Thursday, June 30, 2016

selling the drama

I didn't get much done today - as mentioned last night, I kind of hit the wall, and that feeling continued through most of today. It didn't help that I stayed in bed until ten, but that felt necessary. But I spent most of the day sitting on the patio (first with coffee, then with iced tea). For the majority of it, I did nothing but some desultory checking of sales rankings and social media. But then I did some brainstorming for Lucy's story (get ready for new names! I will no longer be talking about Rafe and Octavia!) while trying to move as little as possible so as not to scare the kittens who were also eager to hang out on the patio (but not eager to hang out with oh-so-threatening humans). The brainstorming went well and I might actually be excited about her story...but since I have no idea who her hero is, what he does, what his issues are, or even what his name is, it might be premature to start writing.

Eventually, though, I put everything away, took a shower, and drove into town. My parents' political party was selling food on the town square as a fundraiser - there's music on the square every Thursday during most of the summer, and different groups take turns selling food for it to raise money. I dropped my mom off, took her car home, talked briefly to Katie, and then went back into town to eat, since there would be no supper for me otherwise. They were serving smoked pork (delicious) and baked beans, and also some excellent hot dogs, and pie that I couldn't eat, but I didn't miss pie when I could have a hot dog instead.

This also allowed me to see a variety of townsfolk (the former owner of the flower shop; my old piano teacher; my friend Elaina's mom; the county attorney; the sheriff; various and sundry other people). I was likely the only person there who is on Nancy Pelosi's email distribution list, which was a comment that drew much amusement and head-shaking, but they didn't run me out of town, so I'd say it was a success.

Eventually, I came home, and I guess I lied about getting nothing done because I spent the last five hours working on website stuff. It doesn't feel like I got anything done because it's not done and that time would have been better spent taking care of other tasks, but c'est la vie. And now I need to sleep - goodnight!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

drive out of the city, away from the crowds

Happy release day to me! But I think I hit the wall this afternoon - I finished and uploaded the book a little over a week ago, and then I flew to Iowa, and I've split the last week alternating between family stuff and prepping promo stuff, and today I suddenly ran out of energy. I managed to get my newsletter sent out, which was the key task for today (fan newsletter, not friends and family newsletter - that's going to have to wait for tomorrow), but by the time I hit send on it, it was 12:30pm and I hadn't eaten anything at all, and had been working since 9am with only a cup of coffee to sustain me. Oops.

But I got some more stuff done in the afternoon, and then at four p.m. I stopped working and opened a bottle of rosé and sat on the back patio with my mom and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon. And I'm happy with how the release has done so far - it's in the top 200 overall on both B&N and iBooks, and it's cracked the top fifty historicals on Amazon, which is all pretty good. I need to keep pushing it, but this is off to a great start.

So I spent the rest of the afternoon drinking and staring at the fields and talking to my parents, and I ate supper (steak and baked potato, yum), and then I was basically falling asleep in my chair by 7:30. I've tried to stay awake until now, but I think I need to go to bed and try to get eight hours before the sun wakes me up, and then another two or three of dozing before actually getting up and getting stuff done.

Thanks to all of you who messaged me today - I appreciate it! Goodnight!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

always on the run from captain hook

I have a million things to do, but I'm going to go to bed and start cracking on them in the morning. Rafe and Octavia's book finally releases tomorrow, but people who preordered it have started receiving the content tonight, so it's fully out in the wild and ready to be read by all and sundry. This is exciting, even though it's my sixth release and so I should, at some point, get used to it. But I'd rather stay enthused and excited and happy for release days, rather than getting jaded - so I intend to work tomorrow, but I also intend to drink rosé on the patio and enjoy the sunshine.

Today, however, was not a rosé kind of day. I spent the morning talking to my mom and doing some work, and the end result was that I left half an hour later than I should have for my afternoon activities (which were entirely sibling related). My first stop was my sister's house - I only had an hour, and we didn't really talk much because her mother-in-law and friend were there for the first forty minutes I was, and then I felt bad when I had to disappear shortly after they left. However, the friend told a story about breaking both bones in her leg and then having to get over a five foot fence to go to the hospital (she broke it by going over the fence in the first place), which was gruesome and worth the price of admission.

But I had to leave because my second errand was one I couldn't be too late for - I went up to see [censored], and he wanted to introduce me to [censored] before [censored]. After we accomplished that, we checked out [censored], which makes me incredibly bitter that he only [censored] for [censored], which isn't even a decent [censored] in San Francisco. But it was a great move for him and well worth the [censored], especially since he can [censored] himself over the next few months.

Then we had [censored], where I ate my weight in [censored]. And then, after seeing [censored], he dropped me off at my car, and I drove home (an hour and twenty minutes, but I grabbed an iced coffee from the Starbucks in the Hy-Vee grocery store in [censored]'s town, so I survived), and then I did some work (mostly stalking my sales pages) while trying not to watch "Zoo" on CBS.

And now, I need to sleep so that I can promote the hell out of this book tomorrow - you can get me off to a head start by buying a copy if you feel so inclined (ebook is available everywhere; paperbacks should be available by early next week). Goodnight!

Monday, June 27, 2016

you might think i'm crazy, but all i want is you

I'm exhausted and meant to be in bed two hours ago (story of my life) - today was a decent day that ended in a raging headache, and I think sleep is the only thing that will cure me. I got up and had breakfast with the parents, and then I did a couple of online things, and then I drove to Des Moines to run a few errands and have some hermit time.

The errands involved getting some of my jewelry cleaned - my aunt has bought me several lovely things over the years from a local jeweler, and since I was home for two weeks, I thought ahead and brought most of it with me to have cleaned. I decided to go up today even though I wasn't ready to, mostly because I figured there would be time to go back if I needed to pick stuff up - but I was pleasantly surprised that they did it while I waited (including fixing a chain that had a kink in it). Of course, giving me time to browse was dangerous, and I ended up buying a gorgeous chunky ring as a present for finishing Rafe and Octavia's book - yes, so necessary.

Then I checked out Nordstrom Rack (verdict: I hate digging through remnants, although I found a purse that I liked), and then I went to Whole Foods to stock up on the foodstuffs of my San Francisco life (mostly protein powder and almond milk, since I ordered a blender that will be here tomorrow), and I also went to a wine shop to stock up on nice wines rather than the less exciting varieties that are available in my local grocery store. And I stopped at Starbucks, thus completing my temporary reimmersion into insufferable yuppie land.

After that, I drove home, and I got here in time to have supper (tenderloins and tater tots! yum!). Then I watched some tv while attempting to work, but my head started to hurt, and I should have thrown in the towel way earlier. And when I came downstairs, I also should have thrown in the towel, but the lure of the screen is strong. So I'm going to put it away and go to bed - goodnight!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

calling in the name of love

I had a quiet day in the wilderness. My first priority was trying to catch up on sleep, which sort of happened - but I went to bed so late last night that sleeping in wasn't really enough. However, I slept until after ten, and then I spent the rest of the morning drinking coffee and contemplating my to-do list.

That turned in to working on the patio for a few hours, although I abandoned it earlier than I wanted to because there were flies bothering me (and the cats were probably happy to see me go). Then, I ended up going to Lineville with my dad - I was just along for the ride, and I also wanted a Mountain Dew as desperately as I've wanted anything recently (addictions are serious, man), and I knew I could get one in Missouri (I could have also gotten one here - and fwiw, the Mountain Dews here are never close to being expired, unlike the ones I dig from the depths of coolers in San Francisco).

So the drive was nice, and the fields are still beautiful despite the gradual browning occurring as the county slips into drought. We stopped in town on the way back and saw [censored], who [censored] so well that he should teach a class on [censored]. I was impressed by [censored], and you would be too if you needed [censored].

