Tag Archives: writing

On Inspiration

I know.  Elizabeth Gilbert.  She wrote Eat, Pray, Love and lots of people think she is terrible.  I read that book and it was fun and it made me feel nice on the inside so whatever.  It didn’t change my life but it made me feel nice on the inside and honestly who would kick a nice-inside-feeling out of bed in this crazy, mixed-up world?  Not I.  So Elizabeth Gilbert was on RadioLab (which is a lovely radio show about science and being a human and brains and stuff) and she was talking about inspiration.  And I found it inspiring (barf)!  I did, though.  Anyway.  She imagines inspiration like the Greek muse.  Like it’s a separate thing.  It comes to you when it wants to come to you.  And you slave and sweat, working something to death, writing tons of crap all day, so that when inspiration comes it knows you deserve it because you’ve been sweating so much on all this crap you’ve been writing.  You deserve a break.  So inspiration gives you a break.

The reason I like this is because I get all worked up about writing – especially when starting a new project.  I think every new project needs to be the culmination of all the things I value and believe in.  It needs to CHANGE THE WORLD.  It needs to be my contribution to humanity.  Which, holy crap, feeling that way can really stop you before you begin.  So I have a new project floating around in my brain and I haven’t started it yet.  But I like that I can start it and it doesn’t have to be everything.  It doesn’t have to be the entirety of me as a writer and a person.  It can just be this thing that exists.  It came to me in my head and it needs me to write it because it can’t write itself.  So I’m just trying to allow it to exist.  Inspiration doesn’t mean anything if nobody’s writing it down.  I think it will free me up to not have to be a part of the things I write so much.  The things I write aren’t me, they are the things that need to be written.

In other news, I have a ten-minute play in the Boston Theatre Marathon!  It’s May 22nd at the Boston Center for the Arts.  You guys should come.  I’m really excited about it.

In other other news, I bought a neti pot today because I have had fucking congestion in my fucking face for like a week and ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.  I’ll be sure to chronicle my adventures with the neti pot.  I hope I don’t barf everywhere when I try to use it.  I bet I’ll barf.  At least it will make a good story!

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On Rejection

Me: Two reject letters in as many days.
I’m making myself feel better by curling my hair and finishing off this bottle of Makers
There was only like 2 fingers left in there

Billy: hahaha
Curling your hair sounds fun
Take a bath too maybe!

Me: ooh

Billy: with bubbles?
Have a blast
You will be so happy when you get bad letters
Like, yay whiskey bathtub time!

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The Possibilities Are Endless

Sometimes if I entertain the notion that something can be different it’s really hard for me to ignore it moving forward. “Maybe I could take a spinning class.”  “Maybe I’m not afraid of running.”  “Maybe the futon should go in the living room instead of the office.”  “Maybe I should cut off all my hair.”

Here’s a good example: when we were on our honeymoon in Italy I thought maybe I could eat red meat.  Just on vacation.  Because there aren’t really factory farms in Italy.  And Food Inc. was about America.   There are nice, happy cows and pigs in Europe.  I mean, I’m assuming this, yes. I don’t have the facts to back it up.  But we didn’t have internet in Italy so I couldn’t verify it and listen just LAY OFF ME.  Anyway, I thought to myself in Italy, “I could eat meat while I’m here.  I could do that.”  And then when I thought that once I couldn’t get it out of my head.  So I did.  I ate red meat.  Only while on vacation.  I ate prosciutto and speck and bresaola.  And it was delicious.  And I never thought I’d do it.  But I did.  This opens up doors, people.  Not meat doors.  That was strictly while on vacation, never again to be repeated (unless we join a CSA and meet the nice, happy animals that we will someday eat – circle of life and all that).  But it opens up doors to other possibilities.  Who knows what thoughts I’ll think in the coming weeks and months.  Who knows what drastic life changes I won’t be able to get out of my head.  I’m married now, I have a lot more time to think crazy thoughts.  And why not?  We’re free to do anything and everything now.  Everything and anything can change.

Also, this.

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How To Not Finish Writing That Play

Step 1: Make a to-do list with way more on it than is reasonable to complete in a single day.  Not to mention after working 8 hours and getting that damn parking sticker renewed and having Thai food for dinner.

