2004-06-11

The Canadians Call Them "Stagettes"

Bachelorettes, I mean.

And life intrudes again. I have been so crazy running around with this stoop wedding, and I let my sister/sole bridesmaid off the hook for planning a bachelorette, considering she is 3000 miles from here and up to her ears in her own life, so I forgot I'd want one until this morning when Dave was on the phone wrangling friends for what started as a weekend in MExico in a house complete with its own strippers -- seriously, house strippers -- morphed into two nights in Vegas, and has since been downgraded to a big steak dinner and what I'm sure will involve a visit to a titty bar in town. Fine. Whatever.

But then, the question of the co-dependant arose: What the hell am I supposed to do while he's out there on the town?

So I sent an evite to my lady friends suggesting spa and dinner for the same day. And they, god-bless them, all told me I had no business planning my own do, and kicked me off the committee. I love my girlfriends.

I also love, that on the evening of Saturday the 26, apparently I will have something to do.

Chapter 2, meanwhile, has gotten relatively short shrift but is in okay condition for bringing home to the shockingly insightful man I'm going to marry in 37 days.

The best thing that ever happened while procrastinating:

A few weeks back I was surfing the net in definite NOT SURFING time, but there I was, doing it anyway. I googled my almost-husband, and I googled my friends, and then I googled me.

And I discovered my story, "Soap Gets In Your Eyes", published in The Paumanok Review, was a Notable Online Short Story of 2003!

There are lots of things linked in the previous sentence. Go check them out while I return to the new draft of my Chapter 2.

2004-06-09

That First Date Feeling

An amazing thing has just happened. I just spent 45 minutes in a bookstore and didn't cry. In fact, I BOUGHT BOOKS. I read book jackets. I was thrilled there were so many choices!

I did not, as I have had for the last 18 months, feel jealous, petty, or small. I did not think all the books were yelling at me, screaming "WHY DIDN'T YOU WRITE US YOU PATHETIC POSEUR?" I actually kissed my almost-husband and sat on the floor with him and BROWSED without alarm.

Walked out with David Leavitt, Steven Byers, and four years worth of THE BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING in preparation for our 4 week honeymoon, a lot of which will be spent on trains where hopefully I will gaze out the window and have brilliant, travel-writing thoughts. I couldn't stop grinning.

And then I remembered:

This was the feeling I'd felt the night I met Dave, heading out to mee him for our first date on the heels of a fabulous workshop with the late Hubert Selby Jr. I was totally hyped up on the discussion the group had had about a story a friend of mine had written, and had spent three hours pushing for him to keep the PERFECT WONDERFUL SUBTLE ending that no one else in the room got. It was living writing to me, and I was thrilled to get to read it and talk about it ... and then I went on the best date of my life with a man who loved watching me love talking about writing, and dear reader, in 39 days I get to marry him.

Progress Report

Despite all my dithering, 805 words! Chapter 2 progressing pretty well for my tastes. Hope I still feel that by the weekend ...

Which brings us to another hugely important reason for me to do this. Tracking my progess will hopefully keep me from beating myself up too badly -- ie. writing hard all week and sort of optimistically, and then deciding everything I've done is shit and I'm worthless. Did the "I suck" things all weekend, and besides freaking me and Dave and the cats out badly, it put a dent in our Valium supply.

Open letter to whomever turned me on to THE KNOT ...

THIRTY-NINE DAYS TO GO.

I am beginning this blog b/c I have recently discovered blogworld and find I like it a lot better than THE KNOT. I hate the THE KNOT. I have killed 10+ months on THE KNOT. I have learned nothing there except where to buy 432 votive candles dirt cheapt. With the time I have spent on THE KNOT, I might instead have been surfing the fun wide world of lit blogs, and learning a thing or two.

Or I could have been writing my book.

I have been writing my book for 6+ years. I began working with the central plot lines in college, carried it into two MFA programs and out again ... Then, just as I really started tooting along -- finally finished a honest-to-god start-to-finish draft, got the silly piece of paper to hang on my wall, found an agent ... I fell in love.

And now I have THIRTY-NINE DAYS TO GO.

So here's the experiment: Can you write a book, yet be young-ish and in love/battling your way through the first year of marriage? Can you write a book, even when aforementionied husband-to-be is trying to convince you to write screenplays with him? Can you write a book and still do laundry, dishes, and keep your cactus garden growing?
I ask all these things because a few months ago, a writer friend of mine sent me a story in what I think was the International Herald Tribune essentially accusing all writers at being SHITS at family life. And I thought, reading it, "Jesus Christ, that's me."