Wednesday, September 17, 2008

whiny and growly

If there's a fly in my apartment, doesn't my cat have a responsibility, an obligation, to chase that thing down and catch it? She should be running after it with her eyes all wide and crazy and her mouth making little unconscious chewing motions. Instead she just lies there on the floor, kind of glancing up with annoyed disinterest whenever it buzzes by. I have tried urging her on with both supportive words and general mockery, but to no avail. Some predator. Lazy thing.

Of course, I can't really throw stones in the laziness department, since I have done pretty much nothing but lie on my couch for the past couple of days, nursing this horrible cold. It may actually be a sinus infection at this point; it's starting to look that way, anyway. I got sick on my last day in Oregon, where I was visiting my dad, and have been feeling pretty awful ever since. And the timing is not very good, because I have tons of writing work to do. I have enough resistance to writing when I'm healthy; when I'm sick like this, the thought of actually trying to be creative is almost painful to contemplate. Pretty much everything becomes almost painful to contemplate. I turn into a big baby. To be fair, it's a really bad cold/sinus thing... we're not talking a little bout of the sniffles here. I actually threw my back out coughing yesterday morning. And my head is all heavy and yucky and I'm generally just feeling weak and gross and unable to muster much energy for anything other than pressing the buttons on the DVD remote.

Waaah. See? Big whiny baby. And I'm missing out on all kinds of fun social things this week, including some live music tomorrow night with someone I'd been looking forward to seeing. I suppose it's possible I'll wake up feeling 100% improved tomorrow morning, but somehow I doubt it. (In addition to whiny, being sick makes me grumpy and pessimistic. Grrr.)

Anyway. Oregon was great, and it was good to see my dad and some old and new friends while I was out there.

I haven't posted any photos on here in a while... here's one of my dad and me at the International Rose Test Garden in Portland:

Back to whining: there is some sort of pep rally or something going on at the school a few blocks from my house, and there is lots of VERY LOUD drumming and shouting going on. I am all for school spirit, but it's been going on for hours and it's one more obstacle to actually being able to concentrate on reading or writing or anything else productive that I should be trying to do. GRRRR!

My next due date for school (Packet 3!) is October 7, and I've got 30-40 pages to write on my novel, plus tons of reading, one new essay to write, and one old essay to revise. I have not yet started any of these things, except a tiny portion of the reading. And I don't really know where the novel is going, which complicates the whole "write 30-40 pages" thing. But my advisor gave me some very helpful comments, and permission to jump around in the timeline, which makes me feel a little less anxious. It also means having to trust that eventually all the jumping around will work out and I'll be able to work everything into one coherent narrative... but that's the part of writing that I always have trouble with, the trust and the acceptance that there will be lots of revising, and no matter how clean and right I try to make the first draft, revising is PART OF THE PROCESS, and not punishment for not getting it right the first time or in any other way something to try to avoid. Revision is where the real book comes together. I know this, intellectually; I just need to keep working toward truly accepting and believing it.

As my VCFA friend David has said: Hail the process!

I am trying.

And now all I can hear is Yoda's voice in my head: No. Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.

[And after Yoda frees the X-wing from the bog...]

Luke: I dont- I don't believe it.

Yoda: That is why you fail.



  1. YES. And why don't my dogs go outside and bag me some of the many quail that strut around the yard unmolested, instead of pretending to chase lizards just so they can crash into the fence and seem all tough and daring? What a bunch of crap.

  2. Oh yeah, and my cat gets all crazy about going outside because he hears that jay screaming in the morning, and he gets out there and sees a dozen sparrows on the ground between in and that tree that the jay is in and he runs back inside, afraid. What the hell kind of a cat is afraid of a bunch of little dirt birds?

    Oh, and keep hailing that process. Perhaps, like a cab, it will finally pull over and whisk you away!

  3. Um, I was feeling all peppy-ready to take on the world or at least a spider or two, but now after all that process stuff I am suddenly feeling like I can't move, my head weighs about 20 pounds, and my sinuses are starting to fill.

    If only you could invent a fly/spider spray that smelled like catnip. All you would have to do is spray the offending intruding bug and cats wouldn't hesitate to chase down and eat them.