8 weeks.

Yes, I’m still counting. I can’t not.

Started the day at my writing group. Got in a 1000 words. Tiny tiny dent. Still woefully behind. Today is the half-way mark for NaNoWriMo. Um, I should be at 25,000. Let’s just say I’m a tad bit behind.

After had lunch with a friend. Chinese. Very good.

Then, came home to clean up in preparation for the write-out at my house this evening. The dogs ran around making a mess in every spot I’d just cleaned. Typical. Then ran to the market to get food & wine to keep us writing.

Made it home just in time for people to start arriving. The write-out was good. For the most part we hung out, talked, & ate; but we did get a little writing in. I got in another 1,000 words. Finally broke 7,500 words. It was kind of fun to hang out with them & write at home. The dogs were well behaved. All their quirks were on full display. They entertained as usual.

The vet called with results from Leo’s blood tests. All normal. Another hurdle passed successfully. Two more to go: surgery & results.

(It’s benign.

It’s benign.

It’s benign.)

A busy enough day to keep me from obsessing over the fact that it’s been 8 weeks. But did find myself noting the time when I came home that day & found her. I realize I do that every Saturday. I wonder when that will stop. Probably the same time I stop counting the weeks. In other words, no time soon.

Image: tanakawho via flickr

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I’ll thank the dogs for getting me up early & not letting me hit the snooze button on the alarm clock for an extra hour like I wanted to this morning. Definitely feel like I got a full day to do the stuff that needed to get done. Not all of it got done. But the big things I wanted to get done I got done: secured a new writer for the newsletter I help put together and gave the dogs a bath (No, it wasn’t retribution for making me get up so early; they needed it.).

As for my NaNoWriMo word count…status quo. I know I know. Horribly, horribly behind. Progress would be one of those things that didn’t get done today. Saturday is the half-way mark. Yeah, I’m nowhere near the half-way mark. But, my writing group is coming over Saturday evening & we’re going to write till we can’t write anymore. I should make some progress.

Ok day.

Currently listening to: Long Division by Death Cab for Cutie

Well, got 2,344 words today. So, I’m just over 5,500 words. Still woefully behind, but at least I did a good chunk of writing this weekend. The nice thing about this NaNoWriMo is that there are a total of 5 weeks this year. One more than usual. Weekends are the best time for marathon writing sessions to catch up, or at least make some headway.

The day started decently enough. Slept in for the first time in weeks. It feels like months since I last had nothing to do on a Sunday. While I have moments where I hate being alone, I find myself needing it nonetheless. I did catch up on some phone calls. Talked to my brother’s girlfriend. She brought up Christmas and an open invitation for us to spend Christmas with her family. That effectively brought my decent day to a crashing halt.

I spent the rest of the evening trying not to think about Christmas: the fact that my mother won’t be here, & the fact that I don’t have a clue what we are going to do. My family is very small. For the most part, Christmas was my mother, me, and my brother with her family thrown in for a couple hours, and my dad. I only ever missed one Christmas with my mother. I was 22 and I was studying for the year in Italy. I was ok with it. This is different. Then, I naively believed there would be a next Christmas. And at least there were 10 more. But now…. I’m trying not to think about it right now. But my mind wanders. I’ve had to yell at myself a couple times this evening, telling myself that I’m not going to cry. I’m not going to worry about this now. But of course, I still do. While my brother always spends sometime with his girlfriend’s family, the primary focus has always been our family. But now…. I appreciate the invitation, but I can’t fathom spending Christmas with her family. They’re nice people, but her parents are so different from my parents. Her mother is the antithesis of my mother. Her mother is politically conservative (Yes, a McCain supporter, complete with a framed & signed 8×10.), and a slightly fanatical Christian. My mother was incredibly liberal (She spent many years registered with the Peace & Freedom Party.), into New Age thinking, and followed Native American traditions. I know what’s really bothering me. The invitation reminded me that if/when my brother & his girlfriend get married & have children, her mother will be the only grandmother their children will ever know. That kills me. I hate that.

I can’t see my brother, my father, and me celebrating Christmas with them. Maybe we’ll stop by, but that can’t be the primary way we celebrate this Christmas. This is the first time I’ve thought, “I just want to skip the holidays, pretend they don’t exist.” I made it 7 weeks and 1 day before I thought that. I know we’re going to need to find some way to celebrate that feels right for us, for me. But I hate thinking about it. There’s plenty of time for me to obsess about it. I didn’t need to start today.

Image: mrlerone via flickr

Currently listening to: Angel by Sarah McLachlan & Josh Groban

Today was ok, despite the 7 week mark. I hate to use the word anniversary. An anniversary is something that should be celebrated. I will never feel like celebrating this. Instead, I’m marking time. Time since.

I went to my writing group this morning & got the kick in the butt I needed. The nice thing is we’re all behind on NaNoWriMo, although, I’m the most behind. Hey, I’m competitive. If I’m going to be behind, than I’m going to be the most behind. Only got about 400 words in during our session. Yes, we got distracted talking about life & writing. Still, it got me in the mood.

I came home, pulled back the curtains, opened up the windows and front door, burned some sage (An obsession these days. My mother used to burn it, thus it reminds me of her.), put some music on the stereo system, curled up in the leather chair in the living room, propped my feet up on the ottoman, and wrote all afternoon. It was a beautiful day. I didn’t mind being cooped-up since everything was open & I could see outside.

