Snow day resolutions
1. Write for 4 hours
2. Catch up on work
3. Catch up on Oscars Homework (tm), a term coined by my first, fantastic boss, who was a movie fanatic with a film degree. She loved and eagerly anticipated the Academy Awards and would attempt to watch every film nominated for every major category. Every year she would ask me how I was coming along with my Oscars Homework.
First up: the end of Dallas Buyers Club, which I’m about 3/4 of the way through. (Speaking of Matthew McConnaughey, are we all watching True Detective? Good.)
Next up: Gravity.
After that? Suggestions?
File under: things that make me feel like I am hallucinating
The Korean translation of Heft arrived today.
I wish I could read it. One of the weirdest parts of having the book translated has been putting my faith in the (very talented, I am certain) people the publishing companies hire to translate. Sometimes—especially when it’s in a language that one cannot easily enter into Google Translate or the equivalent—I think, they could be saying anything. I have no idea what is happening on this page. Anyone speak Korean?
Also, apparently this is how you write “Liz Moore”:
Cool. Weird. Cool.
Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup
Thank you all very much for your soup suggestions.
The one that sounded most appealing and winter-defying to me was the one suggested by one kind blogger, who wrote:
umcanyounot said: lemony chicken orzo!
So, curious, I googled that phrase and it led me to this recipe.
Which, in turn, led to this dinner:
All Those Vegetables sponsored by my weekend in New Orleans, where few vegetables were had, unless canola oil is considered a vegetable.
Things I did differently than the recipe: added garlic, zucchini, and kale; seared chicken on both sides before drowning in broth; put a lemon slice right in the bowl with the soup. Delicious. Do recommend. Thanks for the suggestion!
P.S. Can we all agree that this soup’s official name should be Lemony Chickett? Great.
Second, less serious post:
What kind of soup should I make for dinner tonight? Go.
Writing in the cracks of life
In many ways, the past two years have been the fullest years I’ve ever had. I have little in the way of downtime. My job seems to have gotten busier at the same time that I’m waist-deep in writing a novel (yes, I’m writing a novel….we’ll talk about it soon). We’ve also been traveling on weekends for various things, with more traveling to come, and there’s stuff that needs (immediate) fixing on the house, and I keep…taking…on….more. I don’t know why. I don’t like to say no.
That said, I’m writing. So far, I’m writing. I used to be spoiled: I could only write in the morning, I thought, and only at home, and only if I had two hours ahead of me. Now, I write in the cracks. I write whenever I have any time at all. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t write.
This is the secret that it is hardest to convey to students or to the many people who have said to me, over the years, that they’d like to write but that they never have time. No one has time. As Jami Attenberg just noted, what separates writers from non-writers is….writing. Working. Finishing the damn thing.
The other secret is white noise. That’s right. Download a white noise file onto your laptop and bring some good headphones along wherever you go and you will feel like you have a superpower. I am Write-Anywhere-Woman. I can write in the loudest coffeeshop of all and still maintain concentration. (Personal favorite: “White Noise Ocean Waves” from the iconic album Original White Noise, available on iTunes. Rock’n’roll.)
The point is: wean yourself away from the idea that you have to have very specific conditions in which to write. Be prepared to write wherever or whenever you can. Don’t wait for inspiration: find the free hour you have in the middle of any day (or the beginning or the end) and do it.
Good luck, friends.
PSA for Philadelphians: stay off 95. Just had the most harrowing drive of my life. Also saw about four cars just leisurely drift off the roads in the Northeast and Center City.
New word of the day: Bombogenesis. A rapidly intensifying storm. Thanks, John Bolaris!
Anyone looking to get published? Consider submitting to Folio, Holy Family University’s literary magazine. Folio accepts original prose, poetry, and artwork.
Only two days left to submit!
Watch this excellent student-produced commercial, and then submit here:
A social skill I have not mastered
Say, for example, that you’re alone in a public space with one other person. You don’t know the person. The two of you are in a locker room, for example, or on an otherwise-empty subway platform, or in an otherwise empty bus.
The other person begins to make remarks, as if to himself or herself—something about the weather (“Hoo, it’s cold out there!”) or perhaps there’s music playing in the locker room, and the other person begins to sing along, loudly and obviously.
A) Make a small-talky remark back to the person
B) Smile at the person and go about your business
C) Completely ignore the person. Pretend nothing is happening.
This happens on a somewhat regular basis—in fact, it just did—and I never quite know what the appropriate reaction is. The question is: are these people who are looking to engage? Or are they people who just actually talk to themselves as they’re going about their day? They aren’t looking at or speaking directly to me, and yet we’re the only ones in the room…
Usually I end up just doing some combination of B and C and then scurrying away. And yet I always have the feeling that I’m being rude.
What is the appropriate social convention here?
Work bag recommendations?
My laptop bag, the one I’ve had for about five years, is falling apart.
I’m considering this one from Madewell:
but worried about whether it will hold everything I need (usually a laptop, a wallet, a book or two….odds and ends…)
Specifications: ideally under $200, very durable, and made of (or at least looks like) brown or black leather.
Thanks in advance!