Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Nice, isn't it?

Monday, August 29, 2011

WRITING - time to write

WRITING – Time to write

I'm in quite a dilemma. I'm in such a quandary. Now I'm getting redundant, and that's not even my point!

The issue is writing. It's getting to be a big issue. I just can't get my shtuff [sic] together. It's not exactly even writers block. I have lots of really cool ideas. In fact, ideas keep flowing about stories, little scenes, and whole personalities – I just can't actually write about them!

I think I just can't concentrate because of stress. Last school year I worked soooooo much. It's really ridiculous. First of all, I worked my regular job. I took two grad classes. Then in the spring and summer semesters I taught a Saturday at Montgomery College in Rockville (as usual) as well as a Tuesday/Thursday night class there too (NOT usual or recommended)!

On top of that, Natasha has been super busy. She's been working on and off - now ON - and taking classes at an almost full-time rate. And when she's busy, that means I'm busy. Since she's basically just starting a career and I'm a couple steps into my career, I do as much as I can so that she can focus on her education and work. That means everything at the house, most things for our son Espen, doing dishes, and lots of lots of other things.

Even though I'm a teacher and periodically have breaks or long weekends, I'm so exhausted that on those breaks I either try to rest or, if it's a normal weekend, I take care of Espen. In case you haven't met him, taking care of Espen is the least restful activity you could ever imagine.

So in recent history my cycle tends to be that I work an extreme amount, including taking care of a crazy toddler and then just try to recoup at any given moment, then work again. Those times of freedom and true rest do come. It's not all of the time, but they come.

So then in those rare moments, Natasha says that I should write. It's kind of cruel, though. It's like suggesting a friendly game of tennis after someone just ran a marathon. Or maybe suggesting the marathon after the game. Okay, I don't really do either of those, but hopefully I get the idea across.

Thanks to my polite and patient explanations of my feelings, though, she is coming around to understanding. Or as they say in Maryland public schools these days, she is “approaching” understanding.

To cap things up, I have plenty of ideas – awesome, completely original and exciting ideas! I'm imagining them in my head and wishing: “Oh, yeah, I should write a story about that!” (in an absurdly moronic, self-mocking voice)

I can't believe that I just wrote this. This blog is maybe my new start. Or maybe it's another thing to do. Can't dwell too much on it, though – I have to finish staining the deck. On the left you can see where I left off pre-hurricane. Don't the rails look cool?! I love this color. Fall will be beautiful.

Just in case you don't get it – this is another reason why I don't write!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011


WRITING - the Bum Magnet and Bums

As is often the case with me, it all starts with a mistaken identity of someone's bottom. K.L. Brady's guest appearance with Columbia Writers was an absolute delight. She spoke of her personal journey in self-publishing and how that led to her being picked up by Simon and Schuster. All the while, I was engaged by friendly demeanor, frankness about professional growing pains, and how her own story in the writing world could very well relate to mine. Eventually.

But the thing lingering in the back of my mind was the title of her big book: The Bum Magnet. Maybe it's because I talk with British people. Maybe it's because I just think of my wife's butt a lot. Well, by now you should see where I'm going with this - I thought the story was about a guy who just couldn't resist a woman with a nice ass.

Before the meeting I had even seen the cover.

Obviously – OBVIOUSLY – the book is about a woman and her relationship with a man. Or you might just assume several men and then eventually that one gem. Something like that. You would think that the cover is clear enough.

But even having seen the cover, I somehow had understood bum, like butt, or as they also say across the pond, rump. So I was actually imagining a story of a guy who goes from one ass to another, some of the dialogue provided by the females who happen to be attached to said asses.

Thus as Brady was going through her detailed stories of frustrations, triumphs, etc., I was kind of thinking: “She cannot be talking about a story with some super womanizing protagonist.” She even said something like: “I myself had just gotten out of a bad relationship,” yet I couldn't make sense of the title other than to think bum=butt

ergo, Bum Magnet = man who likes booty

Yet later I realized that really the booties themselves would be the magnet, and the man would be like some kind of iron thing, drawn to the magnets with irresistible force.

Eventually I got it. About an hour into talking with her, I got it. And now is a good time to admit that I had even read the back cover's synopsis and had simply wondered to myself: “I don't see how this is about a guy who loves big butts.”

But if you are reading this, K.L. Brady, please know that when I was smiling, it really was because of what you were saying and not because my mind was in the gutter.