Sunday, June 29, 2014

drop past the color come up through the summer rain

Thorington and I had a v. long, v. productive day together. I'm still nowhere near done, since I keep adding pages to the beginning rather than the end, but I feel good about the progress I'm making. I woke up around 7:30 or 8, took care of some tings online, made tea and wrote in bed for awhile, and eventually was hungry enough that I had to pause to eat something. Then I dragged myself and my broken toe down to Rapha, where I wrote for a couple of hours over an iced latte.

At that point my toe was hurting, since I made the mistake of wearing tennis shoes instead of flipflops (apparently I still can't wear close-toed shoes, but walking ten blocks in flipflops is a fool's errand for my shins). So I didn't go to the gym as I had considered, and instead came home and ate leftover steak + fresh eggs (almost like going to the gym, right?). Then I messed around in my room, got dressed, put on some nice makeup (who am I kidding, all my makeup is nice), and talked to my parents for quite some time. They were in good form and are good about letting me bitch about things I can't control, so that was soothing. Then I packed up and walked over to Nectar - again, I should not walk that far, even though I'm getting stir-crazy from only walking a couple of blocks at a time. But I wrote for another hour while drinking some champagne and saying hi to the owner, so that was great.

Then I cheated on him by going to another wine bar two blocks away to have dinner with Terry and Lauren (aka Subz). I hadn't seen Lauren in a couple of weeks, but she was in fine form, as per usual. And we had a delicious halibut, and I cut myself off after a second glass of champagne so that I could write when I got home. I mostly succeeded for the last thirty minutes, but I suddenly feel like I have to go to bed immediately or I will want to die in the morning. So wish me luck on not dying - goodnight!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

under the bridge

I wrote all day and most of this evening, so I'm out of words and going to bed - goodnight!

Friday, June 27, 2014

i want your love and i want your revenge

Today was quieter and more relaxing than any other day this week, and yet I'm as tired as if I'd slogged the whole time. I was quite busy with day job stuff until fourish, but I took a break to have restorative huevos rancheros in the morning, and I stopped working early so I could put my personal affairs in order before tomorrow's writing marathon.

But the real wonderfulness was that I got a very long, utterly perfect facial with Amanda, whom I adore. It was super relaxing, great for my skin, and also fun since I love talking to her. Then I bought dinner and groceries, came home, ate, and am now going to go to bed so that I can engage in a brutal slog tomorrow. Goodnight!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

could have been a princess, you'd be a king

This week has totally wrecked me. It all culminated today when I got up after not enough sleep, trained with Alyssa (we continue to try to spare the toe), showered, watched the second half of the USA/Germany game (I believe!) (also Alyssa would not approve of me following a workout with champagne instead of water), and had lunch with Alaska Matt. Then I gave a presentation, which went exactly as I expected (mostly lol with a dollop of wtf). Then I worked until 6:45, drove home, and completely crashed.

But I'm going to go to bed and sleep for nine hours and work from home tomorrow, so everything is looking up. Goodnight!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

smack my bitch up

Going out last night totally wrecked me this morning - luckily I was able to sleep until eight, but because I slept until eight and didn't get up and work like I needed to, my time in the office was a long, painful series of ambushes, interspersed with the work I actually needed to get done (prepping for a preso I'm giving tomorrow). But I persevered, and my reward was that I went to wine wednesday and drank some v. delicious pinot and ate some v. delicious cheese. We were quite efficient in our wine consumption; the pours were small and the line was v. long, so we got a glass, stood in line for another glass, and then stood in line for a third glass before sitting down and hanging out. I also had dinner on campus, which I never do, but it was v. fun to relax and hang out and generally take a break, even if I usually prefer for my hanging out to happen someone other than the office.

Thus properly relaxed, I drove home, prepped everything for tomorrow, and worked for the last hour and a half. And now I am desperate for sleep so that I can be on for my activities tomorrow - goodnight!

choose your own endless conversation

I should have been in bed three hours ago because I am old, but instead I went out and frolicked like a young person - and I have no regrets, although I may have some in the morning. I woke up at six-ish this morning, wrote for an hour and a half, took two hours of meetings from home, went to the gym, trained with Alyssa (we are still trying to avoid my broken toe, but the workout was mostly successful), and then went to the office and slogged excessively for the rest of the day. But I peaced out at 5:30 and met up with Joann and Jane for a friendship renewal; Tolu wasn't there as he has spawned progeny recently, but Joann, Jane and I had a v. delightful catch-up.

