I still can’t write about what happened over the last week, as it’s not my story to tell and there aren’t any medical answers to give. We’re all still waiting, but no longer in waiting rooms, so there’s that. No news isn’t good news, but it certainly isn’t tragic news. Sustained adrenaline is fading into exhaustion, and with that, we wait.
During the last two days, I’ve been recovering from a cold (because this is the week that keeps on giving) and I’ve been trying to focus on non-issues to keep in as vegetative a state as possible. To achieve said state, I’ve found these gems online: 40daysofdating.com, a real-life Norah Ephron plot, and the Sean Parker/Lord of the Rings wedding fiasco. I’ve kind of been obsessed with both. The former isn’t really my fault. John sucked me in and now we’re analyzing everything. It’s LOST all over again. If this blog had a sequence of numbers, I might never get my life back. The latter, I’m naturally obsessed with because it’s Lord of the Rings, and Sean Parker caused millions of dollars of damaged to an old growth redwood forest. Now, I thought that Vasant and I were nerds because our best friend presented us with an elvish blade at our wedding and The Claire composed a Lord of the Rings-inspired arrangement for the wedding march. But no. Sean Parker is not only a bigger nerd for making everyone dress up like Lord of the Rings characters, but he’s also a FAUX nerd because he destroyed trees to do it. Very Saruman-esque, alternate reality Justin Timberlake.
In the course of the week, I’ve loved the comments and messages some of you have sent to cheer me up. Out of all these, The Lady, who sent me a digital care package, and I have decided we’re the subjects of a comic called Puppy and Bunny (as pictured above.) We’re always having crazy adventures that involve baking, editing and comical rants. Obviously, I’m the puppy and she’s the bunny. If you follow us regularly you get this, if you don’t, I feel for you. I’m also excited because all the AWP 2014 scheduling was announced this week and on top of being thrilled for all my friends who are hosting/featured in the programming, it means I can see The Lady when she comes out. We will be a literary networking force. Puppy and Bunny Take Down AWP. Coming February 2014.
Film work, photo editing, website work and my own writing chores have continued this week, sandwiched in between the cold and emergencies. With all this going on, I can’t be expected to read internet nonsense all the time to decompress from work, sickness and stress. I need some good TV too. And then, out of nowhere, I get notified that FRINGE Season 5 has finally appeared on Netflix. I can get my Walter Bishop fix in later this weekend. It’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
Vasant and I’s eighth anniversary is next Tuesday. We’re really excited for this. Maybe it’s being in our thirties, but everything now just has this feel of electric permanence, the sense of cosmic tumblers clicking into place. We’ve been breaking our fingers on a vertical climb for so many years, and getting close to the end of our first decade together, we feel like we’re also getting close to the top of our goals. We had a ten year plan, and while we’ve suffered financial setbacks, gotten serious illnesses, lost a child, and relationships with people we loved, we are on track with that plan. We are on track with each other. Where we are now is better than the newlywed phase. We’re more mature, and yet giddier, we’re more committed and more adventurous. We’re refreshed by every day we get older. A lot of people told us we weren’t going to make it, and even more told us that our ardor for each other was an impermanent part of our youth. I’m delighted to say that it’s not. Eight years and many sobering losses later, we are better than we were at the beginning. And this will keep on increasing exponentially, because no career goal Vasant or I have is equal to our goal to love each other in the best way possible.
WE’RE FINDING OUT THE IDENTITY OF THE TWELFTH DOCTOR ON SUNDAY!
Today is the first day of rain in a long time. We had thunderstorms through here a couple of days ago, but other than that, this has been the driest summer I can recall in Seattle in years. While my Facebook feed is full of grumbling, I’m loving it. I’m curled up with a good cup of coffee, snuggled up under a blanket, getting my work done. Sunshine makes me want to be outside playing. This is GET IT DONE weather. This is the weather writers thrive in.
And speaking of getting it done, I’m done with this blogging break. It’s good to be back online. I’ll post more nonsense later.
