Monday, November 23, 2009

NaNoWriMo Novel

I can't believe I think I'm going to actually do it. I've got 39,081 words in my tally to meet the 50,000 word criteria. The story, as all of my stories have a tendency to do, have run away from me and I've lost control. I write imagining the scene in my head, what the characters say and feel, what I am observing. Does that make me a writer or a simple observer?

Last night I wrote such a devastating scene that there were times when I couldn't see my screen, the tears blurred my vision and I cried for my characters. I hurt for them. Is this what it feels like to be a god? Don't get me wrong, I've no delusions of grandeur, I'm simply telling a story. But if I create the scene, the character, the situations am I not a god? Omniscient? It's a bizarre feeling and one I'm a little concerned about because I'm enjoying it too well.

Shall I eschew social obligations so I can create another world? Wait, that's the SIMS game. Nevermind. I'm tired, sleep-deprived through this experience or shall I say experiment?

If you haven't noticed, my banner has the link to my "Seawater Eyes" NaNoWriMo novel.

Please if you like the story, let me know. I appreciate the feedback.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


It's been several very longs weeks. I guess I'm reacting to sleep deprivation, bad nutrition and overall carelessness. So when I'm tired, needing sleep, pushing myself too hard, what's my ultimate reaction? I get cranky. So I've been doing a little soul searching. I'm usually a very positive person, great outlook in life, because that's how it should be. Expect the clouds and be delighted that you are right because it rained is self defeating. But at the same time, don't expect the sun to shine EVERY day, it isn't going to happen. I seek equilibrium. So I accept that I have my good days and I'll have my bad days. I'm having a bad day, I should go to sleep, instead I indulge in a pity party. I'll write this up, post it and feel chagrined in the morning. So be it, I KNOW me, if I self-flagellate sometimes, trust me, the pain is temporary. Sometimes you bang your head on the wall because you KNOW, it will feel so good when you've stopped.

A crush is one of the worst things that can happen to a person. Very rarely does it ever work out. Instead, someone pours their affection and expectation on someone else and when the expectation isn’t met and the affection isn’t returned, there is hurt.

I guess I should feel lucky that my crush will be forever distant, untouchable and completely unattainable. What expectation of reciprocation will never be met; therefore no expectation will ever be required.

Sometimes, you’re just that poor slob in the crowd, wearing his heart on out his sleeve, waving a poster that says. “I Speak Klingon” and they will never pick you, they will never talk to you and you will never be acknowledged. Your diligence in learning to speak a fictional language will never be praised, because none of your friends speak Klingon. You are the only one.

I’ve had a crush on someone actually attainable. Ended horribly, I’d rather not talk about it, except to say that a crush is just something that needs to be nipped in the bud. Because one of three things inevitably happens when you have a crush; either the other person reciprocates (yeah, start dating), the other person is revolted or the other person takes advantage of you.

You hope you don’t get the revulsion. But it’s actually, of the three, the least painful in the long run. The pain of instantaneous rejection is painful, but like a jab of the needle, mercifully quick, just don’t pick at the scab.

If you are taken advantage of, you are led on a gilded leash, providing your object of affection all the attention and care they want. You make yourself their willing patsy.

If there is some interest and you date for a while, you find out she’s not the one for you because she’s really a shallow misanthrope with delusions of grandeur reminding you of a line from a Michael Penn song, “What makes you think that just cause you dress bright means that you shine?” .

If it’s reciprocated and you end up living happily ever after, it wasn’t a crush, it was true love.

It’s called a crush because your heart is crushed.

There is no happy ending for a crush, just the slights of unintended arrows.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Writing vs. Processing

Sometimes we write things out with pen and paper that cannot be taken back. In my mind, pen to paper is much like a verbal monologue, once it’s written it is spoken, if you scratch it out, it looks messy. When you crumple up paper to re-write your thoughts, you lose the flow of your thoughts and the moment is lost.
Word processing is aptly described, it’s processing the words. Sometimes you can catch the poetic leanings of heartfelt intent, but only sometimes. We loose the context in print. But when you write, the reader, if they are observant, can see how passion can indent the paper, the bold sharp slash of an angry word, or frenzied scratching of an excited moment.
 A few weeks ago I wrote an old fashioned letter, the first time in very many years. I realized after I had written it and had mailed it away, trying to recall all the things I wrote that, I don't think I really made a lot of sense. I have become so accustomed to being able to cut and paste. 

