Day 10: Nono to Nanowrimo


I won’t be attempting Nanowrimo this year. My semester starts the week before, and I’ll be closing on a house/moving mid-month. It’s a wonderful project, but not for me this year.

Last year I started writing Siempre Gilbert, which has since become a (longer) short story, 20 pages or so, part of a story cycle. An unfinished short story, because I am writing several things at a time, and I haven’t yet figured out my workflow. I do not know what I am doing. I like the concept of “serial project monogamy” where a task is your focus until it is complete (as opposed to multitasking), but I can’t seem to make it work for projects like longer stories.

So if you’ll be grinding away next month, I salute. I look forward to reading about your journey, but I’m sitting this one out.


Day 9: The Ruse

Mr. Trump stood offstage, hands cupped over his groin, as “Proud To Be An American” reached it’s saccharine crescendo through the public address system speakers. The crowd roared like Romans demanding blood. Surveying the sweaty attendees, man with eyes rolling back beyond the view of Chinese-made snapbacks were in an ecstatic release. Trump was pleased, and nodded his approval, which seemed a contradiction coupled with his furrowed brow and pout.

“Patriots, I give you our next president, Mr. Donald J. Trump!” the speakers announced, and the roar turned into a shriek, a war whoop. Mr. Trump sauntered to the podium, a smug close-mouthed smile plastered on his garish sepia face.  He scanned the rally crowd for babies to eject. His staff had ensured him several times there were none in the first 10 rows, but some of them were a little Mexican, or maybe those weird Mexicans from Guatemala or some other backward tacotown, and so could not be trusted.

“Folks, I gotta tell you, you look great. You guys that came out, you see? A lot of people have turned their backs. I was treated very unfairly, very unfairly, especially by that horrible internet, which is going down the tubes, let me tell you, doing very poorly, by the way.”

He pursed his lips again, as the rally attendees hurled anti-internes slogans, “Roast Snopes!” and “Tumblr is for socialists!”

“Folks, before we get going, There’s something I gotta do. Can  do that?” He grasped at his jowls behind the knot of his Chinese-made tie, and began to tug and yank, his diminutive digits the perfect pincers to accomplish the task. He pulled the skin forward and up, with a schlopping sound when it flapped off. Blinking at the bright lights were three male heads. “Hey, we’re Kamal and Johnny, the Jerky Boys! And we got you good, jerkies!”, said the head on the left. The slightly smaller head in the middle spoke next. “I’m 12-yeal old Brayden. Fart fart faggot fart!”

The crowd was silent for a moment, than began chanting “Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump!”, as supporters took to twitter and facebook to declare the TrumpHeads3 for their honesty, and point out that at least they’re not politicians.


Day 6: Ouch

I’m reading Stephen Pressfield’s “The War of Art”. I’ve skimmed it before, and read a handful of his other stuff, but haven’t dug into this one until now. One of the main themes of the book is countering resistance- the negative energy, or inertia, limiting beliefs of excuses which get in the way of getting stuff done. In one section about resistance and trouble, he says “We get ourselves in trouble because it’s a cheap way to get attention. Trouble is a faux form of fame.”  He continues: “Ill health is a form of trouble, as are alcoholism and drug addiction, proneness to accidents, all neurosis including compulsive screwing-up, and such seemingly benign foibles as jealousy, chronic lateness, and the blasting of rap music at 110db from your smoked-glass ’95 Supra.”

“Proneness to accidents”? “Compulsive screwing-up”? Do you even know me?

Have I been clumsy my whole life because I’m undisciplined? I drop things and stuff when I’m by myself. I’ve always thought of it as wearing a body 2 sizes too big, which is why I’m always stubbing toes and bumping doorways.

I don’t know. This is something I have to process. It stung when I read it, which is not something I encounter often. I see myself in this description, and I want to do the work to fix it.

I am capable of being precise and graceful, but not as often as I would like. I want to live my life the best I can.

UPDATE: I wrote this post right before attending a mindfulness class. It was just what I needed. I still need to probe this proud flesh, though.



Day 5: Late to the party

Because my life is hella messy.

I just found out about the Write 31 Days Challenge , where people are committing to writing for each day in October, from the erstwhile Micah J. Murray. I thought it sounded like just the thing for me. I have been writing, but I haven’t been blogging much. I’ve meant to, but made excuses. Now the kids are all in bed, I have some tortilla chips and chile verde salsa, and I can unpack for a few minutes.

I’ve always had a stagnant period when I move to a new workplace; the endless orientation and training, getting your email set up, and so forth. Just lately I’ve started to feel productive at my new job. It feels good to have physical work done, and I did miss it.

Also of note, I’ve accepted the thought that I might not be doing this kind of work forever. I find it professionally fulfilling, and take pride in my workmanship, but I don’t have to stay in the same niche industry forever. In 10 years I might have another dream to follow, and that’s okay, as long as I have a plan, and have set myself up so I am in a place to take a risk.

I start school again n a few weeks. I was in a weird Limbo where I wasn’t yet able to use the GI Bill to go to school, plus I moved and started a new job. It would be nice to have knocked out a few more credits, but it made just as much sense to put it on pause for a bit. I am excited, but the term ends around the time I close on my new house. However, if I’ve learned anything over the past 6 years, it’s that life will never be convenient. If I want something, I need to make it happen. There will always be a good reason to not even try. I need to ignore this voice, and do foolish things, which usually end up having been awesome things.

I’ve finally gotten my oldest daughter involved in martial arts, in the form of Muay Thai and Eskrima. I’ve been trying for years, and she is enjoying it. I’m glad for this, she has the moody lack of confidence which plagues most 12-year-olds, and having just started a new school in a new city, she’s finding the social landscape less inviting than what she’s used to. I’m hoping that training will give her something structured, a continuity, a little discipline. I hope she learns that she can expect a lot of herself, and succeed if she really tries.

All told, though it seems at times we have more bad days than good, we are living well, and I’m thankful. I still struggle every day, but I am thankful.