By the time I got home, it was almost nine, and while the sun had just barely set, I would not have usually considered going out again. But Claude was in town, and so I dragged Terry over to my old neighborhood to have a drink at Blackbird with Claudia and Adit (some people call him the cat). Sadly, Claude slept through my texts and so was almost ninety minutes late, at which point Terry was ready to die. So we hung out for a little bit, Terry left, Adit and I stared at each other and at Claudia in stupefied exhaustion, and then we were on the verge of going home...when Adit decided it was time to 'activate'. So we had another round of drinks, and ended up having a seriously delightful (or delightfully serious) conversation about the meaning of life. Yes, we went there.

But now Claude is back in her hotel and preparing to fly to the east coast, and I must sleep before I make tomorrow any worse for myself. Needless to say, a six a.m. wake-up for writing is not going to happen. Goodnight!

Monday, June 23, 2014

she knows if you've been bad or good

Today was a lot of brutality that ended on a high note. I had to slog nonstop from eight-thirty to four-thirty, and since I didn't get a lunch break, I felt justified in leaving campus at five (actually, I always feel justified leaving at five). I drove to the evil city, parked, ran an errand at sephora, and then met up with Claudia - she's in town for an interview, and I sincerely hope she does well so that she can move back here so that I can have a friend again.

Sssanyway, we talked for half an hour, then met Chandlord, Adit, and Priyanka at a Thai place near Union Square. It's in a hotel, which was super confusing, but the food was delightful even if I should have chosen a different adventure. Claude and I left the vegetarians to their own devices and shared a green curry with rabbit and some sort of rice noodle with pork belly/pork/egg, and both dishes were great. And my cocktail had a small plastic monkey hanging off the side, so that was a nice touch.

But all good things must end, so we parted ways, and now I must sleep if I'm to write and slog tomorrow. Goodnight!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

no sugar tonight either

I'm deep in the throes of Thorington, which makes the prospect of going to work tomorrow vastly unappealing - particularly since I have meetings straight from nine to four-thirty with only a bit of a break sprinkled in there (and certainly not around lunchtime). But today was good, if hermity; I worked in bed all morning, ate some leftover steak, worked in bed some more, took a shower, watched most of the USA/Portugal game (stupid), talked to the parents (smart, pretty, and funny), put gas in my car, bought coffee, and tried to write in bed again all night. But I'm too tired to keep going, and watching Beyonce videos isn't enough to wake me up, so I think I should go to bed and try to write in the morning before work. Goodnight!

no sugar tonight

No blog tonight - I need a night off from recounting my productivity (or lack thereof). Goodnight!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

the drop dead dream, the chosen one

I slogged excessively today, if I do say so myself. I woke up around 7:15 (not bad), showered (didn't break another toe, so that's progress), drove to Mountain View (bad), and worked v. diligently all day (sad). But I left early and met up with Anne in San Bruno for a writing date - this turned out to be key, since I was v. productive and also saw her, which was super fun. She's friends with Adit, or rather her husband was one of Adit's coworkers, but don't let that put you off.

Sadly, I had to throw in the towel and drive the rest of the way into the city (v. bad). Once here, I ate an apple, stared at the wall like a fucking zombie, took a twenty-minute nap, put on some tights, rearranged my stupid broken toe boot thing (someone at work, after watching me take four ibuprofen and rewrap my toe, asked how my toe was and I said, v. shortly, 'it hurts'; my momentary break in stoicism should tell you something about how I'm feeling about the whole thing), and went down the street to have dinner with my new marketing person. I had made a reservation at my fave French bistro, and I think it was impressive to the marketing person that I got a perfect table and that all the waitstaff said hi to me (and that the waiter gave me an extra glass of wine) - but mostly I was there because I love the food and they're never going to kick me out even when I pull out my laptop. So we sat there for three hours and plotted world domination, which is my favorite subject.

But now I must sleep so that I can write tomorrow, since finishing this book is a critical first step toward domination. Goodnight!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

watch it burn as i touch your face

I failed to get enough sleep last night, and so that made hobbling around today feel a bit more annoying than it was yesterday. But I made it to the glorious south bay in time to train with Alyssa, and then I slogged at the office until fiveish. I also took a break to have a v. long overdue lunch with Regina, whom I hadn't seen in ages; we reminisced about India over an appropriately Indian lunch, so that was great.

