Monday, July 30, 2007

Am I Really Asking So Much?

Really, all I aspire to do is write a novel that is as catchy as a Tegan and Sara song.

No instrumental breaks to show off my virtuousity. No deep lyrics. Hell no. Just short, sweet, poppy, infectious, a delectable confection about my bad moods and relationships gone awry. Kind of like BreakupBabe: A Novel (get your signed copy for the new low price of $111!)- only better!

Meanwhile, work is once again interfering with my creative genius. When will the world realize if they could just put me on a sparkly pink tour bus stocked with champagne where I could daydream constantly rather than having to ply my trade from a windowless office in a strip-mall scarred suburb that perhaps I would actually PRODUCE and at last satisfy all those fans screaming for a sequel.

There is nothing worse than a writer who is not writing and I'm not sure who said it but it's true.

I actually AM writing. Why in fact I'm currently writing an article about backcountry skiing for Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, a dream come true, since maybe one day I'll be sent to far flung lands to write about such things (heck, I already got sent to Utah!) but alas, the article, such as it is, is horribly devoid of any inspiration, imagery, imagination, anything that starts with an "i" and that includes interest.

Not to put down my own accomplishments. Through blood, sweat and tears, I finally broke my way back into freelance writing after disappearing for years to write a novel - no mean feat! But is it so much to want it ALL?! I THINK NOT. I am just hideouly uninspired right now is all I'm trying to say, although I can see exactly what I want, dangling like a nice, ripe, piece of fruit just out of my reach.

I want to write articles AND novels- poppy, bittersweet, bestselling ones - travel the world on a pink tour bus stocked with champagne, visit lots of countries, write about them, have a kid or two who doesn't cramp my style, and never have to edit another word of technical documentation again. A side career in rock and roll would be nice too but I have to draw the line somewhere.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

BreakupBabe Now a Collector's Item!

[This post shamelessly stolen from my own author blog]

Well, well, what do you know - BreakupBabe has become a collector's item!

You know what this means, right? You better buy up some copies FAST, have me sign them, and then you can auction them off for lots of money! Why you might even be able to purchase that yacht you've been dreaming of, or maybe even your own island! Just invest in one of the .87 cents copies also available on, ask me to sign a bookplate and send it to you, then put on Amazon for 100 times what you paid for it = instant wealth!

Though I have to wonder how seller ZONTIK2 from New Jersey ended up with a signed copy in the first place and how he/she could bear to part with it?

Not for me to ponder such mysteries, I guess. I will be most curious to see if anyone buys this collectible item - not that I will see a penny for it. But that's OK. We all know I'm not in this for the money. Ahem.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Pity the Poor White-Collar Professional!

This has not been an easy week for yours truly. After a month of freedom I now have to buckle back into the straitjacket every day at Geeksoft Corp.

Oh yes, pity me and my overinflated salary, please! While people toil in the mines or on the factory floor for a pittance, I sit in my ergonomic chair and stare at my glare-free computer screen swilling free soft drinks for a fortune!

However, this is my blog so I will whine anyway. In the last month of quasi-unemployment, my work life actually took on a shape I liked. I rose at a reasonable hour. Commuted to the nearby coffee shop where I worked on things I cared about - like planning the class I'm teaching, writing articles, or applying for writing residencies.

Afternoons I spent working out and doing more work - my own work - at another coffee shop or perhaps the library. Living in the self-contained urban oasis of lower Queen Anne, I hardly ever got in my car on a typical day, which added hours to my life that are now being cruelly snatched back by the Corporation and its gridlocked highway.

Of course, my sweet view condo in the urban oasis of lower Queen Anne doesn't come free. There is a mortgage (2!) attached to it and thus I am not free to simply write articles, apply for grants, teach classes, live a peaceful car-free existence, etc etc.

Not yet anyway. I'm getting closer but not yet.

Meanwhile let's get just a little bit personal.

Now that I am in a uh, uh, (will not say the word happy, will not say it, because as soon as I say it everything will become unhappy), working relationship - one that is more real than any I've been in since Mr. Loser himself (of whom there has been no glimpse or peep since the book came out and maybe he really HAS been too ashamed to leave his house!) I dream constantly about being cheated on.


I dream constantly that I put all my trust in someone only to have them tell me, suddenly, that they don't love me anymore, and oh, by the way, they're running off with their barista/ex-girlfriend/coworker/someone who is not you.

My current boyfriend is devoted as can be which might be part of the problem because Loser was too. And, naive little 30-something that I was, I trusted him! I never suspected he would do what he did! I got really, truly thrown for a loop and my whole world view was thrown out of whack.

