avlxyz via flickr

Image: avlxyz via flickr

I’ll gloss over the fact that today is Valentine’s Day. I don’t buy into it. Ok, I’m currently single which could be coloring my view of the whole thing, but I digress.

21 Saturdays now. Not any easier. I made an effort today to try & do something I would normally have done on a Saturday afternoon. More often than not the last 21 Saturdays I’ve found myself at home around the time that I found her. My writing group ends at noon, & I’m usually home by 1 to check on the dogs, & then I just tend to get stuck at home. I don’t have the motivation to do much on Saturday afternoons–especially right around that time. If someone invites me out for that time period, I’m fine. But if left to my own devices, I seem to find myself here. Sometimes I’ll read, sometimes TV, sometimes just sitting outside, sometimes on the laptop; but here. So, today, I made an effort. I went & wandered around a bookstore for the afternoon; something, I oddly don’t think I’ve done in months. I know I have been in bookstores in the last 21 weeks. I have the books & magazines to prove it. But I don’t think I’ve just wandered as I would have any other Saturday afternoon before. So, today I did. I found a couple books to add to my to read list: (more…)

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TheTruthAbout via flickr

Image: TheTruthAbout via flickr

(I’m getting bad about actually posting this on Saturdays….)

Saturday was actually a nice day. Started it out at my writing group. No writing, but we had a really great discussion about writing in general that was reaffirming.

Spent the afternoon watching TV & vegging out. It was raining, so perfect excuse to curl up on the sofa & do absolutely nothing.

Then in the evening, my oldest/best friend invited me over to dinner with her parents, sisters, husband, & kids. They are essentially my surrogate family. My friend, her mom, & her sister were the first people here the day my mother died. So, I love hanging out with them, even if it inevitably reminds me that my mom isn’t there. But, I guess that’s the price to be paid to have a few hours of distraction.

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Today, Sunday, actually proved to be the bad day. I miss having my mother to talk to. The unfortunate thing, at this point in my life, is that she was the one person who I could talk to about everything. So, today when I was thinking about somethings & everything, I realized there wasn’t one person who I felt I could call & talk to about it all. I really just started missing my mother, which of course led to tears. They come with the territory. I don’t know. I’d just like things to get easier–not necessarily the missing my mother (that I don’t expect to get easier), but how about life. It would just be nice.

Image: TheTruthAbout via flickr

Dey via flickr

Image: Dey via flickr

Got back into my routine today. With my brother & his girlfriend here for the holidays & my injury, I haven’t been able to do my usual Saturday thing. So, this morning I went to my writing group. No writing today. When we finally did stop talking, I couldn’t get anything out. I went back & reread what I had (big mistake). Thought it was crap & didn’t know where to restart. I’d planned to stay a couple hours after we usually end. I’d fed the dogs early, before I left, & let them spend some quality time outside; so, I would have been safe til about 2. But promptly at noon, I gave up & packed it in.

On the way home I stopped off & got some flowers–yellow gerbera daisies. I’d missed not buying flowers on Saturdays the last couple of weeks. But it wasn’t something I could really pass on to someone else to pick up for me. It’s something I have to do.

Came home, put them in a vase & then opened up the windows & front door & hung out outside with the dogs. It was about 80 today. Absolutely beautiful. I love 80 degrees in winter, even if it is wrong on so many levels! Then, I put the stereo on, hooked up the iPod, and played The National & read. As I was sitting there struggling to write this morning, it dawned on me that one of the reasons I’ve been struggling with writing lately is that I haven’t been reading. I’ve been reading non-fiction, but I haven’t been reading fiction. I realized, I need to be constantly reminded how other writers do it. I need to be reminded that 1st person POV works. I need to be reminded that a reader can care about a fictional character’s life. I’ve read that some writers can’t read fiction while they’re writing; too worried that they’ll be influenced by it. But, I think I’m the opposite. I need to read fiction. I need to get lost in made-up stories, so I can get lost in my own. So, I sat down in the big leather chair, propped the bad leg up on the ottoman, & sat down to finish reading The End of the Story by Lydia Davis. I started this book before my mother died, & hadn’t picked it up since then. For the past 16 weeks I’ve had trouble sitting down & reading fiction. Maybe a fear of letting my mind wander; even if my mind was supposed to be wandering in the author’s world, I was too afraid it would wander somewhere else. I also haven’t been such a big fan of the quiet that I usually require to read. But today, it felt alright. I don’t know why or what was different today. But I could sit down & read & I wasn’t afraid of my thoughts drifting off, & they didn’t.