But by five I was done, so I met up with Heather (aka dear respected madam) and we gossiped and caught up in a conference room for almost two hours. It was great to see her, since I was long overdue for a hangout session with her. But we parted ways at seven, and I drove back to the evil city, where I should have worked but instead had dinner with Terry at my favorite French place. We hadn't caught up properly since before I went to NYC, so this was overdue. And now I must sleep so that I can get stuff done tomorrow - goodnight!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

the broken places

Toe is still broken. Stoicism remains strong, although I was a little whiny about the whole thing today. But Terry correctly pointed out that if I lost a leg I would probably put the tourniquet on myself, take an Uber to the hospital, and try to write a page and a half while waiting for surgery, so I suppose the fact that I'm continuing to walk around like it ain't no thang is probably shocking to none of you.

My day was mostly a mad dash to accomplish everything - I woke up later than planned but earlier than desired and did some day job work before driving all the way down to the nether reaches of the south bay to see my dentist. They pronounced my teeth perfect, so I guess this flossing situation is working for me. Then I went to the office, slogged excessively (mostly dealing with interpersonal bullshit and making order out of chaos, which are two of my most/least favorite things depending on the day and my mood), and left a little before six to brave the traffic home. Once I got here, I spent twenty minutes talking to Terry (even my social interactions were rushed today), then an hour talking to my new marketing employee (for my writing business, not my dayjob business), who is going to help me make millions of dollars purveying sexytimes to readers. Winning the lottery or finding a legitimate Nigerian prince might be easier, but this is the row I've chosen to hoe, so I'm going to hoe the fuck out of it.

And then I ate a frozen enchilada (my life, the glamour of it), worked on day job stuff for the last hour, and now much go to bed immediately if I have any hope of surviving the dawn. Goodnight!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

leave all your love and your loving behind

I should go to bed immediately if I have any hope of getting up and getting work done tomorrow. Today was mostly okay; I slept until 7:30, wrote for an hour, took a couple of meetings from home, and then drove down to Palo Alto to train with Alyssa. We had to modify my workout substantially to accommodate my sad, broken toe, but it was good to see her for the first time in three weeks. Then I showered, went into the office, and slogged until almost six.

I had planned to continue to slog late into the night, but I was lured out to have dinner in the evil city with Chandlord, whom I hadn't seen in weeks/months - and that was way preferable to working or answering email. We ate at an Afghani place near her apartment, and it was great to see her. I got home around 9:40, and I spent the last forty minutes flossing in preparation for my dentist appointment tomorrow (j/k, I flossed for thirty seconds and spend the other 39.5mins reading twitter and tumblr). And now I must sleep - goodnight!

i'm not gonna write you a love song

No blog tonight since my internet is too slow for it and I'm too tired to toe anyway. I didn't get as much done today as I would have liked - I woke up later than planned due to my late night, wrote a page and a half (better than nothing), did a meeting, and drove into work. Once there, multiple coworkers ordered me to see a doctor about my toe, which goes against all my stoic I instincts - but it was hurting and did look pretty wretched, so I rescheduled some meetings and went to urgent care.

And as I suspected, since this wasn't my first time at the broken toe rodeo, the doctor took one look at it, said "it's broken - I bet that hurts", and said there was no reason to xray it. I agreed, but I made him give me (or likely bill me an astronomical amount for) a shoe/boot thing since I can't wear flip-flops every day for two weeks without seriously messing up my feet.

Then I went back to "work", which today meant watching the USA vs Ghana game. Then I went to Shedletsky's for dinner. And now I am desperate to sleep - goodnight!

Monday, June 16, 2014

i'm a little drunk and i need you now

Today was awesome, but I have to go to bed immediately if I'm going to survive tomorrow. I woke up around 6:30, made some tea (or, rather, poured some tea out of my fancy automatic teamaker - that thing was more than worth the pricetag since I've used it daily for almost four years), and wrote for most of the morning. It was slow going since I was editing yesterday's stuff, but I think I added three or four pages in addition to cleaning up what I had, so that was great.

But I eventually had to throw in the towel so I could shower, nap, and go down to the glorious south bay for a concert. I left here early to beat potential traffic, and I spent some quality time in the parking lot at work talking to my parents (happy father's day, dad!). Then I rendezvoused with a work friend, who had somehow scored free VIP tickets with backstage access to the Lady Antebellum concert at Shoreline. I realize that this opportunity was mostly wasted on me, since I don't care for country music in general (thanks to some almost-certified PTSD from all the school bus rides where Smoky would only play country music), but I happen to like Lady Antebellum, and "Need You Now" was a heavy influence for Ellie and Nick's story (which I was working on two years ago right now - shocking).

