever happened. However, a few days later she texted that she was “told I was exigent, whatever that means.”  I explained that it means demanding or unreasonable, and whoever said it was clearly a big, fat jerk.

So (as the story goes) she informed that it was the ‘ancient 80 year old guy’ who said it (and was once again rebuffed for a kiss, although I don’t know if that was before or after the highbrow name calling started), and then I suggested maybe he meant to say “exquisite” or “exotic” or “exceptional” and she said, “No. He meant exigent. He even spelled it for me.” Which brings me to two points:

1. Yes, it is impressive to know, let alone use big words, especially when English is (presumably) a second language, but it also makes you look like an arrogant asshole – especially if you call someone a word they don’t understand and even repeat it without providing the (judgmental) definition.

2. Eighty is OLD. I’m sorry, but there are very few 30-something women who are drawn to men old enough to be their grandpa (money, intelligence, charm, and ownership of an Italian fabric store notwithstanding), and my friend is not one of them. Neither am I, for anyone wondering. So don’t be a jerk about it, just age up about 25 or 30 years, and you’ll probably be fine. Or not. Whatever. Jerk.

Actually, seeing as I still feel kind of fired up about this, allow me to add a third point.

3. Unless you’re in a spelling bee or someone has SPECIFICALLY asked you for spelling help, don’t fucking spell words for other people when they don’t understand you. That’s so incredibly arrogant I almost want to buy a ticket to Rome just to hunt this guy down and give him a verbose talking-to and maybe hard slap across the liver-spotted cheek. Jerk.

In other news, I am sitting in my dad’s living room where I will be for many days to come and hopefully writing copious amounts of the new book (which I am rather happy with so far, happily) and watching the king, er, his indoor cat and his outdoor kitty zoo of feral felines. At this point, like any good ruler fearing an unfavorable coup, the king has been laying low, observing, and plotting his next move. I suspect he’s acting all nervous and coy in an effort to lull me into an unsuspecting state such that I won’t see nor expect it when he leaps from the staircase and claws my eyes out.

Either that, or he’ll decide to roll with the punches and warm up within the next 24-36 hours.

We shall see.

I know the Egyptians revered them as gods, so I don’t plan to underestimate His Royal Highness. For now, I’m just keeping the bowl stocked with Friskies Surfin’ and Turfin’ and watching my back.

Human skin is so soft and vulnerable to angry cat claws and my vision is not what it should be.

Truth be told, I feel a little bit like Ripley near the end of Alien, but as of yet all paranoia is purely the product of my own imagination.

Thus far.

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Not dead. Just editing.

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Which in some cultures is the same thing as being dead.

Or at least it should be.

If I had my own culture, my little euphemism for time spent editing would be, “a series of small deaths.”

As in “Vanessa has not been blogging as she has been undergoing a series of small deaths with Zion.”

However, as we’ve all been told, whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Or, in my own greatly preferred version (courtesy of Marilyn Manson): Whatever doesn’t kill you is gonna leave a scar.

Mexican Taco Stand Menu

Me when things were warm and sunny, which was not - by any stretch of the imagination - in the last few weeks.

Either way.

Presuming I survive and come up for air soon, I’ll be back before you know it.

As always.

Pinky swear.

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If this is true, then I’m golden

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

All man’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone

- Blaise Pascal

Audrey Hepburn lookalike

Channeling my inner Holly Golightly.

In the last week and two days I have proven – in spades and in excess – that I am capable of sitting quietly in a room alone.

Hell, I thrive quietly in a room alone.

I’m like a low-maintenance houseplant.

Or a cat with access to a dripping faucet and an open feedbag.

Go about your business and don’t worry about little old me. Just leave a light on and let a neighbor know I exist, okay?

All the same, I’m kind of appalled at my own absence.

Five days?
How did five days get by me?

Well, for starters, I’m sitting quietly – minus the ticky tacky tapping of Macbook keys – in a room alone all the livelong day (and night).

I could be on Mars for all I (or you) know.

Secondarily, I’m writing a chapter a day.

I should be proud of this, but the thing of it is, my (overly, I now realize) aggressive schedule had me writing two a day.

Two!?!?

Who do I think I am?

Joyce Carol Oates?

(I once read that on a real roll she writes 40 pages a day, so she is my Parthenon of big-time page quota writing)

Mexican laundry on the line

Doing my laundry old school. Feeling very salt of the earth and wondering to myself, "Do I own any clothes that aren't gray?"

Anywho, I’ve been writing a chapter a day, which honestly isn’t easy, and due to my own strange (inspired?) idea to have the first ten chapters be parallel and modern-day retellings of the life of Christ ages 30 to 32, they’re tedious as well. In addition to the time spent doing said writing, I spend about two hours a day reading Biblical interpretations.

Which I kind of hate.

Okay, I hate it a lot.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I hate Jesus…but when you’re dreaming about the man in a scholarly kind of way, you’ve possibly/probably/definitely gone too far.

Anyway, I’m working like a dog and making daily progress. Despite this, I’ve been growing increasingly despairing.

“Why?” you ask.