Lo these past five years I've specialized in dating men who were dashing and unavailable. It was much easier. I could pine away, all daydreamy in CrushLand, knowing, deep down, that the damn thing would never go anywhere and that I would never truly get hurt. I had plenty of fun in CrushLand(as you know). But I think I've grown up a bit. I hope I've grown up a bit. I read old entries from Breakup Babe and cringe. Not because they aren't well-written, oh but they are, but because I was like a f*cking 13-year old with all that boy-chasing I was doing! (Only when I was 13 I was far too nerdy for any boys to like me so I was making up for lost time).

It's hard growing up. It's hard having a mortgage. It's hard knowing you could get dumped, that you're gonna die, that no matter how glum you might feel, there are people far worse off than you. That's why I like to write. It's an escape from all this stuff. You escape to your fictional world and it's almost like being a kid in your pretend fort again.

Which is why I must really start writing another novel soon. I feel it gestating. Ideas come and go and slip-slide around. One will be here soon, I know it.

Meanwile I've already written about three topics on this blog and made it far too long and it's broken all the rules I've told my poor blogging students about so GOODBYE.


Monday, July 9, 2007

Snakes, Stehekin, and Summertime

Hello all,
It has finally become summer here in the Pacific Northwest, as it is wont to do after July 4th. I spent my holiday weekend sweating profusely along the shores of Lake Chelan, where I backpacked for three days, dodging bears and rattlers. Sounds fun, oui? Backpacking always sounds more fun in theory than it is in practice, and is always more idyllic in restrospect than it is at the time.

Still, we swam in Lake Chelan - so clear you can see every pebble, so cold it makes your bones ache - and had the campsites all to ourselves except for one, which we had to share with some boaters, who at least they gave us bourbon and coke, which sure tastes good when you've been hiking in 80-something degree heat and have been forced to leave your own alcohol behind due to lack of corkscrew (how do I manage to forget the corkcrew time and again?).

After two nights in the wild, we parked our sweaty selves at the Stehekin Valley Ranch, a friendly establishment that serves loads of "ranch-style" food (but, alas, no alcohol. BYOB!). We enjoyed our time there all except for the day-long process that is taking the boat back from Stehekin to Chelan - which requires getting up early, many hours of waiting around, three hours of riding the "express" boat, only to arrive back in civilization eight hours later. Ugh.

The scenery is beautiful and all -- the North Cascades thrust themselves upward directly from the blue-green waters of Lake Chelan, but c'mon - eight hours for a fifty-mile boat ride? I was somewhat traumatized by the experience, so much so that I slept 12 hours last night. Thank God I don't have a job so that I could fully recover from my vacation.

This week beginneth the blogging class I will be teaching at Richard Hugo House. Pity my poor students. I do look forward, however, to clarifying my own blogging goals and perhaps once again becoming a prolific, entertaining blogger, not the mere shadow of myself I am now.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Kickin' It with My Dolphin Pals

Well, all, yours truly is Unemployed. For the first time in six years. What am I doing with myself you might ask, besides applying for unemployment and anxiously eyeing my savings account which is not nearly so plump as it was back in the full-time Geeksoft days?

Spending money, naturally! On kayaks, hair, housecleaners, yuppie vacations – all those things upon which an unemployed person should really be spending money.

Getting ready to teach my blogging class, applying for this program, writing articles for this magazine, preparing to volunteer here, and generally trying to structure life out of one that has absolutely no structure. You know, pretending I’m the wife of some rich high-tech executive instead of a single unemployed and on-the-verge-of-being-broke writer. Occasionally I kick it with my dolphin pals, too.

Aw, heck, that was a few years ago, I just wanted to post that picture.

A year ago I was slaving away in the offices of Insert Giant E-Tailer here, watched like a hawk, every moment of my day accounted for. Now I float around Seattle in the sunshine, getting my work done here, going for a workout there, sleeping late almost every day. (Remember when I used to go to bed at TEN and get up at SIX-THRITY ha ha ha!) It sounds idyllic but like anything else it has its drawbacks.

I miss people, for one. Coworkers to talk to. I didn’t even have that in my last Geeksoft gig. My teammates sat in a different building and I came in and out of that contract like a ghost. Hardly anyone knew I was there to begin with and even fewer knew it when I left. I miss having a well-defined purpose, a place I have to be. (Even if I’m not all that excited about a given purpose, it’s nice to have one).

But now that I & Le Petit Ami are the proud owners of a kayak, we spend our evenings gliding around on Lake Washington, waving at the rich Mercer Island residents hanging out on their yachts, and picnicking on piers at sunset.

That helps, a little bit.