Still, I was happy to take it. So we got to Shoreline, waited around, drank some cider, waited around some more, and were finally retrieved by some label exec to go backstage. We got our photo taken with the band (yay, although I don't have it yet), and that was all fun. They're very pretty, and very very tall - yes, that's my only report. Then we drank some more cider, listened to some of the first opener, grabbed some food, listened to the rest of the main opener (David Nail?), and rocked out (countryed out?) to Lady Antebellum. It turns out they're not Lady Gaga, in case you're curious. But again, they're very pretty, and I was particularly entranced by the countryish hipster vibe the main male singer was rocking.

But all good things must come to an end, and so I came home, and now I must sleep. I had a genuinely good time at the concert, but I perhaps would have enjoyed it more if I didn't think I had broken (another) toe while getting into the shower today (don't ask). As it turns out, I don't think my big toe was broken last week, although the nail is still black and blue; however, the smaller toe on the other foot really does feel broken, given the amount of pain I'm still feeling. Sadness. But I buddy taped it to my other toes, popped a lot of ibuprofen, and soldiered on as one does when offered free backstage concert tickets. Now, though, I'm going to rest it and myself - goodnight!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

they don't dance and tell

Today was entirely given up to writing, and I feel pretty great about it. I woke up around 6:30 (horrifying) and started writing at seven, and I proceeded to write off and on in blocks of an hour or two for most of the day. I got twelve pages for my efforts, but they were hard fought; I also did some research on privateers, which was critical for knowing where to go next with the story. And I had lunch at my favorite breakfast place, bought a dress, came home and wrote some more, went out to get coffee and write in a new location, came back and made supper (chicken skewers and greek salad).

Tonight was supposed to be my night off, but my plans ended up reworking themselves - which was probably for the best, since I wanted to write today and tomorrow and will do better if I take tomorrow night off instead. So I'm going to go to bed now and indulge my hermity mood so that I can write another twelve or fifteen pages tomorrow - goodnight!

Friday, June 13, 2014

on a full moon night in the rocky mountain winter

I was pretty productive today, and I have grand plans to continue that trend this weekend. I woke up early, but instead of writing I did some day job stuff so that I wouldn't feel quite so woefully behind. Then I took meetings straight from 8:30 to 12:30, which was only made palatable by the fact that I took them from the comfort of my own home and didn't have to suffer through the torture of my commute to get to them.

So after 12:30 I was mostly braindead, and so I blearily ate some lunch (frozen enchilada, lunch of kings), answered some email, took care of work stuff, etc. I also may have snuck a nap in there at some point (see: the advantage of working from home). But I eventually had to cut off my attempt at clearing my inbox (which was a massive failure) so that I could go downtown to get my bangs trimmed and my brows waxed. Looking professional is more important than being professional, right?

After that, I picked up some groceries, came home, messed around on the internet a lot, ate some supper, and managed to force five hundred words through my tired, rebellious fingers. That's only two pages, but it was two pages more than I had before, and as this is all leading up to some pretty critical stuff, it's going to be slow going anyway. And now that I'm back in the story, I'm going to go to bed early, wake up early tomorrow, and hit it hard in an effort to keep my momentum. Goodnight!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

she's an easy lover

I successfully wrote for an hour this morning, which was key; I think I'm going to have to suck it up and accept that I have to write before work every day if I'm ever going to finish a book. This is anathema to me, since I despise mornings...but by the time I get home from work, I'm so braindead that the only way I can write is by going to Des Amis and drowning my exhaustion in steak and wine. And while that's fine in the short term, it's perhaps not so good for my liver (or my wallet) in the long term. So writing in the morning, in bed, with a nice cup of tea, seems like a much better (albeit uncharacteristic) approach.

So I wrote, then showered, then took the shuttle to work since I knew I would be too tired to want to drive home tonight. This was an excellent decision, even though I hate the shuttle. I did a lot of work stuff today, but I managed to grab the four o'clock shuttle home. Once here, I ate some peanut butter, talked to Terry's aunt and uncle (they're in town for Stanford graduation), came upstairs, did a bit of work, realized I was too exhausted to work, and took one of the deepest twenty-minute naps of my life. When the alarm went off, I couldn't for the life of me remember why I had to get up - until I suddenly realized that I needed to put my clothes back on and run out the door to have dinner with Lauren (aka Subz).

