Thursday, August 07, 2008

Summertime and the Livin' Is Easy ... Too Easy

I am reclaiming my mornings. I've realized that I get sleepy/fall asleep at the same time, more or less, every night no matter when I wake up in the morning. So I'm trying to get up earlier (i.e., when my alarm goes off, not 25 snoozes later) and get back to my productive morning routines, namely exercising and/or writing.

I gave up on the morning journaling thing late last year. I'd been doing morning pages every morning for almost 10 years, but in these years post-divorce the purpose of it had grown kind of stale. Brain dump, good. But I felt (and later read)like I was evacuating the same crap every morning, over and over, and not really learning anything from it, just filling notebooks. True, I did a metric ass-ton of writing and journaling and editing in late 05 and in 06 that was instrumental in getting me "through" some pretty dark days. But it started to feel like any lingering hard feelings were kept alive by me and me alone, primarily through reliving them, in black and white, every morning.

So in late December last year, I finished filling a notebook, then bought one of those spiffy Moleskine artist's journals, and relinquished my morning regimen. Ever since then I've been just writing then the mood strikes me and occasionally making a random month a "poem a day" project.

Well, that sucked.

Eight months in and my output is abysmal. The quality of what I'm writing is okay, but writing is a numbers game: the more you write the better you get, if only because you're producing more pages and so more opportunities for greatness. I have not picked up the pace in ye olde blogge either, as I thought I would. Plus, I have missed my morning doodles, especially the ones where I would just explore a thought or an article I'd read or flesh out map on my life path, none of which really involved plumbing the depths of my quiddity or anything. I was just ... writing. And my morning writing habits never really transitioned to later in the day, as I thought might happen too.

So I'm back to it, trying to get into a chair in front of my journal asap after waking up and hack out a couple of pages every morning. So far so good, but I am becoming less enamored of Mr. Moleskine. I have always had an aversion to "fancy" journals but M seemed so austere yet elegant. I think I'm having trouble with the paper, though. Too smooth. Too creamy. Too ... nice. And the pages are just small enough to give me a hemmed-in feeling, even though, looking back in past journals, I don't really take up more space on the page, at least when writing poetry.

I'm still hung up on my blank Sanford Uni-Ball Onyx micro pens. In fact, it's about time to order another box.

I'm gearing up for the poetry retreat + workshop I'm hosting next weekend at Hill House, which I think is what's convinced me that something's gotta give here. I have to finish getting my workshop submission together, which has had me thinking about my process and toolkit. And I've been feeling a little "crisis"-y about it all. I'm supposed to produce a chapbook ms. out of this workshop, as stipulated in my fellowship app, which is how the workshop is getting funded in the first place. No pressure! Really, I'm not feeling pressured externally. I've got at very least 3/4 of the ms. gathered. Hopefully after the workshop it'll be ready to trim, finalize, and then I can start showing it around in Sept., then start submitting it for pubbing in October though the rest of the year.

That's the plan anyway.

Writing aside:

Roller derby is ruling my life these days. Not ruining! But it has pushed a lot of stuff to the side. No more so, though, than, say, that live sound effects gig did. That ate most of May and June this year, but it was such a rewarding experience, I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Same with announcing. I really enjoy it but it's not something I can just show up and do. It takes a fair amount of constant involvement with the derby community and actual study of names, numbers, and rules and strategy to be effective on mic.

I can tell I'm getting better at it too, and I'm really enjoying working with X Static this season. We're actually developing some Duo Traits (Liz would call this a Bromance) that's cool on a personal level, but it's also making our part of "the show" much more interesting. It helps that we regularly get invited to announce for the Rollergirls of Southern Indiana in Evansville. I'm going down to announce for them this weekend, and it'll be the third time this year I've announced for a team that's not "mine." How cool is that? They are awesome ladies, too, and ROSI is like another home team to me in many ways.

Let's see, what else:

Survived a visit over the weekend from Mari's parents and brother. eek!

May be Probably having a yard sale this weekend.

Going to Holiday World on Monday with Mars, V-ron, and her man.

Have been invited to collaborate on some kind of visual art/poetry project. Too vague at this point to talk about in more detail, but I think this may be the project I try to get funded with an IAC grant next year.

Can't find my passport anywhere. I hope I haven't lost it but it's probably not a huge deal. It's terribly expired anyway. (I haven't been overseas since it was issued ... in 1987. I flew to Edmonton in 1999 and was let into and out of the US/Canada without a passport. Ah, the good old days of intentionally lax security.) I think I have to report it lost before I apply for a new one, though.

I really want to GO SOMEWHERE this year, far away, like a beach or maybe visit Gerry in the mountains. After reading about Persia in National Geographic, I am stricken with wanderlust, and I think I really would like to visit Iran (or the Middle East) someday, fairly soon, before we americanize it too much. Or start bombing them.

Reading tons of poetry these days: Mary Jo Bang, James Galvin, Kyle Dargan, Frank O'Hara (need to read more FO'H), and the summer double issue of POETRY. I want to start reading prose (fiction or non-) again, but I am so pressed for time.

Saw the new Mummy movie. Eh. Still, it was better than the new Indiana Jones movie, which makes me kind of ill.

Saw Wall-E and absolutely loved it.

Still haven't seen Dark Knight and need to badly.

Just got handed an ms. to set at work: "Revenge of the Women's Studies Professor." Ha! This should be good.