Saturday, February 26, 2011


Do you ever have one of those weeks where you doubt you can actually function as a member of the human race? Where everything goes wrong to the point that you start to think that maybe this 'being a grown up' thing is really not for you? That's what this week has been like for me, until today. Here was my week in a nutshell:

~Last Thursday: received possibly soul crushing feedback on final project idea in a workshop by someone who actually matters.

~Last Friday through Tuesday: Stressed, worked and reworked final project idea, looking at it from every angle humanly possible, trying to force it into working. Failing daily.

~ Wednesday: Finally worked out my idea by talking it out with my friend Charlie, wrote it all down, mapped it out, drew a plot arc and everything. Typed it up.

~ Wednesday night: Went to poetry slam at a local cafe, had entire backpack stolen which included my little computer, external hard drive, camera, ipod, American phone, planner and two notebooks full of ideas, one of which i've had for five years.

This is just me looking at all the bad parts of the week, the parts the mind seems to remember the best. Thanks a lot mind, give me a break whydon'tcha? I've been over it and over it, trying to tell myself that all that stuff is just stuff, that the ideas are still in my head somewhere, and that it will be ok. Today I finally started to believe myself.

I drank a cup of coffee with Shobha and Rose today in the kitchen and said to them, "drinking coffee makes me feel very adult." I think this is because the smell of coffee reminds me of my parents, of how they would always get me to make them coffee for them, which just involved pouring it and putting in the milk and sugar. I would complain, like I do, but ultimately I always did it, wondering how anyone could drink juice comes from beans.

So, I kick-started my grown up day with coffee, then sat down to work. I worked all day on my final project, typing up everything I could remember from what Charlie and I talked about and from what I furiously wrote down on scraps of paper in the cafe the moment I realized my bag was gone for good. In a way, not having my big notebook of ideas was freeing. I still wish I had it (there were other story ideas in there as well), but one of the major problems I was having with the story was that I had the hardest time letting go of the story I had made already, of the one that did not work. This way, without it in front of me, I was able to let it go and make something new out of my old characters. I think the idea morphed a lot today from what I came up with Wednesday, but I also think it transformed for the better. It was freeing.

I feel better now. I'm excited about my story again. I worked and did laundry and cleaned my room and listened to Opera and sent e-mails and did all sorts of things grown ups do.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, I got published! You can read my article HERE on the Young Adult Fantasy Guide. I may be writing for this fine site in the future as well, so stay tuned.

If this blog seems rather disjointed, that's because it is. It's about 2.30am and I have to get up in a few hours to go to London, and I can't quite seem to get my paragraphs to relate to each other.

This random London trip just came together today as well. Busy day. I got an e-mail from the Save the Children Blogging Conference letting me know that I won a spot in the masterclass with Melvin Burgess. I called work, sort of begged someone to cover for me, and because I have the greatest co-workers in the world, my wish was granted. So off to London I go, at 6am, which is nearing at an alarming pace. I am literally writing this from bed, and here's why.

This week in my Writing Lives class we talked about journal writing. I love journal writing, thus the blog. Our assignment for the next two weeks (because next week is reading week and thus, no class) is to keep a journal and write every day. We were instructed to write every day about our days as if every single thing we do matters, as if we know someone will read this in the future and look back on our lives and see the importance in our every day lives. I find this really interesting because the act of writing a journal is an extremely private thing, and by writing it with the idea in mind that someday it will be read by someone takes that privacy away and changes the things you are likely to write, taking away what makes a journal a journal.

I decided that if our assignment is to write as if every day matters and as if someone is going to read it, why not have someone read it right away? SO, lucky you, I'm going to write all my journal entries in this blog for all the world to read, so that they really do matter. I would warn you that this may be an extremely boring two weeks for you, hearing about my every day life, but luckily for you I'm going to Wales on a writing retreat next week. Things are bound to happen.

But for now, I need to go to sleep. I'll see you tomorrow.


PS. I think this blog sort of comes off dreamlike. You know how in dreams, you drift from one section to the next and at the time it makes perfect sense, but later when your remembering it you don't know why? That's how this felt to me.


DeeRoo said...

So glad you were able to rearrange your work schedule...looking forward to two weeks of dreams!:)

Dana - Old Red Barn Co. said...

What a week! Sheesh! And like your momma, I'm so glad you were able to work things out with your work schedule. Amazing things to come from you I believe.

Kerry said...

Maria...congratulations on your article...I enjoyed reading it and could NOT agree more with you! AND more congratulations for making lemonade out of your lemon of a week...well done, you!! The coffee must be working...'cause you sound JUST like an

Enjoy the Burgess workshop...

Kelsey Austin Threatte said...

mariaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa how can you have such a good attitude??? OH MY GOD YOU ARE TOO EPIC FOR LIFE! Jesus almighty you got some stones lady. You never ever cease to amaze me. I am so so sorry about that. I can't imagine how awful that must feel... especially with that crapdude saying that stuff about your project. I think you're a genius and that's all that matters. Quick anecdote: today I read a letter from a student to her bf jailbird and language is no longer beautiful to me, but very very nasty. What happened to cooties? WORDS ARE GROSS.

Rafael's Mum said...

omg Maria... only just read this.. soooo sorry about all your stuff but good on you for dusting yourself off and keeping on with a positive attitude! Go for it!! Oh, and congrats on the article too. Crikey,you are firing on all cylinders!