Archive for May, 2010

pressure points

May 13, 2010

i arrived early at my destination, my friend A’s poetry reading. there was a creative vibe mixed in with a certain nervousness as the readers prepared to share their words, thoughts, feelings, souls with the audience. i was the only one in rows of chairs. yes, i was that early.

i knew i’d have to wait. it was either that or try and find this classroom by myself. i’d rather wait, thank you. i knew i wouldn’t have much time, but i knew i would be alone and would have to occupy myself until the others arrived. and so with this iota of time, i pulled out my WIP and sipped from the creative juices swirling in the room.

for those 25 minutes, i said hello to my main character. i unpacked her emotions. i peeked into her motivations. i listened to her speak. i elaborated upon a scene that has the potential to be huge, but is currently only a page long. in short, i was productive.

why was it that me, who doesn’t work well under pressure, was able to come to a boil (creatively speaking) in 60 seconds flat? and continue at a roiling boil for 25 straight minutes? how do i do that day in and day out? how do YOU do that day in and day out?

i suppose it’s like this girl said (i apologize for the no linkage. i can’t remember where i came across the author interview and so what i’m about to write is not verbatim), “it’s not that i had to find free time to write, i just had to RESOLVE myself to write when i was free.”


p.s. to the poet whose words i listened to last night, you were stunning. as usual. congrats!

vantage point

May 10, 2010

i am a dandelion amongst sunflowers. read: i’m short. my family is tall.

i am a word amongst numbers. read: i’m english minded. my family is scientifically and mathematically oriented.

what is the point of these opposites? no, it’s not opposites day. no, it’s not a writing exercise. my point is that i’m used to having a different take on things than those that surround me. but what i didn’t expect is that i could have an opposite viewpoint as from myself. how’s that, you ask? well, you see, i used to be a glass half-empty kind of gal, but now i’m a full-fledged glass half-full woman.

oh yeah, hear me roar.

it’s been a work in progress for sure. it began with a podcast, an article, a conversation, a book, a realization, a DECISION. slowly, i began to notice the sunshine filtering through the trees rather than the shadows it left behind. it has taken a lot of time and required daily effort. i’ve suffered delays and setbacks, but now? it’s true, i’ve changed. (don’t fret, friends. i still laugh at the word balls. and poop. and i’ll beat you to the “that’s what she said” punch any day.)

the act of switching how you think is a gradual process and one that still ebbs and flows to this day, so as it was, i didn’t notice how complete the change was until i came across this post. granted, i came across it because i was stalking myself and my blog stats and i clicked on the post to re-read it because i couldn’t recall off the top of my head what it was about. i read the words, but all i could hear was WHINE WHINE WHINE COMPLAIN WHINE.

when i sat down to write that post, it was to comment on the loneliness and frustration of loving someone in a different time zone. sure my intentions were borne of love, but the tone? oh GAH, the tone was the opposite of warm and fuzzy. in fact, it wasn’t any better than a hypothetical 2 year old in the middle of a meltdown. and no one wants to talk to or reason with a said 2 year old.

the point of that post (and i still feel this way today) was to explain that it’s tough to cultivate long distance relationships (friendships, lovers, family) and that i was homesick for certain west coast friends. BUT if i was to write that post today, i’d focus on how lucky i am to have friends who are brave enough to move across the country. i can learn from their bravery. i’m fortunate to have friends who live in different and amazing cities because it gives me a reason to travel. i’m delighted to have a friendship that means enough to me to miss it when it’s not around. i’m blessed to have friends on the west coast because i can call them at midnight on friday and they won’t be too tired to talk. i’m grateful that cell phones and voice mail have evolved because it means i can leave a silly message for my friend and not have to worry about it being overheard. i’m happy to have friends that listen to my messages and call me back and call again if our schedules don’t overlap.

because the truth is, i love receiving updates whether they’re over voicemail, on email, over bottles of wine, via text message, in person, over coffee, on the phone, through hallmark cards, or over beers. it doesn’t matter if the update is 2 hours or 15 paragraphs or 5 minutes or 140 characters. it’s all about the connection. i choose to connect with you. and your life. and i choose to do so wearing a smile.

reading that random blip of a post from 2006 reminds me that while my beliefs and interests haven’t changed, my take on life has and you know what? i like it here. i think i’ll stay. i’ve got a glass that’s half full, won’t you join me while i swirl it around in my glass and enjoy it?

a reason to celebrate

May 5, 2010

yes, today is the 5th of may. cinco de mayo. per wikipedia:

a holiday held on May 5 that commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza SeguĂ­n.[2][3] It is celebrated primarily in the state of Puebla and in the United States.[4][5][6][7] While Cinco de Mayo sees limited significance and celebration nationwide in Mexico, the date is observed nationwide in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.

but there is another reason to cheer today. i fought my own battle and i have come out victorious.

the contenders in the ring were me and ANTISPYWARE SOFT (a dirty, vile computer virus). the battle started on sunday when a “windows security alert” popped up. OH HO. trickster. it looks like it’s scanning your computer, when in fact it’s actually disabling your antivirus software. and then mucks up everything else. on monday, i got a tip to run my laptop in safe mode. but i’m no brain. and this virus has a big one. i got knocked down and wasn’t sure i’d be able to get back into the ring. fortunately, i have a secret weapon, K. so secret, he didn’t even know it. but i tag-teamed him and he hopped into the ring and threw his considerable IT weight around. laptop is now all spiffy and shiny and working. actually working. i’m writing this very post on laptop. *weeps tears of relief*

but the real reason to celebrate here is friendship. i had to call in reinforcements (the aforementioned K), who i met my first year here in boston. he lived in my apartment building. we’ve hung out in bars and on softballs fields over the years, but of late, our time together has been very infrequent and has been relegated to the moments we run into each other on the sidewalk. (we work in the same neighborhood, so this isn’t as random as it sounds.)

and yet, he answered my SOS. and then spend 2+ hours working on my defunct laptop. and all he asked in payment was a 6 pack.

i’d like to think that having 2+ hours to spend with me is something to look forward to, but i’m no fool, he’s just a generous soul. and that reminds me to be one too. to give back to others even if you’ve had a long day. to give back to others even if you’ve had a great day. to give back to others because it recharges you. to give back to others because that’s what you believe in.

thank you, K. thank you a million times over. for saving my laptop. for reminding me that the breadth of friendship is vast and all encompassing. and for showing me how to pay it forward. OLE!