Friday, January 25, 2008

Do What You Love and...You Know the Rest

So I recently scored a rather dreamy gig being writer-in-residence at Mount Rainier National Park (one of the most beautiful places in the world). I don't know if I'm offically called "writer in residence" but that's what I'm calling myself cause it sounds cool.

It involves hanging out a lot at the park; helping update and expand their climbing blog; "patrolling" the area on skis so I can write about it; helping them develop their artistic programs, and partying with the climbing rangers. Here is a picture of the "office" from just the other day.

I'm not really getting paid, naturally, because that would be much too practical for me. As I've said before (or some variation on it), "Do what you love and you'll be forever f*cking broke."

Friday, January 11, 2008

O Where Have all the Heaters Gone?

Some days you feel like you are the coolest of free-spirited, don't-tie-me-down, f*ck the Man, I am going to do everything my way and have fun doing it, including live alone forever in my airy urban condo, travel when I want, work when I need, play in a band -- aren't I cool girls. Er, women.

Other days, well, you are just cranky and cold and bored and even though you could be doing anything you damn well please (as long as it doesn't cost more than $10), you spend your whole day slogging through "work" that you should be grateful to have in coffeeshops that don't employ heat even though it is minus 20 outside.

OK so it is not minus 20 it is really mid-40s but it feel so much colder because of that icy rain that continues to fall constantly.

At least I managed to find a new book by my favorite author at the library - James Wilcox - who wrote the novel "Modern Baptists," which is one of the funniest things I've ever read (and I read a lot). No one has ever heard of James Wilcox, which, on the one hand, makes me feel bad for him but on the other hand, makes me feel better for myself because no one has heard of me either which means maybe I'm brilliant too and people just don't know it My book was also at the library - yay! - but checked in. Oh well.

Now I really thought I had something important to say today. Other than to whine of course. But I seem to forget what it is. Today started out better because I managed to get up before 10. All the good intentions in the world don't make it easy to go to bed early when you don't have anywhere to be in the morning! Because why would you go to bed when you could 1)watch bad TV 2)clean your house 3)organize your paperwork 4)practice piano etc etc, all those things you seem only to do at night, the later the better?

All right. That is all. For all you Seattle writer/bloggers out there, remember I'm teaching a blogging class at Richard Hugo House starting in 1.5 weeks and I hope to see you there!

((Photo above by my very talented friend Leslie Duss)


Monday, January 7, 2008

Happy 2008

OK! I think I have finally recovered enough from the holidays to blog again. My waistline, perhaps, has not recovered from the many pounds of cheese, potato chips, and pizza consumed during my ski trip to the Methow Valley in Eastern Washington--but I overcame my post-holiday blues during a single day of frenzied closet-cleaning and am now back to my usual level of productivity. (Sleep: Nine hours per day. Work: Four hours per day. The rest: Who knows?).

My trip, thank you very much, was delightful - full of blindingly blue skies, powdery white snow, freezing temperatures, and mountains seemingly devoid of people except for us.
They all teemed along the groomed cross-country trails on the valley floor. On "The Methow Valley Community Trail", you can ski for miles and miles past farms, through forest,over charming country bridges draped in snow.

The smiling, spandex clad skate skiers probably teemed along the many other groomed trails too - however, we were too cheap go on those trails, since they cost you a whopping $20 a day. Besides, we hate people.

And once we stepped off the groomers,it was as if we had the entire valley to ourselves. Including one area with wide-open powder slopes and expansive views (only minutes from the road) that we yo yo'd up and down with great gusto, because what more could you want? (Except maybe a lot of money, a book on the bestseller list, a vacation home on an island, and eternal life).

Now I'm back in cold, rainy Seattle where there is no structure in my mostly-unemployed life except that which I create myself. However, I've mostly gotten used to that, carving a structure out of nothing: one that consists of sleeping a lot, spending much time in coffeeshops, working on the feeble second draft of the novel I wrote in November, applying for fun and rewarding-sounding jobs that pay next to nothing, and both dreading and anticipating my return to Hotel Californiasoft two months hence.

When, just over a year ago, I returned to the place from which you can never leave, I meant to have an alternative plan in place by now: one in which I had my ideal combination of jobs and was supporting myself with them but alas, I'm still figuring out what that combination looks like, and failing to make money at any of them.

Though I must send a shout-out to the store "Yeah Baby" in Fairfax, California, which sold 16 copies of my book (on consignment) in under a month! So it's not fair to myself to say I'm not making "any" money doing things I love. I earned enough from those sales to pay for two tanks of gas! Yaay me! And yaay Yeah Baby!

It feels great to know my book can fly off the shelves in the right circumstances. On that positive, caffeine-fueled note, I bid you adieu. Until next time, enjoy this wacky ski video starring yours truly!