Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Palace Guards

My Righteous Palace Guards, Can You See Them Both?

Hey there, sports fans. Did you think I was dead? Not dead, but very much alive. Resurrected, in keeping with the season. Working doggedly every day, excavating in my novel, rewriting, rewriting, "killing my babies", as Stephen King recommends, digging for gold, threshing like mad to separate the grain from the chaff, and feeling like I'm finally getting somewhere. I've found momentum! I've even got over needing a three day hiatus of wandering around spacing out and talking to myself before being able to readjust from visits to or from the outside world and get back to the work of butchering the English language. (Now I just do that every day – saves time.) I'm so very glad to have developed the ability to suffer interruptions, even three day breaks away from what is my temporary home or lengthy phone conversations with kids, without breaking my writing stride. I simply hang up and get back to it. I think it's because I never, ever stop thinking about the words any more. If I go outside for a break I have to rush back in in less than two minutes and write something down. I don't deserve to feel this good.... well, maybe we all do.

Either I'm finally writing something good ... or I've gone quite delusional. Either way, I'm happy, so where's the harm?

The tranquility surrounding me helps. It's so beautiful here, and when I get stuck, I go outside, and have a nice chat with my pal Chip the chipmunk who I regularly provide with an easy diet of sunflower seeds and millet (he shuns the millet but the birds love it) and in return he hops up on the patio stones and chatters away at me. It's a fekkin scream to be honest. I'll talk to anything, really. You take your company where you find it.

I sleep under the stars beyond the skylight, wake to glorious sunrises, make tea and (gluten free) toast with a drop of (2000 mgs) vitamin D for zee bonz and a nice dash of cinnammon sugar, settle in for a nice read for a half hour or so, Kate Atkinson's Human Croquet (GOD she's good!) my latest fave, I'm reading her books in the order she wrote them, as usual, and am ready to go. Then I head to the desk (I actually dress for work now! and by 8 a.m no less) and dig in. Life is good. If I never have this blissful opportunity again to work in solitude, surrounded by water glinting off a stunning river that flows just beyond the window at the end of a long sloping field (with sheep in it!), I'll consider I've had my chance and be eternally grateful for what this time and these kind folks have given me: the habit of writing – everyday, and feeling good at 5 o'clock. Some days it's six pages in five hours, somedays I'll spend ten hours trying to get a single paragraph right. But it's always something. When it gets time to make a fire, these days by 4 or so, I'm ready for tea, a last stab at whatever I'm working on, then it's on to supper and the Daily Show and Colbert, a glass of Tempranillo and a good laugh at the end of a good day. And they're all good, I'm privileged to say. Right now it' doesn't seem to matter that the money's running out, because the muse is running in, and I don't think I've ever been more contented. I feel alive. I'm finally not waiting for the other shoe to drop, please God let me stay this way.

Here are my Kitchen Tips for Writers:

This business of writing has a downside, well, it's an upside I suppose if you've taken on a little extra baggage in the hip area as I have this year – you forget to eat, tending to view milky coffee or a cuppa tea and an apple and cheese as a meal cause it's quick. Doesn't drag you away from your thoughts or the desk for too long. But because I have this iron deficiency celiac related issue (I tested off the charts, waste of money I coulda told them) I have to be sure I eat plenty of iron (anyone with sense is averse to taking iron supplements) and that means MEAT, and only good meat - beef, lamb, pork, the high iron stuff, grass fed. Veggies just don't cut it this time, you need non-heme iron when you're anemic.

So I've taken to preparing these multi-day meals to save time in the kitchen, allowing for a longer workday, no having to think about "what's for supper?" Meaning, "what shall I actually eat today besides yogurt?" Today it was a yummy pot roast with lovely (local) organic spuds and carrots – enough for a week, just cook, then it's heat and serve (and what what a nice hunka beef it was, got at Whole Foods, worth every penny at 5.99 a pound, a gorgeous roast properly tied with fat on the outside). I can't even say the name Whole Foods without that infernal video theme "It's gettin real in the Whole Foods Parking Lot" (see earlier post) taking over my brain. It cracks me up every time. Next week it's meat loaf, veal, beef and lamb, easy, freezable, reheateable. Who doesn't love a meatloaf sandwich? The odd tofu stir fry for balance. I compensate for the lack of veg by juicing every day, carrots, celery, kale, beet greens, fruits, ginger, cilantro, you name it, it goes in the juicer every morning. Bellissima!

For entertainment, I thought I'd recommend a few recent discoveries to ya'll:

The film Creation, streamable on Netflix, easily one of the most perfect movies I've ever seen.

I'm a new fan of Linktv, it's channel 375 on Direct tv, up there past the stations selling everything under the sun, and msnbc and the news, and the stations selling religion. It's the home of Democracy now and ALJAZ English, and their documentaries are all worth viewing, and if they screen The Economics of Happiness don't miss it. It's wonderful. Send them money in stead of to those wimps on pbs, it's viewer supported, and the most radical thing on the telly. Actual history, actual news, people talking about real stuff. Bravo.

Let's see, what else? Oh on Netflix again, The Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Wow, Werner Herzog's documentary about the 30,000 year old cave paintings, closed to the public, discovered in 1994 in France. Gorgeous and wondrous and full of insights on the nature of art and human self expression.

If you're not reading Kate Atkinson, oh please start. You won't regret it, her wit and humor and insight into the human condition is unparalleled. She makes everyday tragedy hilarious. Behind the scenes at the museum, Human Croquet, Case Histories and its sequels, and her short stories are phenomenal, esp. the Not The End of the World collection. Can you tell I'm a huge fan? She is a master of the interior dialogue and gut busting funny to boot. She sees life the way I do. And major thanks for Mellie for the Christmas gift of her book.

I've been reading a lot. Jane Austen wonderful! How could I ever have thought she was wussy? Because I didn't actually read her! (For which I blame PBS.) I put her in my novel. I read The Great Gatsby again recently and loved it. But Hemingway, you can have that dude.

Okay, time for weewaxing and a cold eye compress (I look like a raccoon from peering at a computer screen all day.) I'm crawling back in my leetle cave. Until next time, via con dios, amigas y amigos. I miss and love you all.


No comments:

Post a Comment