Overall, I did 2518 words today. Not bad. I went with the new direction I mentioned earlier this week. So far it’s working. And I think I can see it continuing to work down the line. I’m hoping it does because it’s feeling really comfortable. It feels like it’s allowing me to finally get everything I want into the story, and all where I need it all to be. Good thoughts that it will continue to work & that this is the answer I’ve been looking for.  But still aware that it could all prove to be quite a disaster.

The plan tomorrow is to try & get at least 3000 words. I’ll be nowhere near caught up, but at least I’ll be making a tiny dent.

I know I usually buy flowers on Saturdays, but instead wound up buying some yesterday. A little pot of yellow roses that are currently sitting on the kitchen counter. I decided to go with something that will last a little longer than cut flowers.

Today still felt heavy despite it being ok. It still doesn’t feel anymore real. I caught myself thinking I needed to ask her if I should put a rug down next to the sofa in the spot where Teddy, our other dog, likes to sleep. The idea of making changes to the house still feels weird. Admittedly I’ve rearranged things. But, the only real addition are the pictures on the shelf. (I need them to remember her another way.) I haven’t brought anything new into the house. Her things are still all around. Her books on the bookshelves, her computer on the desk, her cellphone & glasses on the counter, her purse and jacket on the coatrack, and all her things in her room. Having her stuff around doesn’t bother me. Admittedly, maybe it should. Maybe it’s holding me back, but right now it’s keeping me together. And, right now, that’s the most important thing.

7 weeks. The day could have been worse. I’m glad it wasn’t. But I still hate this.

Image: Claudecf via flickr

I realized today, that since that day, I’ve been listening to my iPod on shuffle. I never do that. I’ve been cycling through all 5000+ of my songs rather than a playlist based on my favorites or my mood of the moment. I’m too scattered, unfocused, and disconnected to narrow down my choices or determine what I like.

I have the same problem with food. When I go out with friends or family, they ask what I want & I have to tell them, “I honestly don’t know. I can’t make a choice.” And I can’t. I’m not just being indecisive. I am that disconnected from what I want. I’ve solved the problem of cooking & feeding myself by basing the decision on whatever is easiest or closest to the front of the refrigerator. Grocery shopping, however, is still a bit of a disaster. It takes me forever to come out with either not enough stuff or stuff I’ll never eat.

I guess I’ll know I’m getting back to normal when I can make these decisions without realizing it.

…as for NaNoWriMo…yeah, I could make excuses, but I’ll just be honest. I’ve done absolutely nothing. I’m just looking forward to my writing group on Saturday morning. Maybe then I’ll be able to get back in a groove. And there’s still tomorrow. There’s always hope.

Image: nerovivo via flickr

Yeah, Obama won. That helped make it a good day, or at least a momentous day. Now let’s see what he does.

I had to take one of my dogs, Leo, to the vet today. I found a rather large lump on his leg last night. The vet took a culture & has sent it off to the lab. I’ll get results by Friday. Something to worry about. Hoping for the best. His health has been fine. There’s nothing to indicate he’s sick. He’s eating, drinking, & exercising normally; and doesn’t seem to be in pain when the lump is touched. I only found it when he rolled over & I was petting him. I have no idea how long it has been there. I can see how I would have missed it, but at the same time, I wonder. So, we’ll see. Good thoughts.

Yesterday was a really hard day. Finding the lump on Leo’s leg only added to it. It just hit me, how much I really miss my mom. People tell me they understand, but I really don’t think they do–unless they’ve been in this position. It’s not easy to explain. A lot more tears yesterday than in quite awhile. It’s just hard & it sucks.

Hate to admit that I haven’t done any writing for NaNoWriMo. I’m going to be doing a major writing binge this weekend. Although, tomorrow I think I might have some time in the afternoon to get going. Ok, that’s the plan, I’m going to do some writing tomorrow afternoon. Hold me to it!!

Image: Caucas’ via flickr

Had to hold & look at my mother’s death certificate again today. It’s been a couple of weeks. I’ve hidden it in an envelope, at the bottom of a drawer that I don’t need to open for any other reason. I don’t like stumbling upon it. I needed it to close some accounts. Couldn’t put it off any longer. Had to pull it out again.

I hate how a piece of paper with a bunch of words causes me to hyperventilate & cry.

I really don’t understand how a piece of paper telling me she’s officially dead can affect me while at the same time the reality of her death doesn’t feel real. I don’t fucking get it. It’s totally ridiculous. I know I’m scattered & disconnected. I know I’m floating around all this. But I don’t get how in the midst of such a feeling that a piece of paper can depress me.

It doesn’t help that the weather is blah today. Overcast & gray. I know I complain that LA lacks seasons; but today, clear skies & sunshine would be much appreciated. This gloom is not helping my mood.

As far as NaNoWriMo goes…it’s not. I haven’t done anything since Saturday morning. Officially behind. I am going to do the 50K this month, but I guess the last couple of days haven’t been good & I just can’t get my head into it. Excuses, excuses. I should just write. I know that. I also know that I’m avoiding. I’m at the beginning of Chapter 1–the hard part. Getting started is always the worst; at least getting started when you know where you need to end up. It’s easier to get started when you have no plan. Although figuring out where to go in the middle & in the end can be just as difficult. I guess either way it’s hard. Excuses, excuses. I need to stop & just write.

On a positive front (because this post could use a little positive right about now), when I was driving home last night I had an idea for how to proceed with draft #2. It would be incredibly untraditional–very dialogue heavy. I guess the best model would be Someone I Loved by Anna Gavalda. I’m not entirely sure how it would work quite yet, but something about it rings true & goes back to what I know I do well, as well as to the simplicity I was looking for. I’ll play. Playing is good. Anything to get me going at this point.

Image: TrevorLowe via flickr