Monday, October 15, 2012

I turned thirty this summer.  I have one novel out, and another that will come out soon.  A third is finished and under review by a publisher.  I've written fifty short stories, and more than thirty of them have been published.  One won an award.  I think that's pretty good for thirty years.

My life has been very busy and very much in the present lately.  However, I recently ran into someone from my past, and I was amazed by how ten years of who I am was able to crumble away simply at the sight of someone who I've been out of touch with for a decade.  It was the kind of experience that causes one to feel even more reflective about the past than an abstract thing like turning thirty.

I am naturally a very analytical and reflective person.  However, I don't put that energy into writing a journal.  I put that energy into writing fiction.

When it comes to journaling, I don't keep a record with the written word.  I like to keep my journal more abstract -- for eight years, from the time I left for college until my daughter was born -- I translated my life into a playlist of songs that represented the experiences I went through.  After Elaine was born, I directed that energy into the pages and pages of photo albums that I keep of her.  Between that playlist and those photo albums, I have an extremely detailed record of the last thirteen years of my life.  The songs and pictures don't tell the whole story -- but I don't need them to; I just need them to help me remember it.

I'll continue to post anecdotes about Elaine that don't fit as picture captions here, and I'll try to show up with a comment or two about my own life sometimes.  But, when it really comes down to it, I'll be putting most of that writing energy into my fiction.

So, if you want to read words by me or learn about what's been going on in my life, what I've been thinking about, or who I am -- read my fiction.  It won't come with date stamps, and it won't be directly representational.  But writing my fiction is what I've been doing, what I've been thinking about, and -- the person you see represented in my stories? -- that's who I am.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A few quotes from the child playing underneath the Japanese maple tree, outside my open window:

"Okay.  I'll turn myself into a slug while I wait."

"No fear.  I will pretend today is my birthday."

"This is my little brother, but he's a rock.  And he just goes all the time jumping on the very top of trees," -- said while holding up a small rock she found under the Japanese maple.

"And this is his horse," -- said moments later, holding up another small rock.

She then proceeded to wobble dangerously between the small tree and the window screen while describing the adventures of her brother and his horse over the rainbow, illustrating all the while with the two rocks.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

There's a line in the movie As Good As It Gets... Jack Nicholson is supposed to give Helen Hunt a compliment.  He's aiming for one that's good enough to keep her from leaving the restaurant, but he overshoots and gives her a compliment that she claims is the best one she's ever received:  "You make me want to be a better man."

Well, the Beach Boys' put out a new album.  The last time they put out a new album...  Let's just say, I hadn't noticed that the Beach Boys existed yet.  I was in fifth grade.

I don't think anyone expected them to put out another new album ever again.  I know I didn't.  In fact, when I heard about the single, it didn't even occur to me that it was the harbinger of a whole Beach Boys' album.  The idea was that unthinkable.

But, nonetheless, a new Beach Boys' album came out yesterday.  It's their thirtieth studio album, the first new one in two decades, and... it's good.  It may be their best album since Pet Sounds.  It's...  so good that...  it makes me want to write.  It fills my head with stars and stories and life filling a whole other universe.

Friday, June 1, 2012

"I'm pretending I'm a pogo stick." -- Elaine, jumping on one foot

"I'm all gone!  I'm all gone!" -- Elaine, with her hood pulled down over her head

"My brother is a skipping fairy, so all he eats is flowers, grass, mint, and chocolate.  That's all he eats!" -- Elaine, introducing her latest imaginary sibling

"I wish we lived in an igloo where it's very cold, and slippery, and wet, and soggy." -- Elaine, with no further explanation

Friday, May 11, 2012

Elaine and I went on a walk this evening.  She spent the whole time telling me about her new baby tiger, Tatsely.  He had no mother, so Elaine's sister -- a fairy named Yonga, who lives in a tree house next to our house -- bought Tatsely from the zoo.  Yonga comes into our house by flying down the chimney like Santa.  She knew that Elaine would like Tatsely, and Elaine has indeed been an excellent mamma to her new tiger.  She makes him all his favorite foods and has given him an excellent habitat.  He lives in a rainforest with a garden filled with tulips with clownfish inside them, and he has a pond filled with clownfish as well.  His favorite foods are clownfish milkshakes, fish pie, and fish noodles.  He dreams of fish-watermelon-cake.  His wings -- because, he can definitely fly -- are blue with alternating orange stripes and black polka dots.  Tomorrow, he'll be collecting seeds from all the clownfish hiding in the tulips so that he and Elaine can plant them.

Or... maybe it's the clownfish hiding in the pond...?  and they'll shrink into tiny little seeds?  So that Elaine can plant him a fishtree?

I wish I lived in Elaine's world.