I don't have to know no grammar cuz Word will fix it up ok. (Please read in a sarcastic font, imagine it and it will appear).

I found that when I was writing, I couldn't quite manage to decide if what I just wrote was spelled correctly. The letters looked the same, but it looked strange to be written in my scribbly handwriting.
I don't want to lose the ability to take a pen to paper and be coherent. I want to still hear the scratch on the paper, watch the turns and twists of the ink as it permanently changes a blank page into a story. Ink is the catalyst and history is the result.
And speaking of processing, my other blog is . That blog is the entirety of my NaNoWriMo novel, my first attempt. If you read it, please comment, here, there, wherever you wish.
I am new to all this interaction, I've always meant to get my own page, I diddled in myspace and friendster and both lay on the wayside, ignored. So dear reader, your comments would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Adventures of the Traveling Feet: Day 8 The Long Good Bye

There is a Brazilian song, “A Felicidade” translates to “Happiness”. The first line is “Tristeza nao tem fim, felicidade sim”, translated “Sadness has no end, happiness does.” I love this song for that one profound sentence. I translate it as a mandate to celebrate every moment of my life, enjoy to the fullest, the small and large joys as well as my cloudy, rainy, dark days.

Today was my last day in San Francisco, my holiday ended.  I woke up to a foggy, grey morning, reflecting my mood. I don’t get tired of being away from home. I carry my home with me regardless of where I am. Home is where I take my shoes off; rest my traveling feet.  So when I am having such a great, extraordinary time, I hate to have it end. I actually feel sad, a brooding longing can envelope me and I become moody and pensive. I had spent the night packing, because my flight was supposed to leave at 130pm and I prefer to be early at the airport than run through the concourse. So I knew I had a small window of opportunity.

The small length of time I spent here came down to how many more meals I had left. So this morning was my final meal. I had already had breakfast at the small neighborhood diner across the street from my hotel. I had thought I would go back.  Then I remembered a tweet that I had seen last week and saved. It had a list of restaurants in the San Francisco area with an ocean view.  I tried to look them up on the internet but none of them mentioned a breakfast menu.
For all the technology I’ve used traveling with my laptop, cruising the internet on my iPhone, guiding myself via GPS on my phone, it was the lonely, yellow pages still in it’s usual place in the bedside table drawer, under the Bible.
It was there that The Cliff House mentions a breakfast menu. So a new idea crept into my head. I was tentatively planning on walking around the neighborhood to eat at another hole in the wall, I had seen Jenny’s Bar & Restaurant the other night when I was walking to Kimo’s to see The Ruse. When I saw that place, I a hiccup in my heart rate to see that name; some silly affectation I’ve developed lately, akin to a Pavlovian response.
But why don’t I have breakfast at a restaurant with a view of the ocean? I was looking for that at Fisherman’s Wharf yesterday. I always look for a place overlooking an ocean.  So I called the concierge and arranged for me to leave my luggage at the hotel, have the car service bring it and pick me up at 1100 and take me directly to the airport.
It was about 810am, I was showered, dressed and set to go by 830am. I took my bags down -I hate waiting for the bellhop, when I’m ready to go, I’m ready  to go. The Adagio Hotel forces you to call and have ice brought up to your room. I felt compelled to tip every time.

The doorman flagged down a cab to take me to The Cliff House,  it is on the other side of the peninsula straight down Geary St.  Since it was a Sunday, the traffic was sparse but the fog was thick. The cabbie started out silent but when I started answering his prodding questions, we started another conversation. He spoke with an accent, eastern European, I didn’t probe.  Then he started rambling on about the city corruption, the need for national health care reform. I don’t instigate that conversation, simply because it is a heated political debate. I don’t have random conversations with strangers about politics and religions. They have always been hot button topics.

I got dropped off around 845am, The Cliff House was still closed, there was a line of approximately 10 people already waiting at the door. That wasn’t a lot of people, so I knew I’d get a table. I wandered off to the side of the restaurant to stare at the sea. Even the cabbie got out of his cab and stretched and looked around a bit. I know how you can live in the city and yet not see all its finer points.