Eventually we all had supper, and then [censored] left, and I spent the last five hours working - answering old emails, updating my website (just the stuff that needs to be updated for Wednesday - I want to redesign the whole thing and have been playing with that, but realized I didn't want to break everything before Wednesday, so that's a project that will have to launch later), and taking care of a variety of other to-dos. Yes, I'm exciting!

And now I need to sleep - I have errands to run and things to do tomorrow, so sleep is imperative. Goodnight!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

we were caught up and lost in all our vices

I haven't been getting nearly enough sleep, and I hope to rectify some of that tomorrow - and tonight, by going to bed 1-2hrs earlier than I have been. But today was worth getting out of bed for. I got up around 8:30 (too early), showered, and then spent an hour or so doing promo-type stuff before putting the laptop away so that the fun times could begin.

Today was loaded with a full day of Wampler family fun. Mark, Kathy, and Andrew (you may know him as Drewbaby) got here around 10:30, just as I was taking my coffee outside to sit on the patio. So, we hung out out there, and I heard all about Uncle Mark's recent trip to visit ancestral haunts in Highland County, VA, which sounds like my kind of place (remote, strange, with history + an urban edge thanks to tourists). At some point, Aunt Becky and Uncle Brian also showed up, and my dad retrieved my grandmother from town, and so we had a full quorum for lunch.

Lunch consisted of bratwurst and potato salad and baked beans and coleslaw, all of which were perfect. We then proceeded to hang out the rest of the afternoon; Becky and Brian eventually went back to Des Moines, and my dad took Gram back to town, and I had a few quiet moments on the back patio before Andrew, and then later most everybody else, came out and took over (which was still v. lovely, just not quite as quiet and perhaps more focused on politics than my internal monologue would have been).

We had supper (grilled chicken, etc.) and hung out some more before Mark/Kathy/Andrew left, so that was all good. And then I did a couple of hours of work/social media/procrastination, and now I need to call it a night.

But one other good non-family happened - I got my first review on Rafe and Octavia (from a reviewer whom I sent a copy to yesterday), and it was fabulous, so apparently at least one person thinks this book is worth reading. That is obviously a relief, since I spent so long hating this book (although I ended up happy with it, but that only happened in the last couple of weeks). You can read the review here - and now it's time for bed. Goodnight!

Friday, June 24, 2016

i feel summer creeping in

I probably should have gone to bed two hours ago, since I have to get up in time to shower before a day of family activities. But today was a pretty lovely one, despite waking up to my apocalyptic brexit twitter feed. I spent the morning sleeping/hanging out, and then I showered and made coffee and ate lunch and help my mom get ready for her garden club. She cut her finger while prepping some fruit, and it's clearly a good thing that I gave up on my dreams of being a doctor when I was approximately seven, since I felt a little sick when I saw the blood. Yes, I will do horribly if we actually end up in an apocalypse.

When her garden club ladies came over, I spent an hour out on the patio doing my own work before joining them for the snack portion of the afternoon. After they all left, I worked on the patio some more. Then, we went to supper in Chariton, where we met [censored], who had [censored]. The restaurant is owned by the main Iowa grocery store chain, but it's an actual restaurant concept rather than a deli, and it was surprisingly good - I had a cheeseburger with a gluten free bun, and it was super tasty. We also ran into our old high school ag instructor, who knew [censored] better than me, but I remembered the gestation period of a pig, so I guess that was impressive.

sssanyway. Then we came home, and I spent the last four hours working - I wanted to send out some emails to potential book reviewers, and I have been playing around all afternoon with redoing my website, so we'll see if I go down that road. But now I really need to sleep - goodnight!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

london calling

After many hours of working on book stuff + following the brexit news on twitter, I think I need to go to bed immediately. Today was pretty delightful despite the work and chaos, though. I slept until ten, and then I spent the morning talking to my dad about websites and graphics and other fun topics. In the early afternoon, I was going to shower and work, but then [censored] showed up unexpectedly, so I hung out in the kitchen and talked to him for quite awhile.

But eventually, I did go out onto the patio and play around with my planner and take care of some marketing activities. I stopped in time for dinner (beef stroganoff, which was yummy). But then, I had no desire to watch any fine CBS programming, so I spent a few hours formatting the Rafe and Octavia's print book. There's a chance it can come out on the same day as the ebook, although I'm cutting it close - but I managed to get it formatted and uploaded tonight, so now I have to wait for a proof copy so I can approve it before the day.

So, that task was v. necessary, but now my eyes are tired and I should give my hands a break from the keyboard. Goodnight!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

we're not reaching peaks enough

I have v. little of interest to report tonight - I woke up in SF at five a.m. (although I really woke up at 3:45, then went back to sleep and had a fairly intense Nazi nightmare, and I don't know where it came from since I only dream about Nazis when I'm stressed...maybe I subsumed all the stress into the writing the last couple of weeks and my subconscious was paying me back?). Then I showered and went to the airport, driven by a v. entertaining Cuban man, and I arrived in time to grab tea and breakfast before boarding the plane to Denver.

The first flight was both uneventful and early, so I had extra time in Denver, which I put to good use eating burrata and drinking rosé in preparation for the deprivation of all yuppie-type things while I'm in Iowa. I also did some actual work, so yay. Then I flew to Iowa, where my parents picked me up. I flew in at the wrong time of day for us to have our usual meal at our usual restaurant, which led to several disgruntled family members, but when we got home my dad grilled steak and my mom made fried potatoes, so #noregrets. Then we watched some fine CBS programming, as expected.

And now, I need to go to sleep (approximately two hours after I intended to go to sleep) - I have a ton of stuff I want to do to prep to release this book next week, and I've been running on not enough sleep for several days, so I want to rectify that sooner rather than later. Goodnight!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

with my eyes closed i see the door open wide

I am in some sort of post-book-finishing stupor, where it hasn't really sunk in yet that I'm actually done. I woke up this morning at six a.m. and knew I wasn't going to fall back asleep easily, so I messed around the apartment, got dressed, and was at Philz by eight a.m., where I worked on admin/promo stuff for three hours. I want to make this book launch a success, which means I can't just drop the mic and walk away now that the manuscript is done - I have to do all sorts of other auxiliary business-type stuff over the next few weeks. Happily, I kind of like that stuff, so it could be worse.

So I did three hours of work there, and then I came home, showered, and drove to San Mateo. I was all jittery and hyped up on caffeine, and I haven't slept enough recently, and I probably should have just stayed home and napped. But I went down to meet Anne and Barbara (and Deb, who they've replaced me with), and we had lunch and talked for quite awhile, and then I was going to do promo stuff there, but the wifi was way too slow for what I needed to work on. So I said my goodbyes to them earlier than usual, but I'm glad I went down - I won't see Anne for up to a month since I'm in Iowa for two weeks and then turn around almost immediately to go to a conference, so I'm glad I was able to make the time.

Then I came home, did some more work, took a v. brief nap, and then packed. It's unclear whether I packed the right stuff, but I can do laundry there and no one particularly cares what I look like, so whatever.

Then, I got social again - I walked down to Hayes Valley and had dinner with Lauren (aka Subz) at Jardiniere. It's possible that this was more fancy than is strictly necessary for a Tuesday night, but I loved it - we split some broccoli rabe with anchovies to start (that was way better than it may sound to some of you), and we had some cheese, and then I had the shortrib, which was delish. We ended with some sorbet, which was just the right palate cleanser. And we had a wonderful, long, meandering conversation - about books and writing, and about passions and callings, and about relationships and romance and houses and motherhood.

