E. Lockhart’s Printz Honor Award Book, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, is not one of those I’d ordinarily pick up. What made me like this one? Click here to find out.
I do hate losing my mo. One of my favorite lines to trot out about having chosen writing as a career is that you can find inspiration in whatever you do or say. You wake up every day knowing that something is going to strike you as worthy. Everyone has something to offer you. It’s a very lucky thing, knowing that you’ve got that on your side. Inspiration’s not a problem. It’s motivation that’s the issue, motivation to get up and outside and look for inspiration. You don’t find it in a cubicle, although a good friend mentioned the other day that I am the type of person who would do better in a box, entirely closed up, if I am to really focus. Sigh.
Take today, for instance. We went to bed last night at a reasonable hour and I decided that this week was going to be the week that I get back to being physically fit. Yes, yes, I really have done nothing since Ironman. I did this jog on Monday:
and it took me FOREVER. I ran the loop six times, for a total mileage of 1.8 miles, and it took me 21 minutes. Argh. Speed isn’t really an issue–I’ve become quite pokey since I started distance training, and I’m okay with that–really, really–but what I was really struck by was how much my legs ached on Tuesday.
At any rate, I thought, OK, let’s just get back on the bandwagon, do cardio three days a week this week: Wednesday you’ll do the same loop six more times, maybe 7, do the same thing on Friday. By week two you should be working out six days a week, strength training on the days you don’t run.
Guess what? It’s Wednesday. I have not yet gone for my jog. Later, though, later.
The weekend was strange. Friday night I took Jim to Horsefeathers with Peggy, since he’d never been. We got home kind of late for my 5:15 wake-up call to get to the U.N. in time for U.N.-Rotary Day. It was a nice day representing ShelterBox, but I ran, as predicted, on all six cylinders that day and was totally wasted by the time I got home for dinner with Kate. Still, it was awesome to see her, and nicer still to have yet another friend in our home.
We didn’t take any photos with Kate (why not? why not? morons!), but I’ve been charged with a Flat Stanlina until after Thanksgiving, and she got her photo taken at the U.N.
I spent all over Sunday on the couch. Totally exhausted. It was a gorgeous day, and I read Wuthering Heights and watched the BBC film version, which was unexpectedly moving.
Anyway. So here I am, flabby and unexercised. In other news, though, I’m finally beginning to wrap my head around finishing my applications for the MFA programs I applied for (really, it’s just sending in manuscripts and essays and things), I wrote close to 3000 words yesterday for NaNoWriMo, I just found out my good friend Jody is going to be Chicago the same time I am over Thanksgiving, and I think I am *this* close to convincing my brother that he needs to come out early for Christmas so we can have some quality time before the holidays take over.
I think I might actually have most of my shopping & making-stuff (I do hate the word “crafting,” don’t you?) done, too, believe it or not. Most of it.
Here’s a gratuitous photo of the United Nations building. I’ve always loved this building. It’s due to be gutted, though, because it’s way out of honking code. Asbestos and everything.
I forgot: Flat Stanlina and I had coffee together. She ate most of my egg sandwich, the little so-and-so.
More writing now. Some exercising later. Bleh. I have a horrible hankering, by the way, to be back on Dartmoor. Wannh!
…the first three days were brilliant. But then the end of day three came, and I was a good two days ahead, and now I am actually a day and a half back. Awful.
To distract myself I will post some totally writing-unrelated photos. (I tell myself that they are writing-unrelated, but we know better: EVERYTHING is writing-related):
On Wednesday, the day the wheels fell of the bus, Sylvia and I went to Rockefeller Preserve. I thought I’d been there before, but I was wrong. I got that confused with Roosevelt State Park. (Captain of industry, President of the United States…it’s all the same.) We saw some pigs there.
It was a beautiful fall day, and people were out with their horses and things, but it was still really, really quiet. We walked by a lake.
Sprocket pooped a gazillion times. I think this is because it has been quite awhile since we went for a full-on rampage in the woods like that, even if we weren’t trail-running. He was just so excited that…never mind.
Then we had a very nice lunch at Horsefeathers. Sylwia has those photos.
I forgot, though, the day before, a grey day (and election day, I might add, without any more commentary), I went for a stroll down to the library and got distracted by the local Arts Council, which hosts cool exhibits every once in awhile. It’s in a building that used to be a bank, and they keep the vault wide open so that they can stage exhibits in there. I really like it. Here are a couple photos.
There is something very soothing about the shapes of these doors. And their materials I find to be very pretty.
