a writer's coup

20 pages. What a horrifically awkward length for a story. It's too long for the story to center around a specific incident, and it's too short to develop a character over any significant amount of time. At four pages of mostly back story, I am already beginning to panic that I'll run out of space.

Jo, my wonderful protagonist, has been through hell and is coming back. She has been married, divorced, pregnant, beaten and uprooted, and she's only 28. She has a four-year old daughter and a best friend named Steve and a couple of extremely supportive parents who all want the best for her. And all she wants is to feel normal. She works now, as a teacher, having finally gotten a degree and her certification. She still lives at home, but until she can get a good, safe house for her and her daughter, she feels she should just stay at home with her parents, who certainly don't mind, coz they're awesome... like my parents :)

She wants to get back into the dating world, but she doesn't really know why beyond she thinks she's supposed to. She wants to find a healthy relationship to provide a kind of father figure for her child, but she's also lonely and longing for that brand of love.

I want her to discover herself through dating. Like, I think I want the outcome of the story to be that she's actually just fine on her own, and if love happens, wonderful, but it's not something she's going to search for.

I want it to be quirky and humorous. I want there to be several dates, several men, and several mishaps, like her daughter, Annie, accidentally walking in on her mother and a guy or something like that. I also want to include a sub-plot that Steve, her best friend, is the one giving her the most dating advice, yet he is completely buried in the closet and is too scared to come out.

Now tell me: how in the hell is that going to fit properly and comfortably in 20 pages?


unnecessary fatalism

Nothing's ever been medically wrong with me before. I sprained my shoulder skiing when I was nine, and I broke two or three toes once when I was fourteen or fifteen. Aside from that, only the first of which required actual medical attention, I spent my childhood and adolescence blissfully healthy.

Now something is apparently wrong. And it's fixable, which is wonderful. Well... by fixable, I mean maintainable. And I think that's what frightens me.

But... things will be better. Right? A cloud will be lifted. I won't... I won't be so sad all the time. And I'll feel better when I wake up in the morning, like I actually slept. These are much-needed improvements.

But nothing's ever been wrong before. And that's terrifying. I don't handle unexpected new experiences very well, I think. Anticipated new experiences are all, as my British Literature teacher would say, "fine, good, charming", but the unexpected ones aren't quite so kind to me.

Fodder for my story? Mine are physical, hers are mental, but yes... very similar indeed.


final day: day 7

Dear Me,

Hello, me. You've done wonderfully this week. Mostly ups, which is beyond amazing, and whatever downs came this way were handled with grace. I continue to learn, slowly. For example: second chances should always be given, but third-fourth-fifth-twentieth-hundredth chances are for the weak at heart who cannot see that they are being played, and I now see that I am being played. There will not be a hundred-and-first chance.

There is a man with a big smile and a poetic mind and a romantic insistence who finds me attractive. Maybe he'll be wonderful. Or maybe he's just a stepping stone. Does it particularly matter? No, not really. Because I know that I'll be okay no matter what. All I really need are books, cats, friends, family, and really wonderful food, and I have all of the above. I'm set. Anything beyond those are happy leisures.

To the next six months: may these letters treat you as kindly as that sketchy, back-door study result said they would.

And to me: it may not always seem like it, and some days may be especially hard to see this through the murk of it, but I came out on top. I am the queen of my own dimension.

Suck it ;)


P.S. - It may just be some twisted psychology, but when I hug my currently sweat-drenched legs, they feel thinner. Win.


day 6

Dear Me,

Well, oh dear indeed! I never got around to writing one to myself yesterday. That's because I was baking baby pies into cupcakes with friends :) It was a lot of fun. A lot of work... but really really fun. It was a rough day a little bit mentally, but I pulled it through. Sometimes, I have found, you can't sit there and think it through all the way because sometimes that just makes it worse. I tried to talk it through and it got worse. What made it better was ignoring it and watching Harry Potter with my little. Note to self: ignoring works just fine sometimes, too.

