Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

Blog Moving

March 18, 2014

Hey all!

If you have found your way to this old dusty corner of my writing life, thank you!

However, this blog is a closed book now – an old journal packed away under the bed. I like that it’s still here, but its pages are not turned regularly any more. If you are interested in finding my writing and me, then please head over to The Story Changes ( to find my current and up to date postings.

Again, thank you so much for stopping by – for finding me in this vast internet universe. I really appreciate it! And I hope to see you over at The Story Changes (because it is – the story is always changing!)



A Place to Live

January 4, 2010

I am leaving my most wonderful-apartment-I-never-thought-I-could-have-or-afford because it turns out, I can’t really afford it.  It seemed like a great prospect when I was moving here from DC, where I made a measly 54K (half of what my friends with “real” jobs made, but twice what I make here in NC) for teaching and my rent was $950.  So imagine my delight when I could get a downtown loft with WASHER AND DRYER for only $800 in Asheville!  The only thing missing from my dream loft is exposed brick, and well, maybe some exposed duct work would have been cool, and well, a balcony would have been dang sweet, but who am I to keep asking?  It is the coolest place I have ever lived: 9 foot windows in the living room, which has 14 foot ceilings; a wonderful mountain view, and lots of wonderful warm light.

This was great for what I was here to do: NOT WATCH TV.  Seriously, there is a monster glare, like God himself is floating right outside my window and annoyingly shining his heavenly rays of light on my screen – no matter where I move it or how I angle myself – brightness is either on my show or on my face.  Pain in the neck natural light.  But that is precisely why I needed this place: I am addicted to TV, and not the cool healthy stuff like the Book Channel or the History Channel, but rather home design shows: Hello Income Property and House Hunters International, not to mention my very favorite Property Virgins (Sandra Rinomato, will you please come and help me find another place just like this one but with more than one bedroom, a basement, a fenced in yard, 2 bathrooms, laundry and an updated kitchen while staying within walking distance to shops and restaurants and, importantly, bars, but not busting my servant-to-society teacher’s budget?  Easy, right?)

So, like the Betty Ford of apartments, I moved into a place that would be more conducive to reading and writing and yoga rather than sitting like a zombie eating pasta while watching The Biggest Loser.  But alas, I cannot afford it, AND – and this is probably the reason I should mention FIRST when I say why I am moving, I am proceeding along the relationship path with my wonderful partner and pal (I dislike the word boyfriend, but that could be because I spend a lot of time with teenage girls lamenting about their boyfriends, and frankly, I just feel too old to deal with boyfriend crap of my own, so my man is my partner and pal – for now.  Maybe one day he’ll get a new title, we’ll see.)

As I sit here, I realize that it has become very dark in my ever-bright loft space which means that it’s nighttime now.  The light in the apartment mirrors the light of the outside.  The mountains are a mere shadow outlined in the pink of the setting sun with gray wispy clouds hanging out above, like they’re waiting for the authoritative sun to get on and get gone so they can be cloaked and incognito and the real party can start.  I just had to get up and turn on the nearest floor lamp and am pleased to realize that when I get writing, I fail to notice other things – like night falling or the fact that my hair is drying in a weird towel-twist shape as I have not proceeded to comb, dry it or get dressed post-shower and instead sat down to this upon exiting the shower. (See?  I am easily distracted, and that is exactly my point.  I am like walking ADD much of the time and when I am writing – I am unusually-for-me-focused.  Why don’t I do this all the time again?)  I am also starving – I think pesto tonight, I mean, I’ve got to use it up right?  That’s justification enough for pasta if you ask me.  And I haven’t let the dogs out in like 6 hours – they are over at my manpal’s house, into which I will be moving, and I am icky-terrible at living in two places at once.  I go into dreamy time-warp when I am in my apartment, like it’s not real life and I am in my own little imagination bubble where I read, write, sing (which I will absolutely never do in the real world) and am the person that I wish other people thought of me as.  That last sentence was terrible grammatically, but I don’t care right now.

