Archive for September, 2005

Hat & Coat Weather

September 29, 2005

I am clawing up from the dregs of sickness and discovering that there’s a whole bright, beautiful world out there.

I’m also catching up on the three trillion things that I had to let slide while I was confined to bed, too weak to even read for long periods.

It was a bitch.

I’ve gnawed at the pile of stuff, and am feeling better about it. House chores, bills, e-mails, ticket reservations for Thanksgiving in Dayton, need to reserve my damn hotel room for World Fantasy, new contract writing job with a software company (paperwork, first little assignment), tackling the huge mindless waste of space that is my day job (full of dates and numbers and five daily reports and bullshit, bullshit, bullshit Xs 2), finishing the last of the Book rewrites so I can get that out by Friday/Saturday, and itching to get back to working on God’s War.

I’m feeling awake, I have energy, I’ll just be stirring around the rest of the week finishing up my backlog. I have lingering weakness and some trouble eating certain foods as yet, but I’m definately in recovery mode.

An Encounter with the HR Manager

September 26, 2005

I bumped into the HR manager in the hall, and she asked if I was any better.

I said, well, no.

JZ, one of the lead architects, is still out with the same thing (he still has PTO time. I burned all my up on writing days and trips to NY). After lamenting about the fact that I’ve been barely able to get down toast and soup for the last week, she said, cheerfully, “Well, you’re getting really skinny!”

ARRGGGGGGGGGGGGGHGHGHHHRRHRHHRRHRHRHHRHRH

That’s because I’m FUCKING STARVING!!!!!!!!!!!!

HOW IS THIS A GOOD THING????

And I know it’s all muscle mass. You know the amount of retraining I’m going to have to do?

America.

You’re sick and starving, but hey — YOU’RE LOSING WEIGHT! Be joyful!

I just want some goddamn nachos.

Still Down for the Count

September 26, 2005

Tried to eat real food on Friday, and promptly gave it back over to the porcelain god. I’ve been living on a bowl or two of soup and two slices of toast a day, because that’s about all I can keep down.

And I’ve been dreaming of food. DREAMING of food. Nachos, Taco Bell, hot dogs. It’s a good sign that I have cravings, but I’m filled with a nausea that won’t let me consume very much of soft bland foods, let along anything hardier. I’m still very weak, and I hate the nausea. It’s like there’s a fist in the middle of my chest, and beaneath that, this broiling slosh of burning stomach acid that refuses to let me eat anything it doesn’t like.

Drinking lots of water, soda, apple juice. Apple juice is good. I just can’t believe this is going on this long. I’m afraid that if I do buckle and plop down $150 for a doctor they’ll say “Sleep a lot, and drink some apple juice.” ARRGGG

We’ll see. I tend to have more energy in the morning, less at the end of the day, when I tire myself out. I’m optimistically saying that I do feel a smidge better each day, but I can’t really back that up.

I’m still down for the count, irritable, weak, tired, and have trouble concentrating. This is crappy for a number of reasons, because I have a lot of shit to do, but my body’s telling me to STOP, and I have to stop and wait for it to recuperate before I can even start thinking again about doing something non-useless.

I Went To Work Today

September 23, 2005

Which was a mistake. I feel terrible. Not as bad as on Tuesday night, and yea, I can eat whole food, but damn, I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. Drinking lots of fluids. Should have brought some chicken soup.

Turns out yet another guy from the office was out with the same thing. Add me to the list, and that’s four people from my office, so I’m not sure what’s up. In any case, ready to go home. The commute was a bitch them morning. I was such a clueless, invalid-looking zombie that somebody actually stopped and tried to help me off the bus.

Oh dear. Do I look that weak? Well.. I guess I am, actually.

If Pirates Ruled…

September 22, 2005

Photoshopping contest.

P.S. i am still sick ug ug ug

In Which the Protagonist Gets the Plague

September 20, 2005

ugugug Stomach flu: vomiting, shaky, chills, achiness ug ug ug

Dee, the design manager, was out with stomach flu yesterday. Tuff was out a couple days before. Damn, who else had it? ug ug ug

The protagonist will be staying home from work tomorrow and living on green tea.

ug ug uggugug gu ug

In Which the Protagonist Gets the Plague

September 20, 2005

ugugug Stomach flu: vomiting, shaky, chills, achiness ug ug ug

Dee, the design manager, was out with stomach flu yesterday. Tuff was out a couple days before. Damn, who else had it? ug ug ug

The protagonist will be staying home from work tomorrow and living on green tea.

ug ug uggugug gu ug

Good morning, chiklits

September 20, 2005

Coffee is guuuuud.

I am a little bleary-eyed, but functioning. Jenn, the astonishing roommate of doom, picked up some more computer ink for me yesterday (thanks again, Jenn!). I’ve got a huge print job for Friday…

Worked on God’s War yesterday as well, and I’ll likely post another excerpt soon. I love that little book.