So, we’ll see if reading gets me back on track with writing. (more…)

You know, I’m really still waiting for all of this to sink in. Yes, there are constant reminders; and in those moments, there is a realness to it. But for the most part, it just feels like she’s on a long trip. When does that stop?

Today was a good-weird day.

Started it off at my writing group. I haven’t been in 3 weeks, so it was nice to get back. Most of our time was actually focused on writing, but I really only got a paragraph done, and I’m not even sure I like it. I’m struggling a bit with the beginning. I think I’m trying to get it right this time before I go too far forward. Right now it’s between one day & the next. I could jump forward or around & work on something else, but I really want to get this figured out because I don’t want to have to restart again. Also, I guess I’ve been having a little trouble focusing & getting in tune with my character this week. I really want to be over this lack of focus thing, & every time I think I am it just comes right back and kicks me in the ass.

At the end of the day, I guess I sould just be happy that I got 2 hours in of thinking about my story, even if there wasn’t much in the way of word count.

So, after writing group, I had lunch with an old friend from high school. We haven’t seen each other since we were 18. Yep, 15 years. So weird to begin with. Anyways, we reconnected through Facebook. I swore I’d never get on that thing, but I have to admit, in the 5 months I’ve been on I’ve reconnected with 2 friends that I had lost contact with & really had no clue how to get in touch with otherwise. So, very cool. Anyways. It was nice to see her, but it was weird. Right before a 3rd mutual friend showed up to join us (someone who I still keep in touch with, but whom she hadn’t seen), she tells me that her mother passed away 2 months ago. I hadn’t mentioned that my mother had as well until she said it. Before I got there, I wasn’t sure how to mention it or if I would need to. It’s definitely one of those weird things to bring up & just drop in a conversation. It’s kind of mood killer. We really didn’t talk about it because the 3rd person in our group showed up. The only thing I learned was that her  mother’s death was also sudden. It’s just weird to be sitting across the table from someone who really understands what you’re going through & who’s kind of at the same point in processing it. Yes, I have friends who have lost parents, but they’ve lost fathers. And not to devalue fathers–I love mine, but there is a diffrence. And there is something to losing someone suddenly. It’s differnet from losing someone due to long illness. With illness you get to say goodbye; there’s time to process what is about to come. I’m not saying it’s any easier; but it’s different. So, even though we didn’t talk about it today, it was just incredibly strange & comforting. I’m not sure where our relationship is going. We exchanged numbers & talked about getting together again soon. I did send her a message on Facebook saying if she needed to talk, to call me. So, we’ll see. It’s just weird that we’re both going through this & meet up again now.

I do believe there are no coincidences & people come into your life for a reason. So, we’ll see what this reconnection means.

One thing that did come up in our conversation was the fact that this new/old friend mentioned she was ready to get back out & date. I don’t know how much this has to do with the loss of her mother or to a relationship that ended a while back, but it brought up something I’ve been debating. The last deep conversation my mother & I had was the week before she died. The Saturday before we had gone to lunch & she ended up bringing up the fact that she really wanted to see me in a relationship & thinking about marriage. Now, usually my mother doesn’t butt in; but for some reason that weekend she did. There was even a comment about her being willing to fix me up. I said no thanks. Since I moved back here 5 years ago, I haven’t dated anyone seriously. Except for some ill-advised hook-ups with exes, who need to remain exes, I’ve been on my own. I’ve spent a lot of the last couple of years trying to figure out who I am, without needing to explain myself to someone new. I’ve met a couple of people & while I went out a few times with one of them, nothing really stuck. Just really wasn’t my type when it came down to it. So, now, I’ve been debating this whole dating/relationship thing. Yes, there is a part of me that wants to make a more concerted effort, but another part of me that is very conscious of the fact that I’m considering it because I don’t like being alone right now. And for me, that seems like a really bad reason to want a relationship. I don’t trust myself to make good choices right now. Even though I’m very self-aware, I could see myself choosing to be with someone just to be with someone, not because they’re the right person. So, I don’t know. Something to think about. At this point, I’m not going to over think it. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. But I’m a little wary right now.

