Sunday, August 27, 2006

Lousy/ Not Lousy

This is a lousy writing weekend.

Not that this is a lousy weekend, per se. This has been a most righteous weekend, as a matter of fact. But for writing, lousy.

A Moment for Self Pity and Panic

Oh Gawd I will never get anywhere with the writing thing, it is so good I have a day job, because if I can't even sit down at the computer and write anything, I can't submit anything, and if I don't submit anything, I can't make money off of it and eventually quit my lousy job. I suck. What the hell am I thinking, trying to write?!?


How This Weekend Isn't Lousy

Saturday was one of the best days I've had in while. I think I blew something like $200, but it sure as hell felt good. At one point I ended up downtown at the Brattle Bookstore. If you've never been to Boston, or downtown Boston (specifically, the shopping area around the Park Street T) or to the Brattle Bookstore, well, maybe I can give you an idea of it. Picture an outdoor mall, with wide sidewalks and the occasional brick paved road that is often too cluttered with pedestrians for car traffic. And don't think of a suburban mall. The buildings are old, a bit smog-smeared and dirty without being sordid. They are just used. Really used. And if you look up, you'll notice that above the corporate chain facade the building is actually a Beaux Artes, with a delicate, weathered white marble facade with elegantly arched windows overlooking the shoppers below, or a gray stoned Neo-Gothic with crumbling plaster details.

The Brattle Bookstore is on a narrow side street, the kind that is almost always in shadow. There is a small paved area next to the little, two-story bookstore which was probably once a parking lot but which is now filled during business hours by rolling metal shelves piled with bargain books. Shelves are built on the sides of the buildings that can be locked up at night like cupboards.

So picture me there. Petite woman with disorderly hair, wearing gray cat's eye glasses and the kind of casual clothing that I really should know better than to wear outside of the apartment for anything more than running across the street for toilet paper. The asphalt is still damp from the night's rain and Elvis is in the air. Really. There's a man hanging two stories above the street on a large platform across the street blasting a really good Oldies radio station. And I am finding books, and books. For cheap. It was surreal. But that was only about $15 of my weekend.

I went for sushi, bought swap items, scored a black beaded antique purse that would be perfect for holding socks-in-progress. I bought The Best of Roxy Music and Carly Simon at a painfully trendy and hip record store, proving once again to the employees there that I am hopelessly square and always have been. (This is the same place I bought a Psychedelic Furs CD.)

And yes, when I went sushi I was still dressed abominably. We always are when we go for sushi. But we tip well.


Lissy said...

Guess what, hon. You ARE writing. I enjoyed the description of your day. As Anne LaMott says, sometimes you can't write a whole report on birds all at once, ya just gotta write it bird by bird. And another really good suggestion she has that I love is -- write shitty first drafts. That way, you can get past the criticism and move towards the truly good writing you have in you.

By the way, you have provided yet another reason why I think you should not discard this blog. I think the two of you need each other, feed off each other, and give each other a reason to keep writing bird by bird. Just my .02 cents.

Titine24 said...

Hey There Christine --

You possibly do not realize how important a function you serve in the lives of others who do not have a life like you. Your blog, boring as it may seem to you, is a fresh breeze into a very different life where you can choose to leave the house at any moment without dressing small children to accompany you, where you can stay up and knit all you want, and watch old movies and listen to music you grew up with at loud volumes. If your blog disappeared, I would lose a slice of imaginative freedom that I now possess. Don't go. Don't go.
I love the photos of your cat, your knitting in progress, your finished projects, and the off-handed way you mention that you devised a plot with characters and motivation and just need to get it down on paper. Could you teach a course on how to think up plots that hang together!?!?

I realize we are a needy, unrewarding bunch of hangers-on, but you are gifted in a way you need to share so we can be bigger. As for your POSSLQ, give him a checklist to show how he is expected to carry his own weight, with a comparable one that shows how you are measuring up on your side. If he is a man, he will live up to the challenge.

Anne LaMott is a good recommendation. I admire her heart, if not some of her politics. Between the two, though, I know which is the more important.

Carrie K said...

Hear, hear! A needy unrewarding group whose numbers will only grow.

Not to mention, if writing was easy, everyone would do it.

Brattle Bookstore - and it's surroundings, sound heavenly.