Spent most of the afternoon at Paradiso reading Communities in Cyberspace while the NaNo kids worked on their novels. I read until my eyes hurt, and then I had a milkshake with Carl. The semester will be over soon enough – but until then, I think I’ll mainly be in seclusion. Thanksgiving was good. I accomplished nothing over break – absolutely nothing – except some reading and lots of relaxing and some family togetherness. I took pictures of things at thrift stores. I saw Capote. I found out that I went to preschool, and that one of my preschool classmates is a friend I met in Champaign twenty years later. I’m rereading The Gunslinger. I have to give a presentation tomorrow morning and I’m totally stressing.

Less than two weeks til the end of the semester. I can do this, and then I’m going to waste at least three days playing Tetris, sleeping in, and doing nothing. Oh yeah, and then I’ll finish my PhD application. I can do this.

A quiet weekend. You know how when life goes back to normal after lots of excitement there’s sometimes that feeling of let down? I guess that’s the best way to describe how I’m feeling. The pressure of NaNo is off, I don’t really have anything going except work, and I think that’s getting me down. It’s an odd thing to complain about, I know, but that’s the way I am. So I’m keeping busy and just getting through.

Shawn and Michelle both finished their NaNovels. Sarah came close, and I dropped out before 30,000. Not sure how the rest of the Champaign kids did.

Finally got a chance to watch Million Dollar Hotel this weekend. I was pretty obsessed with the movie in London but somehow never got around to watching it. I liked it a lot. Not sure if I’d recommend it for everyone, but it’s definitely a quality bit of film. “The heart is a sleeping beauty and love the only kiss it can’t resist. Even if its eyes lay open wide, there is a heart that sleeps inside. And it’s to there you must be hastening. For all hearts dream, they dream only of awakening.”

Ummm, what else. Played lots of YoHoHo Puzzle Pirates – watched Monsters Inc (adorable) and Femme Fatale (sketchy) – wrote some letters – finished my latest knitting project – slept and lounged around a lot – didn’t bother getting dressed until almost 10 (pm, that is). I guess that’s it. I’m just – blah.

There and back again

I survived the holiday and the drive without much ado. Left here at 7:30 in Davenport around 10:30 family arrived shortly thereafter – dinner around 2 – going through clothes while the kids played – reading and talking and knitting and eating – left Dav around 5:30 back home with tickets to Return of the King by 8:30. No email AT ALL today – however did find a randomly hidden comment on the old site, which was exciting. Missing my down-here friends as they’re all with family in various places – Newman and Jen bowed out of visiting due to finances – and I think I just lost at my NaNo quest. I have three days to write in excess of 22,000 words in three days and with no plot or character development in mind, it simply isn’t going to happen. You can read my review of my novel, however.. A long, boring, and lonely weekend stretches out in front of me. At least I got to see my family. I forgot how much I adore and miss them.

Oh, and pies may be nice (see 11/15 entry), but if I eat one more piece of any kind of pie in the near future I really might explode and thus have to swear off pies for life. Don’t make me do it.

Sunday morning – well, afternoon – and I’m 4,000 words up on the NaNo novel, but haven’t accomplished much else. It’s sort of nice, actually, after the craziness of this last week. I’m reading The Waste Lands and will probably finish that this afternoon – not sure what’s next. I should be working on the novel – or at least cleaning my apartment – but it’s a grey day and just lying around seems like a better option.

It’s the end of a long weekend, and I’m tired.

It’s the end of a long weekend, and I’m tired. Friday night had dinner with Hannah and Shawn and watched Whale Rider – sweet. Had a brilliant thought and put my new mattress under the futon mattress when we got home – nice and soft and firm. Hoo-rah for sound and not-creaky sleep. Woke early to drive to Springfield to take the GRE – it sucked and the math part nearly made me cry, but I survived. Dinner with Shawn at Courier, then watched Gattaca (soooo pretty) and Arlington Road and went to bed late late – I think the upstairs kids were moving furniture or playing underwater soccer or something cos there was definitely commotion at 4:30am. A lazy day full of reading and lounging and lunch with the kids at Le Peep and not working on the NaNovel. Now it’s somewhat lateish and I’m tired – I should be writing, but I think I’m going to crash.

nano!