While I was there, and before I ran into my friend Blake, whose Mom‘s office is in the same building, I spotted some artwork about Taiwan!
The exhibit was about global warming. I believe I will look up the artist and see if I can find the entire work of art, which is not mentioned here. Maybe I will give it to my Dad for Christmas.
Last night, which was Day Five of NanoWriMo and the third day of falling-behind, Jim brought this home:
Yes, it is an enormous bucket of RingPops. Last night was bad. I had eaten a couple handfuls of candy corn, a RingPop, and consumed two pint glasses of grape juice and a pint glass of cola. This is more sugar than I have eaten in one day in, like, years. It was awful. I was jittery and confused, and also, I wondered what Colin would say–he is on a sugar fast until Thanskgiving. What a nut. Of course, I am only jealous because Colin has accepted a position with WaterBox, a company that manufactures innovative water bottles, and there is a pub next to his new office and a ski lift right outside of it. We are not sure if Colin and his family will move. If they do, we will miss them.
For now, it’s back to Horsefeathers to meet Peggy for dinner. Jim hasn’t been, and I want him to see the beer list. Tomorrow is a full day of ShelterBoxing for me at the U.N., so I need some fuel.
My, oh my, oh my.
How time does fly. We’ve done a lot in just a short week. I’ve mentioned our friends Colin, Carli, and Lily before. We went on that incredible Fat Tire Narnia trip with them? Right, anyway, Halloween kicked off a week early for us, as we met the Trues over in Sleepy Hollow for some good graveyard fun. Honestly, it was just us, walking (okay, first driving, ‘cos we weren’t clear on the concept of an unmarked parking lot) through the graveyard, visiting the graves of people more creative, more famous, wealthier than we are. This is where I really regretted not having a camera, since there were actually some really beautiful, very moving monuments to people. But it’s OK. Through the wonder of facebook, i have poached a photo taken by Carli that shows one of our favorites:
I can’t remember who it was, but I’m going to have to just go back to the cemetery, maybe in winter, and take a few photos of my own.
There was one family that had some very good, very snarky epitaphs on their stones–one of my favorites said something about the adventure of a bargain.
Anyhow, we wandered through Sleepy Hollow for a bit, seeing with dismay that everything was closed on a Sunday, even brunch places and then we went on to Irvington and had lunch at Geordane’s, after which I promptly left my bag on a bench.
Fortunately, the people of Irvington are very nice folks and when we got home there was a message from the Irvington Police department saying that someone had found my entire bag and that I could pick it up whenever I wanted. People are good. When we returned to Irvington, we spotted this in a shop window:
I really like the plastic-eyeballs in martini-glass detail:
(That’s some innovative garnish.)
The rest of the week was spent in panicked preparation for our party, to which we were expecting 20, 25 people in our teeny tiny apartment. In the end, it all worked out OK–people hung out on the balcony and largely away from the over-lit kitchen. I tried to take some photos with my broken camera:
And then I switched to Jim’s camera, which has uber-aggressive flash and does not show the spookiness of our black-lit, scary apartment.
Really, really fun. We had a great time. I, by the way, was the only one who didn’t immediately guess what my friend Tom, who came in the LORD outfit with the FLIES pasted all over him, was. Argh. SO LAME.
I said it before, and I’ll say it again: I have awesome friends. Folks really got into the Halloween concept, and everyone seemed to either be drunk or having a good time. Snort!
And now, the view from my window lately:
In writing news, on Wednesday afternoon I hit a massive glitch in my most recent manuscript, freaked out, and sent in applications to three MFA programs. Why, yes! I am a spazz! Thank you for asking!
At any rate, the day after I’d paid all the application fees and sent away for my transcripts, I fixed the glitch and sent the novel off to my group, and then I had a ridiculously good HopBack beer and felt lighter than I’ve felt in months. I really like this manuscript, and think it has a good chance, but now I’ve got to wait a month until my critique group gets back to me with what they think.
Fortunately, it is now National Novel Writing Month. So this is what I’ll feel like for the rest of the month.
Also, I went back to the gym for the first time since Ironman. I guess that should read, “I did something with my body for the first time since Ironman,” ‘cos I haven’t been a gym rat in ages.
At any rate, it’s now gorgeous, gorgeous fall, and I can start looking forward to winter pursuits. Yay!
That’s it for now. I need to be better about keeping up this thing. I always feel better after I’ve posted. Lugging too many memories around in my very small brain can’t be good for me.