Today, I like my ass. A silly thing to like about oneself, but I never really look at it and think Oh my god I'm fat... instead I look at it and think Baby got back! :)

This is a silly letter today, but that's okay. I've said before and I'll say it again: I'm silly and I like it.




day 5

Dear Me,

Not a good day. Not a good day at all. Of days like this, it is important to be able to say at the very least, I came out okay. Perhaps I'm being a hair over dramatic... after all, it was just one small incident that upset me, but it was a big incident. And of this, I can say, I came out okay. I cried my eyes out for about half an hour and when I was done, I was done. Got it off my chest. Cried out the hurt and the upset and was left essentially with what I had before, which was just fine. And to say that of an upsetting thing is good, I think.

Today, the thing I love most about myself is my ability to talk to people. I may talk too much sometimes, but at least I'm talking, and usually it seems like I'm talking too much because no one else is bothering to, so at least I'm doing it! And sometimes you meet some really fascinating people and learn some really neat things doing that. Even for the times that I sometimes feel awkward, I never regret this trait. Wouldn't trade it for the world.




day 4

Dear Me,

I don't know, maybe it's these letters, or maybe it's just the tequila talking, but this has been a good week. I've been happy all week. You know, that just doesn't happy very often. I think I got smacked upside the head with a whole lot of realization this week, and instead of mulling it over and tossing it aside, I used it. I've been listening so well this week, really taking everything in. Things are fun. Life is fun.

This week has been all about breaking my own mold. I have done such a fabulous job of that! I've worked out four days in a row now, with every intention of continuing it, and I've been a bit less antisocial, which is so important for me. Like tonight, I went out for my friend's 21st! Just for an hour and a half or so, but it was still fun and I still saw friends and it was marvelous :)

Alright, now for what I love about myself today: my determination. Nine times out of ten, if I get an idea or set my mind to something, it will happen, come hell or high water. Like Spain! I was determined to find a way to go abroad this summer, and guess what I'm doing? I'll give you three guesses and I bet you only need one.

I really am wonderful, I think. Maybe it's just the tequila, but I think I may be actually wonderful. And that's not me convincing myself. It's true.




day 3

Dear Me,

Such a social day! Everything went exactly as I wanted it to, no need to curtail expectations today! I felt good. I was a little cranky for a bit, but no big deal: that's what friends are around for. I felt pretty solid about myself all day. I held my head a little higher, I walked a little straighter, and I sure as hell looked people in the eye more. And I had a piece of cake. Always a plus.

What do I love about myself today? Hmm... I love my ability to be outside the box, be creative, speak out. I don't need to be outspoken, I just have to know what I think. I love that it doesn't matter to me that some might think my style is wonky and my shoes are kiddish.... You're wrong. I am silly and fun. I wouldn't trade that for anything.

Someone's going to think I'm awesome. Actually, maybe someone already does... ;)




day 2

Dear Me,

I did it! I worked out again! Jesus Christ, two days in and I am on a role! Go me. Seriously. I had the perfect opportunity to back out because of so many causes against me and I still did it. Also, kudos on not freaking out when I temporarily lost my ID, that was swell. I handled it in a very mature, calm way, and it totally paid off because when I got back to my apartment there was an email from a stranger saying she had found my ID. How nice!

Productivity may be wavering a little bit in these most horrible last two and a half months (not that I'm counting or anything), but I am still getting almost everything done, and that is no easy feat for someone who has been diligently taking classes for the last 3 years straight, including summers.

And you know what? I really do have really pretty eyes. I really do. Sunflowers indeed. And really pretty lips. And my hair may be a little crazy most days, but I love it too.

I love that I'm a little crazy most days.



day 1 to me

I read something today that said people who wrote a kind letter to themselves every day for seven days felt slightly uplifted for up to six months. So guess what I'm going to do.

