Saturday, September 27, 2008

ridiculous procrastination

It's interesting to me how I continue to sink to deeper and more ridiculous levels of procrastination the closer I get to my next packet deadline. Here is what I have been doing lately to avoid writing:
  • Wasting time on Facebook (nothing new there).
  • Scrolling through home tours at Apartment Therapy and daydreaming about all the ways I could fix up my apartment.
  • Looking at lolcats.
  • Ordering things online. This morning, even though I knew I had limited time today and wanted to get right to work, I ordered a plastic chair mat to protect my floor, a tray for Cleo's cat food and water bowls, a new drain strainer for my kitchen sink, gray shoelaces, a litter-trapping carpet square for Cleo's litterbox area, and a new toner cartridge for my printer. All things I need and have been meaning to get for some time, but it certainly didn't have to be TODAY.
  • Deciding I absolutely must buy a pot rack right now, then, after looking around for way too long at different types and measuring the space above my stove and looking at photos of other people's kitchens online, deciding I need more time to figure out exactly what I want/need in that department and not ordering anything.
  • Emailing all my friends to whine about how I'm not getting any work done.
  • Eating Lucky Charms.
  • Feeling bad after eating too many bowls of Lucky Charms.
  • Watching Dexter on Netflix.
  • Looking up Rita from Dexter on imdb because it was killing me that I couldn't figure out who that actress was, then being really appalled at myself for not immediately realizing it was Julie Benz, who played Darla on Buffy/Angel. Did I not just recently finish rewatching all of Buffy? Yes. Yes, I did.
  • Playing with the Pandora Radio website.
  • Trying to find (more) good music to write to.
  • Taking on more freelance editing work and then doing that instead of writing because it's due even sooner.
  • Scheduling and then unscheduling personal trainer appointments.
  • Scheduling and then unscheduling doctor and dentist appointments.
  • Looking up "unscheduling" on Merriam-Webster and deciding to use it even though it's apparently not a real word ("unscheduled" is a real word, but "unschedule" and "unscheduling" are not).
  • Making way more plans with friends than I should even think about making right now.
  • Collecting books for one of my essays and then not reading them.
  • Posting to my blog.

All right. Now that I only have about an hour of worktime left to me today, I should get to it. And then tomorrow, tomorrow, I will REALLY start working early in the day. Until it's time to get ready to go out because of course I have plans tomorrow evening, too.

Sigh. And also: sigh.

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.


Friday, September 5, 2008

Um, August?

Okay, so I kind of skipped August. Here's what happened: I did some writing, I did some reading, I tried to win tickets online to see Hair with my friend Steph but we never won, I went to the gym, I made a difficult decision and later reversed it, I received loving care and attention from friends, I went out, I stayed in, I stressed about Packet 2 (that part is still ongoing), I saw Hellboy 2 (so good!), I bought new earrings, I got two MRIs (but apparently I'm fine), I visited the library several times, I cooked bluefish from the farmer's market in my grill pan and it was delicious, I ate too much frozen yogurt, I made good use of Netflix, and as the month wrapped up I had a wonderful weekend off the coast of Maine with some very lovely people.

So far September has been mostly about writing/reading stress and getting ready to visit my dad in Oregon next week. I've still got another essay and many more pages of my novel-in-progress to write before Monday morning. So clearly it was time to procrastinate by updating the old blog here.

I should probably get back to work, though. Just popping my head up to say hello.