I hadn't seen Subz in weeks/months, so we were long overdue for a catch-up. We accomplished this feat at Presidio Social Club, almost entirely because it's possible for both of us to park there; the serving staff remains odd and vaguely offputting, and the food is good but not excellent for the price, but the parking situation is one of the best in the city, so many sins can be forgiven for the fact that I only had to leave my house six minutes before dinner since I knew I'd find a spot. Subz and I had a lot to discuss, and we accomplished most of it over our meal, but it left me eager to have more social outings with more of the friends I haven't seen during my six weeks of incessant travel.

But socializing will have to wait; I must write this weekend, which doesn't leave a lot of time for fun. I shall survive, but in the meantime I must sleep - goodnight!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

where have you been all my life

I somehow survived going to work today; getting up was painful, since I hadn't slept enough, but I managed to make myself look mostly presentable (translation: I looked pretty awesome, what with my green dress and cool belt, although the fact that I'd removed my toenail polish to check out the damage to my big toe and then couldn't wear close-toed shoes made my vanity feel a bit ashamed), and I arrived at the office exactly twenty minutes before my first meeting of the day. I'll take that as a success, even though I had too much work to get through in the time allotted.

But my first day back was positive, all in all; I really do like the majority of the people I work with, and while I'm still allowing myself at 10% hatred level (as I did in my senior year dorm), those 10% slots aren't always filled. So that's good news, right? I think it means I'm growing as a person! Or perhaps my rage is getting lazy. sssanyway, I had a good day back at work, finished it off with some particularly great meetings, and then spent an hour and a half driving home, which killed my buzz. When I got here I wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed, but I forced myself to start a load of laundry and go to my favorite French bistro, where I tiredly wrote four pages while drinking wine and eating steak to fortify myself for the slog. I think the pages were mostly good, but I'm so tired that I won't really know until I read them again tomorrow.

Now, though, I'm desperate for sleep, particularly since I have grand plans of getting up and writing before going to work, which seems like a fool's errand. Goodnight!

you were more than just a dream

I made it home safe and sound, after an interminable flight during which I worked on Thorington, napped, spilled red wine all over my (luckily black) dress, and read half of a book I'd been saving for a rainy day. But that is all I shall tell you - i'm barely going to get seven hours of sleep as it is, and that guarantees that I'll be driving in peak traffic, which makes me sad. So this is all you get - goodnight!

Monday, June 09, 2014

i'm in the fast lane from la to tokyo

As per usual, spending time in the New York office just makes me want to move here. I woke up at a reasonable hour, showered, walked across the street, and was in the office by around 8:30, which was perfect timing for getting breakfast before sitting down to slog. I have a ton of stuff to catch up on, as is to be expected, and I barely made a dent in it today. But I couldn't really make a dent because the whole point of being here is to meet with people, so I had meetings, had lunch with a coworker, etc., etc.

However, by four p.m. my toe was still hurting and my hypochondria was kicking in, so I left the office, bought some nail polish remover, came back to the hotel, and removed my toenail polish so that I could better examine the damage. And the verdict: my toenail is pretty blue. Also, my toe feels a little numb (when it's not hurting). Also, I can't bend it perfectly. So...I'm not a very happy camper about this.

But there's no rest for the wicked, so I worked from the hotel for another hour, then met a writer friend (Maya) at a Mexican place down the street, where we had two margaritas each, an order of guacamole, and a big heaping side of publishing industry gossip. We're in the throes of an early friend-crush (I met her in New Orleans), so we're having breakfast in the morning to continue the conversation. But I abandoned her to have a friendship renewal dinner with the Original Jen Lui (tm) and Jen's fiance, which made for a wonderful evening; I hadn't seen her in over a year, so we were long overdue to catch up.

Sadly, though, I'm now totally out of energy and am going to go to bed immediately so that I can get eight hours of sleep before getting up, packing, checking out, having breakfast, and slogging incessantly. Goodnight!

Sunday, June 08, 2014

there are giants out there in the canyons

Today was great until the end of it, but I will leave you in suspense and recount the rest of it first. I woke up earlier than I have at any point on the trip, packed my bags, helped clean out the fridge/clean the kitchen/strip the beds, and said my goodbyes on the deck overlooking the pond before all of us vacated the house and headed back to NYC. It was bittersweet to say goodbye; I wasn't ready to be done with the retreat, but I am ready to get back into some semblance of a routine...but I won't get a routine for another few days since I'm still in Manhattan for work.

But I was able to prolong the writing magic for a bit - I took Grace to JFK on the way back to Manhattan, and since her flight was late evening and I didn't have to return the rental until sixish, we stopped at one of the nicest Starbucks ever (way to go, Bridgehampton!) and wrote for a couple of hours. I wrote a really critical scene, which was slow going since I agonized over every word, but I ended up really happy with it. Then I dropped Grace off (with some good industry talk in the car on the way to the airport), made my slow way into midtown Manhattan (not as scary as I had expected, just frustratingly slow), dropped off the rental car, and took a taxi to my hotel.

