Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Routine

Another lazy Sunday, at least for me. I'm drinking too much coffee and reading too many books, searching for some internal spark that will propel me to go write. And though I haven't found it yet, I did find something else just as brilliant. 

I was surfing the internet for inspiration and a little voice in the back of my head (the one that usually tells me I need to pay more attention to what's going on in the world so I can sound cultured and aware) told me to check The New York Times.

Usually when I go on this site, I read a few articles and go straight to the New York Times Bestselllers list, but today I stumbled upon something else. It's a series of articles written by writers and creative people and even politicians where they talk about how they spend their Sundays. This doesn't sound extremely interesting, but it's surprisingly inspiring.

Sundays are so slow and calm. Sometimes this standstill can be peaceful and sometimes it's just boring. But what I loved about this series is that there seems to be a common thread running through the articles, one that reminds to relax and enjoy the fact that I'm doing nothing. 

I wish I had discovered this earlier today so I could share it at the beginning of the day instead of when the day is about to end, but it's better late than never.

Next week, I may even give this talking-about-my-Sunday thing a try. Until then, click on the link and take a look around. Who knows, you might find something great.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Few Things on a Melancholy Monday

A few reasons why today sucks, aside from the fact that it's Monday...

1.) I just realized that finals and graduation are around the corner, and all the time that I had this year to slack off and read when I should have been writing and writing when I should have been doing homework are over. Over. Right. Now. The painful, stress-inducing part came in when I also realized how behind I am in most of my classes. I knew for the past few weeks that I was barely hanging on, but it didn't seem as immediate as it does now.

Now it feels like graduation is coming in a minute, or an hour, and OH MY GOSH I didn't shave my legs, or buy shoes for my dress or pass all my classes.    

In reality, I have two weeks, but with how quickly everything else is moving. I'm terrified that the next two weeks will be over before I've typed the last period in this blog post.

2.) At about nine this morning, my counselor paid me a lovely call (whose ringing woke me from a vivid dream that I'm not talking about) to remind me how close I am to tanking my classes. Her exact words were: "You need to beat it out, girl!" So yeah, I'll be "beating it out" today. I love this chick.

3.) Let's not talk about how desperate I am for a summer job. How I iron my clothes (I never iron!), and practice my smiles, and try to be charming when I hand in my application (I'm never charming!). Let's not talk about how adult life is four months away and when I move out there will be no one to put money in my outstretched hand.

Look, it's already starting. Don't you see my hand failing in midair? It's empty.

4.) Game of Thrones is getting so good! I love watching the court politics and the scheming and backstabbing. If you have no clue what I'm talking about, Game of Thrones is a series on HBO that's just divine. Think Tudors, with a little more grunge and dirt and blood, and the king is not as cute as John Rhys Meyers. The only thing that bugged me about last night's episode was the throw down between Lord Stark and that Lannister dude, it was pretty sad. I mean, I kept waiting for Stark to bust out some ninja-like moves and show this guy who's boss. It didn't happen.

5.) The rain here has a very twisted sense of humor. I think it knows how badly I want it to fall, so it only starts when I'm asleep. But I'm hopeful today, today it's going to fall, even if I have to set a bonfire on my front lawn and dance naked. 

So, maybe this post isn't completely melancholy. But because I'm not feeling so hot and because melancholy starts with an M that goes so well with the M in Monday, the title is staying.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Small Beginnings Part 1: Mrs. Gardener

Last year, I took the SAT for the first time. Despite being a writer, I was so sure I would bomb the writing portion and then the humiliation of that would cause me to bomb the following English portion. And then because I still count with both hands (and sometimes both feet) , I would bomb the Math portion, and ultimately become a failure.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I opened up that little booklet and read my writing prompt, which basically asked me what I thought was more important, creativity or logic and reason. Um, hello? This is probably the most indulgent question you can ask a writer. The answer is so obvious. It's like they were asking me if I would prefer laying on a tropical beach with Leonardo Dicaprio or reenacting the Titanic. And no matter how cute Leonardo was in the Titanic, we all know he dies in that movie. So, I'm taking the beach.   

Needless to say, I didn't bomb the writing portion. I wrote my essay about my fifth grade teacher and how she changed my life by assigning a creative project, thus explaining why I thought creativity was limitless, which explained why I thought it was more important. While I wont be sharing my essay with you guys, I am going to share my fifth grade teacher.

Her name is Mrs. Gardener and she is still the best teacher I've ever had. I think what made her such a wonderful teacher was the fact that she was dedicated to her job. That dedication showed in everything she taught me, and I'll always thank her for that, because it makes a difference. At least, it did for me.

As all stories start--Once Upon a Time, Mrs. Gardener handed out an assignment to the class after hanging three paintings on the board. She told the class to choose one and then write a story about it, which didn't sound all that fun to me. But her enthusiasm for the assignment was contagious. It was almost as if she was inviting me into a secret world, giving me a set of keys, and telling me "go ahead, open the door."

I rode on that enthusiasm all the way home and wrote my very first story. I don't remember what the painting I chose was called, but I do remember that it had to do with a book being eaten by vines. From that I got 12 wide-ruled pages about a girl whose mom drove her to the library and told her to make some friends, and in an effort to do so, she befriended a girl working at the checkout counter and ended up checking out a book that was said to be haunted. She then goes home, opens the book, and the vines reach out and pull her into the book, trapping her forever. I know, I think it's pretty brilliant, too.

I wrote this laying in the middle of my bedroom, writing so fast that my words were illegible. Sometimes, I think that I'm still laying there writing, only now, I'm older and the stories are different and I'm typing on a laptop. Sometimes, I believe that Mrs. Gardener really did hand me the keys to a secret world and once I went in I never came back out.