Hi all. It’s me.
Been six months, has it? I’ve tried on several occasions to write catch-up blog posts, but what’s the point? When I worked at Heyday Books I remember going to Malcolm Margolin and kvetching about too much work. I was overworked and underpaid, like a normal, healthy nonprofit person in a manager-level position. Malcolm leaned back, puffed out his moustache, stroked his biblical beard, and said You know what I do? and he gets up, pushes a wastebasket against the edge of his desk with his foot, and with one arm sweeps the whole pile of papers on his desk into the basket. Every month I declare a personal bankruptcy. That’s what he said. Personal bankruptcy. I looked at the papers in the basket, the clear desk, and the man who looks like Gandalf now leaning back in his chair, content. Flabbergasted, I guess you could say I was.
No excuses. No reasons. The last six months will be summed up perfunctorily here:
March I didn’t get into any grad schools and April Angie and I went on a consolation vacation to the Mayan Coast of Mexico. I also quite my part-time job which sucked. May I went on my first-ever writers’ retreat and wrote about fifty pages of delightful garbage. Our friends moved to North Carolina. We also flew down to Orange County to visit my parents and see our niece’s gymnastics tournament. We also flew down to Northern California to spend a week with my sister in Ft Bragg and go to my cousin’s wedding in Napa, which was lovely, and which you may have read about in the NY Times or seen on Say Yes to The Dress. I know. While we were there my stepfather had a heart attack so as soon as we got home I flew back to Orange County to spend a couple of difficult weeks. He’s fine now. That was early June. The rest of the month was quiet, at least until my stepbrother & -sister-in-law gave birth to twins. July I worked on a novel and watched the Tour de France on DVR and rooted for Andy Schleck. Fuck Contador. July was like January, slow and introspective. We took a spontaneous overnight trip to Victoria, BC, which is a terrific place that you should all visit. August we got out more, taking a camping trip to Olympic National Park and going to a family reunion up by Mount Rainier National Park, but I wrote less. The Olympics were on my Washington Bucket List—places I wanted to see in Washington before we move somewhere. We’d been hoping to move somewhere. Angie’s list pretty much consisted of whale-watching in the San Juan Islands. We went whale watching in the San Juan Islands in early September. Also camping, fishing, hiking, and eating around the San Juans. Angie caught a nice sized pink salmon. It was this big. Toward the end of the month I went to Minnesota by myself to work a book trade show, in the hopes of making some contacts there. Also to get free books. September 26 was our second anniversary, and I bought Angie flowers and took her to a nice dinner at Staple & Fancy in Seattle and to see Jonathan Richman at the Tractor Tavern. Jonathan Richman is the kind of person you are talking about when you talk about someone with really positive energy. “I met Andy Warhol,” he told us. “He was real nice! Don’t listen to those other people.” All in all I’ve written 98,700 words so far this year (not counting stuff I’ve deleted), which is about 340 words a day, more like 430 if you consider I only generally write about six days a week. 98,700 is the size of a good chunky novel. I’ve shelved my novel for now but it’s in me. I’ve been reading a lot, too. It’s mid-October and I have decided to apply again for MFA programs in creative writing (fiction). I’m eyeball-deep applications, and for the next seven to ten weeks will be revising in writing sample and working on statements of purpose and personal statements and statements of personal purpose, as well as rounding up transcripts, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation again. What I’m saying is don’t expect daily blog posts from me until this is over. But if I do, lucky you.
Now back to revising my story. Cheers.