Thursday, March 30, 2006
Dead and drunken yo-yo's
[My first magazine cover is on newstands! Yay! I did this painting for Cricket Magazine last fall, and it just arrived in my mailbox this morning. I love getting to see the published product after a long wait!]
Now, excitement aside, it's time for some New Month's Resolutions. I've been feeling scattered and unproductive lately, a teensy bit lost in a labyrinth. (I sense an onslaught of metaphors coming, I'm warning you in advance) I'm feeling like all my goals are yo-yo's tied to all my fingertips, and right at this moment, none of them are spinning up and down in an orderly fashion. They're either hanging there slack like they fell asleep or died at the ends of their tethers, or they're drunkenly reeling around, veering wildly, threatening to bop me in the face. So, I've decided to take some quiet time to get my yo-yo's back in rhythm. (This is a VERY ironic metaphor because I can't yo-yo and never could! But nevermind that.)
The problem is, I think, I've been overly self-indulgent lately. I accomplished some big, big goals last year and then, feeling mighty pleased with myself, fell out of the habits that had allowed me to accomplish them. Creative goals and health goals. I've been acting like sort of a benevolent grandparent to myself, letting me eat what I want, watch TV instead of doing my homework, and buy myself things I think I must must must have, like polka-dotted shoes. (Of course, in that case, I truly would have perished without them.) Indulgent grandparents are a wonderful thing, but what I need to be to myself right now is a good strict parent, one that won't fall prey to my wheedling ways!
So, I'm gathering my good habits back together. I spent most of the day yesterday at my writing table with stacks of manuscript around me and it felt good, so good. And this morning, I unearthed my brand-new running shoes, still in the box from the after-Christmas sale at which I bought them (the shame!!!) and went to the brand-new facility our gym just opened. It smelled like new car and was filled with flat-screen TVs and many glistening people running in place and tugging on handles. And THAT felt good. And I'm focusing in on my lists - I'm a list-maker - and setting a series of micro-deadlines for myself for ongoing projects. And Saturday I'm going to slouch into a Weight Watchers meeting, which I have been happily shirking for many months, and remember all that good stuff I learned. THEN I have a writing date with Alexandra for the first Sunday Scribblings scribble! I'm so excited about it! I'm going to unveil a brand-new notebook for it, and make a weekly cafe writing date with Alexandra or myself, and keep my writing mind limber that way. Cafe writing dates are where the Tiny Stories were born -- the change of scene, and writing in a notebook instead of my laptop, puts my mind on a different setting or something. This seems to coax strange and exotic ideas out of the air like butterflies coming down to perch, and the great thing is: they're MY butterflies! Like trained pet butterflies. Mine all mine.
Years ago I did an exercise in which I free-wrote for a half-hour every day for 30 days, without once going back to peek at what I'd written. Then I waited another 30 days before reading it all through, and when I did I remembered almost NONE of it -- and there were gems in there! It was like discovering someone's secret journal filled with beautiful sentences, story ideas, wild metaphors, only they were all MINE. My own butterflies. It was like plagiarizing my own sub-conscious mind.
Meg and I will post the first Sunday Scribblings prompt on Saturday, for those of you interested in participating!
And this is the contents page from the new magazine:
Posted by Laini Taylor at 10:47 AM