Dear Me,

It was a rough day, this much is true, and it was certainly a rocky start. It's been a long time since a Valentine's Day was spent utterly alone, and that wasn't an easy pill to swallow. But I figured out that it really wasn't anything to get terribly worked up about, and that was good. 

And you know what else? I got out there and I worked out even though it was hard and it felt like it wasn't going to end. That certainly isn't easy, but I did it anyway, which pretty much makes me a champ. And I went and hung out with my friends as opposed to being antisocial on this most fateful Valentine's Day, so go me.

Overall, mission accomplished. Good job, me. Not a bad Monday, if I do say so myself.



a duel, sir

Crap. It's my last semester and I still look like I'm rockin' the Freshman 15 (ish). Time to actually work on that if I want this summer to rock as hard as I'm imagining it. So here's the goal:

Wear the same dress I wore to my high school graduation, to my college graduation.

Shwhoa. I know. It's craziness. I was significantly smaller then. And unfortunately, I didn't appreciate it. So now it's time to get back to it... or at least as close as I am physically able. (I am trying to be realistic and bear in mind that my body wasn't done when I graduated high school, so there's only so much changing I can really do.)

It's on, Body. Buh-ring it.


not half bad

Friends, man. I love 'em. Some set the standard, like with Kim and Amy (Be less emotional. Distance between head and heart. Let it slide off my back). Patty talked me down from a figurative ledge today. Meggi made me laugh, which I needed. Lexie gave me a much needed ride and decided to bake with me on Sunday, which I have desperately been wanting to do.

Friends are really difficult sometimes, and it's not often that I have that kind of luck with them. But today was just one of those days that made me sit back, reflect, and think "You know... I have it good. I have it real good."

By the by... funny anecdote. Kim turned to me tonight and said, "You're not going home this weekend, are you?"
"No," I said, "why?"
"Because this one," she replied, nodding contemptuously toward her other little (as in sister, regarding our organization), my twin, "is going home, AND because I wanna hang out with you!"
Irritated, I said, "Great, I'm just the replacement little."
Kim fired back immediately. "It's because you never sleep in my bed with me!" (A running joke about the hospitality of her bed, which she named Cloudia. Get it? Like a cloud? Ha.)
"You have a twin-sized bed, Captain Intelligence!" I exclaimed. "I'm the one with a queen! If you want a sleepover, reconsider location and come over to my place!"
She answered with a sassy tone, "Challenge accepted."


cried away my mascara

When I see your face, there's not a thing that I would change. Coz you're amazing... just the way you are. And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while. Coz you're amazing... just the way you are.

That song keeps getting stuck in my head like some strange mantra/prayer. Especially today.

When I see this scene, I feel happy. Not because it's a proposal or anything like that. It's because of the look on his face just before he does it. Something about that look... it makes me want to cry every damn time. Maybe because it's a familiar look. Or maybe because... I'm not sure. I just love that look.


sometimes i think 6 crazy things before breakfast

I am looking forward to this weekend, but a certain specific part of it makes me intensely nervous. If I spend this entire weekend on pins and needles because of this singular specific part, it will be wasted. So, I have to bear some things in mind:

1. Hanging out with my ex does not have to be a complete mess. If it starts to look that way, I am a grown woman, and I can leave.

2. I don't need to be angry. Hopefully nothing happens to make me angry, and hopefully there is no talk of things that really messed me up in the past, so hopefully I can avoid feeling angry.

3. Nothing is the same.

Those are really easy, and if I mess this up, it's going to reflect really poorly on me.


apathy is a force to be reckoned with

My math teacher in high school used to always say as she handed out a test, "Just remember: it may seem like it matters now, but in fifteen years you won't even remember taking this test, much less the grade you get, and it just won't matter."

That's how I look at this whole semester. Will I remember reading this? Do you really care how well I edit this? No and no, because it just doesn't matter. So why am I bothering?