Another random/sprawling post

I’ve been thinking about age recently, how I’m 34 and by various measurements that could be ½, 1/3, or some other fraction of my life.  Wanting to do everything I can, of course, with my life, given my position in life, and thinking of how limited that might be.  I’m appreciating what life and time I do have, just in sitting in the backyard with my computer or lying in bed waiting to fall asleep.

I’m working on not beating myself up for imperfection.  It’s natural for me to hate myself for imperfect communicative interaction: a miffed twitter encounter, a conversation gone slightly wrong.  It makes me cringe when it happens but I’m working at letting it go, and not making up in my mind what the other person might be thinking about the encounter.  I’m fairly psycho when it comes to this, and would like to be less so.  I’m a perfectionist, what can I say?

I’ve been reading online today.  Poetry.  By Gabby Gabby.  I enjoy.

And my outline is coming along, for this new novel.  I have about five pages now, chronological, hierarchical, detailing the main character and a handful of supporting character’s action, with many scenes drawn out.  I could definitely start writing from this outline, but I have two concerns.  1) I want to make sure I’m in a peaceful enough place, where I can have the rigorous scheduled time I need, to write this.  Writing during Daniel’s nap means that writing time is variable, and—I don’t know—I just want to make sure I really have the time to write it, once I start.  2) is that I might want to write something more surreal, less structured, instead of writing this novel at all.  On (1), part of me is considering whether I might be able to write this with a little less structures time, i.e. not knowing that I have ½ or all of a day set out for writing, but writing during Daniel’s nap, then a little after dinner, etc.  It doesn’t seem unrealistic that that could work, but I want to have a plan going into it.  On (2), I don’t know, I had so much fun writing Untitled document (even though now I have extreme doubts about its worth), that maybe it might be fun to do something else that is not a straight story.  It’s all up in the air.

In my last post, I said there was some stress associated with my book coming out—what a punk, privileged, selfish thing to say!  What kind of stress is associated with your first novel coming into print by a growing, cool, literary press?  It’s a low-key affair.  It’s not like I have to do anything, really, except not freak out and let the publisher do his part to help promote and sell my book!  So maybe that was a bit of an overstatement, or a mis-statement.  The fact that it’s going to be out of my hands, even, that it’s going to be a real grown-up book that I can’t edit at a moment’s notice..is ok with me.  I’m happy with what is in that book, I’m confident about the text, I trust it.  So I don’t need to be worried about it, really.  Maybe I’m a bit sad the writing is done, even though it’s been done for years.  Maybe I hope it turns into something other than a low-key affair: that we get someone major to review it.  I would love that, but, I guess, like with the rest of that project, there’s nothing I can do about it.  I wrote it.  It’s over.  It’s done.  Time for me to do something else.

I guess the last thing I’ll tell you is that I’m struggling with abusing my prescription medication.  I’m tempted to double up on the antidepressant, even though doing it doesn’t do anything but make me grind my teeth.  Also, when I take my PRN anti-anxiety medication, I feel like I’m abusing it, even though according to doctor’s instructions, I’m not.  I’m supposed to take it up to three times a day, and I usually take it once, at night, because it makes me tired.  But that’s the thing: I’m taking it because it makes me tired, not because it makes me less anxious, so I feel like I’m abusing it to manipulate my sleep, which feels like misuse.  None of this matters, except that as a sometimes drug user, taking this Rx medicine feels just as manipulative and control-oriented and in some ways as addictive as doing coke.  I’m doing it when I don’t really want to be doing it, I’m doing it for complex reasons, and I’m thinking about it waaaaay too much.  It just feels like I haven’t made much progress in terms of mental addictions, and my old psychiatrist would probably be telling me that she thinks I need to spend more time meditating, to get to the present moment.

Slept most of the day

Feel a little guilty about it but it’s a decent way to reset myself, get through some of this depression I’m feeling.  I’ve been really worried about house stuff—living arrangement stuff—and I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to relax myself on that.  Do what I can to help things go smoothly, and release control of the rest.