That was just what I needed before leaving the bay for a couple of weeks - oddly, I had dinner with her the night before I flew to Iowa last time, so maybe she's the vaccine I take to inoculate myself against the desire to move away and never come back that I always seem to have when I go to Iowa. But speaking of Iowa, I need to get up in six hours so I can shower and go to the airport and grab something to eat, and that seems way way too soon - so bed is imperative. Goodnight!

i had a one-way ticket to a place where all the demons go

So I'm kind of mostly done with this book, but it hasn't really sunk in yet (and there are a million tasks I need to complete before it launches, which probably plays into it). But I got up this morning, showered (unlike the last couple of mornings...), and then worked pretty much nonstop until three p.m. That involved a final proof of the final chapters, cleaning up some random stuff that I realized needed cleaning up, and speed-teaching myself a new epub formatting software (which made a v. beautiful epub with a pretty clean stylesheet, from what I saw when I peaked into it using my old hacker-ish software, and it built perfectly the first time when I used some other tools to validate it).

I uploaded it to Apple at 3:15pm, and then went straight to my 3:30 mani/pedi appointment. I went for Apple first because they require uploading ten business days before the preorder date, which I had already missed, but I had guessed that this was longer than was actually necessary (and I have a contact there). As it turns out, any concern about uploading too late was for naught - by the time I got home from getting my nails done, it was already processed and approved. So now I need to spend tomorrow morning making the files for the other retailers (each retailer needs their own file with their own specific formatting tweaks + back-of-book links to other books I've written, which is a moderate annoyance and major time suck) and uploading, but I'm in a good place for next week....

But since I basically worked in a nonstop haze today (I ate leftover pizza standing up, which was #winning), and then went straight to get my nails done, and then came home and changed and dashed down to the mission/castro, I really didn't have any time to think about my accomplishment. I'll do that later, I guess. Tonight was lovely, though - I went to Blackbird (one of my favorite bars in the neighborhood where I used to live with Adit) for a drink with Jen Lui. My 'give me free alcohol' face somehow worked there, but it was accidental, I think. Then we went to Mission Beach Cafe for dinner - she had the rabbit pot pie, which made me exceedingly jealous since it was my favorite thing on their menu before I stopped eating gluten. We also caught up on many work and life events, and we spent the last ten minutes trying to figure out how to use snapchat, but we're clearly too old.

Then I walked her halfway to the bart station and abandoned her on a corner, hoping that she wouldn't get stabbed on the way to the station but also having no desire to walk that much farther. Then I went back up to Market and met Katrina for a drink at Aatxe, which is not a word (although a Google search reveals that Aatxe is a "spirit in the folklore of the Basque people", which is of course something a bar in SF would be named after). I was trying to squeeze in social activities before two weeks in the wilderness of ye olde Iowa, so we had a drink and talked about weddings and books and generally had a lovely time.

Then I came home, and I fell asleep on my couch because I couldn't handle the thought of blogging. And now I need to sleep - I have a million things to do tomorrow, and several people to see, and a suitcase to pack before my trip to Iowa on Wednesday. Goodnight!

Monday, June 20, 2016

i'm still breathing

soooooo close...but I'm out of words, and I'm out of brain cells, as evidenced by the fact that I started to type this in gmail instead of blogger. I'm on the verge of being able to upload, but I can't format an epub in this condition and feel confident that it's right, and I want to take another pass through the manuscript tomorrow and check for anything I might have missed.

So I'm going to go to bed, get up early, possibly shower tomorrow (it's been awhile...) and get it done. Hopefully before 3:30, since I'm getting a mani/pedi then - would be even better to be done before 11 so I don't have to cancel my lunch plans, but that's looking a little unlikely. We shall see, we shall see. Goodnight! And happy father's day to all who celebrate (but especially to my dad, of course, because he's great).

Saturday, June 18, 2016

[random spa-like pan flutes and bird calls]

I cannot come up with a lyric, which is how out of words I am. Today was highly productive, but also fairly painful - despite working fairly aggressively all day (my tracking software says I spent 6.5hrs actively typing in my manuscript, which is a lot considering I also spent several hours on Wikipedia and the Oxford English Dictionary and other sources to verify historical facts, check word usage and whether words existed in 1813, etc.), I am really not done. Maybe I'll be done tomorrow, but my heart has doubts. But we'll see!

sssanyway. I worked all day, but I did take a much-needed break to get a very-much-needed massage. I found a place a block away from me that has a nice ambiance (despite the crackheads outside) and nice prices (possibly because of the crackheads outside - crackheads giveth and crackheads taketh away), and the massage therapist was one of the best I've had in a long time. So he worked out some of the Quasimodo issues I've been developing because of my laptop usage, and my neck and shoulders felt way better after I walked out than they have in some time.

Then I continued my bliss by walking down to Philz and getting an iced mint mojito coffee, and then coming home and ordering a gluten free pizza. But the bliss promptly died after that - I worked for the last five hours straight, which was necessary but also not exactly good for continuing my post-massage healthy feelings.

Whatever. It's almost over, and I like this book better than I thought I would, and I will like it even better when it's fucking finished and I can move on with my life. So I'm going to do everything in my power to make that happen tomorrow. Goodnight!

Friday, June 17, 2016

she grinds from monday to friday, works from friday to sunday

Another brutal slog, which you're probably getting sick of reading about. But I did have a lovely excursion today - I'm trying to make time for one non-writing thing every day despite the deadline, which seems to be good for me (who knew taking breaks was a good thing?! did anyone else know this?!). This break was a little longer than usual - I drove over to Berkeley and met John and Jess (and Ian, who seemed to have no choice in the matter) for lunch at Saul's. This was Ian's first outing to Saul's, and while he slept through the entire thing, I was happy that Auntie Wamp was part of his experience.

Of course, I had to have the corned beef hash, which is worth the drive. I also guzzled coffee in front of them, not knowing that John had somehow given up caffeine and sugar and alcohol for June, which sounds like a cry for help / slow form of suicide. But despite that, they seemed to be doing quite well - Jess is getting ready to go back to work (Ian is already ten weeks old!), and we talked about life and books and the Olympics, and it was all delightful.

After that, we ran a couple of quick errands on that block, and then I left them so I could come back before rush hour and get some work done. I'd written this morning before going to see them, even though I was still tired when I woke up, but this afternoon, my eyes kind of weren't having it. So I wrote for a little bit, and I also procrastinated for a little bit, and I also napped for a little bit. Then, I ran some errands of my own - it's clear what my priorities are, since I went to BevMo for wine, and then to the dry cleaner's to pick up the pants I had altered (which are the same style that the Duchess of Cambridge wore on her hike in Bhutan, which I had to have), and then to Philz to get some brewed coffee for immediate consumption + some ground coffee for Iowa next week.

The necessities of life thus taken care of, I came home and spent the evening working pretty diligently (with a break to eat leftover tomato soup + fresh grilled cheese). And now I should probably keep working, but I'm going to sleep; I don't think I have any words left in me at the moment, and I need to dream about how to spiffy up the ending (some of which isn't actually written yet, since I was waiting until I knew exactly how all the threads were going to come together so I wouldn't waste time writing an ending I would have to scrap). Writing is a stupid profession, so I recommend you not do it - but it's also the best profession, so #noregrets. Goodnight!

i might get your song played on the radio station

I'm totally fucking out of words tonight, to the point that I have one more sentence to write to close out a scene I added and I can't come up with the words for it. Today was highly productive, but it wasn't enough to finish the book. I'm hoping to finish this weekend (although based on what happened today, where an edit turned into writing twenty new pages from scratch), I'm starting to doubt whether that's possible. But if it is, I need to make it happen so I don't have to change anything related to my release date. That means slogging incessantly for the next three days - sounds fun, right?

But for all that I'm out of words, today was pretty good. I got up around eight, messed around, drank a smoothie, and then worked pretty solidly from 9:30ish to noon. I took a break for lunch, then wrote, then took another break to shower, then wrote, and then drove down to the Mission to get my bangs trimmed. Then I bought a dress on Valencia and wrote at Ritual, which was a delightful interlude out of the house.

When I got back, I took a couple of hours off and messed around and ordered food from Sprig. But then I worked straight from eight-ish until midnight, which is why my eyes feel like they're bleeding and my back is wrecked from writing on the couch that long rather than sitting at my table.

