Sunday, September 21, 2008

The hermit crab's alive! The hermit crab's alive!

Shelly the hermit crab is ALIVE! Those of you who didn't know that we have a hermit crab must be cofused, and those of you who know that we do probably don't know that I thought she was dead, but she is NOT!

Allow me to explain. Shelly the hermit crab and Lily the dog both evacuated with us for Gustav. Then when we came back, my friend Thomas dogsat, and we decided to take Shelly with us to Disney World. It probably would have been ok with him if I'd asked him to crabsit as well, but I wasn't thinking clearly at the time and Thomas is a busy man with pets of his own (I just reread this sentence. Is it me, or is "crabsit" a revolvting term? I think most words with "crab" in them are damned by STD association) Anyway, Lily thrived, but I thought we'd lost Shelly with all the travel. She stopped eating...Ok, I lost her food. She had a good supply, though, and I was hoping to find it or buy more before her dish ran out, but by the time I went to refill it I noticed that her shell hadn't moved lately. I tapped on it a few times, which ordinarily makes her poke out of her shell and wave an angry claw at me, but I got no reaction. I've spent the last few days trying to figure out how to tell the kids that she was dead. I know it's just a hermit crab, but...we've all been through so much together this summer. We lost the Sprinkles the tadpole to what we believe was a lettuce related incident. Sniff. No seriously, the kids miss their dad so they're extra sensitive to everything and (as you all know between all of the al-anon/yoga/soul business) so am I.

But she's alive!!! I walked into the front room and saw her climbing the walls of her cage (lord, that sounds evil) so I ran to check her food and water supply, refilled them, and grinned as she waved an angry claw at me.

It was a hard but good day. I went to yoga, prayed a LOT, called my sponsor, took lots of deep breaths, felt better, bought the kids fastfood, came home and found the hermit crab alive. Good day.

Oh! Mel, what is the link to your blog again? I haven't caught up in ages.

Friday, September 19, 2008

In the mail

The book is in the mail, my people! Yesterday in a last minute inspiration I comepletely rewrote the last chapter. It's not as etreme as it sounds. Chaprter 14 is only four pages long, but I think it was a necessary revision and I'm happy with it. And now to concentrate on personal essays!

But first! There's laundry to be done! It's ok, this isn't going to be one of those days when I resent laundry because I haven't written yet.

Much love and less lanudry to you all! Kisses! Clouds! Puppy dogs! Hugs! Happy, girlie exclamation points, and "i"s dotted with hearts!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

This post blows...I think

**WARNING: I just reread this post and found it kind of boring. But really I can't tell. I could be judging it too harshly because I'm in editing mode. My mind is exhausted from editing and rewriting the manuscript. And now to our regularly scheduled blog.**

I'm a bit rusty getting back to this whole blog thing. I was in Forth Worth for a week and then Disney World, and I've been editing the book when I've had any spare writing time. This also accounts for my absences on fyspace and macebook (you like that? I just made that shit up...Yes, did I mention VERY rusty?) So there's a lot to talk about here, and I just have to pick a subject. Hmm, maybe I'll do a brief overview and then tell you guys about my writing class that started on Monday.

Fort Worth: Spent a week catching up with Uncle Chris and Amy at their bitchin' place. Found out that house was fine, but had no electricity.

Day trip home: Drove from Fort Worth to powerless home in one day. Spent the evening cleaning out rotten refrigerator, slept in the humidity, and left the next morning for Disney World.

7 days in Disney World: God, I love that place. You would think I wouldn't given all my hippie tendencies, but the rides are fun, the food is good, and the people there are paid to be nice. Yeah I know, it's an evil conglomerate something or other but I've always been drawn to evil.

So now that I'm home real life has begun again. The kids are back in school, I've started back at yoga and Al-anon, and Chris has gone out of town again. The new element in my life is James Nolan's advanced writing class. I took his writing workshop last spring, and am now in the class where we take our red marked manuscripts to the next level - more rewriting! I'm one of ten people in class, and there are only two other writers I know from the spring. One of the new people turned out to be someone that I know from Al-anon. She's middle aged, taller than me, French, and cool as hell. I wish I could tell you her real name because it rocks ass, but in honor of anonymity she will be known as Daisy Duck.

One of the main differences between this class and the last one is that it's not held at Loyola University. We'll each take a turn hosting the writing group at our houses. Or their houses, I should say. James stipulated that you have to live in New Orleans itself, and I am a lowly Lulingite. Preferably you have to live somewhere that James can get to by streetcar because he doesn't drive. You have no idea how much I envy that.

Actually, if envy is indeed a sin then I could go to hell for how much I want this guy's life. He lives in a nifty apartment in the French Quarter, he sustains himself by teaching writing workshops and publishing essays, short stories and books, and though he doesn't drive he travels worldwide. I don't mean to say I would give up my family to opt for that lifestyle now, but had I stayed single I could see myself living that life. And probably being miserable most of the time because I would want a companion and babies. Alas.