My brother comes home for Christmas break in 3 days. I’ve never before been so excited to see my brother. It will be nice not to be in this house on my own for a couple of weeks. As okay as I am here, I am alone & as much as I used to love alone time, I’m over it.

Image: Leo Reynolds via flickr

11 weeks. Yeah, no more real than last week, or the week before that.

So, my car wouldn’t start this morning. Actually, I take that back. It would start, it just would not shift out of park, which you know, makes it kind of difficult to back out of the driveway & go anywhere. This actually has been a problem for awhile. But usually, if you just let the car warm up for a bit, it’s fine. My mechanic had told me that the fix involves the transmission–a rather expensive repair…of course. I’ve been putting it off, but earlier this week I had a feeling things were getting bad. So, I went by the mechanic (who happens to be a family friend) & told him that I’d be bringing it in soon. Apparently it will be sooner than I expected. So Monday morning I’ll be getting my car towed to the mechanic. Hopefully, it will be a quick repair. It sucks to be carless.

So, today I took the bus to get around. I had some errands that had to get done regardless of my transportation status. Now, don’t get me wrong. I spent 10 years using public transportation when I lived on the East Coast. But public transportation in southern California is lacking to put it lightly. While it wasn’t too bad, it just takes way to long to get anywhere. I like metros. I hate buses. I feel like there’s more control on a metro train. Still, I guess it wasn’t too bad. Built in exercise; no guilt about not making it to the gym today.

But really, the main issue here…if one more thing goes wrong on a Saturday, I’m really going to develop a complex about the day as a whole. First my mother. Then my dog’s cancer diagnosis. Now this. All happens on a Saturday. Not that I’m in anyway comparing my mother’s death & my dog’s cancer to car problems, but it’s just I’m tired of complications, of hassles, of having something else to deal with. Seriously, I need a break. I need things to go well. I need some really good news or something really good to happen…soon.

On the up side, it was a nice day today. I’m trying to stay positive.

Image: existenialism 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

Currently listening to: Just for Now by Imogen Heap

Six weeks ago today…

There’s this underlying suckiness to Saturdays even if the day isn’t completely horrid. I know eventually that will change, but for now, that’s just the way it is. I just choose to accept it & get through it.

So, first day of NaNoWriMo and draft #2. Met with my writing group this morning. Only eked out 649 words. Two of which were: “Chapter 1.” Every little word counts! A little unsure about where it’s going, but I’m keeping with it. I think once I get through Chapter 1 I’ll feel more confident. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. In reading draft #1, & given recent events, I’ve found that I want to change one central premise of the story. I always knew it didn’t ring true before, & now even less so. So, chapter 1 is about working that in. I know it ties in well with the rest of the story, it’s laying it out for the first time. It requires totally changing up what was my 1st chapter in draft #1. I know draft #2 is not going to look much like draft #1, if for nothing else than the fact that I’m going with 1st person POV. But whole chapters, scenes, ideas are going to get tossed & new ones worked in. That’s what a rewrite is. As much as possible, I’m trying to avoid looking at draft #1. I want to start clean in away. Draft #1 was about working out the plot & characters. This one is about the writing & finessing. I need something decent by end of the year for conferences!

So, have to do a little work this afternoon, & am going to dinner & a movie with a friend this evening. The plan is to come home & write later tonight. I want to stay on track with my word count. If anything, I’d like to be ahead of 50K by the end of the month. I don’t know how realistic that is. Life has a way of getting in the way. But still, it’s nice to have goals these days.

Oh, doing one more thing today: buying flowers or a plant. It’s become my Saturday thing. A way to maybe make the day less sucky. Something for the house–to brighten or liven the place up. I just need the day to be about something besides my memories.

Image: DarthShrine via flickr