Vicki and I went to Italy Sept 18 through Oct 4.
Visited Roma, Firenze, Siena, and Cinque Terre.
First time ever & loved it!
Today, I get to rail against myself in public.
Sometimes it's what's needed.
I'm a being of clutter and chaos, piles of papers and books crowding out my creativity, the will to clear them away so weak.
Seas of material, the easy lure of more stuff coming in, and sufficient money to make it happen. Ties in to the junk food readily available at my 9-to-5, which combined with a lack of exercise due to chill winds outside and an absolute loathing of "the club," still daunting memories of high school gym class no matter how this stuff is gussied up.
It's not the image of, by any means, my ideal!
The only resolution I ever truly kept: Make no resolutions!
But I resolve this year to do less blogging and more work on the new novel. The blogosphere, I have learned, is fiercely competitive, getting more so every day.
And if you don't have a niche, or a huge following, and if you don't take to diary-writing with a natural zeal bordering on sweet mania, then attracting a crowd of readers will be no walk in the park.
So as I don't see this skyrocketing any time soon, I'll ease off.
interesting experiment, though, knowing that your quick jot of thoughts is bloggable for years afterward, and that the whole gaggle of entries is then the oyster of whoever finds one's site.
Yep, Vicki and I live in northern Colorado, and had our lives halted, outside the home anyway, by the Solstice storm of 2006.
Fortunately, we kept electricity and warmth and were well-stocked in the pantry. Hours of clearing, by snow shovel, the driveway and sidewalks and the area around my Honda, parked in front.
Vicki and I also walked a bit in boots, then she went out in snowshoes for more. Great neighbor kids, Pat and Clay, helped me shovel, and a few guys with snowblowers cleared the sidewalks in full everywhere on our street.
My 9-to-5 job as a software programmer is currently in Crunch Mode, with an immovable deadline of a week from today for final delivery of the product.
Lots of fingercrossing, puzzlement over why a certain process that used to run fine is suddenly dog-slow, and the like.
Did much remote connecting this weekend, agonizing over this and that, a real bundle of nerves!
It's going to be an "interesting" week!
Said Samuel Beckett, "Habit is a great deadener," and I'm in the habit of citing those words often.
Part truth, part excuse.
There are always cookies, candy, nuts, all kinds of carbs and sugar at my non-writing place of work. And try as I might, I succumb to the nasty lure of them. It's so odd and so discouraging to "watch myself" gorge on such crap.
There are days when I can turn off the lure, but really it's a one day at a time thing. Bring on the stress, and I'm out of my chair and headed for "just one more handful," and again, and again.
I really must stop this, for my health and longevity. Especially so in winter, when exercise dwindleth.
Trapped and not liking it!
I want to talk about sloth.
It's one of my favorite vices.
Especially does it kick in when I contemplate working outside the house, mowing the lawn, weed-whacking, picking up hordes of dropped pears, re-staining the sides of the hot tub, tending to the shutting down of the sprinkler system.
I love the outdoors, as in hiking, biking, taking long or short walks.
But as to upkeep of the yard? Forget it!
So I do it with as much good cheer as I can muster, which is a lot.
Ditto, my study. An accumulation of piles of books and papers on the floor, on my computer desk, in the double closet. But that place is even worse, because the room is all mine. No pressure from my beloved to tidy it up.
What's this all about?
I'm okay with dressing, staying in good recent clothing, trimming the beard and mustache, showering daily, all of that. I keep the dishes washed and stacked away.
There are just certain places which hold no interest, or very slight, in pride of upkeep.
It's fascinating. I think about putting to true my study and all the energy drains from me. I so do not want to do that, to waste the time I could be wasting in so many more interesting ways.
If anyone out there has found fixes for their own slothful ways, I'm all ears!
Writers examine things. They observe. Infinitely curious creatures, these writers.
So now that the website's two weeks old, the blog too, allow me to muse about this process, what it means to me, and perhaps to you.
At the moment, the typical venue is my futon couch upstairs. It's on a landing lit my a natural spectrum lamp, lots of open space, the front door to this two-story, 1984-vintage house down below to my right, the master bedroom on my left, and a bathroom with a now-darkened skylight just ahead of me. I'm typing on a Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop computer, soon to be upgraded from 512 Mb to an addition gigabyte of RAM. It rests on a cherrywood lap desk from Levenger's.
