I have the best friends ever. All of you. You guys keep me going and make me laugh my ass off. So a giant thank you and hugs to each and everyone of you.
Why are my friends so amazing you might ask? Lemme see...they laugh with me, they put up with me (this can be a big one ladies and gentlemen), and they know what I love. Tonight, when I least expected it, 4 of my very close friends surprised me with some of the funniest, most thoughtful birthday gifts. I know I thanked them in person, but now I want the world to know. Among them: an awesome giant tea cup that states "Oy Vey" on it. Another gal bought me a shirt that says Jewcy Culture on it (and how perfect is that i might ask?). And another gal bought me the new Dierks Bentley cd (which really was a gift to everyone b/c now no one has to listen to me whine about how i have to wait to buy it). I've received Adult Mad Libs, Romance Magnet Poetry, Witty Words, birthday cards galore, and all the love I could possibly want or need. You ladies are the best and may only good things come to all of us for the rest of our lives
I had a discussion with a couple of my friends last night about whether or not one can proclaim herself cool, or not. You may think this is a bit of an odd conversation, but hey, that's what you get for wanting to visit my head.
With all the craziness of field work winding down for the quarter, and going back to class, and all the papers I have to write in the next couple of days you would think I have been completely in school mode. You would be wrong. What do I do when faced with the not-so-pleasant task to doing homework? I think about new book ideas. Wait a minute! you say. Aren't you in the middle of a book right now? The answer is yes. But as most of the writers I know will tell you, we often have more than one storyline percolating well before we finish our current Works in Progress (from here out: WIP). I have been worried lately because I did NOT have any new ideas going through this wonderful brain of mine. Then, while driving around running errands and heading out to meet a friend to walk, I was struck by TWO thunderbolts of inspiration. Whether either one will pan out still waits to be seen, but they are ideas...and therefor the well is not dry.
Which brings me back to the whole I am cool conversation. My new ideas led me back to think about school, both elementary and high school, and how it forms our self image as we move on into life. I have spent the last two weeks observing fifth graders at a local public school. School, of course, is where cool and uncool are designated. I've long been fascinated with what makes someone cool and someone else not. Maybe because I don't think I was cool in school (and likely as not, my sister would fully agree). Now, out in the real world, a little part of me is reminded of this phenomenon as I shuffle back and forth between the real world and elementary school. I've always been a bit of a geek. There you have it. My big confession for the year. I was the girl all through school who walked around with her nose in a book. I would rather be reading than out playing soccer. Of course, my lack of coordination may have something to do with this. So I started thinking about this again the other day, and I came to the realization that I am cool. Why? How is this possible? Simple really. Because I said so. And because all my friends are cool, and they would not hang out with me at a dueling piano bar for 6 hours if I weren't cool. So there you have. Yes, you can make a self-proclamation about coolness. I am cool...and damn anyone who says differently!
Goose and Run!!!
My best friend and I try to meet to walk about once a week. Since school started this does not happen nearly as regularly as we would like. It's our chance to chat, laugh, ogle hot men. You know, everything women do when they get together. At one time we met up a few times a week, but now that she's on one side of the lake and I'm on the other, not to mention with my schedule as packed as it is, we have had to settle for once a week. Which of course means that our ogling has been severely limited over the last year.
I was reminded of this yet again when I went biking with my mom the other day. Biking in the Pacific Northwest is quite possibly the most popular activity. Young and old, fit and not so fit. You see them all. And you definitely see the hot men. Ms. K and I have occasionally joked about simply sticking out our arms to trip up any hot men, so as to have them at our mercy. I of course, had to tell my mom this as we rode and several cute guys passed us by (did I mention they all ride faster than we do?). Anyway, long story short, Mom and I went riding again yesterday (the weather here has been gorgeous the last couple of days). I heard someone coming from behind me, so I called out ahead to warn my mom (who has a tendency to weave as she rides). He thanks me, and looks back at us as he passes. When he turns back to face forward, my mom sticks out her arm :) Yes, my mom is now in on the joke.
So, the moral of this story is...Goose and Run!! (but make sure you have a friend ready to back you up just in case!)
So you want to be a writer...
