Monday, June 30, 2008

The True Project

One hopes that one jinxes nothing but noting this but the true success of Summer 2008 is the potty training of the Z. It would not have been possible without the help of the grandma and the maestra, Egg, Thirty-One and Thirty-One's ever-encouraging kids. There was much applause by grandpa and George too. We sometimes bribed her by letting her blow out a candle. We sometimes "encouraged" her with candy--a no-no I know but OK, if one also sometimes bribes her by letting her brush her teeth!
I'm shocked by how it works. One day, she has no idea she has this thing called a bladder. The next, she's a camel who can hold it all night. She has far superior holding-it ability than I. I am very proud of the little bug even though sometimes she complains and wants to wear her Pull-Ups again. As long as the Pull-Up stays dry though, I think she can claim success.

P.S. Blogging the lost: I swear I had a book around here. A book of poems or essays...If anyone finds it, please let me know.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Projects--there's too many

I have only about 2 hours a day during the summer to work unless I leave the house and go to a coffee shop. One great and hard thing about being in Salty Town is that there are an infinite number of hours where one could hang out and not do projects. There's much hiking to do and drinking of wine to do and somehow I end up going to the store at least once a day to buy groceries to feed the people with whom I can hang out. $55 every other day seems not so bad considering the number of people and the fact that I'm living in the land of free rent and good food. Although some sticker shock applies--5 oz of organic lettuce? In March, $1.99. In June, $3.99. Outrageous. Orange juice too. It seems there's some serious gouging of the produce but the worst is prepackaged stuff. I bought a veggie tray for $8.99! It wasn't even organic!

Anyway, this is not the point of the post. The point is is that I emailed my agent to say which of my projects should I work on this summer and she said all of them. This is in no way helpful. So, of course, I started a new project. But truly,

  • I must revise the novel that Dr. Write, KJ, 31 and Scorpion's Tail (is she ever coming back to blogland?) helped me with.
  • I also must edit the nonfiction for the online mag.
  • Mentor my mentee (especially via place book).
  • Also must conjure fall courses syllabi.
  • Also, finish the grant app.
  • I also must work on the small book related to the grant.
  • And the place book.
  • And the new poetry book about Pin Art.

So I work on each of these a little a day? Plus answer Z's questions about where Grandma, Grandpa, Dad, Maestra, Cam, Lil, V and P are (they're all over there Z. We're only here for 2.5 more weeks. Go talk with them.) No wonder my writing is fractured and no projects are done. Still, I think I'll have a better draft of all these things by the end of June, just in time for another disruption and this one without the helpful distractions of grandparents and siblings and cousins.

Fortunately, I don't need to figure out bullets on blogger. Things like helpful bullet are how I save a little bit of time and a little bit of focus every day. At least I got my 500 words done.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


I'm reading The Road Home which I can't believe I haven't read before because a) it's the best book ever b) my old job houses the Harrison archive and c) I love Nebraska (OK. I didn't know that until I drove across it lately or until I read this book.

But still. I'm very happy living in this book right now. It will be over soon and I will be very sad. But perhaps I could choose from this list that's meming itself around called "The top 100 or so books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users."

Bold the books you have read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & Demons
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion is this
There is Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield

Hmm--this list seems a bit overdone. Perhaps I could try to finish Watership Down after all these years. My mom bought it for me when Waking Owl books was still around. I swear it was in Foothill Village for awhile but maybe that was A Woman's Place Books. Perhaps I'll read House of Leaves instead. Or finish Pynchon's Against the Day.