Country Schnoo, City Schnoo

This is day three in the country, and the first full day of work I’ve had since we’ve arrived. Of course, it is also the day when the sun is gloriously shining, so I’m sure at some point my work flow will be interrupted by a brisk walk in my rubber boots.

It’s beautiful here. If I could drive a car, I could spend a lot of time in a place like this. I feel so much more relaxed, and I’m incredibly inspired and focused. In a dream life, I’d have a place like this on a lake, and a modest place in the city. I’d spend more time at the lake, knowing me, and there would have to be a dog.

Things are humming along with my writing project. I’m enjoying it so much, and it’s really changing the way I look at myself and my own potential. I can DO this. This is something I could be really great at, and something that feels entirely natural to me. I’m also piecing together this romantic picture about who Schnoo the writer is. I have writing outfits, and I’ve imagined my ideal writing space down to the most minute detail. I can really picture this kind of life.

How lucky I am to have the love and support that I have. Every morning I wake up grateful for this, and don’t take it for granted for even one instant. Its amazing how I feel like I am finding my voice all over again, and that every moment of my life has pointed to this time and place, and this new experience of self.

The nature of my new work requires that I create an alter-ego, a nom de plume. Breathing life into her has been so much fun. I hope to discreetly introduce her through these pages when the time is right, so that any of you who are interested can help support this project, because a great deal of our marketing efforts will be viral.

Life is sweet like the country air, filled with hope and promise and the lilting sigh of the burgeoning spring breeze.

American Splendor

I watched a movie called ‘American Splendor’ last night after the kids went to bed, from my pile of pillows and blankets on the sofa.

This movie is an incredible bio pic about Harvey Pekar, who is the author of a comic book series by the same name. The film starred Paul Giamatti, who I think is brilliant, and mixed dramatic and documentary styles in a very clever way with Harvey Pekar appearing as himself, commenting on the movie, and on the various points in his life depicted there.

American Splendor was revolutionary because it was simply about Harvey’s life. Each new volume was like a snapshot of his day-to-day, and was brilliantly illustrated by some of the very best underground comic book artists, including Robert Crumb, of Fritz the Cat fame. The series touched on some very deeply personal experiences, including Pekar’s struggle with cancer, and involved his co-workers and friends as really vibrant characters, as our colleagues and loved ones are in our own daily existence.

It occurred to me that the reasons why this series is so appealing are the same reasons why we now enjoy blogs so much. We can cast ourselves as the hero in our own stories, and we can move people through the ways we articulate the mundane, everyday realities of our world.

Harvey Pekar was a file clerk in a veteran’s hospital in Cleveland. In fact, he worked at this job until he retired. He was more than a little somber, most definitely cynical, and at least a little crusty, but people love his work. He appeared as a regular guest on the David Letterman show, until he blasted NBC and GE on air. He even won an American Book Award for the series.

We all have stories to tell, but not all of us know how to tell them with such simple grace and poignancy. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I plucked this DVD off the shelf last night, as I start to embark on a whole new relationship with my writing. How would you tell your own stories if given the chance?

Too Much. Of What, I’m Not Sure

Each morning this week, I’ve woken up with a sore throat. By the time I have to hit the gym, it’s usually gone. Today it was not.

As I type this, my eyes are streaming with tears, and my tonsils are bright red and I feel like I’m swallowing razor blades. I still went to the gym though. I put in decent effort, but every single exercise made me want to burst into tears because I was feeling so lousy, and then feeling sorry for myself.

I’ll go tomorrow too. Just because I have to see the week through. Because I am committed to this bikini idea, and to being the best I can be. But I feel like caca.

Writing time today was replaced with nap time, and I can only hope that I can make use of having to miss choir practice tonight. I have zero energy though, and I feel like an absolute baby.

Perhaps you really aren’t interested in reading my whining?

I’ve become addicted to Violet Blue. I so enjoy her blog Tiny Nibbles, and I’m about to start reading one of her many books. She’s a personal hero of sorts. Between her blog, and Dooce, I have enough fuel for my own fire, and when you also consider that I’m not being drained by the demands of a day job, I’m in great form. If only I could get better at feeling well, and at writing.

Writer friends, how do you stay nimble? What are your tips and tricks for keeping up the flow? I have a head filled with ideas, but the execution seems a little daunting sometimes.

Perhaps another round of ginger lemon tea and my girlfriend’s homemade chicken soup will fix me.