Step 2 (this is actually kind of step zero as it existed before step 1 even): Have a mental disorder that makes it impossible for you to do anything productive while the kitchen floor, shower, and dish drying rack are dirty.  Oh and the top of the garbage can in the bathroom.  Oh fuck, now you have to clean your whole apartment.

Step 3: Make sure your fiance is out for the evening seeing some wacky Japanese band so he can’t keep you on task.

Step 4: Read a charming facebook message about a clothing swap party on Saturday that you weren’t sure you were going to.  Decide that yes, you will go.  Oh my.  Now you have to clean out your closet.

Step 5: Read Tavi’s adorable fashion blog.

Step 6: Try to buy Frye boots but they’re back-ordered (DAMNIT).

Step 7: Write in your own silly blog.

And before you know it it’s just about bed time and That Play is not finished.  I didn’t think I would finish it tonight, but I did think I’d work on it a bit.  It’s just that it’s about a dead teenager and it’s really hard to write a play about a dead teenager and have it not be terrible.  You understand.  It wants to be so terrible but I can’t let it be terrible.  It’s my cross to bear.

Speaking of crosses, I got a bit of a fresh outlook on my life on Sunday.  Went to church and the sermon was about the minister’s recent trip to Jerusalem.  So of course it’s the classic thing about how ironic it is that everybody’s fighting over there even though none of the originators/leaders of these religions would have wanted that, etc.  But he finished by talking about how we are all trying to get to our own version of Jerusalem and we get distracted along the way.  And he urged us to each find our own personal Jerusalem and try to reach it every day.  And isn’t that a nice thought?  And helpful when I find myself caught up in trying, trying, trying to make That Play be The Best Play.  The play that will make me known.  Catapult me to stardom.  I find it stressful not getting there.  But it’s a life-long journey.  How ridiculous would it be for me to have reached the end already?  Having a family and being a writer and making the world a little better is my Jerusalem (Jesus, when did I get so God-y?  Fuck.  Balls.  Strippers.  Better?)  and as long as I keep trying to get there, keep trying to be closer to where I’m going, then I’m good.

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A Bunch Of Things

I’m excited about my wedding.  But there are some danger zones.  Wedding magazines are terrible, TERRIBLE things.  They make you think that you need to do all this stupid stuff.  You don’t need to do stupid stuff, everybody.  You don’t.  I’m not throwing a bouquet.  It’s embarrassing and it feels like I’m making fun of my single friends and I hated standing there while the bride threw the bouquet when I was single so I won’t be subjecting my friends and family to that.  I’m not saving the top layer of my wedding cake to freeze and then eat later.  That’s gross.  No offense to anyone who did that or plans to do that in the future.  More power to you.  But my God, wedding magazines, they make it seem like that’s what everyone does.  I don’t want to.  Wedding magazines can suck it.

I’ve been telling lots of things to suck it lately.  Kathy Griffin must be influencing me.  She is awesome.  Me and Katie Fay saw her do stand up a couple weeks ago and she was so fun.  We would probably be besties, me and Kathy Griffin.  I think she would like me.

Had dinner and drinks and TV watching last night with Karl and Meghan and my oh my how nice it is to see friends.  We had a lovely time.  Except when this girl in my neighborhood watched me parallel park my car in front of hers and then, when I got out of the car to walk into my apartment she said “That car you parked in front of?  That’s my car.  Did you hit it?  Did you damage it?  Just tell me if you damaged it.”  And I said “No.  I am very good at parallel parking.  I didn’t touch your car.”  It was really weird and awkward and I really didn’t touch her car at all.  In fact it was a masterful parallel parking job I did and I didn’t appreciate her insinuating that I hit her car.  Who does that?  Who asks strangers these things?  I live in a tough-ish neighborhood and I guess she was probably just posturing or maybe she was tipsy and belligerent, but it really bothered me.  I didn’t grow up in a tough neighborhood.  I’m from Fairfield County.  The scariest thing in Fairfield County is… nothing.  Nothing is scary in Fairfield County.  Actually, the scariest thing in Fairfield County is cops.  They pull you over and give you speeding tickets.  They get you in trouble.  Also, my mom is a scary thing in Fairfield County.  But as far as strangers talking to you on the street, no way.  Not an issue.  Everybody keeps to themselves and nobody looks at or talks to each other because everybody is always in their car.  There’s no human interaction unless it’s planned in advance.  So maybe it’s better in my tough-ish neighborhood.  Because at least we’re all there together, acknowledging each other.