Last night’s NaNo write-in was a lot of fun – Sarah, Shawn, Michelle, Emily, and Kathryn all brought food – we had quiche, an egg casserole, soup, cheese (yay, cheese!), crab dip, and brownies. Yum. Lots of writing and insanity ensued, and everyone’s a little further ahead.

Two days away from the GRE and I’m flat out terrified. Maybe I’d be less scared if I was doing any sort of preparation – but between writing and friends and food and all of that, I just haven’t had much awake time at the computer. I suppose I should stay home tonight instead of going to the MFA reading – but maybe I’ll just stay up and play with it afterwards.

The novel is coming, but slowly. At times it’s cathartic, and at others it’s just damned difficult. Why do I do this to myself? Oh yeah, cos I want the things I write to have weight and meaning – and cos I can’t write things that don’t. Which isn’t to say that the fun and crazy things my friends are writing are of any less value than my novel – just, I think I would get distracted and not be able to concentrate on something that didn’t have personal weight and value. But that’s just me.

Sarah’s putting Acadia up for adoption, as it were. I feel so bad for her – she’s agonized over this decision for so long – but I do think she’s doing the right thing. It will be hard and sad and a different type of exhaustion – but I think in the long run it will be the right thing.

I am such a fucking hypocrite. I really, really am. I am a fucking hypocrite. I’m happy on my own, but not when I have to be alone. I love my apartment, but not when I have to be here by myself. Not sure the stimulus for this fit of self-loathing – I had a wonderful weekend, I got so much done on the novel today (I’m up to 15,259!), and in general I’m really happy. I’m reading, I’m writing, I’m thriving, I’m cleaning, I’m bathing, I’m eating – I’m not shutting down. I’m doing so much better emotionally and mentally than I was two months ago – and that’s a really good thing.

It was a good weekend. Friday night was good – coffee shop and movies and sushi and curling up together. Saturday spent the day with Shawn just hanging out, playing with music, writing some – the eclipse (worth putting pants on, I promise), then dinner at Applebee’s (sometimes the chains are OK, really) and watching Finding Nemo (so cute) while writing – also Caveman’s Valentine. Today slept in until late, then hung out and read while Shawn graded – NaNo write-in at 5:30, then home.

Again, most of the time I’m so happy and content with my life – it’s just, coming home to an empty apartment is at times rough. Maybe once I get my gatito it will be easier?

Lunar eclipse tonight – super cool. If you haven’t already missed it, check it out. 🙂

Saw Bubba Ho-Tep last night with Shawn. Wow. Not sure which was stranger – the movie or the kimchee sushi we had before. Strange and reterrible. 🙂

Total procrastination today – I meant to write so much more than I have thus far. I think I’ve gotten maybe 300 words done – I’m at least two days behind. I keep telling myself that it’ll be OK, that I’ll get caught up in a few days – but it doesn’t happen. So maybe I should stop blogging and start writing. Nah, that’d be silly.

mmmmmmMatrix. Shawn and I went to see The Matrix Revolutions tonight – brilliant. I will reserve judgement on the rest of the film for now – just, a lot of things are wrapped up in interesting and unforseen ways – some parts are visually stunning – and at one point I did cry. Sad but true. I’m sad that the trilogy is over – no more pretty Neo for me.

So I think I know where my novel is going, but I’m not entirely sure how it’s going to get there. I’ve established three main characters, at least one big event, and some narrative convolutions that I’m pretty happy with. Now I just need to get the word count up. The nice thing is that I know how it ends (or at least middles) – now the task is to fill in the back and front story. That’ll take 43,662 words, right?

A little – heartsore tonight. Things are on my mind, big things, things I have to worry about now that I didn’t before – not in the same ways. Again I pray only for strength – and peace.

Two hour insurance meeting turned out to be totally worth it – instead of just giving us a packet of info, they walked us through the available HMO/PPO plans, how they compare, the relative merits of each. I felt like I could make an educated decision without worrying over it – AND our flex spending account can be used towards all kinds of random somewhat-medical things, including sunscreen and condoms. Rock on.

I hit 5,000 on my lunch break today. With eating and email checking, I’m still managing about 500 words per break – not bad. If only I was that productive with my other random windows of time.

Spent the afternoon trying to balance my drawer, trying to keep up with yesterday’s holdover nonsense, and playing with the book club blog. I think we have a good thing going over there and I hope it keeps up. I added a new comment server here and there – thanks, halo scan – which seems to be more reliable. Good times.