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The first day of my absolute favorite month found me discombobulated. I left my sweater at a shop…my work keys at home…I couldn’t find my car keys, though I knew they had to be with me since I made it to work! I felt jittery and distracted. And then the news of the shooting at the Oregon Community College broke and the day took a further surreal turn, especially for those of us who work at community colleges.

Today I’m hoping that a walk along the water and seeing the old ship will clear my head and ground me more than this figurative “land.”

In truth, land-living has been good and full…and rather ocean-themed, now that I think of it.

Last Friday night I attended a Titanic-themed Tea Party at the Tudor Rose Tearoom. We all dressed in our early 20th century finery, met an actress who starred in the famous “Kate & Leo” film we all know and love (or hate), and learned about the history and etiquette of 1912.

(Photo courtesy of my mother who claims she attended as our servant.)

(Photo courtesy of my mother who claims she attended as our servant.)

I forgot how much I love dressing up in costumes. Taking on another persona. Writing is like that…“dressing up” and being your characters…though I never equated the two before. While my sister-in-law, clever girl that she is, made her own costume…and was properly recognized for that…I pieced together my costume from various thrift stores. In the end I was very happy with it, even if it was more post-WWI, Suffragette Movement rather than Titanic elegance.

Last Saturday and Sunday found us in Carmel-by-the-Sea doing two portrait sessions. Well, my husband was doing the work; I was moral support and occasionally held a reflector or carried a bag. We took the opportunity to visit the Carmel Mission, finding ourselves standing beside the burial site of Junípero Serra on the weekend he was to be canonized as a Saint, and then on the sparkling sandy beach. I fell in love Pacific Grove…the main street was lined with giant pumpkins and looked like a Rockwell Americana painting. But honestly, my favorite part was staying in at the condo, drinking coffee on the deck with the view of the bay, cooking a frozen pizza in the oven, and watching Notting Hill and Pride & Prejudice. When we returned home I definitely missed the fog and ocean smells.

Good writerly news…I’ve chosen the template for the new website! And I have begun the layout. This weekend I hope to purchase my domain name, brainstorm content, and work on the design. The end of October deadline is looking good. Same goes for the novel. I hope to get through some information-packed chapters this weekend and move into action-packed chapters, which means…I’m nearing the end! Of course, I’ve also recently started to wonder if this mystery is any good! But I’m burying those thoughts and continuing forward, with the hope that I’ve just temporarily lost perspective and can’t trust my own perceptions.

Despite this week’s sad tidings and personal discombobulation, I did have a lovely evening with my mother on Thursday. It was a writerly treat of the type I used to love reporting on this blog. After work we headed to San Francisco’s Marina District and Book Inc bookshop to hear Gigi Pandian, Catriona McPherson, and Steve Hockensmith speak on a panel of Midnight Ink authors to celebrate the house’s tenth anniversary. Rather than doing readings they interviewed each other about their writing processes and publishing experiences. Needless to say, I was thrilled to support Gigi, meet new writers, and learn from their invaluable experiences. And thanks to Mom I left with a stack of great new books to read this fall, which will serve the new website well as I plan to do monthly book reviews.

It’s Saturday morning now and the Fondo weekend. What does that mean? It means a huge cycling event of close to 7,000 riders taking place in our town. My husband, brother-in-law, and friends participate, so our house is full and festive, with bikes and bags everywhere. All the same, this weekend all I want to do is forget everything else and just do writerly things…think like a writer, be a writer. So while the guys ride bikes, we girls are overdosing on pumpkin everything at Starbucks and have our laptops out.

Perhaps I should just sneak onboard and stowaway for the rest of the weekend?

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