But this is getting super boring and I have nothing else of interest to add, so I'm going to spare my typing fingers and your reading time and go to bed. Goodnight!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

what a wicked way to treat the girl that loves you

Sleep is descending upon me and I'm going to give in and go to bed....but today was great. I spent the morning working from my couch, where I got some good stuff done before driving to the Marina and seeing my aesthetician (I must groom even when at my busiest, because I'm a lady). Then I went to Caffe Union for lunch, where I caught up with Tony and made random conversation with the guys who sat at the counter with me (who were nice, but not as great as the random guys I befriended at Nectar last week, as evidenced by the fact that the random Nectar dude and I are going to have lunch when I get back from ye olde Iowa - yay for serendipitous new friends).

Then I drove to San Bruno for a writing date with Anne and Barbara. Deborah was also there - she's this other writer who they picked up while I was gone, and she is slowly replacing me in their affections. Okay, maybe that's not true. Barbara introduced me as Sara, and then Anne told her she can call me 'wampface', which she found extremely confusing - perhaps she should not be friends with Adit like Anne and I are.

sssanyway. I probably shouldn't have gone down, since I only really got ninety minutes of work in to a 3.5hr excursion, but it was good to see them and it's important for my process, so whatever. Poppy also showed up at some point, and we took a break for snacks at some point, and it was all good. But I left at four because I didn't want to get stuck in traffic like I was the other night - and meeting in San Bruno instead of San Mateo was great for my commute, so I made it home in 35mins.

Once I got here, I sent some emails, and then I cooked rather than working - I made creamy tomato soup (super delish) and a grilled cheese sandwich (on gluten free bread with organic cheese slices, which is similar and yet not similar to the grilled cheeses of my youth). The tomato soup was easy, although it took awhile, and I used the time in my kitchen to chop up a bunch of oranges and bananas to freeze for smoothies, and to clean some stuff, etc. The soup turned out perfectly, and I have leftovers for the next couple of days, and cooking always soothes me, so that was all great.

Then I settled in to write and instead lost an hour reading about animals killing humans, as one does. But I got some more work done eventually, so I'll take what I can get. And now I should probably stay up all night and write, but I think I'll do better if I start fresh tomorrow, so that's the plan - goodnight!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

i'm so reckless when i rock my givenchy dress

I'm at that point where I'm suddenly falling asleep typing, which is very much no bueno when I'm editing the final draft of the manuscript, so I'm going to bed. Today was pretty good, all in all -- I still have a shit ton of writing to do (yes, that's an official measurement), but I was fairly productive, and fairly happy with where things are headed. So I guess that's something?

I spent the morning working from home, and right around the time I was contemplating whether to shower and what to feed myself for lunch, I got a text from Julie asking if I was around and wanting lunch. She was working from home today, so we dashed down Polk and met in the middle - we went to Miller's East Coast Delicatessen, where I had a turkey sandwich on gluten-free bread that made me much happier than whatever I might have dredged up from the back of my fridge. It was also lovely to see Julie, of course - now that I know she's occasionally nearby for lunch, I need to make this happen more often.

Then I went to Contraband and worked for a couple of hours, with some success (would have been more success if their country music playlist wasn't unexpected and intensely grating early on, but that was probably why I was able to get a table there - once the playlist mellowed out, the place filled up). Getting out of the house also gave me a chance to run errands (dry cleaning, groceries, etc). Then I came home and bailed on the friendship renewal dinner plans I was supposed to have tonight (they would have involved driving to the south bay, and probably would have taken five hours all-in, which I couldn't afford even though I really wanted to see the people involved).

After I did some laundry and ate some supper (an Amy's enchilada, because I am so glamorous when I'm on deadline), I spent the rest of the evening writing on my couch and got a couple more solid hours in. And now I need to sleep - tomorrow needs to be at least as productive as today, but I hope I can up it even more. Goodnight!

Monday, June 13, 2016

when you play me, you play yourself

Today was a decent slog in the word mines, but I need to keep amping up my focus and keep my eyes on the prize for the next few days (and then the next few years beyond that, but baby steps first). I had intended to go to Philz this morning, but I happened to check twitter (which made me glad that I broke my vow to leave my phone off this morning) and saw that Apple's WWDC was going on at an event space near there, so I decided to spare myself the possible crazy line and stay home instead.

As it turns out, I was productive at home, which was a good thing, and I enjoyed a smoothie, and some tea, and some avocado toast and scrambled eggs for lunch, so that was all worthwhile. I also took a break over lunch and watched the stuff I'd missed from the beginning of the Tonys last night - mostly the Hamilton intro + James Corden's opener, both of which were great. I thought Corden's intro was more inspiring than such openers usually are, since it was all about how a kid can dream of the theatre and potentially make it, and he's a great performer.

After my break was over, I drove down to San Mateo for a writing date with Anne and Barbara. I was supposed to have dinner plans in the south bay tonight and so had scheduled this writing date last week, but my dinner got moved to tomorrow, which I'm now on the fence about because I'm not sure I have time to drive south for the second day in a row. But I needed to see Anne and Barbara before they disavowed me - since I haven't seen them in nearly three weeks, we had a lot to catch up on, including the fact that they have now made a new writer friend who lives in San Francisco, who seems to be on the shortlist to replace me if they cut me from the program or if I move away from SF like I occasionally threaten to do. That's all mostly a joke, but clearly I need to maintain my presence with some regularity if I want to keep my seat at Starbucks.

So we caught up for a bit, and then I got some serious writing done, and we also talked about some ads stuff, all of which was useful. But by 5pm, they were ready to leave, and I decided I would rather come home than kill time down there...so I drove home, but the drive took an hour, which was unfortunate. When I got here, I ate a weird combo of leftover takeout (some teriyaki beef and some saag paneer, which do not typically go together), and I did some journalling, and I contemplated my manuscript, but I mostly just vegged/procrastinated until now.

And now I'm going to sleep and try to get up early, but we'll see how that goes. Goodnight!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

the world turned upside down

Today was quiet, hermity, and less productive than it probably should have been. I didn't get enough sleep last night, on top of not getting enough sleep the night before, so I was lethargic this morning.

But I had a call with my old friend Durand this morning - I hadn't talked to him in far too long (possibly two years), although we used to hang out fairly frequently (including a memorable trip to South Africa waaaaay back in the day). He wanted some advice on some job stuff, but it was mostly a delightful and entertaining way to spend an hour. And I seem to have effortlessly slipped into corporate-meeting mode, since my internal body clock cut the call off perfectly at exactly one hour, just like the old days.

Then I spent the afternoon considering my storylines and thinking through some stuff I'm still mulling over. I took a break to call my parents, as per usual, and I continued to talk politics for the second day in a row, which is unusual for me. Then I ran down the street to grab some snacks for the writing tasks ahead, and I ordered takeout, and I took a shower (rather late in the day for a shower), and I took care of the edits I'd been contemplating this afternoon.

I should have kept working all night, but instead I took a break to watch most of the Tonys - seeing other artists succeed is fairly inspiring, and this particular show was pretty well done. And 'Hamilton' is, obviously, a phenomenon. I'm already guaranteed tickets in SF next year (thanks to my pricey season pass to the Orpheum), but they recently announced that it's also going to be in Des Moines (what?!) during the 2017-2018 season, well before it gets to other major cities. So maybe I'll have to go see it in Iowa then, if I can get tickets.

So. Now the Tonys are over, and I really need to sleep - I must get cracking faster tomorrow than I did today. And I want to take a walk tomorrow morning and gawk at whatever happened on my block tonight - I heard a pretty major crash, but couldn't see anything from my window, and so far haven't found any news reports, but I found one person on Twitter indicate that they'd seen a car crash into a restaurant at an intersection half a block from my building, so that sounds fun! Or terrifying, take your pick. But if that's true, they cleaned it up in less than two hours (or, at least, the police are no longer blocking off traffic), so I don't know what to believe. I'll scout it out tomorrow and report back - goodnight!

imma rain, imma rain on this bitter love

Vidya ended up staying over last night, which was delightful, but I didn't get nearly enough sleep. However, this meant we were able to enjoy tea and company before she left at eight...probably not as beneficial as actual sleep, but still better than a lot of Saturday mornings.