Deboning my Duck

I rented Julie and Julia the other night, and it made me want to do two things:

1. Eat a lot of food cooked in a lot of butter

2. Write here

The movie was cute, but I would have rather watched the Meryl Streep action than the whiny narcissistic blogging girl. In true narcissistic fashion, it made me wonder if I am as narcissistic as this girl, consumed with her musings and driving her husband right out of the house. Then I realized that I haven’t written here in a very long time, and I have no husband. Legal documents may dictate otherwise, but the only ring on my hand is my feisty Nana’s wedding band which I wear proudly on my middle finger.

Here’s what’s happening in Schnooville:

1. I’ve given up on 9-5 forever. Seriously. I mean it. This last stint was the straw that broke this obnoxious, proud, ego-maniacal lion’s back once and for all. I am hell bent on being the boss of me, and am fortunate enough to be in such a position

2. I’m doing a lot of research about one of my favourite topics – sex. There is A LOT of crap out there, written by pathetic jerks looking to make a buck by proclaiming themselves master lovers. I’m sorry for everyone who is buying into this shite.

3. I’m creating an alter-ego. I almost spelled that “altar” and I think there is some significance to such a type o. This is to facilitate my new adventures as a writer and professional master lover. Ha! Just kidding. Sort of.

4. My relationship is awesome. Not perfect, but settling into this awesome place where I don’t have to worry so much about my relationship. I can just kind of be in it, and enjoy it.

5. Anxiety seems to be vastly diminished. I’m sure this is directly linked to my lack of 9-5 job. I really don’t know what I was thinking, trying to go back to that world. I kept telling myself “this time it will be different”, but like all bad pairings, the outcome was the same.

6. I am convinced that my lack of writing here has my mother convinced that something is wrong with me. Mom, nothing is wrong. Everything is actually amazing. You should know by now (my teenage years being the finest example) that I write more when I’m unsettled, anxious, depressed and/or frustrated. I guess it’s like venting.

7. Every female friend I have is now either a mom, or about to be a mom. I’m thinking through this list, and yep. All of ’em. The closest I have to my own “last unicorn” status is my girlfriend who is a step-mom. Amazingly, all maternal yearnings have been subdued by the recent focus on my writing. I am birthing a new career, I guess. I was actually marveling about this today, but then I ended up minding my pal’s five-month-old little dude and I think I have an achy ovary now. I think I’m reassured that my maternal cravings still exist somewhere.

8. Every morning I wake up happy, but realize I desperately, desperately need a bigger bed. Seriously. It’s actually ridiculous now. Am considering moonlighting as an exotic dancer, because I’m fairly convinced I could buy a larger bed after two nights of work. Ha. Kidding. Sort of.

9. My dreams are back. Intense, vivid, grabbing me by the throat and shaking me to my sub-basement. Deep dark childhood fears, feelings of insignificance and self-loathing from high school, terrifying scenarios involving total strangers. I blame therapy.

10. Therapy is AWESOME. Despite the unbelievable dreams, I am realizing exactly how to articulate what I need, and want. I’m also able to really relax into my life and my love, knowing how successfully my needs are being satisfied. My life may be non-traditional, but it works really well for me when I stop worrying so much. I am so in love, and feel so loved, and have faith that we really can make this work. I can’t imagine any other reality.

11. I’m back at the gym. I have a really sexy trainer. My goal is to be confidant in a bikini this summer. I haven’t worn a bikini since I was about six because I still have the exact pot belly I had then, and not the sexy Pulp Fiction kind. As I type this, I notice it actually hurts to rest my chin in my hands. Tomorrow should be awesome.

I’d best make more of an effort to write here. I have no idea how many people are still reading this, but I think about you often. Whenever I have a moment in my day that I consider remarkable, I think “That would make a good blog post, I think my readers would like that.” How fucking pretentious of me, no?

The truth is friends, I had my privacy pretty seriously invaded through this blog, and it hurt me more than I realized. Because of people’s narrow thinking, I’ve had to cut some significant parts out of my day-to-day accounts, and I really resented that for a while. Now, I think I’ve come out the other end.

Writing here challenges me to seek out the little bits of magic that happen every day, for the sake of having something to share. Without my regular posting, I felt like the magic dried up a little, but then, watching that kind of cheesy movie, it all clicked. I missed you, and remembered why I fell in love with you in the first place.

So, I’m back. I’m re-focused and ready to make a fresh commitment. If not for the sake of reaching out and examining, I will write more frequently in the hopes that I can squeeze a moderately entertaining chick flick out of this.

Ha. Kidding. Sort of.