The Cliff House, a restaurant on the edge of a cliff. I wanted a nice restaurant overlooking the ocean, one last final hurrah. I was seated so early I had the privilege of a table by a window overlooking the Seal Rocks. It was one of those mystical moments when you sit down and you know you are where you want to be right at that moment. It was an “exhale” moment.
Because I waited so long before I sat down to write this blog (the sadness of leaving my magical mystery tour and returning to the daily grind wounded me to silence), I’ll have to fill in with my tweets, I was so excited.
>>A foggy day brings out the poet in me. - 901am
>>I need my coffee first  - 901am

I asked the waitress what she would suggest for breakfast and I followed her recommendation. I had crab Dungeness and perfect poached eggs. It was truly a perfect ending to my perfect stay.
>>Eggs and Dungeness crab w/fruit & potatoes served w/ airy delicate handmade popovers! Nom nom nom! - 918am
>>Homemade popovers, I can feel my sugar rise, but I don't care. First time I've eaten it, another wish come true ;) - 926am
>>Perfect poached eggs!  - 928am
>>If you visit SFO and want to eat brkfast at Cliffhouse. They open at 9am, I got a sweet window seat. Now there is a 20min wait 4 a window seat -  935am
From what I understand about The Cliff House, it is a reservation only kind of high-end restaurant.  Where I ate was called the Bistro and I guess I was just lucky. I didn’t need a reservation and I just strolled in based on a whim.

>>The coffee at Cliff House is so wonderfully strong, my teeth feel loose & I want to dive into the sea!  -- 951am
They have really good coffee. I should have asked if they sell it.

>>The fog is tenacious, but the Sun King accedes to no one! Here comes the Sun! - 1017am
I watched the sun banish the stubborn fog, it was Mother Nature's special effects.
>>I like to think that the fog too is pouting at my departure. Yesterday was a perfect sunny day.  -1054am
>>San Francisco gave me a sad, misty kiss good bye. A kiss that will linger through the time until I can return - 1056am
I lingered over strong hot coffee as the sun battled the morning fog. I grew melancholy, for this adventure ends; as the fog granted me a misty kiss goodbye.

After breakfast, there was now a waiting list for tables, the tables with a window were highly prized. As I walked out, I saw several ladies dressed in pink T-shirts & hats. San Francisco was holding it’s Breast Cancer awareness walk/run. Considering how my trip started out, this was just another moment of synchronicity.

I strolled along the sidewalk, wanting to soak in the salt water tang and listen to the ocean’s roaring song as they battered the cliffs. There was a soft mist that pervaded. I was enthralled by the roaring waves; I couldn’t record enough of the sounds. I hovered trying to get that one shot when the waves would spray into the air as it slapped against the rocks.

I felt the grey fog more than I saw it; it was nature’s expression of my somber, pensive mood. I wasn’t ready to go home. But when I came around and came back up the sidewalk, the car was already waiting. I knew it couldn’t last forever.
I got on the plane but my adventure wasn’t over just yet. I talked with my seatmate, Dennis from New Zealand. He gave me the newspaper he had brought with him from Auckland so I could read the goings on in his hometown. He told me that they get 30days of holiday. So for two weeks starting at Christmas, the entire country shuts down and goes on holiday.
I always assumed the nickname Kiwi was for the fruit. He told me that when it was first introduced into the country when he was a boy, it came from China so they called it Chinese gooseberries. But a marketing ploy convinced the world to call it a kiwi.
He and I had a great conversation, again. Perhaps someone else would be bored to tears being shown a map of the world so we can talk about how long it takes to get to Auckland, I wasn't. Dennis was going to Chicago for an accountant’s conference. He said it’s just an excuse to travel to great locations and basically just gab, ostensibly to drum out business for their companies. I guess I really didn’t want the random conversations to end. But eventually the plane had to land.
When the plane landed, we all jumped up and clogged the aisles, impatient to flee. The woman in front of me looked up at me and stared at me; to the point where I couldn’t ignore her. She looked at me as if she was deciding if she knew me. She had that same burning look the other woman on Day 2. She too was an older woman, salt and pepper hair.  She said to me. “So impatient.” I smiled and said I just want to go home. She replied. “I’m a long way from home.” Home was Sao Paolo, Brazil. The hair on the back of my neck sprang up.
We spoke of my love for Brazilian music and she told me I needed to visit. This year seemed to have flown and I needed to use my vacation days or risk losing it. And every year I always go somewhere I’ve never been and do something I’ve never done. When I was first discussing where I was going to go for my vacation I was invited to stay on a couch in Morro Island–in Sao Paolo. Synchronicity; coincidence?

I don’t know where I’m going next, I don’t know what I’ll do, I just hope I’m ready for whatever will come my way.