Then I did a whole lot of nothing (other than looking a pictures of Princess Charlotte at Trooping the Colour), and then I showered, and then I walked down to the Marina to have brunch with Tom. Tom was running late, but this all worked out perfectly because I was able to grab the outdoor table (which I never get), and I also got to say hi to Tony, who seemed to be doing well. Tom and I talked writing shop for a couple of hours, and it was good to see him; I think we might try to make a more standing/long-term writing date going forward, so we'll see.

Eventually, we parted ways, and I went to Rapha (in my old 'hood) to write for a couple of hours. Then I walked down to Chestnut and ensconced myself in Starbucks, where I worked for another hour or so. And then I should have kept writing, but I went to Nectar instead - I hadn't seen Chris and Leah in awhile, so I had a glass of rosé and some company.

As it turns out, the company was excellent - I met a graphic designer (Angel) and his partner (name forgotten, but he was cool too), who is the same age as me and spent many years working for the Freemasons, which is fascinating. We had a long, meandering, unexpected conversation, covering politics and sex and a variety of other issues despite having just met each other - and Angel and I found some kindred spirits in the fact that we were heavily involved in Republican issues as teens (he started both the young republicans club and the queer issues club at his high school in California, which is kind of a sign of how much the party has changed in the last twenty years, but I digress).

So I wasn't really quite ready to leave them, but all good things must end - so I called a lyft and went to the mission for family dinner. We tried for Burma Love, but the line was unfortunate, so we went across the street to some pasta place that I really liked despite its overcrowded nature. There were seven of us, which was pretty good for an impromptu Saturday dinner - Adit was there (of course - it wouldn't be family time otherwise), as were Chandlord, Katrina, Akash, Sejal, and Raja. We vetoed doing the usual 'recap your day' round-table discussion, but the conversation was pretty sparkling despite that.

After dinner, the other women in the group parted ways, and I went with Adit, Akash, and Raja in search of another drink and more conversation. The drink was a fiasco at first due to some weird seating policies at Locanda, but we went down the street and had v. tasty margaritas while have a v. deep, wide-ranging conversation about this election cycle (which is obviously on everyone's minds).

But by midnight, I was done and v. sleepy, and my phone was dead, so I took a cab home and took a nap on the couch until now. And now I must sleep and be productive tomorrow, but I'm glad tonight happened - family time is always good for the soul. Goodnight!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

oh, my daddy said shoot

So, today was supposed to be detox, but it's 1:30am and Vidya is asleep on my couch, so you know how this story ends. I woke up this morning and spent more time than I should have vegging on the couch with a smoothie. But I eventually got quite a bit done - I did some research that I wish I would have done months ago, since I stumbled across the life story of some random spy in Spain that would have fixed about a million and one issues with this book if I'd known about it before. So now I need to decide whether to incorporate that shit, or whether I should just give up and move on with my life.

Sssanyway. I also did laundry and unpacked, so that was all worthwhile. And I probably should have written all night, but I was lured out of the house by a text from Vidya and another text from Naureen to pursue a girls' night out at Benjamin Cooper. Girls' night out was a misnomer, since there were some guys there - but of the guys, I mostly hung out with Saurang (whom I'd met once before at an epic karaoke night with Ritu/Chandlord/et al) and his friend Carl, both of whom were utterly delightful (and extremely gay, so don't get any ideas if you're following along from home). I should have written my drinks off on my taxes since I sold some books to the adoring masses, but I didn't - fame is hard.

Sssanyway again. I ended up having two drinks, which was one more than I intended (and I have some prolonged conversation with the bartender about this, since he made fun of me for doing exactly what I had said I was going to do, which was to have one drink, close my tab, and then make him run the card again for the second drink). But my drinks were their twist on a boulevardier, which meant it was ideal for sipping slowly (I can't down bourbon cocktails quite as quickly as I can some of the others). I also inadvertently struck up a conversation with some guy who was in town for a wedding, but when Saurang asked me later if I was interested in him, I pointed out that the guy already had four daughters and I didn't need to accidentally complete his basketball team for him. So I would say that Saurang might be the best or worst wingman ever, depending upon what one wants.

Sssanyway for the final time. We eventually closed out, and Vidya and I parted ways from everyone and went across the street to a diner, where she had mozzarella sticks and I had scrambled eggs and hashbrowns (my late-night dinner of champions, although it wasn't as good as Grubstake). Then we came back here with the intention of watching a movie, but while I was washing my face, she fell asleep on my couch. So now I need to decide whether to wake her up so she can take care of her face (or take a cab home), or whether to let her sleep in an incredibly uncomfortable position. But this is a decision I shall make after signing off, thus leaving you in suspense - goodnight!

Thursday, June 09, 2016

slay trick or you get eliminated

I have returned to the city of sin, and the familiar sound of sirens is lulling me to sleep. I will say that, despite all my 'the east coast is wonderful' blog posts over the past two weeks, I walked into my apartment tonight and felt visceral joy upon arrival, even though it was stuffy from two weeks of abandonment. This is the first trip I've taken in awhile where I've felt that, and lying on my couch tonight was a total delight....

But that doesn't mean I've cured my wanderlust. However, today was exactly the kind of bleak denouement that makes me happy to be home. I woke up later than I should have and earlier than I wanted to (which was also true for Terry, although she had to go to work and I just had to pack). I finally got up around nine, threw on some jeans and went across the street to get coffee at Starbucks, and then said my sad farewells to Terry. Chance are I'll see her again in a few months - I know I will be on the east coast again in November for a writing thing, if not sooner. But it will be hard to top the concert + the other things we did anytime soon.

Then I packed, showered, and scurried around, and I went to the airport a little early so I'd have time to eat before my flight. Check-in was uneventful, and I had a cobb salad rather than a cheeseburger because I'm feeling an extreme need to detox - so extreme that I didn't drink any wine at the airport or on the flight, despite the fact that I've somehow become a somewhat anxious flyer and so tend to want to take the edge off (I don't know where that feeling has come from - it's not a fear of crashing, but rather something akin to claustrophobia + lack of control, which I felt temporarily last night while trying to board the subway, since it was one of those crowd situations that could turn into a stampede, even though the chances were slim).

Of course, I regretted my need to detox when the plane was delayed for an hour because they were trying to fix one of the bathrooms, which they eventually gave up on, which meant that there was only one bathroom for all of economy during the six-hour flight. Stupid. But I slept for a couple of hours, and then I listened to 'Lemonade' all the way through, and then I wrote for a couple of hours. This wasn't a bad way to spend a flight, although I probably should have been more productive...but that's going to have to wait until tomorrow.

When I got to SF, I grabbed my bag, took a taxi home (with a v. nice driver), and then made a smoothie and curled up on the couch and caught up on royal gossip and other important things. And I got groceries delivered, so I should be able to work tomorrow without starving to death. But now, sleep is the most important thing - I'm going to have to slog pretty brutally this week to meet my deadline, so detox + sleep are vital. Goodnight!

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

imma wade, imma wave through your shallow love

Today was about as perfect of a capstone as I could ask for on this east coast trip - I'm sad to leave tomorrow, but also excited to wear some clothes that haven't been in my suitcase for the past two weeks, so it's probably time to get back to the city of sin. But Boston, Provincetown, and New York were everything I wanted, so it will be bittersweet to say goodbye.

