Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Cleaning Mix

I've been letting the piles in my apartment get a little out of control lately. I come home from work at night and just toss stuff around. The chair in the bedroom is covered in the outfits I wear to work, the recycling is piling up (hey, at least I'm recycling) and my "sleeping companion" is made of books, notepads and magazines. Everything is out of order, not so much dirty, just really disheveled. Every night I get home and end up on the couch or at my desk.

"No one is coming over, who cares what the place looks like?" 

Oh. right. I LIVE here  It shouldn't look like hell, especially now that I'm spending more time here than anywhere else. The clutter makes me crazy and it distracts me from the work I need to be doing. I needed to suck it up and get it done before I wrote or read another word.

All I wanted to do when I got home last night was take a big nap before I  dinner and the MFA portion of my evening, but I knew if I did that, a twenty minute power nap would turn into an hour and a half dream session and  I'd wake up too groggy to read or write (or that's what I would tell myself). The place needed a speed cleaning before I did anything. I didn't even switch my boots for slippers. What I did do was grab my ipod and set it to the dance mix. Here are the choicest cuts from last night's Grooves over Grime session.

"I can sense it / something important /is about to happen / it's coming up"
Oh Bjork, I didn't even know what this song was about until a few years ago. I just like the beat and the fact that it reminds me of dancing with Douglas at BAR. Oh, the 90s.

"I'm gonna take this itty bitty world by storm / And I'm just gettin warm"
Badass: the man, the song and how the song makes me feel. That is all. 

"Ten years from now we'll still be on top / Yo, I thought I told you that we won't stop"
Any song with a Diana Ross sample is OK by me! Yes, I know all the words to Biggie's verse.

"What makes you think you can just walk back into her life/ Without a good fight?"
Memories of dancing and drinking with my best girls at UofH. CBs forever. 

Back to Life, Soul to Soul
"No more room for trouble and fuss / Need a change, a positive change / Look it's me writing on the wall"
One of those tracks that puts me in the zone on the dancefloor. Also works while scrubbing kitchen counters. 
An hour later, my place was in order and my mind was clear of clutter. I still had time to shower, eat dinner, and catch up on Glee before I settled in to study! Aw yeah! Works every time. 

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

How I'm Learning to Stop Worrying & Love the MFA

I'm trying to balance a full-time job with what amounts to another full-time job. Deputy Director of a Business Improvement District/Fairfield MFA Candidate. How's it going? Well...

I'm at the office from 9am-5pm. Emails, phone calls, meetings, event planning. I'm home by 6pm and allow myself two hours to unwind (reading non-school stuff, a hot shower, a real dinner) before I'm in pajama pants and working at my other job until midnight. Writing, reading, revising. Sometimes I'm just THINKING about writing, reading and revising. Yes, thinking about the writing, reading and revising is a huge part of the process, but I must be careful not to do too much thinking or I freeze up. I'm learning this one slowly. 

Thinking about writing has begun to overlap with thinking about work. Here's a sample:

"Don't forget to bring the packets for the board meeting. Remember what Elizabeth said about slowing down when you're working on that scene. Call Brad about that meeting tomorrow. Did I put the office husband's birthday card in my datebook or in my purse? How many pages is too much for submission to a publication? Who gives a shit about what I'm writing?"

Yep, all that before 7:30am. I'm not a morning person and having that much going on in my head before I've had coffee is especially annoying.

I'm exhausted and irritable. So much so that I said I hated the writing and the reading and the revising. OK, what I said was:

"I do hate this whole process, because most days I don't know what the fuck I'm doing, but I love it more because I know what it is doing for me. Stupid character building."

As my dear old (best friend's) Dad says, "No one ever said it was going to be easy." I know it. I knew this would be hard, maybe the hardest thing I've ever done for myself. And that's my real struggle. I'm doing this for myself. I'm doing this because it's what I've always wanted. I love writing. I love reading. I love thinking, talking and learning about writing and reading. And this MFA program is the way to get more of that in my life.

Only took 38 years to figure that one out. I always was a late bloomer.