Once here, I was absolutely starving since I hadn't really eaten lunch, so I had supper (I can call it that if you eat at 5:30pm in NYC when everyone usually eats at 8 or 9) at the Mexican-ish restaurant in the hotel next door to mine. Then, I made the mistake of going to Anthropologie across the street - not that I have any room to pack anything else, but I hadn't been to Anthro in awhile and my addiction needed feeding. However, while I was browsing, I brushed against a shelf while reaching for something over my head, and the shelf fell off its precarious perch and smashed my toe. I told the initial person who came over that I was fine, since I was embarrassed and thought I would shake it off, but as I was trying stuff on I realized I really wasn't fine and in fact felt a little nauseated by the pain. You know it's bad when I didn't try on everything that I took into the room because I'd lost interest in shopping. At that point I asked the dressing room attendant to get a manager, but the manager did nothing other than tell me in an overly saccharine way that that sucked and that sometimes that shelf falls, which didn't really make me feel better and in fact just pissed me off.

But I wanted the fancy pajama pants that I'd tried on so I'd have something to lounge in, so I stood in line, realizing as I stood there that I had no desire to put weight on my toe. Luckily, my hotel was a block away, so I got back here, got some ice from the v. nice manager at the front desk (he said that he didn't know of any urgent cares that were open, but he suggested drinking the contents of the minibar - then retracted it when he realized I'd probably just stub my other toe), popped some Advil, and propped it up and iced it for the last two hours. I still have polish on the toenail so I can't see the extent of the damage, but the nail between my cuticle and the polish (it's grown out over the past few weeks) is nearly black. So I'm guessing I shouldn't have high hopes for keeping the toenail, which is rather grim and offputting.

So, screw you, Anthropologie (even if my pajama bottoms have been v. comfortable tonight). And now I need to sleep - I have to get up super early and get cracking on the day job if I have any hope of getting ahead of my to-do list. Goodbye, writing life :( At least the next couple of days will be fun in the off-hours. Goodnight!

Saturday, June 07, 2014

perfect blue buildings

I'm going to slip my earplugs in, ignore the party going on out in the living room, and go to bed - I've had an awesome retreat, but I'm more tired than I had hoped to be, and I want to get some sleep tonight so that I can make the drive to Manhattan safely and get some work done tomorrow night when I get there. But I'm v. happy that I spent the week here - I got to know a few awesome new writers, spent some quality time with some of my favorite already-known authors, and am generally feeling more relaxed and rejuvenated than I have in quite some time. Granted, I didn't write a million pages, but I'm going to forgive myself for that.

Today was a great end to it all; I wrote in the morning, had lunch with Anne and Grace at a dive bar type place down the road, and spent the afternoon napping and working. Then, Grace, Bella and I got ice cream at the ice cream place they'd all been going to all week, and then Grace and I went to the beach briefly since I hadn't spent any time there all week (yes, I'm horrible). And then we all hung out on the deck and enjoyed the sunset while eating weird combinations of leftovers and drinking whatever wine was still in the house.

So, all in all, it was great. Tomorrow it's back to the real world and the real grind, since I have to get cracking hardcore on the day job and also need to keep writing on the writing job, but everything is going to come up roses once I'm back into my routine and getting some sleep again. But for now it's time for bed - goodnight!

Friday, June 06, 2014

roll a new love over

I must go to bed at once - my writing retreat/vacation is rapidly drawing to a close, and I'm so not excited to go back to the real world. Actually, that may not be true; I am excited to sleep in my own bed and maybe not go anywhere major for a few weeks (although I do have a wedding fourth of July weekend and also will probably have to sneak away and do a writing retreat on my own at some point). But I'm feeling like I'm really getting into the story, and it's going to be a challenge to stay in it and not get sucked back into the day job, particularly since my boss will be out the two weeks after I get back and so I'm sure I'll get dragged into things to sub for him. C'est la vie, I guess.

But today was great, albeit not as productive as I would have hoped. I didn't get out of bed until 9:30ish, at which point I was going to make tea and crawl back into bed with my laptop like I did yesterday...instead, I helped Tina with something for an hour and a half, which was something I'd planned to help her with, but it didn't really help me to get words on the page. Then I showered, lured some other people into playing hooky with me, and drove to the Starbucks in East Hampton. It's only twenty minutes from here, but it felt like a much longer journey, if only because East Hampton is super posh compared to Montauk and the people watching and window shopping were delightful. We actually weren't playing hooky; we worked for a couple of hours, and I got six pages in, so that was a plus. I also bought my usual Starbucks mug for the Hamptons, which I will drink from when I want to feel extra fancy.