But that's not for a few hours yet, so let's recap. My morning/midday/afternoon will be exceedingly uninteresting to you - I got up, showered, and then spent a couple of hours at Irving Farms, where I ate mediocre eggs and tasty gluten-free toast with avocado, and drank some hipster iced coffee while writing. Then, I was going to take a call with my editor from Terry's apartment, but I couldn't get the keys due to an unexpected snafu, so I went to another cafe and talked to the editor there instead. The verdict seems to be that I'm overreacting about hating this book and that it's all fixable, but we'll see.

Then, I was going to come back to Terry's, but the key situation was still a problem. So then I was going to go to Starbucks, but that didn't feel appealing - so I ended up at Cafe Tallulah, which is a French bistro that would be my Des Amis equivalent if I lived in this neighborhood. I sat at the bar to dry out (it was raining and I got exceedingly wet), and I wrote while eating some truffle fries and drinking an excellent pinot noir. My 'give me free alcohol' face must have been working today, because the server gave me a 'splash for the road', which turned into a full glass, which meant I drank more than I intended. But the work I got done there was pretty valuable, so #noregrets.

Then I finally came back to Terry's, and we talked about life and generally relaxed and drank cosmos and then ordered/ate some gluten free pizza that was really tasty. We also watched James Corden's Carpool Karaoke with the 'Hamilton' creator + some other Broadway stars, and it was totally awesome - definitely watch it.

And then we progressed to the main event - we had tickets to see Beyoncé tonight at Citi Field (the Mets stadium), and so we took the subway over. The opening act was DJ Khaled with a bunch of people whom we'd mostly never heard of because we're old (so old that I could only roll my eyes when the kid behind me was begging his friend to let him use her snapchat in exchange for $80, and she declined the offer). But he was mercifully over eventually, and then we watched some ads for Beyoncé's athletic wear clothing line, and then there were some music videos....

And then Beyoncé came out, and it was like the heavens parted and we were temporarily raptured for two hours, only to be brutally dumped back into the apocalyptic hellscape that we inhabit (okay, sorry, NYC isn't a hellscape, but SF is). Everything was incredible - from the main stage (involving a massive cube with screens on all sides, which kept rotating/opening/closing/occasionally shooting fire), to the catwalk out to the secondary stage (the catwalk had moving walkways to make the dancers appear to float sometimes; the secondary stage seemed normal until the end, when it became a shallow pool they cavorted in), to the costumes, to the dancers, and everything and anything in between.

But Beyoncé herself is an incredible artist, and there were parts of her performance that left me in awe. It helped that we had great seats and I could actually see her at various points, which was amazing (I mean, I've been closer to way more important musicians, like Gavin Rossdale, but this was pretty cool too). So Terry and I had an awesome time singing and dancing around and generally being inspired.

But all good things must end, and after she told us she could see her halos (which was nice of her to say), we left and braved the hordes of people to get on the subway back to Manhattan. We were lucky and got seats on the train, so it could have been way worse. And we made it back safely, and still in awe, and it was all great.

Now, though, I must sleep - my flight isn't early tomorrow, but I want to get some rest so that I can work on the plane without wanting to sleep the whole way. If Beyoncé can drop this surprise album and build an elaborate tour around it, I can surely write a fucking book this summer. Goodnight!

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

but the night was warm, we were bold and young

I'm nearing the end of my east coast voyage, and none too soon for my liver...I had a smoothie *and* kale today in an effort to reverse some of the trauma, which is a sign that I'm reaching the end of my body's ability to tolerate abuse. But today was pretty great, and I anticipate that tomorrow will be even better.

I spent the morning working, getting ready, and then working some more. The smoothie was procured at the juice bar next to a nearby Equinox, and its combo of almond milk, almond butter, dates, etc., was probably the healthiest thing I've eaten in at least a week. Then I went to Irving Farms, which is a small coffee chain in the city - they gave me iced coffee in a mason jar because they're so hip, and it fueled me up to get some serious writing done.

Really, I wanted to write all day, but I had to adjourn to the Times Square area for my social plan of the day. I had a late lunch and drinks with Kathia (remember her?), who took the train into the city to see me so I wouldn't have to go out to her neck of the woods. She seemed to be doing well, all things considered, and it was so great to see her. We caught up for a couple of hours over food and wine, and it was all totally lovely.

Then we walked to a wine bar and met up with her sister, and the three of us caught up some more over rosé flights (since that's how we roll). Then we walked to Grand Central, where we had another drink at a cafe (Cipriani) overlooking the main terminal, which was v. atmospheric. I really miss having Kathia in my general vicinity, and the time we spent together today wasn't enough - but it was better than nothing, and I'm glad I got to spend the time I did with her.

But by seven I really needed to go, so I parted ways with them and took a cab back to Terry's. We had cosmos in her apartment like we used to (although we only drank half of each, which was unusual), and then we had dinner at Joanne Trattoria. Fun fact: it's owned by Lady Gaga. We didn't see Lady Gaga there, but we did have a v. delicious meal - their gluten free pasta was quite good, especially with the truffle alfredo and chicken, and I was delighted with our meal. I was also delighted to spend some quality time with Terry - we haven't had a ton of time to ourselves to catch up, so we had a great conversation, and I continue to be tempted to move to NYC.

But that's a decision for a different day/week/month. We came home an hour or so ago, and she took care of her puppy, and now it's time for bed - I have most of tomorrow to myself and I intend to get as much work done as possible before our social activities begin again. Goodnight!

Monday, June 06, 2016

we would only hold on to let go

While Provincetown was lovely and idyllic, New York is the place that always whispers to me with enchanting dreams of moving here. Of course, it helped that today was pretty much the perfect day in the city - San Francisco's crackheads and face-stabbers have a hard time competing with lovely weather and fancy evenings out (although, I guess when I put it that way, I have a lot of lovely weather and fancy evenings out in SF).

But I digress. I got out of bed around when Terry was getting ready to leave for work (9am-ish, although she'd gone to the gym at six and I had stayed asleep like the lazy bitch I am). I made it out the door by eleven, and I took the subway down to the Meatpacking district, which is approximately where my old NYC office was - the memories were slightly bittersweet, but they were mostly bittersweet when I was walking by the fancy places where I used to be able to expense meals/drinks/rooms, and not because I actually missed anything about my job.

I worked for an hour or so at a coffee shop that has reached peak hipster - they had twenty or so coffees available, which makes it like Philz. But unlike Philz, they have a bunch of pneumatic pipes, and when you order a coffee, they pull the exact amount of beans necessary to make your cup, grind them (all without leaving the pipe system), and make your coffee. Yes, it was precious. But the coffee was nice and it was a great place to get some work done, so #noregrets.

Eventually, though, I stopped working and met my friend Maya for lunch + writing at Cafe Minerva. She's approximately my age and also writes historical romance, and we always have a great time together, so our afternoon was perfect. We caught up over an extended lunch, but we forced ourselves to be diligent and work (we're both in edit-mode for various projects and couldn't take the whole afternoon off despite our desire to talk). Then we had more caffeine at another cafe with outdoor seating, where I was v. productive and felt good about what I was doing (although there's still miles to go before the book is done done).

But her battery finally died, and I was ready for a break, so we spent thirty minutes walking down the High Line and talking about life. Then we went to Dos Caminos, which does a respectable job with Mexican food in NYC. Terry met us there, and we secured coveted seats on their outdoor patio (which was gorgeous - it was supposed to be miserably hot today, but instead it was perfectly hot). So I had three margaritas, and we ate our weight in chips and guacamole, and we split some tacos, and it was generally tremendously wonderful while also tremendously uncomfortable (but my dress was loose enough to accommodate my weight in chips, so #noregrets again).

When we adjourned from there after a couple of hours of good clean fun + talk of puppies (multiple kinds of puppies), Terry kidnapped me and took me to another bar, where we met up with Colby and Nisha, who are her friends from business school. Terry works with Colby and so sees him every day, but Nisha was visiting from SF, which is why they'd gotten together. I don't know either of them all that well, but it was a v. entertaining way to spend a couple of hours (even if I ordered rosé and I'm pretty sure they used the interior darkness as an excuse to give me chardonnay instead).

