29 September 2013

Tick Tock

Today is exactly the sort of day to wrap yourself in a blanket while cradling a cup of coffee. While the city faces record rainfalls, I feel like I'm facing record fatigue.

You think you know what a lot of rain is and then the sky opens up and dumps out bucket after bucket after bucket. I came home to a previously empty outdoor water dish for Zelda that had been transformed into a fountain.  I drove down streets that looked more like rivers. I listened to the wind as it whipped the rain and the leaves stubbornly holding onto their trees, not yet ready to fall.

I woke up to a dark sky and watched as the world became one shade of gray, a sky without contrast or definition.

I woke up tired, not ready for another day, another week, another month to begin.

Sitting in the library I can hear the ticking clock as each second builds another minute in the construction of time.

I want more.

What I've noticed these past few weeks when I've been posting little and writing even less, is that I haven't been taking the time to nourish the creative part of me. I think back to the chaos that was November 2012 and remember that I WROTE A NOVEL. And it wasn't just that I wrote a novel, but that I gave up doing so many other things...and yet I was still happy. I felt alive in a way that I haven't been feeling as of late.

It's time I found that feeling again.

15 September 2013

A Book Recommendation

Last week I found myself with an hour and a half wait, without a book or a NOOK. But, as good fortune would have it, I was half a block away from one of Portland's great independent bookstores, Broadway Books.

I did not go in with the intention to buy. I really just wanted to look around and see the familiar books in an unfamiliar landscape. I may be surrounded by books all day at work, but I don't often have the time to wander and savor. As soon as I opened the door I was greeted by the two women working inside. One of them asked me if I needed any help and I said I was just browsing. I'm not sure what prompted me to do this, but I turned around and asked her what book she'd read recently that she'd really loved. She walked me over to a table and showed me this non-fiction book she'd read and couldn't say enough good things about. Then she showed me a few other books before turning the question back to me. And once I'd answered, she gave me a few specific recommendations based on my answer.

In short, it was a fabulous example of good customer service. I browsed the entire store, contemplating this experience. She had done such a great job and I felt like I really wanted to reward the store with my business. I was reminded of a book a coworker friend had recommended...only I couldn't remember the title or the author.

I was suddenly one of those awful customers. "Well, it's red with white letters. The title is something and something. It recently came out in paperback. Oh, and the author has a new book out and that one's blue."

Yeah, not particularly helpful. But bless her heart, she tried and she tried with a great attitude.

I wandered back to the fiction section, knowing if it were there I would spot it fairly quickly. And sure enough, there it was, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I figured it was time I finally bought and read this book.

I ended up at a coffee shop while I waited and devoured the first hundred pages. I loved the characters, the perspective, the plot.

But I had this sneaking suspicion it was going to break my heart.

There is this little problem that comes from reading books about story, about writing, about plotting. I can barely read a book these days or watch a movie without noticing small details and clues I never would have noticed before, all those things an author does to set the stage, to tell the story, to make it all ring true when you get to the finale.

And when it comes to "ticking clocks," this book executed it expertly.

I've been emotionally affected by other books recently, books that have brought tears to my eyes, but nothing prepared me for my response to this book. I could barely read the last 50 pages through the tears and by the final pages I was literally sobbing.

Now, the thought of having your heart ripped out of your chest and then beaten and bruised until you can barely recognize it may not sound all that appealing. But truthfully, I feel like this book is an important sort of book and handles the ideas of Love in a way not often done in literature.

It will be quite some time before I stop thinking about this book.

02 September 2013

Time is a Piece of Wax

I honestly can't remember the last time I sat in this chair with a cup of coffee and a sunny breeze. There is a part of me that can't believe the calendar reads "September" and there is a part of me that is grateful for its arrival. I love the beginning of every season and while Summer and I have had an epic love affair I will never forget, there is a part of me that is ready to fall head over heels into Fall.

Life has been...busy? Full? Chaotic? Calm? Yes and yes and yes and yes. It has been all those things  and if I'm lucky enough to get my secret heart's desire it will be all that and exponentially more. But what is constant if not change?

I've been finding more and more that time is elastic. It bends, it expands, it shrinks. As the Doctor says, "People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a non-linear non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big bowl of wibbly wobbly timey wimey... stuff."

I want to take that bowl and mix up something delicious.

Perhaps one of the greatest lessons that NaNoWriMo taught me was that there is always time for the things you want to do. It is that knowledge that has kept me sane during the last few weeks of long work days and long work weeks. It's why I find myself, feet bathing in the morning sunshine, cozied up in my favorite chair with a cup of coffee, contemplating all the promises time has to offer. 

I don't want to wake up in five, ten, twenty, or thirty years dreaming about the things that might have been. I don't to wake up bitter or with regret. I'd rather live a life filled with fantastic mistakes.