Sometimes I don’t know what possessed me to get a Master’s degree in creative non-fiction. It’s not the degree that perplexes me as much as the subject. I love to blog, and I enjoy memoir and personal essay, but my life is so incredibly boring that to share the details of it with you would be tantamount to torture, and, as we all know, we don’t use torture here in the United States.
I have been on such a writing streak for the last week that I’m honestly afraid of what happens when it ends. I haven’t been this productive since college – when I was sitting through lectures on literature and secretly writing scenes for my YA book instead of taking notes. Class was great for my productivity, largely because for some reason unknown to me, I get my best inspiration when I’m supposed to be doing something else, like listening. (I wrote a ton of fan fiction during high school. Literally, during it.)
Right, blogging. That thing I do to maintain my online cred and market myself as a writer. When I blog, I prefer to write anecdotes, or short essays – the sort of thing you might find in a magazine – or at least something more interesting than a catalogue of what I’ve had to eat.
I started this blog in 2008 as I was preparing to graduate from college with a degree in creative writing. I had an unpaid internship as the assistant to a producer; I was submitting my YA novel to agents, short stories to literary journals, and gathering plenty of material on what not to do. (I have an enormous MS Word document of other people’s query letters that are each horrendous in their own way.) A lot has changed since then (and, sadly, a lot has not), but what I always hoped to do with this blog was share my successes and failures in the writer’s market, and possibly help others learn from my mistakes.
So this is what I’m doing: I’m writing a comic book.
I hardly ever blogged or tweeted about my time working for Shout! Factory because I lived in perpetual fear of ‘tweeting out of turn’ and blabbing about some project that had yet to be finalized, thus bringing about my swift termination from the company. Figuring out how much to say about one’s own project is even harder, because there’s no one to tell you whether the time has come or not.
I’ve been forced to find an alternative means of caffeination. My beloved Coffee Bean closed the location that was less than a block from my house, profoundly altering my daily schedule – in other words, I now have to put on real clothes and drive to get coffee. Technically there’s one CB that’s still within walking distance, but it’s a bit of a shlep, and takes up too much time…
I’m not surprised. I’m hurt, frustrated, embarrassed, angry, and sad, but not surprised. After all, the reason I stopped watching House in the first place was that it was so predictable, it made me feel clairvoyant. Sure enough, the ‘asexual couple’ episode was exactly what I expected it to be.
Once upon a time, I wanted to be an actress.
Because I am who I am, I was always realistic-bordering-on-fatalistic about the whole process, assuming that I’d have to find some other job to pay the bills, but at least I could do theatre. Life took me in another direction, though whenever I have the chance to act, I always remember how much I love doing it. Aside from a lack of ambition, however, there’s another big reason I’d never have made it as an actress:
I don’t photograph well.
We’ve had a lot fun at the expense of an eradicated indigenous people, but what if this really was our last year on Earth? Sort of puts all those New Year’s Resolutions in perspective. This could very well be the last year to make promises to ourselves that we probably won’t keep.
Every year at the start of December, as predictably as finding pieces of chocolate behind the cardboard windows of an Advent calendar, I dream that my family forgets to celebrate Christmas.