Then we came back to Terry's apartment, and she hooked me on the first two episodes of "UnREAL" (a fictional show about producing a reality show similar to 'The Bachelor'), which were pretty good (and which I would binge watch now, but I know I need to work on my book instead). And now I'm going to sleep - I have social plans in the afternoon, which means I must write in the morning. Goodnight!

Sunday, June 05, 2016

i don't need no dollar bills to have fun tonight

After taking a series of public and private conveyances, I have arrived in New York City (which is not the home of Pace Picante Sauce, as you should know). This morning started off in the misty fog of Provincetown, where I showered and got a cab to the pier. The cab situation in Provincetown seems like kind of a racket - Uber and Lyft seem to be almost nonexistent. I called the cab company yesterday to book today's cab, since I knew I wouldn't be able to hail one, and it showed up on time - but it had two other people in it, one of whom was going to the ferry and one of whom was going to a pizza place. So it was almost more like a shuttle than a cab - and it cost me $8 for a four minute, <1mi -="" ancestor="" at="" but="" cabs="" didn="" exist="" guess="" had="" have="" hey="" i="" if="" it="" least="" mayflower="" me="" much="" my="" p="" probably="" ride="" so="" stuff="" t="" there.="" walked="" way="" which="" with="" worse="" would="">
So I got to the ferry and stood in line for half an hour, but I was glad I got there early - the ferry was sold out, and there were a bunch of people on standby because the Provincetown airport (serviced only by tiny planes) was closed because of the fog and so the plane passengers were trying to get on the boat instead. But because I was in line early, I was able to get an inside seat facing directly through the forward window, so I didn't get seasick (and didn't have to sit up in the open air and get rained on, which was my alternative).

The ferry was uneventful, and I took an uber to the train station, which took <10mins .="" a="" and="" ate="" before="" beings="" boarding="" bring="" by="" couldn="" from="" grabbed="" grew="" his="" human="" i="" into="" irate="" lunch="" manager="" mcdonald="" my="" nyc.="" p="" restaurant="" s="" salad="" some="" somewhat="" starbucks="" subpar="" surrounded="" t="" tea="" the="" them="" there="" they="" to="" told="" train="" when="" while="" who="">
The train ride was even more uneventful and completely on time. I made good use of my four hours on board and got some solid work done on the manuscript (mostly inputting changes recommended by my editor, of which there were not a ton, and sending her an email with clarifying questions).

I lied, though - some of the time I spent on the train was researching the last few cruises to St. Helena before St. Helena finally gets an airport. You do not care about this, but St. Helena is where Napoleon was exiled (for the second time) and died, and it vies with Easter Island for most remote island in the world. The last sailings were supposed to be right now, but I read this morning that the airport is dealing with a bunch of wind shear issues that are preventing them from starting passenger air service (lol wtf), and so the ship that services St. Helena (from Cape Town, five days away) is going to keep going at least through fall. And this, of course, got me thinking about travel and going to another place at the end of the world....so I sent an email to the boat operator asking for more info. This will most likely not happen, but if it does, I might celebrate my 35th birthday with whichever other crazy strangers are on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic sailing to nowhere, which seems about as appropriate as any other choices I've made in life.

sssanyway. I got into Penn Station a little before six, and then abandoned the disastrous taxi line and took an uber to Terry's. I got mildly soaked in the five steps from the taxi to her door since the skies opened up when I was in the car, but it was all good. Terry is in fine form - she has a puppy (Scout) who is quite adorable despite his foot fetish (I know my feet are adorable, but really, they don't need to be licked alllll the time). And we went almost immediately to dinner at Ribbon, chosen mostly because the food is great and it was v. nearby in case the rain came back (it didn't). I had some tasty short ribs with polenta, and she had quinoa (nothing changes), and we both had wine (again, nothing changes). And we caught up on a wide variety of topics - we still have more to discuss, I'm sure, but it was a great start.

Then we came back to her place and she wanted to watch tonight's 'Game of Thrones'. I watched with her even though I've seen none of it, but she stopped halfway in because she was falling asleep, and so I didn't get any spoilers beyond what I usually see on Twitter. I really do need to watch the whole thing at some point - maybe that's a good project to take on my boat ride to St. Helena!

And now I need to sleep - I have a ton of writing to do this week, and also a ton of socializing, and I'm planning to do both tomorrow, which means tonight must end at once. Goodnight!

Saturday, June 04, 2016

i will run away if you call my name

It's my last night in Provincetown. In some ways, this is tragic; I'm not ready to be done (and also not done with my book). In other ways, this is perfectly timed, since I probably shouldn't be a hermit for too much longer. But if you want to be a hermit, but not *too* much of a hermit, Provincetown is the right place to do it. It was super easy to strike up conversations and feel like I could have made bona fide friends here, which is not true of Carmel, for example (Carmel is way too sleepy and wasp-y and octogenarian compared to here).

But it's probably time to move on. I spent the morning puttering around and taking care of business, and then I had breakfast at Cafe Heaven, which multiple people had recommended to me - my omelette was delicious, and their home fries were decent (although they call them heaven fries, which I realize is related to their name, but it's a bit of overselling). Then I went to a cafe and worked for a few hours. I read through my editor's notes on Rafe and Octavia's story, and her verdict was that there's not a lot to fix...but I'm not sure I feel the same. So now I'm trying to decide what is a result of my own impossible standards and what is actually real, and then I'll go from there. I'll sleep on it, but I have a long train ride tomorrow to focus on this and start making progress on the final edits, so hopefully that's productive.

After I finished at the cafe, I came back to my airbnb and called my parents - we never talk on Saturdays, but since I'll be on a train tomorrow, I decided to do it today. They were in pretty good form; my mom was feeling well, and my dad was taking care of business, and [censored] talked to me mostly to rub in the fact that he was eating [censored], and they have four new kittens, and they have one recently-dead skunk (this is a good thing, since the skunk had been living in the garden), so it sounds like #smalltownlife is good right now.

Then, I should have worked, but I decided to avail myself of the last possible opportunity to climb the Pilgrim Monument and see the Provincetown Museum - it was 5:30 when I got off the phone, and it closed at seven, so I hustled over there and up the tower. The tower was pretty cool - it's 252 feet tall, so the view of Cape Cod was stellar (for the first time this week - I think this was the first really sunny day in three or four days, so I'm glad I picked this afternoon to do it). The museum was pretty small (smaller than the museum in my home town, which is kind of bizarre), but all in all, it was a good way to spend an hour.

After that, I dropped some stuff off at my place (I bought a book on the pilgrims, because that's how I roll), and then I had dinner at the Mews. It has gorgeous waterfront views, although I spent my time at the bar, where I had some delicious cabernet and an even more delicious lobster risotto while I scribbled in my journal and generally continued to look like the eccentric young artist that I usually look like in these situations. Or maybe I look like a serial killer, idk.

Eventually, I had to abandon the comfy confines of the bar and come back to my airbnb, where I packed and tidied up, etc. And now I need to sleep - my ferry back to Boston will come all too soon, and then I am taking a train to NYC, where my adventures shall continue in a different vein for a few more days. Goodnight!

Friday, June 03, 2016

i am full of wonder

At the moment, I am feeling like I never want to go back to California again, and would rather scamper off to the ends of the earth and find new stories and fresh adventures. However, you should take solace in the fact that a) I've had a cocktail and three glasses of wine and steak and lots of stories, so I'm high on life, and b) my passport is in California, thus acting as a ball and chain to my daydreams. So I will be on my flight to San Francisco on Thursday, surly but committed to the California life for the foreseeable future (aka two weeks, since I go to Iowa on the 22nd).

sssanyway. Today, as you may have guessed, was close to perfection. I slept too late, but I rallied and spent the morning doing business-type stuff, since I have some promotional activities coming up that I needed to prep for. I did that while drinking coffee and sitting at my little kitchen table, and it was all quite delightful (even when I got a warning for a tsunami in San Francisco, which turned out to be an erroneous text message, but made for a confusing couple of minutes). Then I showered and ventured outside, where I ran into my airbnb host (quite fortuitously - a) because I enjoyed talking to him, and b) because it turned into him doing my laundry for me, which means I shall roll into NYC so fresh and so clean). And then I grabbed a gluten free sandwich at a cafe down the street before venturing back to my hideaway...

