|Looking a little tired, but still not stabbable.|
I love your tongue and your hair.
I will NOT stab you.
I need to show you dis! Cool!
It came from my nose.
a guy with a face on fire?
That would be cool.
|Shoes worth begging for.|
Please! I only have 4 pairs.
Well, you have a lot.
You must have heard me wrong.
I’m sure I said truck.
On a bit of a whim – which is how I tend to do most things – I decided at the end of October to participate in this year’s NaNoWriMo. For those of you who don’t like guessing at acronyms, that’s one for National Novel Writing Month. Admittedly, before October, I didn’t even know there was a NaNoWriMo. If you had asked me what it was, I may have even said “I don’t care,” and just walked away. Which is exactly what my husband did when I first asked him (he wasn’t trying to be mean, my timing was just really bad).
Anyway, the goal is to write the first draft of a novel, the equivalent of 50,000 words, in November. I started the month thinking that I would be happy with half of that. But now I’m at 50,248 words. I won!! And in NaNoWriMo terms that means getting access to this cool button!!
Okay, at least it’s not nothing.
The story isn’t done and it needs a lot of editing, but here’s an exerpt:
I spent the next couple of days in my room, by myself, allowing myself some self-pity, but I knew that it would be short-lived. I tried to call Peter a few times, but got the maid, who promptly hung up. Once I got his mother, who snorted before hanging up. I think I heard her say ‘trollop’ before she hung up. I heard the phone ring a few times, and I knew it was Peter. I think I found that I was glad when my mother or father hung up, as I was not prepared to have a conversation with him yet.
Did I mention the story isn’t done and needs a lot of editing? Keep in mind that the purpose was just to get the free-flowing words out on paper. And that there was some alone time and hanging up involved.
By the way: That husband who was grumpy at the top of this post? He spent a lot of evenings putting the kids to bed solo. Not always an easy task in our house. And he was amazingly supportive. He’s even started researching for me. He’s the coolest and I couldn’t have done it without him. Also, he’s never online and not on Facebook, so I can say things like this without him getting embarrassed.
Is December NaTerNoEdMo? (National Terrible Novel Editing Month?)
It seems appropriate that I post this on Father’s Day. My Dad, who is fabulous in his own right, learned from one of the greats: my Grandpa Mal. Yesterday I went to a great writing workshop where we were tasked with writing a very short piece about an article of clothing. The most obvious, for me, was a certain blazer that took on a persona of it’s own at my wedding. It became an ode to Grandpa. So, to the wonderful fathers in my life, Dad, Grandpa, and John, Happy Father’s Day!!
The blazer was the life of the party. It had its beginnings a long time ago and was reborn at my wedding.
|The Blazer in Action|
On the dance floor a handsome, mustachioed gentleman appeared. He sported a blazer of the finest polyester. White background, shades of red and blue weaving together into a plaid pattern that, sadly, you just can’t find today. Silky(ish) brown lining. A wide collar that has probably come back into style and will again.
I finally submitted an entry for NPR’s 3 minute fiction contest. The rules are: 600 words or less, one charachter has to tell a joke and one has to cry. I had two entries, but could only submit one. Here’s the one that didn’t make the cut:
I really like musicals. I like the drama and the costumes, the dancing, the lights and music. I like imagining I have that level of talent. Most of the time it’s good old escapism for an evening. But sometimes I can’t overlook that corny thing that pulls me out of the moment. It’s when I look at the actors on stage and think: that would never happen.
The same thing occurred last night when I went to see In The Heights at Keller. It is inevitable that two people in a musical or opera will end up singing into each other’s faces. This usually involves the woman holding the man’s face, then the man grabbing her hands and pulling the two of them close with their hands grasped between their heaving chests. About half the time one or the other throws their hands away and walks in a dramatic circle around their portion of the stage. The only exceptions are Rent (because the characters are sometimes two men, but really, they do the same thing) and Avenue Q (because they’re puppets).
I could be a director of one of these things.
Could you imagine if we did that to communicate with our partners? That would never happen. Although, I think it would actually be an effective way to get your point across. Especially with men who are not great at reading emotions. You’re upset that he hasn’t been helping with the housework or needs to spend more one-on-one time with the kids? Sing it to his face! Loud! Want more attention while she’s watching Project Runway? Grab her hands and make puppydog eyes while you sing!
God, that would get old fast.
So while I was watching Benny and Nina (Arielle Jacobs, who has a fabulous voice) sing into each other’s mouths, it sort of distracted from the story. It’s a bit formulaic, because Daddy never thinks anyone is good enough for his daughter. Otherwise it’s really good and I shouldn’t get pulled out of it over staging. If you’re not familiar with In The Heights – and you’re already forgiven if you don’t know of it – the you should know that I may be being a bit harsh on it. It won a bunch of Tonys in 2008.