Annnnyway, for our first class on Monday James told me and the two other newbies that we were required to bring a bottle of wine as a rite of initiation. So I found it ironic that when I saw Daisy get out of her car in front of James's apartment, I had a bottle of Pinot Noir in my backpack. Every other time I've seen her we've talked about how alchohol has complicated our lives, and here I was carrying the bastard into a writing class. We hugged and talked about how coincidental it was that we were both writers, and poured each other glasses of wine once we got to James's apartment.

Her writing is beautiful. I was glad about that because it's awkward when I like someone personally but not their writing. Once again I'm the youngest person in class, which always feels kind of cool but kind of disappointing. I'm going to concentrate on my personal essays because I'd really like to develop them.

And one last exciting bit of news is that I am sending my manuscript to The Joy Harris Agency today. I wrote in an e-mail to some of my friends, "these are the blessed people who liked the first 50 pages" and Fred wrote back "I think what you meant to say was these are the blessed people, the literate few, men and women of impeccable taste and subtle wit who, in their long wisdom and excellent judgement, recognized the seeds of genius in my pimum opus." Bitchin'.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Must blog!

But what to blog? There's been so much build up of stuff since I last wrote two weeks ago. Uhhhh...we did NOT get destroyed by a hurricane. Woo hoo! I just got back in town on Saturday night.

So, so much to say. Need more coffee. Will get back to you.

Monday, September 1, 2008

At the Rheams refuge

The hurricane is making landfall now. I've heard it's not as bad as they expected, which is relieving to hear. Hopefully by the end of the day it'll be over. I've read that my neighborhood isn't expected to get the storm surge they thought we would get. This is good too because we don't have flood insurance. If we're destined to get damaged it would work out great if a tornado blew off the roof.

Being at my uncle's house I ocassionally forget why I came here in the first place. His house's fucking fantastic. This is the first time I've been here since he moved to Fort Worth three years ago. He's a doctor and I swear if I didn't think I'd blow my brains out I'd get my ass to medical school just so I can buy a house like this some day and fill it with cool stuff. Since my two cousins are grown and moved out, he and my aunt Amy have this huge house to themselves. There are many rooms. My aunt and uncle's room, two guest rooms with their own bathrooms and three other rooms that are just rooms. With their own bathrooms. I swear, there has got to be like 15 full bathrooms in this place. Yesterday I discovered another one that I hadn't noticed before, just off in the corner somewhere, and I didn't need to go but I used it anyway. Because it was there! Seriously, you can go to the bathroom in almost any room in this house. THAT is class.

Besides the spaciousness, and sprawling toilettries, the dude has a sauna! Yesterday I sat in there for about thirty minutes listening to New Agey-type guitar with the sounds of the ocean in the background. Also (and this is the second to best part) Uncle Chris has a library with bookshelves that reach the ceiling. Oh yes, just like Sherlock Holmes and Inspector Gadget. Plus, he's got a dog who can catch a frisbee in her mouth. But the best part is the music room upstairs. Uncle Chris, like most of the Rheams family, plays guitar and keeps all of his instruments in a room that is like a music shrine. There are various amps, accoustic and electric guitars, bass guitars, drums and recording equipment. The room smells like pipe tobacco, and there are pictures of old blues players and framed posters of Jazz Fest. It reminds me of my dad.

This is the first evacuation I've gone through without my sisters or my parents and it's strange. My parents are in Alabama, Stephanie is in northern Mississippi, and April is in Florida. Not even Daivd and James (my stellar cousins) are here. But it's been great seeing my uncle and (step?) aunt. Last night we talked in his music shrine until midnight while he puffed on his pipe.

I can't tell you how thankful I am that my family had a place and the ability to go. While I was in the sauna, listening to waves crash against the New Age shore, I felt a little guilty. The majority of New Olreanians are not waiting out the storm in huge houses with saunas.

I began writing something yesterday that I plan to post soon. It's a copy of journal entries I wrote a couple of weeks after Katrina hit. It's taking a while to transcribe them. In the mean time, here is a conversation I had with Emma this morning. Oh! But before that, Chris and the kids are all right too. The kids are homkesick, well we all are, but they're having a good time and they're happy to see their daddy again.

Before I share the following conversation, I'll give you some background details. Emma sometimes invents characters and for the last couple of weeks she has been talking can I describe it? An old southern woman who is not very bright. This morning she said this:

"Mama, it's time fa me ta live on mah own."
"Yeah?" I said. "You gonna move out?"
"You gonna get a job?"
"What are you gonna do?"
"Ah'm gonna watch tv. I gotta go watch tv, tha's mah job."

Then five minutes later she walked in and said, "Mama, the kids are running from me. I don' know why. They're just ruinning and running and running until they get hurt from their lives."

I don't know what that means but it sounds serious. And now I must check for the latest on the weather. Shall report later.