We had to come back so that Barbara could do a conference call, so I spent the next hour snacking and slacking. The snack was ill-advised, since we were looking for places to have dinner and ended up getting a 5:15pm reservation at an awesome place down the street...but since we made the reservation at 4:50, that was a little late to change the fact that I'd just had a bowl of chili. Oops. But the food was awesome, even if the chef is a bit of a prima donna who refuses to do any requests. And it was a great beginning to the end of our retreat; Tina is leaving in the morning, and so while the rest of us are all staying until Sunday, we wanted to do a fancy meal before she left. We were back in the house before sunset, and I spent the rest of the evening answering ridiculously old emails and taking care of business stuff since I was no longer in the mood (or required sobriety level) to write. And I had my now-traditional ridiculously entertaining late-night conversation with Anne and Bella, so I'm glad I stayed up even if my morning self will hate me for it.

But now I really must sleep; I have to take Tina to the train station in the morning, and then I want to write all day. Goodnight!

Thursday, June 05, 2014

it's the heart that matters more

Today was, I have to say, pretty much perfect. I got up at a reasonably early hour (8:30ish, such an early bird), made some tea, ignored the internet and all the people in the dining room, and crawled back into bed with my laptop, where I successfully wrote four pages. YAY. Then I showered, made myself look reasonably cute (for a crazy person surrounded by other crazy people), and crawled into the back of a van to go to lunch. Luckily the van was driven by someone on my retreat, so it was safer than it sounds. We went all the way to the very end of Montauk to see the lighthouse (Montauk's motto seems to be 'the end', since it's the absolute end of Long Island, and thus the absolute end of New York - it's on every piece of clothing one can acquire here, and acquire I have done). Since it was raining, we didn't bother to get out; instead, we went to a lovely restaurant, where we had a v. leisurely late lunch. I had some chowder, which was closer to Manhattan chowder than Boston chowder, and it was delightful; then I had diver scallops, which were tasty but didn't have as many carbs as my writerly soul was craving.

However, it was all super perfect, even with (or perhaps especially with) the rain and mist and atmospheric greyness. When we got back to the house, I played around with some cover art, then realized I was squandering my hour/day/week/life, and so I panicked and fled the house for the coffee shop, where I succeeded in writing another six or eight pages. DOUBLE YAY. I'm really loving the scene I wrote today, and I'm feeling good about things in general when I forgot other things like deadlines.

But by sixish I was done, so I bought a super cute Montauk sweatshirt, bought an equally cute (but less Montauk-y) scarf, came back to the house, and sat around for a few minutes. Then, Anne, Barbara and I went out for pizza, since it was easier than cooking, and that was fun too. Then we came home, I plotted and schemed with Grace and Anne, and I drank most of a bottle of red wine and generally relaxed and enjoyed talking to other crazy writers.

Now, though, I really need to sleep so that I can repeat some of this tomorrow - I want to write in the morning before I get too caught up in other things, and some of us have hatched a grand plan to escape Montauk and go to the nearest Starbucks in East Hampton so we can a) work and b) procure a Starbucks mug to add to my depressingly bourgeois collection. And so, goodnight!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

you need a girl with electrical hair

The writing retreat continues to go somewhat well; I'm not having the wildly productive retreat of my dreams, but that's perhaps not entirely possible anyway given that I tend to dream the impossible. Also, I may be way too easily distractable to be completely successful on a retreat with seven other people. But I did some great work today, even if it wasn't a ton of pages, and I'm finally feeling better about where the story is headed. I also had some v. fun conversations, got coffee with someone, made chili for everyone for dinner, and generally relaxed this evening.

So that's all good, but now I must go to sleep so that I can get up and actually work tomorrow - I think I need to seek out a coffee shop and some solitude in the morning before I squander time chatting with others. Wish me luck with that - goodnight!

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

there isn't any sweetness in the dreaming

I got six pages today...not the sixty pages I would have loved to have written (which would be physically impossible, since that would require writing fifteen thousand words and my all-time max is like eight thousand), but they were six hard-earned pages, and I'm feeling good about where I'm headed. However, as expected, last night's wine extravaganza didn't help my productivity today, so I abstained tonight and am going to bed at the relatively civilized hour of one a.m. I know, I'm so disciplined.