All of this to say, that at the end of the month, I will be handing the keys of my very favorite creative living space – my greenhouse so to speak – to a banker named Chris Farley.  When he came to see the place, he, in my opinion, just did not seem to be reasonably excited about the place.  He did not at all jump up and down or squeal or gush the way I did when I saw it; in fact, I don’t think he even smiled.  He just needs a convenient box close to work to hold his things.  That is not all this apartment can do, no sir.  This apartment is meant to stir the soul and get one closer to heaven, and he just wants to be a boring guy in it.  My theory is that he has been made fun of for far too long about his name that he has permanently banished creative humor.  One too many people has made some, “van down by the river” joke to him and he has lost all luster for giddiness, and now my poor apartment must suffer someone not appreciating it properly.  It is not just a box in which to sleep.  But, he works at a bank and I’m guessing that my landlord likes the idea of a consistent rent check.

So, when I saw my landlord this morning in the coffee house downstairs, I asked, “Did you hear from anyone or decide on a new tenant?”

And he nodded and said, “Yes, I went with Chris Farley; I figured it was just too cold right now for him to continue living in a van down by the river.”

At least my landlord is maintaining that creative humor.

Family of writers?

November 29, 2009

I have always believed that I was going to be a writer.  Is this, as my mother and grandmother think, because it runs in my blood?  My great-grandfather was a fantastic poet, my grandmother was unpracticed talent; my mother and her two brothers are witty and eloquent, but no one was “a writer”, all were/ are just well-written.  My grandmother has always enjoyed the idea that I would take this raw family talent gene somewhere.  Somewhere further than the rest of them had gone with it.  It’s like the elite, privileged version of the first one in the family to go to college.  We all are well-educated: my grandmother got a scholarship to Duke University at a time when women only made up 30 per cent or so of college attendees.  My mother went to a progressive liberal arts college, which was so radical it closed down, but she is one of the most well-read people I know and more educated than the majority of people.  I’m pretty sure she will always know more than I know, and I have my masters degree.  I am a high school English teacher, but I am not of the school that formal schooling is the only way to become educated.  I am of the school that reading is key.  And seeing the world.  But in the world of education today, it seems to be less and less about what you know or have learned, and more about what honors or wins you have racked up on your student resume.  But my thoughts on public and private schooling are a very long rant for a totally separate blog, though I’m sure, as teaching is such an integral part of my life, that they will pop up here now and then.

I am struggling now with the balance of my complete and utter faith that I am a writer – whether anyone ever reads it, whether anything is ever published – it is a religious experience for me.  I transcend this plane through words, simile, metaphor.   And sometimes, like church for others, I resent it – I would rather spend my Sunday morning drinking coffee and watching TV than sitting blankly with pen and paper or keys to type.  But my stubborn lethargy does not change that knowledge, that utter faith.  It is who I am, but how will I become who I am?

And there is the other plate on this balance – fear.  Why would I fear what I have complete faith in?  I am frozen within, or maybe without, a bubble of expectations.  I know that a major flaw of mine is looking too much at the final product rather than the process.  I am anxious about finishing – both in completeness and detail, and so I become stunted and do not write anything.  I know, I know that everyone writes “shitty first drafts” (thank you, Anne Lamott) and that to be a writer, all you have to do is write, even if most of it is terrible, but I am stuck.  I have spent too many years as an editor/grader with kids’ analytical writing?  Correcting rather than creating?  Or maybe I am too impatient – I want that satisfaction of having a finished thing that I am proud of, and I have yet to take the time to make one.

And that is why I am doing this blog.  I must confess that I have been anti-blog for some time: too much of a overexposed flood of opinion and word.  Too much, too many.  And because of that quantity, I am guessing no one will ever find my little nest.  And this will be my alone place (yet, with the possibility, er, risk of someone being able to see my expose (I can’t figure out how to put the accent over that – it is expose-ay)) to talk about MY writing process, to get me talking to me about it every day.  But because it says Writing at the top of this page, I cannot veer off about my pay-the-bills waitress job, or teaching, or how teachers still need a restaurant job to pay the bills, including those expensive college loans that were needed to become a teacher, or my laundry, or relationships.  I can talk about reading and writing.  And I will.