the rain sounds cold

It is raining. Or hailing. Or some other sort of frozen rainesque thing that is turning all the fallen slow to heavy wet slush. 

I should probably invest in some new boots.

For now I am hibernating, in the warmth with my tea and a pile of new books. 

I am slowly but surely getting into the swing of 2009. 

We got ourselves a Wii Fit for the holidays and started it up on January 1st. It’s nice to have a way to exercise that doesn’t involve going out into the slushy snow, and I like the format and routine. Perhaps it’s the kindergartener in me but I enjoy being able to stamp a date on the calendar and get credits for minutes. Simple rewards, gold stars for good behavior. They work, though. Everyone likes a star.

Back to reading and listening to the freezing rain cascading down the side of the building. Am mid-way through Kelly Link’s Pretty Monsters and have Tana French’s In The Woods to pick up when I’m finished. Am going to endeavor to read more this year, and keep better track of what I’m reading, too.

Now, if only kittens were sleepy or snuggly instead of running around like maniacs it would be a very cozy afternoon.

filling the well

I think it’s Julia Cameron, maybe in The Artist’s Way or The Right to Write or maybe in both, who talks about filling your creative well on a regular basis. That you need to replenish your creativity by absorbing other creative things or nature or just stuff. Having constant input to properly maintain artistic exportation. Or something. She probably puts it much better, and it likely involves Artist Dates.

I sometimes forget I need to do that, to recharge and consume art rather than constantly working on my own. I’ve been busy with other things over the last week or so but haven’t been properly recharging.

And now in the last 24 hours I’ve read the entirety of Watchmen (I had been meaning to pick it up off the to-read shelf for ages) which was even better than I had expected, and watched Tarsem’s The Fall, which might just be my new favorite movie. It immediately earned a place in the all-time top ten at the very least.

I think I feel better because my creative well is fuller from binging on good books and good films and good tea. Must endeavor to be better about consuming them on a more regular basis.

on anniversaries & apples

taken at macks apples, londonderry, nh, 10.13.08

Yesterday was my 2nd wedding anniversary. We went to New Hampshire to go apple picking and bought a cotton candy pumpkin and I took a lot of photos, some of which came out remarkably well. I am endeavoring to be a better photographer. After apple picking (Mutzu apples, which are fantastic) we went out for dinner at the Indian restaurant we’d been meaning to try for ages and it was wonderful. They had naan stuffed with basil that was possibly the best thing ever.

Today I finished the last of my edits on the novel and sent it off all pretty and shiny to be read by a few wise, bookish people to get some outside opinions on it. It is odd to be free of it, if only temporarily. I have been working more or less nonstop on it for the last week or so, since the boy read it and gave me some very good suggestions on things to add and adjust.

I have things to do, of course. I have the troublesome sevens to paint for the tarot deck. I have NaNoWriMo coming up in two weeks and I use a little bit more planning for it, though I never like to plan too much for NaNo. I like to see where November wants to take me without a map.

I should clean the studio, and I would like to add some more things to my Etsy store. I finished The Graveyard Book, which was not entirely what I was expecting but fit my mood nicely and made me want to play in graveyards (which I can easily manage around here). I should start The Catcher in the Rye, or possibly re-read Einstein’s Dreams.

And there are apples to eat, as well.

reading pile, october 2008

I am mostly in a fog of edits and adjustments on the novel, trying to get it in the best shape possible before it goes off to a handful of very lovely beta readers next week.

I’ve noticed I tend to read less when I’m busy with writing things, so I’m attempting to rectify that. This is the reading pile for October:

I’ve already started Neil’s The Graveyard Book and I’m enjoying it so far. Am attempting not to read it too quickly because I do love all things Neil.

I picked up John Hodgman’s The Areas of My Expertise because I’d been meaning to check it out for ages and it showed up in the Bargain section of Amazon. I’ve only read the cover so far but it’s a wordy cover, and kind of hysterical.

And I’ve been meaning to re-read The Catcher in the Rye for years and I’m not sure what happened to my old copy. I’m curious to see what I think of it now having not read it since high school. It did play a large part in earning me a 5 on the English AP exam, though, so I will always have a certain fondess for it.

In other news: kittens are napping, it’s finally full-blown autumn (yay!), I made armwarmers out of an old pair of stripey socks and I have BPAL from last year (pumpkin patch #5: Pumpkin with benzoin, bourbon vanilla, lemon peel, neroli, blood orange, and red ginger) in my oil burner.

reading about writing

Firstly, the Nicest Person on the Internet got me the aforementioned Tarot of the Magical Forest. It is even more lovely and whimsical and weird in person and I love it.

I’ve had a very long, very productive weekend. Went to the Peabody Essex Museum, cleaned the apartment (sort of), upgraded PhotoShop, wrote a lot, read a lot. Somewhere in there kittens chased flies and I made sangria and we talked a lot of politics. Good times.

I’m very fond of reading books about writing. Mostly just to see what other people have to say about it, and how so many of them say the same things in so many different ways. I have two new ones that I read this weekend, that are both lovely in almost completely opposite ways.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield is very straightforward, very thoughtful and kind of a kick in the pants for anyone struggling with anything from writing and painting to weight loss and yoga. It is very clear and concise and frames familiar struggles in an interesting way that I hadn’t encountered before. It’s a quick read, and I have a feeling I will be re-reading it occasionally as well.

On the other side of the reading about writing spectrum (the colorful one) I also read SARK’s Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper. It is very much a SARK book, all handwritten wonderfulness in bright colors and doodled illustrations and it is equally as inspiring. I feel like I’ve fed both sides of my brain with writing books in one weekend.

One of my favorite bits of Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper (even the title makes me want to write!) is this page of numbered doors, on which SARK instructs the reader to pick a door intuitively and follow the coordinating advice on the next page. My advice, found through a simple purple door: Put your writing FIRST and see how it feels, which feels like very good advice for me right now.

So I am looking forward to this week. I have lots to write, I have lots to say. I have Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds Live at Radio City freshly downloaded and I still have quite a bit of sangria, too.

(And I promise I will finish the Phantomwise Tarot sevens soon as well, really.)