Merry Christmas

I’m not going to let the birth of a savior and the word mass get in the way of my Christmas spirit. Strictly speaking, I’m more of a winter solstice/festivus kinda gal, but there are still many things about the Christmas season that I truly enjoy. I’ve already discussed my live tree fetish. But there are other aspects I love, besides buying myself presents as a by-product of buying others gifts, such as Christmas music. Right now I’m listening to Vince Guaraldi’s score and nothing makes me think of snow falling quite as much as the piano from A Charlie Brown Christmas. Christmas magic when the weather is unseasonably warm is just a CD away.

Christmas magic also in the batch of Russian tea cookies that my hostess has made and covered in fluffy powdered sugar. In the basement, there’s a tree standing in a sea of gift packages; we visit it and reel at the careful wrapping and the colorful bows. I’m not sure that the emphasis should be on the gifts, though I like a sea of potential joy as embodied by the piles of big and little boxes of bright patterned paper.

Plus, in an odd turn of events, I think I might have met Santa Claus yesterday. I dropped a box off at UPS around 3pm yesterday in Harrisburg, and today my sister in law says it arrived in Boston that afternoon.
I mean, I paid for the Tuesday shipping. New Year’s gifts are good enough.
But it traveled to Boston, not just the same day, but within a few hours. There’s either a time warp, some reindeer, elves, or a real Santa Claus hanging around the UPS store by the mall.

With or without proof of Santa, I’m all about candlelight and time together.

I just wanted to write this post to wish everyone a merry Christmas, a merry day with people they love, a merry bunch of presents, a merry meal or two, and a merry bunch of music, or Chinese food and a movie, whatever your idea of a seasonable celebration looks like at this time.

Merry Merry.

Reasonable Girl Vs. Buzzee Bee

So I have a new alter ego in my life: busy bee, or for marketing purposes, Buzzee Bee. Buzzee Bee is frantically roaming the world, going from project to project, trying to suck up all the inspiration before the season’s up.

Reasonable Girl, who would like to take a measured, polite assessment of what’s doable and get a good night’s sleep, is still in there, but she’s getting shouted over by Buzzee Bee.

I was trying to embrace Reasonable Girl, but I find myself staying up later and later, pushing myself to get more and more done, and constantly feeling preoccupied, slightly overwhelmed, and often (and most lethally): unfocused.

I’m hoping that my assuming the guise of Buzzee Bee for Halloween will somehow be an act of healing exorcism and that on November 1, I can cut off my wings, put my Reasonable Girl cape back on and get a bit more sleep.

Prayers Answered

Life is very exciting in these parts. I just tackled my second memoir chapter rewrite, and it felt downright successful. That’s two pleasurable chapter rewrites in a row. Inconceivable. (“Are you sure that word means what you think it means?”). Miraculous.

The experience is good because I can read feedback on particular chapters that tell me I’m currently failing and take the critique in stride, and when I re-read the chapters, my X-ray editor/writer vision is in full force. I can see when this empress has no clothes. And I have the gumption to make my own cloak and fix the problem. This is a very empowering process. I can be pointed to a problem, and I can tackle it. Oh sweet rewrite siren, how sweetly you sing.

Tonight, I also rewrote my intro to my book using language that I first plunked here. It’s been tweaked, but it’s still good and evocative (thanks Blog!). I also started re-organizing the order of the memoir chapters. The memoir order is not exactly chronological, but it’s now more thematic. Kind of.

I have to do homework, so i have to leave well enough alone for now, but I may have found a new technique: I get an hour (on nights when I have five hour homework stretches in front of me) to work on my memoir (timer and everything) and then I have to attend to homework. This creates a positive kind of force. I am compelled to face my fears, write, and be efficient, because my precious minutes are tick-tocking away. Oh the precious!

And with that. Good night.

The Gazillionth Rewrite

“I feel stupid and contagious” allows me to a) honor Nirvana belatedly (jumping on media bandwagon), and b) succinctly express how I feel when my writing group critiques my work. I have been working on my Frenchness and Identity piece for a while. I must be in my fifth major re-write/re-org at the very least. Last night I had the audacity to share the piece with my writing group, and those lovely wizards clarified the million different ways in which my piece is limping along on crutches, with a bad case of…(I don’t know. I want to say charlie horse, but I’m pretty sure that’s wrong) broken ankle. They rightfully exhorted me to simplify, streamline, focus, deepen, add fuller scenes, and feel the rage. These are all excellent suggestions. I’m going to need to put on my small cape to tackle this mess. It’s not like it was a revelatory session, it was a session of dread. I hate being told that what I suspected all along was right–my nagging doubts are totally warranted. My piece doesn’t suck, it’s too tentacular. Tentacular spectacular. Apparently I have the outline of a book buried in an unevenly paced essay. Oh me oh my, I’m gonna have to work like the dickens to figure this out (again), after having worked so hard to figure it out (before) because nothing is damn linear for me when it comes to writing (darn).

“I’m worse at what I do best
And for this gift I feel blessed”

Smells like teen spirit.

Reasonable Girl Is Born

Last night was our last night in Montreal. We were at bar with awesome live music–watching by far the most enthusiastic rock organ player ever. The bar wouldn’t close until 3am. My instinct was to enjoy the band for an hour, get a feel for the place and the music, but get home early-ish. I wanted a good night’s sleep so we weren’t miserable on our long trip home.

I only need a taste of things. I am much happier going out every night for a few hours and getting a good night’s sleep than I am staying up all night and being shattered and off kilter for the next 24 hours. Quality of life and sustainability are my key concerns.

Lovely boyfriend likes to splurge and have adventures. Last night, our tendencies had a slight clash. We both made concessions. However, it has become apparent that my superhero alter ego is “Reasonable Girl.” And thus I have a new nickname.

(It’s fun to identify and name a mode of being that has been operational for a long while now. I’d guess five or more years.)