I’m reading a really interesting book right now, recommended to me by Kristian, called The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion.  I saw Away We Go a couple nights ago.  Both these things make me want to write more.  And better.  I think after this rambling blog post is done I will get to work on starting a play I’ve been meaning to start for a month or so.  It was suggested that we have a draft of a full-length play ready to hear and revise by the beginning of the fall semester and the beginning of our MFA carreers.  So I should get started on that.  And I will.  Soon.  Today.  Away We Go was so good.  I just really liked it.  I’ll see it again with somebody if they want to see it.  It made me happy and inspired.

Also, yes, I have a giant intellectual/friend crush on Dave Eggers.  Everybody knows this about me.  I adapted his stories into a play and now it’s going to be performed in New York at the Fringe and I love every book he’s written and everything he is involved with and I love his philosophy of giving things away and helping the world.  I read this article about him in a stolen issue of this magazine called Ode (I’ve never heard of it either, but I was sorting the mail the other day and I saw his name on the cover so I swiped it.  I’m not proud of myself.  Also, I gave it back after I read the article.) about why he gives money away.  And it inspired me to volunteer at 826 Boston.

BU has a farmers market on Thursdays now.  I think that’s cool.  Local food is something I can really get behind.  It just makes so much sense.  The problem is avocados.  I fucking love them and they grow in the desert.  And, as evidenced by the weather in Boston this month, this is not the desert.  So if I go hardcore with local food then I can’t eat avocados and is life really worth living if you can’t eat avocados?  No.  No, it is not.

And finally, this.

You’re welcome.

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Diablo Cody Isn’t Even A Real Name In Any Way (Ignore Her, She’s Just Jealous)

So I just read this article about these four female screenwriters in Hollywood who hang out together and are all Sex-and-the-City about it.  They’re successful and pretty and they drink a lot and isn’t it all so grand!  And I’m violently jealous.  Not that I want to live in LA (at all) or even necessarily want to write movies (though the idea is pretty appealing if I think about it) but it’s just that they are doing what they want to do and making money from it and I want that.  I am a receptionist, one rejection letter in (Yale, in case you forgot) and awaiting more, with basically no end in sight.  Not only am I jealous of “The Fempire” (barf) but I’m also jealous of anybody close to my age who has found success with a job that they enjoy (i.e. the boyfriend).  I realize I am using too many parenthesis in this post but you know what I DON’T CARE, I’M FEELING VERY PARENTHETICAL TODAY.  In summary, I would very much like to be a successful writer.  Any agents/producers/publishers out there in the blogosphere?  Helloooo?  Want to publish my shit?  Give me a call.  My phone number is JUST KIDDING!  THIS IS THE INTERNET, DO YOU THINK I’M STUPID?  I WOULD NEVER POST MY PHONE NUMBER HERE, GOSH!

Anyway, enough of that.

Down to business.

DRUNK MOVIE REVIEWS: SIX FEET UNDER EDITION

Me: I love this show.
Billy: Brenda had a miscarriage?!
Me: It’s just TV.
Billy: We’re never having sex again.

Zero stars.

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Productive Procrastination

It snowed like 10 inches or something last night so BU is closed today.  Snow day snow day woowoowoo!  I cleaned most of the house yesterday so hooray it’s a snow day and I can work on writing!  Well, after I clean.  Oh, I cleaned yesterday you say?  Well.  Actually, yesterday I swept and laundered and scrubbed but I didn’t windex the bathroom mirror or throw out all the dead herbs in Billy’s herb garden or scrub the flower pots or wash the drip tray that goes under the drying rack by the sink.  So.  Now I did that stuff.  And I’m blogging.  Instead of working on the godawful ten minute play that I have to read in class tomorrow.

Sigh.

I think I’m out of procrastinations.

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