Yesterday I was in L.A., where I have not been since I was nine. The weather was beautiful, the air smelled like flowers, and I was staying at the hotel from Pretty Woman
. I was really hoping that Julia would be in the lobby when I got there, but no such luck. She's probably busy with the twins.
So today is the final blog, and even with all my initial apprehension, I must admit that I'm going to miss it. It's given me something to do on airplanes, which is always welcome. Tomorrow, I will be back in Missoula. It will be nice to pet my cats and sleep in my own bed again. Also nice to have a little time to write.
This has not been the most productive year of my life as far as the writing goes. I've worked on some short stories, which is great. And I've thought about a second novel. I've thought about a few second novels. I've saved a document on my desktop: Novel2. I've even written something in the document ? I've typed my name in the upper left-hand corner. It's all downhill from here.
My boyfriend is out of town this weekend, which means that, should I choose to write, I can do it in my natural state without worry. I live in sloth when I'm working. Absolute sloth. Dishes don't get done. Trash is not taken out. A nest of unopened mail and partially read newspapers forms on both desk and floor around me. I love it.
Sadly, these habits were developed during a time when I lived alone. Now that my living situation has changed, it has been brought to my attention that some of my writing practices are, apparently, irksome to others. Like how I forget to change the litter box when I'm working. "We can't use the upstairs bathroom," my boyfriend recently told me, referring to himself and his children. "The smell of litter box is making us gag."
Again, let me remind you: boyfriend, two children. My life is not without compromise. I have learned to work in the midst of simultaneous television watching and electric guitar playing. I have cleaned countless messes made by people other than myself. I have tripped over skateboards and scrubbed mud out of the kitchen sink. Okay, so the litter box hasn't been changed in a week and a half. Can't they just breathe through their mouths?
Luckily for all of us, I have not had much energy for writing lately, and so have mostly spared the people around me from living in filth. Not writing is something I'm very good at. I'm an expert at finding ways to distract myself. Email is great for that. So is the gym. And don't even get me started on YouTube.
My most recent distraction has been learning (well, trying to learn) French. The God of Animals sold in France and I got very excited. I've never been to France before and since I wasn't getting much writing done anyway, I figured, what the hell? Let's learn some French.
I bought one of those gi-normous, expensive cd-rom things. (Do those really work? Really, anyone, have they ever?) The problem, I suppose, was not with the program itself, but, as usual, with my own expectations. I need to go to France and be witty and charming, to be able to talk about literature, for god's sake.
I've been doing the program for several months and let's just say that I'm a long way from being able to discuss the complexities of contemporary fiction. Right now, I'm operating more on this level:
Le chapeau rouge est plus grand que le chapeau bleu.
(The red hat is bigger than the blue hat.)
Somehow, I suspect that this sort of rhetoric will not win points in either wit or charm. But believe me when I say that the whole of the time I'm in Paris, I will, at every turn, be watching for a small blue hat to appear in the same landscape with a larger, red hat.
Well, my plane is about to land, which means that it's time to wrap it up. I was going to try and leave you with something really profound and sensitive. Instead, I leave you with this little treasure that I stumbled upon while not writing:
Thanks so much for reading, everyone. I've had a blast.