So I got up at ten this morning, made some sausage and eggs with leftover potatoes for breakfast (totally winning), and contemplated my manuscript while sitting in the kitchen. However, I realized I was never going to concentrate with other people around, so at one-ish I left the house and snuck away to a coffee shop, where I wrote for two glorious hours by myself with some New Orleans iced coffee (note: not as good as coffee in New Orleans; this is the price one pays for being a jetsetter and experiencing things in real life). It was delightful, but as I said before, it was hard-won, and so I came back to the house at four and took a break by sitting in the sun on the deck and finishing a book I'd started the other night. Then I went out with some of the other writers for pizza (there's a pizza place with a gluten free crust here, which was totally winning) before coming back, doing a bit of work for the day job (boo...I told them I'm not going to check my email again until Thursday, so screw them), messing around with the internet for a bit, and trying to get back into the story.

But there was no forcing it tonight, so I spent a couple of hours talking to some of the other writers. I was trying to convince one of them to go to India, and the end result may have been more impactful in terms of convincing me that I really just want to pack up my laptop and head off for parts unknown and find fun places to live for a couple of weeks or months at a time while writing novels and doing some awesome food blogging on the side. That sounds far better than living in the marina and commuting three hours a day, doesn't it? And given how expensive San Francisco is, it could actually be cheaper...

...but now I shall smack myself on my knuckles, remind myself that I have a book to finish and I always get crazy (er, crazier) when in the throes of the second half, and that I can't make any rash decisions when I probably want something else entirely (and was even telling someone just a couple of hours before that how much I like my job). We'll see if that memory sticks in the morning; for now, I must sleep. Goodnight!

in the evenings on long island, when the colors start to fade

Again, I must go to bed immediately; I didn't intend to stay up this late, and I may have drank at least a bottle of wine over the past seven or eight hours of nonstop socializing. So much for a writing retreat being all about the writing, right?

But I have no regrets, even if my head will in the morning. I slept until ten, thanks to my earplugs and a strong desire to overcome the effects of sunlight, and then spent several hours banging my head against Thorington's story. I took a walk with my friend Grace to clear my head, which worked wonders, and it also meant that I got to see a bit more of the lovely town of Montauk and all that it has to offer (not much, but all charming). Then we came back to the house, where I showered and considered writing again.

Instead, I joined a couple of people on the deck, overlooking Fort Pond, with a bottle of wine and a gorgeous amount of sun, and ended up talking for the last eight hours. One of the women here had a birthday today, so I was hanging out with her and her best friend, and then some of the others joined us, and then we had dinner (thanks to the efforts of someone who was cooking instead of drinking), and then we continued the conversation into the wee hours. This was probably better for me than any writing I might have eked out in those hours; I truly loved getting to know the women I was talking to, since they were the only ones I hadn't met before the retreat, and the birthday girl in particular is a total delight. And we ended up discussing the themes we keep coming back to in our work, which was fascinating; I think that one of my big themes is striving, combined with the desire to find someone with whom striving is no longer quite so necessary. What was really fascinating is that the woman I have come to really admire picked up striving as my theme even though we hadn't met before yesterday and she hasn't read my stuff - clearly she is a student of human nature (although I use that truthfully and not annoyingly).

sssanyway, now it's two a.m., I'm sure I'll have a red wine headache in the morning, and I need to sleep or else nothing will get done tomorrow. Goodnight!

Monday, June 02, 2014

in the burning heart

I stayed up way too late, especially since it's 2:15am on the east coast even if my computer only claims it's 11:15pm. But we have successfully reached Montauk for our writing retreat; I didn't get much sleep last night, but I woke up in time to shower and have breakfast before going to the car rental place to pick up a car for the week. Then I went back to the hotel, picked up Tina and Grace, and successfully navigated out of the city and onto Long Island.

We met the other members of our party in Southampton for a fancy, leisurely lunch with fancy, leisurely people. Then, we continued on to the very end of the island, where we found the house, which is incredible. It's clearly in the middle of being substantially upgraded, and so while the views are gorgeous and the main living space is lovely, it has a few quirks (like not enough sheets or towels). But the setup more than makes up for it, and I can't wait for a solid week of writing time to get me back in the game.

But I spent the rest of the afternoon/evening relaxing, chatting with my compatriots, eating, and reading (the latter thing being what has kept me up until 2am). So now I'm going to sleep, hope this weekend basically off has revived me, and hit it hard tomorrow - goodnight!