Sunday, January 28, 2018

Jenkins, I Should Buy a Fish

I think I'm stressed.

I say this because for a week straight I've been having stress-related dreams. Usually these dreams involve me wandering around a pet shop trying to buy a fish with little success. Either I get lost and can't find the fish I want, the tanks are all empty, or, in the case of last night's dream, I find the fish I want but it keeps trying to escape.

In this instance the fish, a betta, was in a little plastic container with a lid, and every time I picked one up to take it to the cashier, it would push the lid open (they were very strong little fish) and wriggle out of the dish and flop away. OR when I managed to push it back into the container, I ended up mutilating it.

With the exception of one dream that involved my mother trashing my succulent collection (which was also pretty stressful as far as dreams go), my sleep for the last week or more has been filled with me trapped in a freaking pet shop.

Fun Fact: I love succulents. They are like weird little alien plants.

My husband seems to think the fish represents the book and my lack of success with the fish reflects my fears of it being terrible, or just me stressing out over the workload of the rewrites and my fear that I'll never be done. I don't know. I don't know much about dreams, but it seems legit to me.

But right now I have a lot on my plate, not just the book. The day job has really been kicking my stress level into high gear and something I used to really enjoy doing every day is becoming, not just annoying, but I don't look forward to going to work anymore like I used to. I won't go into details but the environment of my office has changed and it's becoming toxic.

...Wrong Toxic

I also just registered my oldest kid for kindergarten. Not just kindergarten but dual language immersion kindergarten. My little dude is going to have half his day in English and the other half in Mandarin. I'm delighted that he has this opportunity, but I'm also horrified because it's new and scary to me. I can speak Spanish pretty well and I know enough Japanese to function, but I've never done immersion lessons.  Hell, I never had the opportunity for a foreign language till grade 8.

Not just that, but he'll be in school for a full day. That's a long time in a place full of people I don't really know that well. And let's face it... I've been dreading school since before I had kids, because this is America and we can't go a day without hearing about someone shooting up a school.

Sweet Mother Theresa on the hood of a Mercedes Benz, you got dark fast!

So, I suppose, along with the book, all this stuff is weighing heavily on my mind too.

To help with the book, my husband and I have set the weekend afternoons aside for me to write. Currently I'm in the cafeteria at my place of work, because the office is always open and on the weekends, the cafeteria is empty, so it's quiet. I got a fair amount of writing done for a couple hours work. So hopefully that helps put my mind at ease somewhat.

Either way, I need to get it under control.
Maybe I should buy a fish.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

You'll Float Too, Jenkins

I've never read a Stephen King book.
I know.
I know.
I've seen a bunch of the movies. But I've never read his books.

Maybe I've avoided them because I've always been told that King is really long winded and rambling, and my attention span isn't that great. But now, ever since I discovered audio books, my gnat-like attention span isn't really an issue.

Currently I'm listening to IT. It's interesting. Stephen King is as long winded as advertised. If I was reading it myself I'd have given up. But having it read to me by a narrator who seems to think this is an audio-drama (seriously, Steven Weber is a stellar narrator) makes it tolerable.

The funny thing about being a writer, or just a critical reader, is when you read/listen to other stories you also look at it technically. I notice things now that I wouldn't have 10 or even 5 years ago because I wasn't looking for them. But, now that I'm on the look out for literary faux pas and taboos in my own work, I look for them in the work of others too. For instance, I noticed Stephen King's perspective wanders from time to time. So far every chapter has centered around 1 particular character, and we are always inside their head. But, every so often, we drift into someone else's head and see their thoughts. Maybe just for a line or two. But it happens.

When it first happened, I was elated. "Ha! Stephen King wanders too! Stephen fucking King has wandering perspective too! And he's as professional as they come!"

Now, I'm not pointing  this out to rag on King. I'm pointing this out because, shit like wandering perspective and over use of adverbs and all that, happen. They happen. And the fact that they happen isn't wrong or bad. It's how they're handled that matters. And King handles these things well. But, then again, IT is his 22nd novel or something like that.

Part of me would love to get my hands on some original manuscripts or first novels of some famous authors just to see how they started out. Did they commit rookie errors in their writing like over use "that", or use excessive adverbs? Were the things they handle so expertly now, sloppy and jarring back then? I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not.

On an unrelated point, I tried my first macaron today. ...I thought they'd be crunchy.

They're not.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Back To Work, Jenkins

Happy New Year, everyone!

I hope you're all semi-rested and not hungover. Or, at least not as hungover as you expected. And if you are hungover, I hope you have lots of water and headache pills.

My NYE was pretty low key. We spent it at my sister's house and then at my house with a couple of friends.

But, now that the holidays are all over, the ceiling is fixed, and the furnace is working (though it is definitely in its death throes) it's time to get back to work-- and I don't just mean my day job. LOL I don't get holidays off there. I mean, of course, the book. Which means I'm going to be harassing you all with my GoFundMe again.

I'm sorry in advance. I'm sure you're all still sick of seeing it from Thanksgiving. But just bear with me. Bite down on a spoon and I promise it will be over soon.

In the meantime, I hope your 2018 starts off well and stays that way.