Sunday, April 13, 2008

Little less stress... little more bliss

Every year about this time I start to feel like I'm climbing a mountain. Right now, I'm resting on a little cliff. Research papers aren't in yet, nor are my writing class's latest stories. We hung out last night and made ice cream sundaes and watched Dan in Real Life (which moves glacially in the 1st half and then perks up and has laugh aloud moments and tender moments and while not a great movie is a good movie which is about all I ever ask for these days). And this afternoon it's back to Stages for Rounding Third, a play about dads coaching little league baseball, thus coincidentally framing my week with real baseball and now fictional. Plus if it's play day, that means we go out to eat dinner afterwards. So... not bad. Definitely of the good.

Am I still secretly stressing over rewrites, revisions, grading, and where the prodigal son will end up next year? (work? grad school? on that fishing boat in the Bering Strait with that crew on the Discovery Channel?) Yes. Yes. And oh yes. But, whatever. Even the weather is lovely today - cool and sunny and dry and very unHouston like which is just fine with me.

Article this morning in the paper about housing prices. (Gee, imagine that - people writing about housing prices. Or gas prices. Such a freakin' shock, eh people? Not.) But here's the quote from a local realator (note that I am not capitalizing that word. I don't understand why suddenly they all capitalize it. I mean, I don't tell people I'm a Writer. My neighbor doesn't say he's a Doctor) that I love. "A million dollars just doesn't buy what you think it does."

Really? Okay, call me a middle class boob, but hey, if I would ever contemplate shelling out a cool mil for a house, it damn well better buy something fairly substantial. Just sayin'.

Other than all that, I'm enjoying Elizabeth Bunce's A Curse as Dark as Gold. Beautiful prose, description and skillful plotting. It's a modern re-telling of Rumplestiltskin, but it's much more than that and it's a fantastic book.

And I've discovered more about my main character and his former girlfriend during my revision stage of the WIP. Stuff I really needed to know! Reminds me of what author Joan Bauer said at an SCBWI conference a few years ago. That she generally writes at least 25 pages of back story for each character before she even gets into the book itself. I was just about half way through SPARK then, and I remember thinking - no way. I couldn't ever have that much to know about these characters. Turns out I could. And should. And basically do. Because unless they're that real, we're not doing our job at story and world creation.

And back to Dan in Real Life... I might have said it wasn't the best movie I'd ever seen, but its issues keep lingering. I love that it reminds us that love is messy. That sometimes we fall in love with the right person at the wrong time. Or the wrong person all together. Or even the right person at the right time but we're too stupid to realize it. And that it's a trick to balance romance and parenthood. And that sometimes we need to just give ourselves a break and act crazy. Even if it shocks the people around us. Or to quote an old ep. of my forever beloved BTVS, "Love makes you do the wacky." Yep. It does. Wouldn't have it any other way.

Til next time...


Anonymous said...

did you watch Rock of Love 2? I did cause of YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! getting me hooked on number 1! bex

Eva said...


I've been out of my normal routine but have started back reading your blog a couple of weeks ago.

Fun seeing your picture! I'm growing my hair out too, as it happens.

Lots to comment on but I'll start with "acting crazy." I either read this somewhere or though of it myself---can't remember. The idea is: when one acts a little crazy, it's like giving the world a little gift of entertainment. By giving up a little of our dignity, we are giving others a break from the mundaneness of their lives. They get a giggle and a great story to tell.

So when say something a bit uncouth, sing a ditty, do any of a million embarassing/crazy things, we are sacrificing ourselves for the good of others. And most everyone who witnesses it will forgive us because they know that, by the grace of G-d, go them!