...and once I got here, I pretended to be a denizen of corporate America for a couple of hours. One of the women who used to report to me wanted some advice on a job opportunity, so we talked for an hour. Then, my old boss (the little boss) wanted some advice on a conference, so we talked for thirty minutes. "Lol" is all I have to say to that.

Then I went to a cafe and worked for a couple of hours, quite successfully. And then I dropped my laptop off at my airbnb and went to Strangers and Saints for a drink, which turned into two drinks (one of which was the Wampanoag gimlet, which is the only other word besides 'swamp' that is pronounced like 'wamp' should be pronounce, although it's Native American) and also some shrimp and some oysters since it was happy hour and I was feeling peckish. The bartender (Rob) remembered me from last time (all of four nights ago), so we had a delightful conversation since the bar was still pretty quiet then.

But I had to adjourn early for my evening activity - there was an author talk at a really cool renovated barn space (not a round barn, alas), which involved Geraldine Brooks and Amy Bloom, and I'd bought the ticket on a whim yesterday when I saw the flyer in town. It was a delightful way to spend a couple of hours - Geraldine Brooks wrote 'Year of Wonders', which was about a plague village in England in the 1600s, and which I read for a continuing studies class several years ago (it was one of my fave historical fiction books in recent memory). She also won a Pulitzer for one of her other works. And I haven't read Amy Bloom, but she was an amazing speaker, and she's working on a novel about Eleanor Roosevelt and her relationship with a female journalist, which sounds like it's going to be a super interesting read.

Their conversation was inspiring - it's usually great to hear other writers talk, but these writers in particular had a certain level of presence and wisdom and wit that was quite wonderful to behold. Of course, this left me feeling like I need to be writing millions of stories, most of which aren't romance (which is probably why I'm feeling like I should run away to the ends of the earth).

After that, I came back to my place for a little bit, and then tried to go out for a proper dinner but was surprised to find that the restaurant I intended to go to had stopped serving food by 9:30pm (even more surprised because several art galleries were still open). So I ended up back at Strangers and Saints because I was too hungry to walk farther into town, and I had a steak and two glasses of wine and some ice cream while scribbling in my journal for a couple of hours and listening to the guys next to me talk about poppers and how much they would enjoy being in the navy (this all sounds like a stereotype but I swear it's true). And now I need to sleep - I only have one more full day here, and I got my edits back from my editor tonight but haven't read them yet, so I need sleep and a clear head to tackle tomorrow. Goodnight!

Thursday, June 02, 2016

if you like making love at midnight in the dunes of the cape

Today was slightly less stellar than yesterday, if only because I slept too late (I blame Ritu, who had nothing to do with it beyond our weekend shenanigans, which ended three days ago), and so didn't get enough work done. But I have a tentative game plan and I'm going to be more focused tomorrow, I swear.

However, I threw it all aside by 5pm so that I could pursue other activities. First I met up for a v. quick, rather rushed dinner with the writer I met yesterday - we went back to the same place for the fixed price dinner special that they had tonight, which was delicious (the polenta with bolognese to start was excellent, and the short ribs were to die for). But I only had an hour, which wasn't really quite enough time - but it was enough time to have a nice conversation and eat some tasty food, so #noregrets.

But I had to leave at six to go to my evening plans - I'd booked a sunset tour of the dunes, which was gorgeous other than the fact that it was way too cloudy to see a sunset. But the dunes out here are incredible - it's such a different landscape, and entirely remote/empty. The tour company is the only group allowed to drive through that section (except for the park rangers and a specific charity), and the driving is rough going - they have to let almost all the air out of their tires (down to 8 or 9 psi) to make it over the dunes, then air them all up again before driving back into town.

Despite the lack of sunset, the tour was still really awesome - the waves were crashing in at high tide, and there were a whole bunch of seals hanging out and eating fish in the waves just a few dozen yards from shore. What's really strange and bizarre is that there are a couple of dozen beach shacks out there that were previously private property but are now owned by the government and rented out to writers and artists - which sounds delightful, except for the fact that they have no electricity and no running water (although they each have an outhouse and a hand pump that you can get cold water from). I like solitude, but that might be a wee bit too much solitude even for me.

So I'm glad I went out to the dunes, even though it derailed my evening progress. When we got back to town, I came back to my airbnb, and I spent the rest of the night dealing with administrative stuff - mostly planning for all the other trips I have coming up (lol). And now I'm going to go to bed so I can write more aggressively tomorrow - I also have interesting plans tomorrow night, which I shall leave you in suspense for (hint: it's a talk in town that I bought a ticket for, which means I'm unlikely to get stuck out in the sand dunes). Goodnight!

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

there are giants out there in the canyons

I am thoroughly in love with Provincetown.

The blog post could probably end there, but then there would be complaints, and I am not feeling like dealing with complaints at the moment - everything is too idyllic. So I'll recap my day...I slept in, showered, and then had breakfast at the same place I ate yesterday. I know it's too soon to repeat, but I was starving, and it's close by, and I knew it had exactly what I wanted (organic eggs and tater tots, along with coffee and gluten free toast). Also, the server I had today told me that she has a variant of celiac that manifests solely as a skin condition rather than a digestive condition...which was interesting to me, because I tested negative for celiac based on the endoscopy into my digestive system, but am always itchy and eventually develop hives if I have any gluten. So that was a great octogenarian-type conversation with which to start my day!

Then, I spent the afternoon strolling around + working. I had some extremely key realizations about Rafe that I wish I would have had six months ago - I've had a lot of trouble pinning down his character, which matters less at the end, but is crucial in the beginning when you're trying to establish motivation and get readers to care about following the character through the rest of the book. I accomplished all of that while scribbling in my journal, first at the local library (gorgeous - three stories, with a schooner in the middle of it), and then at a waterfront bar with a glass (or tumbler) of rosé.

But eventually I came home and took a break. Then I went out for an early dinner, which turned into 3+ hours of dinner. I went to Front Street, which is an old-school-feeling Italian place, dimly lit and partially submerged, and I sat the bar and wrote for an hour. But eventually I fell into conversation with the woman near me, and it turns out she writes erotica, so we got real real deep into publishing conversation.

Of course, I never meet normal strangers; she spent the winter in Provincetown (which only ~2000 people do, even though the summer population can get up to 65,000) because her now-ex-husband had been going to Amsterdam and sleeping with an eastern european prostitute whose boyfriend threatened to kill him and her and their dog, and the husband broke up with her and told her to leave Europe without actually telling her about the death threats until much later. Whoa. It's almost romantic to get a divorce because of a prostitute's boyfriend's death threats, right?

sssanyway. She wouldn't tell me exactly what she writes, even though she has a blog, because she didn't want me to be scandalized. I wanted to pat her on the head and tell her about all the porn I've seen for all the jobs I've held, but I refrained. But we talked about writing and publishing and life, and I had several glasses of wine and some burrata and some delish gluten free pasta, and it was all wonderful. I may meet her tomorrow for another drink + extreme early bird dinner there (the hostess gave me her card and told me to all ahead and she'll save me a seat at the bar)...but I have other plans tomorrow night (which I shall leave you in suspense for), so we'll see if the timing works out.

So that was all totally fun and ridiculous, and I left feeling mildly tipsy and majorly happy with the world. And now I'm going to go to bed earlier than I have on any night while on the east coast, and attempt to get up tomorrow and be productive throughout the day before my evening derails me. Goodnight!