Now I’m going to get more coffee.

Good morning, chiklits

September 20, 2005

Coffee is guuuuud.

I am a little bleary-eyed, but functioning. Jenn, the astonishing roommate of doom, picked up some more computer ink for me yesterday (thanks again, Jenn!). I’ve got a huge print job for Friday…

Worked on God’s War yesterday as well, and I’ll likely post another excerpt soon. I love that little book.

Now I’m going to get more coffee.

Drunken Persistence, Redux

September 20, 2005

I got hooked on Laborie pinotage some time back, when I took a tour of the Winelands in Cape Town. It’s amazingly gorgeous there. Trader Joe’s had a special on some South African pinotage this week, and I snagged a couple bottles. Laborie it ain’t, but it’s made me nostalgic. And a little drunk.

Sometimes, I am struck by where I am in my life, the people I’ve known, the places I’ve seen, the accomplishments I’ve made at 25. I have been running, running, running, working so hard to get to this place, to have these experiences behind me, to be looking forward to more, to life, to what lies beyond the horizon.

I was talking to both Jenn and B about how tough the last couple of years here in Chicago had been. Not the actual living part – the living has been happy and mostly easy. I can pay my bills. I love my roommates. I enjoy the weather, the public transit. But I’ve invested two years of my life working an admin job, turning down career opportunities that would require me to curb my writing (and my health) in order to advance. A career in the cell phone industry just wasn’t what I was looking for.

Every time somebody asked me what I was working toward with each successive degree, with each job, I told them I was just *this* close to making the books pan out, to making money writing, to being a writer, working to build *that* career above all others. That was my life. That’s what I was working toward.

But two years of giving up on more traditional opportunities can get to you. You can start to lose hope. You start to wonder what you’re doing. You start to wonder if you’re crazy. I’d been talking with both Jenn and B about getting other jobs, about finding ways to take in more money, about sacrificing writing time for something more tradtional, some other life. And I talked about it like a woman who was ready to grow up, to put away childish ideas about what could be and what might be and start worrying about how these student loans were ever going to be paid off.

I started to understand how people got trapped in jobs they hated, so they could buy things they didn’t need, so they could have a life they didn’t want.

I’ve bought some of my favorite wine, and I’m sitting here drinking it and staring at line edits I need to finish by Friday, and I’m haunted by the life that I want, the life I know I can have. I’ve said to myself, over and over, I just need to work harder. I can have this. I just need to work harder. Because there’s always somebody out there who’s willing to work harder than you are.

I have a blind belief in what I do, in this writing, in what I have. I’m not a genius, but I’m getting better every year. Each book is better than the last. And I have a secret:

This is it. This is what I want to do. I want to write fantasy books. I want to make a living at it. I want to be the best at it, whatever that is or means. I want, I desire, and it’s a desire that eats me up.

I want to write for a living, I want to travel, I want to dip my toes in every ocean. I want to go bungee jumping in New Zealand. I want to climb Kilimanjaro. I want to hike up to Machu Picchu. I want a big, wide, bold life. I want to be an old woman on her death bed, gazing out over the pictures of her life. I want, I desire.

How does one want so much and keep going, keep striving in a world that tells you every odd is against you; you’re too fat, too slight, too tall, untalented, too talented, not pretty enough, too pretty. It’s a world that doesn’t believe in anyone or anything, a world that watches faces get their 15 minutes and then moves on, callous, regardless.

And there’s no answer to that, really, and whatever answer you do find is a little mad.

Because the answer is you just keep doing it while people tell you no. You keep getting better at it, because you want it. And you do it as long as you have to, if you have to spend five years at a shitty admin job and traveling to foreign locales on credit cards. You do it because the alternative is not to do it, and that’s a far, far, more frightening fate.

B sent me Amanda’s post over at Pandagon today, about all the things men had told her was wrong with her, about how she’d finally decided to ditch her boyfriend. And I was reminded of another time, another place, when I cared what people thought of me, when I valued myself based on my attractiveness to others, when I tried to mold myself into what other people thought I should be.

I wanted to reach out to Amanda and hold her and cry and say, “Honey, fuck everybody and leave the whole world. Go buy a one-way ticket to somewhere you’ve never been and start a whole new life and find out how strong you are. Don’t go out finding yourself, go the fuck out and fucking create yourself. That’s what life is. You find out what the fuck you can do. You realize how strong you are. You realize you can fly.”

I can fly.

Even in the darkest times, when I’m freaking out and stress eating and missing the gym and scared and lonely, I know exactly what I can do. I know I can trek alone 160 km into rural Africa. I know I can buy a one-way ticket to Fairbanks, Alaska. I know I can pull together an entire person from the ashes of someone else entirely, and I know that even in the darkest times, during those dark teatimes of the soul, I will come back out of it awake, alive, ready to pursue my desires until the end.

Because this is who I am, this is what I do.

And I seem to have finished this bottle of wine.