Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Perfect Weather for Writing. . . .

Cold, cold rain. Spent a considerable time at the dining room table getting things done. Created some character profiles and filled out a story line. It was satisfying because I had all of these ideas and I just put them on paper.
I've been working at the dining room table even though I've got a fantastic study to work in. Lately, I've been feeling a lot of pressure to create while I'm in there----my bookcases hold all of the writers I absolutely revere. Prominent right now on my desk is Carson McCuller's A Member of the Wedding which I think is brilliant. The dining room table is less threatening and I am actually getting work done.
More later.

What IS Christmas week, anyway?

I can't help it. I am making lists of things to do when I get back to work. Nothing major, you understand, but things that I need to remember, things that didn't get done in that lazy , hazy few days before the holdiay break when everyone has visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads. Or vodka martinis. Or presents. Well, you get the idea.
The time between Christamas and the New Year has always seemed like another country to me. The week off seems surreal and not placed firmly in time. In my former job, I used to love to tell everyone "See you next year!"-----I got such a kick out of the fact that one day we are safely ensconced in a year in which all of our failures, successes, hurts, moments of ecstasy were bundled behind us and the new year loomed clean, white, ready to make of it what we might. Or the other way around.
I've been at the dining room table writing all week long. Today is rainy , damp and cold and I've lit a candle. In this strange week of holidy suspension (is it still the holiday? Can you justify the holiday drinks while you heat up the leftovers?) I am creating fictional worlds and the people who inhabit them. Suffice it to say that my characters are NOT celebrating the holidays. Only living life as it comes each day. Which is what I'll be doing once I go back to work on the 3rd of January. Pass the vodka!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


I've been looking for my boss. Where is she? Bathroom?Stacks?Under her desk, sucking her thumb? I go around the workroom annoying people asking "Where's Anne?" Sometimes people grunt. More often that are typing furiously on their keyboards and then they will mumble "Meeting." Ah. Yes. I should have known. We don't have half a talent for officiousness around here. Meetings are what we do best. And I always love a good meeting! I like to show up looking all officious with my enormous tumbler of coffee, a big thick notebook and a pen with blue (never black!) ink. I have hypergraphia so I will write ANYTHING down, and I do mean anything. J. looking perturbed? It is now immortalized in my meeting minutes. A. annoyed with her staff? All in blue ink, baby.
And I love it when my boss will ask "Any questions, comments?" "Yes please!" I want to say. I look around. C. raises his eyes to the ceiling, thinking. I hear a murmer. OH YES!!!!! Prolong this meeting, MAKE MY DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tell me it is a "mandatory" meeting and I will squeal with glee. Yeah, baby, I'll be there!!!!!!!!

The day wears on. I am having lunch now. A soft pretzel (I shouldn't, I know) and a cup of creamy mushroom, heavy on the garlic, but everything seems to be in the cafeteria. My space heater is still humming and my feet, out of my clogs, are right up against it. Brrrrrrrrr. Still very cold in here. Whenever the weather gets as cold as it is right now (bone chilling, static-clinging-skin burning) I like to immerse myself in a novel that feels a lot the weather outside. What better than something by a Bronte? Actually, not a novel, just a weird little biography of the Bronte family written in 1969 by Phyllis Bentley, a woman given to arch and prosaic sentences which sound like she might have been living side by side with the strange, but brilliant family. Here is how she describes the Bronte's:

Thus the Brontes world ws formed by a decidely unusual comination of elemtns. Their heredity was Celtic---a character ususally eloquent, expressive , extravert. Their environment was Yorkshire-----amongst a people realistic , practical, reserved, greatly disliking any too great revelation of feeling.

So, warm and fuzzy they weren't. This seems universally known and accepted. I'll persist with the book, with the flowery and dramatic scenes and the evocation of sadness, blight and death. It makes everything else, in comparison, look just peachy!
Just arrived at work a bit late. Decided not to do the Dunkin' Donuts run this morning because it is just way too cold to get out of the car. Made a huge thermos of coffee that I'll drink right down to the dregs.
Walked into work (the library) all weighted down with thermos, space heater, fruit and granola bars and book bag. A guy delivering something on campus engaged me in conversation about my space heater. I was freezing! Anyway, I must have looked like someone who broke off from the Donner party. I don't know why I feel so compelled to bring so many things with me to work. It is kind of dumb. Like I am preparing for every eventuality. But hey, that's me.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Another day , gone. . .

It is 9:10 and I am exhausted. Meant to write in my journal. Meant to write down short story ideas. Meant to read up on point of view. Still drinking coffee that slogging around in a big steel tumbler. coffee is my trigger to work. The idea goes like this: if I brew it , I wil write. No. wrong again. I brewed the coffee. Set my notebooks in front of me. Decided to see what Nancy Grace was ranting about tonight. End of story.
I am going to rinse out the tumbler and go to bed.
Once I'm there, a bit hyped on caffeine, all manner of ideas will come swooshing through my brain. My mind will be active , but I'll be too tired to reach for a pen.

Tommorow. Yep, that's it.