Tuesday, July 7, 2009

sunflowers in the sky.

Currently Listening To: The Lucky One by Alison Krauss & Union Station
Best Lines I Read This Week: I have to cross my eyes every time I read a blog or Facebook from an author who has words literally pouring out of them every day. Keep that bragging to yourself, selfish writer hussies! - from the hilarious blog of Jenny B. Jones

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a girl, who finishes an It, will spend the following nights sleepless. I dance with insomnia every few months anyway, but since I've finished It. Ugh. It's like my brain won't shut up. Know what didn't help? Reading 100 Cupboards. Warning: There's a point of no return in that book. It was, indeed, enchanting. But my word ... toward the end it gets all kinds of scary. If you can handle Jarvis the White Witch*, you can handle the villain in this book. But do note: she is vile. Well written villains rock my world. And the way she's introduced ... *shivers*. 100 Cupboards was great. I'm going to give you a tip though, just in case you don't read it: If you ever wind up in a house with a wall of magical cupboards never EVER open the black cupboard! (And do NOT put your arm in there!!) This is the final sentence: "New prey waits on the Witch-Dogs." See what I mean? So very creepy (in such a wonderful way).

Watched Harry Potter with Dad this weekend. He calls the villain "Baldemore". Also, he calls a Port Key a "Porky". Nevertheless, he seems to be into it :) Azkaban was the one that hooked him. Azkaban was the book that hooked me too. It's still my favorite book in the series. I think it's my favorite movie so far. I liked the way Order of the Phoenix looked but I thought Doloris Umbridge had too much screen time. Sirius Black can never have enough screen time. Isn't it odd that Sirius Black is also the commissioner on Batman?! Does NOT look like the same person to me. Just another week until Half Blood Prince ...

Also ...

I'm not into Facebook. Still, it's there. I'm trying to make peace with it. I may not enjoy facebooking ... but guess what I do like? Flair. Most people use Facebook to see what their friends are doing, and that's all well and good. I like Facebook because Facebook has Flair. Since my best friend and I have discovered Flair, we mostly send it to each other at random intervals all day long. Then, during Insomnia Fest, I got super creative and made some flair for Paperdoll. Behold the cute:

:) If you want to stick it on your flair board, just enter Paperdoll in the search and you'll find it. All the cool kids are doing it**.

I'm not into ants. I never eat in my bedroom because I don't want bugs up in here. (The no-food-zone doesn't exist in the rest of the chateau, however. Every piece of furniture, besides bedroom furniture, has potential dual functionality as a table.) And yet, I've flicked three ants off my bed in the past few days. I know ants are harmless and tiny, but a certain psychosis sets in when one crawls on me. Once I see an ant, I feel like they're crawling all over me all the time. (Does that make me crazy?***) Remember the urban legend about the spider hatching eggs in the woman's ear? I think somehow that registered in my psyche and so I can't make peace with the ants. I do appreciate their place in the world. In the words of Junior Asparagus, "Little guys can do big things too!" But the ants must leave. My bed cannot become their comfy ant oasis.

I'm not into ducks. I think they're like rats with feathers. And yet. The other day I went walking in my neighborhood, looping down and around a little pond infested with them. As I was walking, I saw a little creature hobble toward me. It was so fat and wobbly, I wasn't sure what it was at first. Imagine my shock when I realized it was ... a duck. A cute, small, chubby duck. He wasn't a baby duck, but he was little. He didn't have a long neck like the other ducks either. He was squatty looking and just kicking up one webbed foot to walk seemed to take some major effort. "Huh," I said, as I passed the duck. "Cute."

The duck stopped. He turned around. And he started following me. I stopped walking and looked back. He stopped walking and looked up at me. So help me, even as the beast stalked me from behind, it was adorable. I walked again. He followed. We continued this process for some time. I'm glad he didn't follow me home, but I kind of like him. If I see him again, I'll take a pic. I bet you'll like him too. :)

So I'm not really into Facebook, ants, or ducks.

But I'm into fireworks. This year, Dad and I drove downtown to watch the fireworks in the park. There were hundreds of people in the park, and more people in boats out on the river. We stood on the bridge, along with more masses of happy locals. This was one conversation I overheard:

[A firetruck rumbles across the bridge, causing it to vibrate.]

Lady gripping the bridge: I hate it when this bridge does that. I hate thinking about how high I am right now.
The guy beside her: Oh, it's good when they shake like this. If they were too sturdy, they would just crumble. Like peanut brittle.
Lady says: Wow. Thanks for that.