I usually wake a half-hour prior to the 4:45 a.m. striking of our Tibetan bowl alarm clock from Zen & Now, thinking idle thoughts, among which is what I might blog about that morning. I get up, grind coffee beans and set the grounds to filtering, take a slower, savor the coffee on my futon couch (Vicki has meanwhile had her shower and retires to the finished basement for her early morning activities), then get to the Internet.
I have my favorite set of sites to drop in on (don't we all?) and then the blogging begins.
What prompts one or another topic? In a way, you do.
But you're a phantom to me, as really I am to you. Because people talk to one another in real time in real space, we like to trick ourselves into thinking we can know someone, at least a little, from words confided on the printed page or on a blog site. It's a comforting illusion.
In the process of meeting Vicki, my second and wondrous final wife, I placed personals ads in newspapers but also used the net to meet women, to strike up a conversation, and see where it led. This was circa 1993. Sometimes it led me to interesting places, a few times traveling to Lincoln, Nebraska, to Hawaii, and elsewhere. What was odd was that I had had extensive online communication with those I met, got to "know" their minds as they mine.
Because of that groundwork, I knew--and this was so--that there would be a connection from the start, when we shared physical space. It remained to be seen if we would explore physical intimacies as well. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. For the intangibles became quickly tangible, and the totalities of our being might well not mesh.
So I like that this is a journal of sorts, that these words go out into the blogosphere, and that a connection of sorts is established between some kind of me and some kind of you. You may read these words on the day of their posting, or months or years later. But sooner or later, assuming this blog does not eventually die on the vine, a small community of readers will coalesce about it, comments will increase, those who resonate with these mind-wavelets will stick around for more.
I like to think the Internet is inspiring a new literacy. But maybe not.
In any case, for me, this is an experiment. Out of this will, I have no doubt, emerge a new voice. Voice dictates what is spoken and how it's expressed. I continue reading the Kerouac book (his journals from his mid-twenties), struck by voice there, his living the life that will yield fame, struggling now for publication of his first novel, nearly 400,000 words long, not knowing the future as we, his godlike readers, do. Neat kinship.
For what is this desire to be heard, to move people with one's words?
And what prompts a subject to seize upon the writer for the exceedingly long period of time that gestates a novel?
And where is the motivation to write such a thing?
But these are musings for another day. It's time to set out the garbage and prep for my nine-to-fiver!
My wife and I are coming on to three years taking T'ai Chi with Michael and Sara Stenson, who themselves have done T'ai Chi for something like three decades. Cheng Man-ch'ing brought the simplified form to the United States in the seventies, and Michael and Sara learned from his students.
But this posting is really about motivation and its lack. Vicki and I take a class every Monday evening. It's essential to practice the form between classes. I did when we first began. I don't now.
Yet I enjoy attending class. A great bunch of people there, most of them in their forties and up. I suppose my form has improved over the years, but it's a physical meditation, a series of movements that appears simple but requires intense concentration on matters of balance, relaxation, precise placement of the knees, fluidity of the hips, and so much more.
I also resist going to the health club we belong to. I don't go. I've stopped going.
I know it's the right thing to do. I love walking in the mornings, feeding the dogs along the way, Oscar, Molly, Bad Dog, and Also Ran (our names for them). But treadmills and weight machines, no matter how unlike high school gym they try to make the surroundings, turn me right the hell off.
Motivation too fuels the best writing.
I'm currently highly motivated to blog. Perhaps that too will flag, perhaps not. Lately, writing hasn't gone as smoothly as earlier in my career. In part, that's because of the sea change this country has undergone in the last six years (we'll get into all of that in upcoming posts). Suddenly, I want my writing to matter more. Shifts in the political climate affect what one writes about, the subjects you choose or that choose you.
Blogs I see as a way of priming the pump, finding a new strength of voice, exploring what really matters to me, both in small things and large.
The choices before a writer are truly infinite, what tales to tell, within what conflicts to embroil one's characters. But those choices must deeply engage the passions of the writer, else why bother?
Ah, the workday beckons...
That's a wrap!