I just think that sometimes directors should make these people a little more real. I mean, even when John and I were falling in love we didn’t do anything like that. How about staging it the way real people live* life. Like lounging at opposite ends of the couch. Or standing in the kitchen talking while secretly wondering who is going to bend and do the dishes first. And not singing.
I guess that wouldn’t work after all.
*Please note: apparently there is an exception to this singing into each other’s faces thing. Apparently it IS the norm in Finlandto do it. I don’t know. I’ve never been.
My son came with me to view a home with some friends this morning. He ran around and checked out the vacant house, but mostly he was just concerned with running around in circles with his friends,.
It made me think of how different the two kids are. At about the same age, my daughter was more interested in the house itself and playacting that she was just like Mommy. She was also much more verbal (first kid and girl, you know the deal). Her perspective and interest have since changed. Or maybe I should say disinterest. She declined to come with us to the house and instead stayed at home, snuggled in with her Daddy. Perhaps mommy’s job has lost a bit of its allure. Perhaps she agrees with those who think it wll take nearly a decade to recover and doesn’t see it as a great career option. Anyway, here is a re-post of something I wrote on Active Rain a while back. I thought it was interesting given the differences in the two kids…
I’ve been a working mom my daughter’s entire 2 ½ years. It’s part of our routine. She came with me to preview homes when she was only two months old. Every summer my husband will walk her by houses that I’m holding open.
Being able to work around and with my daughter is part of what makes real estate a great career. It provides my daughter with some special insight into what mommy does, too.
The other day I heard her playing in her room with her dolls.
“You like this house,” she said to her baby.
My ears perked up and I tried to listen in without interrupting. In her little two year old voice and pronunciation, she was showing a house.
“There is a master bedroom and that’s your bathroom. And you like the closet.” Around Portland’s East side there is a lack of master suites with good size closets. Apparently even she has noticed.
“It’s a pretty house and that’s the sidewalk. It’s not my house but you should live here,” she gave her dolly quite a sales pitch.
A few weeks back I previewed some houses with her for a client. I thought she’d be bored so I tried to hurry through. It was a vacant house with a very large living room, so I left her running circles around the room while I ran upstairs to glimpse the bedrooms. When I came down she was in the kitchen.
“Are those new, Mommy?” She asked, pointing to the appliances.
In the living room, she asked if the fireplace worked. And when I tried to leave without checking the basement, I quickly was re-directed downstairs. “You need to look down there,” she insisted. “To see if there is water.”
You hear all the time that kids are like sponges. I know it’s true, but it still amazes me. How do they pick this up so quickly?
The same afternoon when I overheard her acting out Realtor games with her dolls, I asked her what she had been playing.
“Nothing,” she dismissed it. “Just only looking at a house.”
“Oh, was it fun?” I asked.
“Yeah, it’s my work.” She said before she changed the subject.
The best realtors I know are honest, hard working, balance work and family, and have other people’s interest at heart. If my daughter wants to do that, then she has my blessing. I hope to live up to those standards myself. I get a little help daily from the smallest realtor I know.
For the record, let me just say that I think that people who Blog are crazy. They often share too much and are probably a little narcissistic. But there’s a “but.” I like to read them, it’s nice to see that others are as weird or normal or whatever as you, and it’s fun to write. And, maybe, I also find myself gazing at my reflection a little, too.
Not my lieteral reflection. It’s a little too uninteresting for my taste. I like a little bit of the exotic. But reflection in the dictionary’s “fixing of the thoughts on something” way. [I wanted to insert a pic of me looking reflective in a mirrored reflection. It was A) too silly and 2) Um, when did I get those sunspots?]
Last weekend I skipped my college reunion. Let’s just say it was my 10 year reunion. Just say. Instead I went with some girlfriends to the coast.We relaxed and drank fancy drinks and talked and had an impromptu dance party and talked more. (BTW, happy birthday Jen).
|Arch Cape with the ladies|
As I was driving home I thought, no, reflected on this. I decided that I’m finally feeling inspired to actually write instead of talking about writing. So here it is. I have no idea who will read it, but it doesn’t really matter. I have friends who support me, kids who love me and a solid rock of a husband who both loves and supports me. I’m going to write whenever I can.
Then I got home and walked in to flopping, boneless, tantrumish kids. I realized that taxes were due and I hadn’t even started them. I was behind on paperwork for a couple of transactions for work. Ugh. What was I feeling just a moment ago? Inspired? Yeah, I’m having trouble locating that feeling again.
No, no, scratch that. The kids are fine, they just missed me. The taxes, after pulling my first all-nighter since the aforementioned college, are all done. The paperwork is fine thanks to my fabulous transaction coordinator. It’s all good.
Let’s DO this thing. I say this knowing that with so many projects I start out strong and energized and lose momentum a little too easily. I have some problems with follow-through. No, really I do.
So (for now) let’s DO this thing!