Well, if you’d been paying attention, you’d know I’m growing increasingly despairing because I thought I could write two chapters a day, and it just ain’t happening.

So self-admonition and “mañana, mañana” kick in until today, when the landlord sneeringly asks me, “So are you getting any writing done? Or do you have writers’ block?”

“No,” I told him, “I’ve written nine chapters.”

The sheer look of shock was enough to make me realize that although I may not be JCO (see above for secret decoder ring), but I am doing pretty darn good.

And then he stammered, “Wow. You’re a disciplined writer.”

Giant box of Special K

I only buy cereal that's at least four times the size of my head. And yes, the house really is as round and pink and freakishly fluorescent light lit as it seems here. I've grown accustomed...

And THEN he went and made my day (sort of) by adding that he’s happy if he writes a chapter a month.

I don’t have any clue what it is that he’s writing, but whatever.

Doing some quick math, I calculated that on his ‘aggressive’ plan, it would take me three years to write this book. So two or three months instead of one ain’t too shabby.

And it certainly isn’t three years.

So yay me.

In other news:

  • The first day I got a funky tan from my ever-present necklaces, but I have hence removed now-not-so-much-ever-present necklaces and evened that mess out.
  • Last night, in a fit of “I’m sick of corn tortillas and beans” I made cabbage rolls (any of you with any kind of Eastern European or Russian heritage know what I”m talking about), and they were wonderful. And I ate more for breakfast. And more again tonight for dinner. And there are still five left. Happiness…
  • I was trying to trim an errant hair with oversized scissors and cut a chunk out of my eyebrow. Oh well. It’s hair. It’ll grow back.
  • I have a girl crush on Ellie, the fast-talking Mexican maid. Not my maid, mind you. I do my own laundry and dishes and sweeping and cleaning. Not that I mind. It’s kind of a simplified, hand-hewn Little House on the Prairie-type existence. Anyway, back to Ellie, she’s so sweet and doesn’t seem to care a lick that I only understand about 30% of what she says. And she’s willing to try all kinds of words until she stumbles into some vocabulary I recognize. The same cannot be said for everyone…  Enough said.
  • I miss TV. A lot.
  • I am really damn tired (it’s a little after midnight here) due in large part to the aggressive ray of sun that shines directly on my face every morning at 7:00am and my persistent very late night bedtimes. In other words, I couldn’t let another day go by without posting something, but in just a few more words that’s all there is to say. Be good. More soon.

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So you want to be a writer?

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Since I’m on a mini-roll here, I figured I’d just stay with the same topic one more day.

That stated, do you know this poem?

Pondering the deep questions of life, like what's for lunch.

It’s been on my bathroom mirror for the last eight months, and I can attest that its message is absolute truth.

There’s maybe a little planning and organization that could go into the process that he doesn’t mention, but mostly he’s dead on: The words just come…or they don’t.

Any attempt to force them will sound that way and feel that way and you’ll end up deleting them anyway. It’s as implausible as it is true.

So You Want To Be A Writer

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you

in spite of everything,

don’t do it.

unless it comes unasked out of your

heart and your mind and your mouth

and your gut,

don’t do it.

if you have to sit for hours

staring at your computer screen

or hunched over your

typewriter

searching for words,

don’t do it.

if you’re doing it for money or

fame,

don’t do it.

if you’re doing it because you want

women in your bed,

don’t do it.

if you have to sit there and

rewrite it again and again,

don’t do it.

if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,

don’t do it.

if you’re trying to write like somebody

else,

forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of

you,

then wait patiently.

if it never does roar out of you,

do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife

or your girlfriend or your boyfriend

or your parents or to anybody at all,

you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,

don’t be like so many thousands of

people who call themselves writers,

don’t be dull and boring and

pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-

love.

the libraries of the world have

yawned themselves to

sleep

over your kind.

don’t add to that.

don’t do it.

unless it comes out of

your soul like a rocket,

unless being still would

drive you to madness or

suicide or murder,

don’t do it.

unless the sun inside you is

burning your gut,

don’t do it.

when it is truly time,

and if you have been chosen,

it will do it by

itself and it will keep on doing it

until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

–Charles Bukowski

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Strangely buoyed

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

…and unapologetically hopeful.

So barring further plot/substance/pacing/general reviews of Twilight, the movie, I will say that at the end, I became curious (and why, I do not know and/or cannot accurately recall) about the story of the writer and how she became published.

And, lo and behold, she has detailed said experience on her website.

And, second lo and behold (!) #2, it’s not entirely different from my own experience (dreaming characters, general serendipity, feeling that things are almost writing themselves at times).

But most strikingly, she references Janet Evanovich as to how she got published in the end.

And Janet E. is my one and only go-to source on all things getting an agent and getting published. She’s the reason I feel like I need an agent. And she was, in a manner of speaking, my coach and encourager through the first book, although she managed that via CD and without knowing that I exist.

But still.

p.s.

98,333 words = Book #2 = DONE.

Meaning, if nothing else, that I am more than a one-trick pony.

I am at least a two-trick pony.

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