I found this article in The Atlantic interesting because it addresses the idea of “thinspo” and “fitspo” and the fine line between wanting to lose weight for healthy reasons, and wanting to lose weight for unhealthy reasons (or because of an eating disorder). It also deals with the idea of censoring certain phrases and images on social media, which seems counterproductive to me. Unfortunately, there will always be “pro-anorexia” and “pro-bulimia” phrases, images, websites, etc. on the internet, and censoring these phrases and images will not eradicate them, as they will just pop up elsewhere.
My friend, and fellow University of Minnesota nonfiction MFA buddy Jon Lurie, is waiting for a heart transplant. There is going to a benefit for him on Saturday, November 17th from 6-9 at Open Book in Minneapolis. Patricia Weaver Francisco, Susan Power, and Laura Flynn will be reading. Circus Juventas will be performing as well, and there will be a live painting, a silent auction, and Jon will read from his book Canoeing with Jose (Milkweed Press, forthcoming). Please consider coming (tickets are $20/person) or donating.
For more information about Jon Lurie and the benefit please check out: http://jonlurie.wordpress.com/
It’s a gorgeous spring Wednesday afternoon in Minneapolis, and I am drinking ginger-spice tea at my usual watering hole (the non-alcoholic watering hole, that is) and thinking about the writing projects I’m working on (or at least conceptualizing) instead of working on my Psychopathology take-home test. So I thought I’d blog a bit about what I’ve been working on and thinking about. It’s very different than Purge: Rehab Diaries, which is cool, because as much as I like my book, it’s exciting to be investigating and writing about new subjects.
1. The Gun Book. This started with a livingsocial voucher for a “45 minute handgun experience” at a local sporting goods store. I’d never shot a gun before, but I really enjoyed shooting. I’m exploring shooting and hunting as a woman, as well as gun laws (they vary significantly by state) and society’s perceptions of guns, and women and guns. So far I’ve taken some handgun classes, and passed my Minnesota Fire Arms Safety class (hunter’s education). I have lots more plans in the works, and I’ve got a nice chunk of the book written. This is the project I am most excited about.
2. The Greyhound Mini-Book. In 2002 I took the Greyhound cross-country for one month. I wrote about my experience for my PSU thesis, and I recently dug it out and reread it. I like the idea of revising it and self-publishing it just for fun, or posting it on my blog, by section. It would be a fun little project. The Gun Book logistics can get a little overwhelming, so this would be a good project for when I need a break from The Gun Book.
3. The Poetry Manuscript. I have enough poems for a chapbook, and I can’t decide whether to pursue chapbook publication or hold out for a book-length manuscript. I’m leaning toward a book-length manuscript, in part because I have no idea how to organize the poems I currently have into a manuscript.
So that’s what I’m up to. Some of you know I was working on a boarding school novel. That was an epic fail, but that’s okay.
Fellow author Chynna Laird interviewed me and three other memoirists about taboo subjects and memoir writing for the Women on Writing (WOW) website. It’s an excellent, in-depth article. Check it out!
I was plugging away, writing, writing, writing, and then things got hard. My psychology classes suddenly demanded large portions of my time (hello, midterms), I started an accelerated Saturday class, and my personal life got crazy. I’ve been distracted and thrown off my schedule. I’ve also hit some logistical snafus in my project, in that I need to coordinate with some people, do some interviews, and do some activities. I will also need to do some traveling.
I think I had a form of amnesia after I published Purge: Rehab Diaries. I forgot how hard this part of the project is. It’s not quite the beginning, but I’m definitely not to the middle, either. I have a long way to go. I’m frustrated. Some days I’m more frustrated then excited and hopeful, but I’m trying to keep the momentum going. I really love the project I’m working on, and I believe it has great potential, and it’s really fun. It’s just that sometimes the logistics are a nightmare, and sometimes, writing is just hard.
I have the luxury of spending roughly four hours on writing-related ventures today (I am so lucky!) due to a fluke in my schedule and a quiet week school-wise. Since last week, I have nailed down my first solid draft of the first chapter of my new book. I have been writing like fiend, whenever I get a chance, and I have been caught up in my subject in a way I haven’t been since grad school, when I started writing Purge: Rehab Diaries. It feels really good to be so caught up in something, and I’m so motivated right now. It feels quite urgent that I get everything down on the page. It’s a matter of necessity. The creative part of my brain is firing away. And so I’m writing, writing, writing. The sense of immediacy looms large. I have to get everything down, because it just feels urgent, and I’m afraid I will lose momentum.
While I’m plowing ahead and writing away, I’m also revising earlier stuff (like the first chapter). Move forward, stop and look back. Revision is difficult. It sometimes seems counterintuitive to the sense of immediacy I’m feeling, but if I don’t revise (I’m talking structurally) then I can’t move forward, because there is no road map to where I’m going. Two steps forward, one step back.
Still, I am in a great place right now, writing-wise, despite the push and pull of creation and revision. And so I keep moving forward, and looking back.
I’m spending my Valentine’s Day studying for a midterm tonight, which is not the most exciting Valentine’s Day plan, but I hope you, dear reader, are having a fabulous Valentine’s Day, full of love and happiness, whether it be with a significant other, friends, or family. In honor of today, I’m embedding one of my favorite love-themed songs that I used to listen to non-stop when Prince Charming and I started dating, and that we played at our wedding, “Fidelity” by Regina Spektor.
(I’m not having any luck embedding…it says embedding is disabled for this video, boo.)
I have enjoyed February 14th every year since I met Prince Charming, and we’ve done fun things like gone out to eat at fancy places, cooked elaborate meals ourselves (okay, he cooked the elaborate meal because all I can cook is pasta), exchanged presents, and did romantic things. I am the luckiest girl in the world.
One of my favorite Valentine’s Day memories dates back to my junior year at Penn State-Erie, when my friend K and I went to Target and bought these ridiculous Crocodile Hunter valentines that showed the Croc Hunter menacing or wrestling some dangerous creature and saying things like “crikey!”. We gave them to all our friends and English Department faculty. We found this wildly entertaining (and no, we weren’t drinking). I hadn’t given anyone a valentine since grade school. It was fun. And I just totally dated myself, didn’t I?
Wouldn’t you laugh if you got an unexpected Croc Hunter valentine?
WordPress wouldn’t let me post all of my pictures in one post, so here are the rest of my Tybee Island pictures:
They were all over the beach.
In addition to going to Savannah, my mom and I went to Tybee Island as well. It was a bit blustery when we went, but I didn’t mind. I still waded in the ocean and looked for shells. We saw lots of jellyfish, shells, pelicans, and sandpipers. After we walked on the beach, we went to the Crab Shack for lunch (I keep typing Carb Shack!), where we saw lots of gators! Check out the pictures below:
More pictures to come…