The fireworks were excellent. There were two kinds I especially liked ... one looked like golden rain when it exploded. The other exploded into a flower. It looked like a sunflower. That isn't a great picture to the side, but it was the best I could do. (Usually, if I try to take pics of fireworks with my camera, they just look like flaming streamers.)

My town is surrounded by lots of mountains, and all the towns on top of the close mountains, and all the towns tucked into faraway mountains, were shooting fireworks too. The horizon looked like it was full of happy volcanoes. It was gorgeous, bright, and loud. When it ended, everybody in the park, and all the hundreds of people on the bridges, and the people on the boats in the river, cheered at the same time. Summer nights are made for that kind of thing :)

And I'm into words.

I decided to stay away from the computer for a few days. I wasn't going to work on anything. Just read. Just hang out. Just reload after writing so much last week.

But then I found an empty yellow notepad in my drawer****. I took it along to Starbucks today, just in case I got tired of reading.

I put the yellow notepad in front of me on the table. I thought it would be good to have it close. Just in case. I have an idea for a New It but I don't want to start anything else for awhile. The yellow notepad is just a security blanket. A desperate measure.

The flaw in this plan is obvious ... empty pages need stories.

I thought of one sentence that was really good. I wrote it down. Then I thought of a character trait I knew I should write down too ... just so I wouldn't forget it. Then I wrote out a very basic skeleton of a story. Made some quirky notes about the characters and setting ...

By the time I left, the empty yellow notebook wasn't empty anymore.

It really is like a sickness, isn't it? I hope I never, ever, figure out a cure. :)

What's new with you this week?

* The White Witch in Narnia is named Jarvis, right? That's so funny to me. I think it sounds scarier in a British accent (when you say it like ... Jah-vus). It doesn't sound as scary when you say it with a southern accent. Nothing really does ...
** Pretty much just me and the two friends I sent it to ... but we're kinda cool :)
*** Does that make me cray-zeh?
**** The story of the yellow notebook is a good one. I'll put it on here sometime soon ...


  1. *Nope, it's Jadis. (I just watched The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe last night. So great! I was thinking you can totally use that movie to describe God's work in the world and His character--redemption, love, renewal...--with or without explicit Biblical story parallels.)
    **The flair looks pretty sweet. :D
    I like ducks! Including the "Make Way for Ducklings" statues in Boston. I saw a baby turkey today...not too handsome.
    I didn't get to see fireworks this weekend though...I came down with a despicable (makes me think of Daffy Duck--dethpicable!) ear infection or two that morphed into a sinus infection at some point. I wish I could've seen some of my visiting cousins, but alas, I'll have to try for another day. I'm on the up and up, though, thanks to different meds and getting to see some college friends at family camp today!

  2. Gracias, Jessica! Jadis sounds way better than Jarvus! :) So glad you're feeling well enough to hang out with your friends and fam. I know you're trying to sqeeze in every second you can before you head off on your great big adventure :)

  3. I cannot BELIEVE Harry Potter #6 opens in ONE WEEK!! Woo-hoo!!! And I completely understand your ant psychosis...I suffer from the same problem. Only they randomly appear on my living room chair. Weird, no?

  4. Your note pad at starbucks reminded me of the earlier days of dating Nelson. He's a big reader and a lover of stories...I'm a little late to both of those scenes, but one day while we were sitting in Rembrandts (coffee house downtown) just staring googly-eyed at each other and smiling, he went to reach for his bag and pulled out a moleskin (his favorite, and might I add expensive, notepad). I thought he was going to doodle like he usually did, but instead he started writing a story about a squirrel. He stopped mid sentence and slid the notepad to me and said with a smile, "your turn". I was thinking, "um, what? I don't know what to write; it won't be good." But he wouldn't let me get off that easily so I eventually started writing and we went back and forth for a long time until we had pages written about this squirrel and his adventures with a nut. Thus began our tradition of co writing stories in coffee houses! wow that was long...and I'm not a writer ;)

  5. "I think they're like rats with feathers." I love that! I have more of a problem with worms myself, which are like snakes that flop about, making people think they're all harmless when really......[cue creepy music. Okay, I'll start "da-dum-duh!"]

    Ick, insomnia kind of sucks. I always get it at the most inconvenient times, like when I'm anxious.

    Finally, words are made of awesome. Some days, I sit there baffled that we scribble little symbols and people understand them, without lengthy explanations or yelling matches or anything. Isn't it crazy? And how do we scribble? Where do we get the control to hold a pen and form curves and straight lines that mean something?
    I could go on and on, but I'm afraid THOSE words would bore you, so I'll stop.

    Have an awesome week!