I bought a latte this afternoon (in and of itself not a momentous occasion) and was reminded once again that there is a higher power out there. Starbuck's (yes, i went to the evil coffee company giant) has started printing quotes on their cups. The quotes are from famous people of all types: musicians, artists, writers, politicians. You name it, they have said it. Today's cup read: "The Way I See It #24 When I began writing, the words that inspired me were these: 'A writer is someone who has written today.' If you want to be a writer, what's stopping you?" - J.A. Jance At first I kept the cup because I thought my many writer friends would love to hear the quote. Then I started thinking harder about it, and I realized how important this one quote was. In the last month, two of my dearest friends, and fellow writers, have signed contracts with major publishing houses. Serena has two books coming out starting in May '06 for the YA market (the first is Braced2Bite), with the third one as yet untitled. Shannon recently sold her novel Venus Envy to Tor and it will be part of the launch of their new chick lit line in '07. With so much great news, and even greater positive energy, I have recently found myself biting down the "When is it my turn?"-voice whispering in my ear. One good friend has been wearing her tiara (yes, we all have one) around, hoping that the "tiara magic" will spark and she'll get The Call (see Single City Chick
Many of the writers I know (me included) pray for the day when we will get The Call. We fantasize about what we will say, how "cool" we'll act, who the editor will be, how much we'll be offered, and the list goes on. One friend pointed out that you cannot push the timing on this. Another has blessed us "unpubs" with the Soon it Will be Your Turn magic fairy dust. And you know what? They are right. All of 'em. And so here are my promises (to myself and to you):
1) I will be published. I don't care how long it takes or how many books I have to write before I sell.
2) I will celebrate every mini-victory (from 4 pages written to finishing of my current WIP)
3) I will wear my tiara whenever possible (not because it will bring me good luck, but because I can!)
4) I will promote the hell out of my friends (because what are friends for?)
5) I will keep writing (even if I never sell a book)
6) I will be a Writer. Hell, I AM a Writer.
Have you ever shaved your eyebrows to be more aerodynamic?
Seriously, this was part of an ad I heard on the radio this morning. If i hadn't already finished my tea i probably would have spit it out all over the car while laughing hysterically. I guess this is what I get for living in the Pacific Northwest where everyone owns a pair of hiking boots/shoes, a tent and the appropriate gear for surviving in the wilderness alone for a year.
And the best part about this line from the ad? You know that somewhere out there, someone actually took them seriously and will try it. Or else someone already did, only to learn that it really doesn't work.
Why is it that we are hardest on ourselves? Case in point, my writing schedule. I know better than anyone else what my life looks like right now. To an innocent bystander I appear absolutely crazy. And this is completely understandable. I go to grad school full time, I work, I write, and I attempt to see my friends. Of course, the last bit gets lost along the way sometimes. My writing schedule is currently about 2-4 pages a week, and this does not include papers. If I include papers, then I am probably writing about 20 pages a week, give or take a few. When I check in with my writing friends (from here on out known as The Girls), then are quick to remind me that something is better than nothing. And believe me, I am well aware of this. But that little part of me that still believes I can do it ALL keeps nudging me to step it up. So my question is why? Am I simply an overachiever? Is there something miswired in my brain? Am I too competative? Why oh why do I insist that I can do anything and everything asked of me? I'm getting better about it. But the road is long, winding, windy and uphill.
why is it that we women think men are so important to our lives? why do we wait around for them to call? we purposely leave the phone plugged in, make sure that our cells are on and we are not online just on the off chance that they might call us? what's up with that? and we know better! that's the worst part. we know better. we tell our friends it's his loss. but inside we still think, "What's wrong with me?" and the reality of it is that there's nothing wrong with us. nothing. unless of course you count the penchant for waiting by the phone for the illusive man without any spine to pick up the phone and dial our number. we go through all sorts of excuses in our heads (and to our friends) for why he hasn't called. the truth is ladies, that it's because he doesn't want to. really. sadly this is the truth. maybe he's too scared, maybe he's too busy, maybe this maybe that. the truth is (and i have proof of this from men that i have dated) if he wants you, he'll find a way. he'll stop by your second job to bring you flowers because he knows you're too busy to see him that night. he'll call you on the off chance that you may have a spare five minutes. he will not call you, leave you a message, then wait more than 2 days to return your call back to him.
and really, that's the difference, at least for me. i don't play games. if i want to talk to you i'll pick up the phone and call, or if i'm really pressed for time (which seems often these days between the book and school and work) i'll email you. if i don't, then i don't really want to talk, now do i?
and still, i know that the next time i hear from a guy i'm interested, i'll play the waiting game again. but maybe i won't wait quite as long.
Life really is quite funny. That, or else I have a very strange sense of humor. Okay, probably the latter, if you were to ask my good friends. And I'm cool with that. Mostly I'm starting to realize something that I've always believed (does that make sense to anyone other than me? yes? okay, then I'll continue). I've always believed in a higher power. Now I know there is one. It is the only explanation for my life. Truly. No sooner do I think I have a lock on things, than someone comes along and throws a monkey wrench into it. Now, to be fair, when things like this happen, it is usually for a good reason in the long run, and so I try really hard to keep a positive attitude on things. More often than not, I come out on top, as long as I can manage to go with the flow long enough. This time around, looks like I'm definitely at the top of the ice cream sundae. Wahoo!