KNOW THIS: no tumblr grid could ever express or contain my ~hearting feelings~ for you tumblroos but, throughout today I’ve queued up some crush grids that I’ve collected over the past two weeks. If you don’t show up on my grids, it’s not that I don’t heart you, it’s just that you can’t compete with these tumblroos post output, you’re probably a reblogger like me.
Plot is the unpopular kid in fiction, these days. Character is the current darling.
So much of the literary fiction I’ve read lately is lacking character too. I’ve heard both derided so much in favor of style that sometimes it’s hard not to despair over the state of literary fiction (of course, there are books that are full of great examples of both, some that I’ve been lucky enough to read this summer, but they’re still so sneered at.)
One person, who went through a very elite literary MFA program, told me she’d never read Shakespeare and didn’t intend to because it’s only considered literary because it’s old, and that contemporary critics of Shakespeare pointed out his plays were too plot driven (screw you, Ben Jonson.) She then turns around and asked if I’d read David Foster Wallace and went on about the beauty of the incomprehensible in his works, and I just stood there dumbfounded. She had actually been through seven years of higher education and not read Shakespeare, but been instructed instead in Joyce and Wallace (I love their work, but come on. Start with the fundamentals.) The thought that today’s writers are being taught that Shakespeare is too plot-focused and that style should be praised above all nauseates me.
Fortunately, the other night’s event was fantastic. Charles Baxter said so much great stuff, ripping at the literary establishment for eschewing plot and then diving into a master class on developing good, character-driven plot.
One of my favorite quotes that night was:
“Secrecy leads to plots. [They] contain massive amounts of negative energy. The narrative reveals and heals.” -Charles Baxter
I’m glad you wrote this list. It’s always nice to hear what you have to say. I appreciate your insights and I hope things are going well. : )
Thanks. I appreciate that. Depression is hard to write about, but for whatever it’s worth now that he’s gone, when Robin Williams talked about his, it helped me as a kid and was something I thought of often as I grew up. Being affected by that kind of transparency creates a responsibility, no matter how awkward, to be transparent yourself, even if I’m not writing about things like this as much as I could be in order to fulfill that responsibility.
Things are going well, though. The funny thing about depression is that it strikes irregardless of whether things are going well. I think writing about it (as well as reaching out) is helpful, and hopefully might be helpful to read. All this is to say, I am really thankful you left your comment.
Thank you all!!! I’m feeling a bit better today. The cough I’ve got has been kicking my butt all week, but it’s not as severe today. I might even have enough energy to go looking for the aurora borealis tonight (we’re supposed to get a chance to view them tonight and tomorrow!) I hope all of you are feeling good. Change of season colds can be the worst.
Hopefully I’ll turn a corner soon. Until then, keep sending all the e-soup you can, light on the e-cumin.
In less than a week. I can’t wait. You’ll bring magical Con vibes. Also, we all plan on letting you sleep for as many days as you want when you arrive. Sightseeing doesn’t need to begin until after Batman.
I’ll be in the Los Feliz area of LA next month (August 26-28th) I should have time for coffee and/or brunch on the 26th in particular, and I’d love to see you!
if the 26th won’t work, but one of the other days will, I will try to make that work! I’m not sure how much free time I’ll have, and I don’t know whether I’ll have a rental car or not, so that limits my options, but! we can make it happen!
I have been moderately miserable today, probably mostly due to working with bleach for Cody’s science project. probably.
the point is, you guys came to the rescue!! I got texts from TLOTH and her Widget, and that awesome package from Jennifer, and texts from Franklin, and a post from JP directed at me, and replies and hearts from so many of you, and I just really love that there are people out there who make my world so much better by existing in it, no matter how I feel. <3
I LOVE this design and your book and YOU! rest your voice and keep the flailing to a minimum. Good creative and productive night to you and Vasant
I love you!!! And I can’t wait to vocally flail, because I’m seriously excited that you finished my book and that you loved it so much. And, I owe you a Jennifer Appreciation post… filled with potatoes, since The Claire already beat me to the Matt Smith gifsplosion.