what your sad friend does not need to hear from you

I just had a really lovely, low-key, fun evening with a friend. We went for a hike and then for Burmese food. It was just what I needed.

Then I was driving home and thinking about whatever and kind of continuing the conversation we had had at dinner with myself, as I am wont to do, and then all of a sudden I was in tears. Not breaking down inconsolable, but a steady, obnoxious, salty stream–just me, mascara-y tears, and 101.

This is not the first time that some zen-ish driving (i.e. not rush hour) has…prompted? allowed? made? me start to cry about the state of my life. It has happened a lot since I moved here, and probably has happened in other non-driving iterations at other times in my life.

And one of the things that made the tears keep coming out, I mean aside from catharsis from being a generally bottled up, busy person, was my realization that I have no one to cry to except myself. Continue reading

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what else i’m up to, and where

I haven’t been writing here much lately, but that’s just because I’ve been busy with lots of other projects that involve writing and reading.

  • I’m doing a lot of blogging for The Hub, which is where more general book posts are going as far as recommendations and booklists, rather than here, which I’m reserving for more deep critique or personal thoughts on books.
  • I’ve been asked to write a book chapter on developing multicultural collections for school libraries! So that’s in the works. I’m very excited to have the chance to do some scholarly work again.
  • I will be reviewing books for the Horn Book Magazine!
  • I am helping We Need Diverse Books with a Cool Thing! I will tell you more about it when I am able to.
  • I am also working on two secret undercover awesome new blog projects in conjunction with other super awesome cool people, so stay tuned!
  • I am working on my novel(s). My writing group and I devised a system where we get punished if we don’t live up to our goals. For me, it started as 90 minutes of novel work a week. I failed. So now it’s 60 minutes novel, 60 minutes blog/book chapter. When I don’t live up to the goal, I owe everyone in the group lattes or breakfast. So far, so good with this new goal! Since we started this on February 8, I have written 4299 words of fiction, which is more efficient than I have been in a very long time. I also re-outlined the whole novel, as I am now about halfway through, so that the second half would go where the first half seems to be directing it, since the original outline was no longer totally true.
  • I am taking a screenwriting class! I am learning a whole bunch and really enjoying myself and will have written at least Act I (that’s all that’s assigned, but I hope to go beyond that) by the end of May.

So please keep checking back here, as I want to write as much as possible, but also look for me in other cool places, because I like being everywhere.

hang in there with me

elle-woodsI desperately miss writing here, and I log in all the time, look around, write down notes for posts, and then go away.

Here’s the thing: I am trying to be good to myself and good about myself, meaning that I am trying to treat myself well and trying to be thoughtful with how I present myself and to only write here when I feel like I have something to say. Full, thought-out ideas. And I haven’t had the energy to think things out because I’m still recovering from the depression I was in over the summer, and because work has been mentally and emotionally draining, and because I’m trying to develop new habits.

I really, really want to be writing. I’ve been writing a lot more, but not the kind of a lot I need to if I want to legitimately call myself a writer. I don’t like that, but because I have other things to take care of, like working enough to pay my bills and trying to stay healthy, I’m not able to make it a priority. I know lots of authors have jobs and kids and lives, and I only really have the first, and yet they make it work, and that’s great for them. Right now, I’m just not able.

But I’m making it a goal. I’ve read, and probably you have, too, that it takes something like two months to develop a habit. Right? Probably Self magazine told me that. At any rate, that doesn’t seem far off. It didn’t take long after I moved to Silicon Valley and started working at an institution that is powered by Google Apps for me to construct my life entirely around my Google Calendar. If you force them, habits happen. But I can’t put “writing” in my calendar on a daily basis yet. Not just yet. Continue reading