Also I’ve been thinking about sex, some, today.  I just wrote a piece where sex figures prominently, and it’s fun to think about it during the writing process.  But I realize that in my real life, I’m too depressed for sex.  I’m too depressed to really be free to be aware of myself sexually, to relate sexually.  This has been the case for many years, and it might take me a while to change this, but this is something I’d like to change about myself.  I want to enjoy that part of life again, someday not too terribly far in the future.

I’ve been feeling uncomfortable about blogging lately, worried that it’s all just a bitch-fest about my emotions.  I haven’t really toyed seriously with quitting, though, as I have in the past (take everything down, privatize posts, etc.).  I think the way out is through.  Or the way through is through.  So I plan to do even more blogging about my emotional state, mundane details of life, and anything else that comes to mind.

Took a nice bike ride

to my counseling appointment.  I found some new streets, with bike lanes, that make the trip oh-so-safer. It’s handy, too, to get a half hour of exercise in, just as part of my day.  I feel it in the legs a little.

In counseling we discussed my judgments, the strong opinions I have about people, and our general conclusion was that I need to “do me”.  "You do you" is I believe exactly what my counsellor said.  So that’s what I’m working on: me doing me, taking care of my agenda, my self, and leaving others to themselves (not spending too much energy concerning myself with what other people are up to).  I think that’s great advice for me and I’m working on it.

I finished Untitled document.  At Penny’s suggestion, it may not be finished finished.  I might cut it up, expand, play with the text, all the while keeping the original version (great idea Penny!).  So we’ll see what happens.  All in all, I’m in a good place with writing.  I feel good about Untitled document, I feel energized to continue work either on that or something else, and I think I’m in the right place with writing in general.  I drive myself crazy obsessing over sentences, and when I get into those kinds of loops, I need writing friends to pull me out, but I don’t know of anything else I’d rather be doing.

And: an email from my publisher today!  He’s doing the layout and asking for a bio, high-res photos, etc.  It’s exciting; TSID is getting its day in the sun.  Truly, it’s so cool I don’t know how to think about it.  =)

Just a quick post

to say what’s going on.  Tonight my sister’s family took me to sushi to celebrate TSID getting published.  We had a nice dinner and I’m happy to have celebrated this with them. I used wasabi, which I don’t always do.  But tonight I got a good head burn.  I’m excited about TSID and its future.  This week Bryan (my publisher) sent me an email saying he started work on the book, taking my packet of files I sent him and turning those into the publishable version of the book.  I’m hopeful he uses my cover image (of the girl’s hand pushing a paper boat in a puddle).  That’s a picture I took in high school and I specifically wrote that image into the text of the book, so it would mean a lot to me if that was actually the cover that got used—it would be like I owned more of the book, and it would make the whole project more personally me.  I just hope in the future that more people read it.

I’m still living with my sister.  I’m in a routine.  For now it’s ok, and I’m glad I have a place to live that’s not too stressful, where I can have some peace.

I have doctors appointments tomorrow morning.  Taking blood levels for lithium, to see how much to increase my dose.  I feel brittle, dizzy, this weird head feeling that I’m not sure if it’s the medicine or just my body falling apart in general.  It’s been there for about three days.

I’m writing a book, Untitled document.  It’s not a novel, so I’m in new territory.  Sections of Snowbunny get abstract, and then I did some similar things in AK, where the narrative includes abstrast going-off pieces.  In Untitled document, it majors on the abstract going-off, nonsensical, free-association course of things.  There are characters and there are strains of sensibleness, but it’s much more abstract than anything I’ve done before (anything long).  Some days I feel like my writing is shit, and about one day of the week I’ve been working on it, I felt like my writing was good.  It’s hard to measure, partly because I’ve never done anything like this before and partly because I’m in the middle of working on it.  I look forward to the day when I’ve had a few months of separation between me and this piece so that I can look at it with that perspective.  For now, it’s 2,000 words a day, head-down, just work work work.