Well, several hours of sleeplessness and many cups of tea later, I have a draft of one story for the Oikos Project.  I already had to turn it in and it will be critiqued Thursday.  I'm so scared that it'll get torn to pieces and I know there's so much that's rough, and I'm not entirely sure anything really happens that I wanted to happen.

Anyway -- should I put it up?
  • Current Music
    "We Ain't Never Done" :: The King Blues

Proof of life

Back in the States.  As feared (expected), I did not keep up with the Europe blog.  Oh well.

I'm having a hard time with reverse culture shock.  Re-acclimating to a rigorous academic schedule, a campus culture which keeps pushing everyone to work at full capacity all the time (for what?), bad food, bad fashion is much more of a challenge than going over there was.  Thankfully I'm back with friends and that helps more than they know.

Also, Mexican food.  Yes.

This term I am taking an upper-level English class (US literary realism, whoomp), environmental ethics, and advanced short story writing. Kind of frustrating, the last one: I was hoping for more of an exercise-based class, but it's pretty much a critique workshop.  Obviously that has its value, too, and I know that the best practice is just doing it; still, though, I'd like to see a little more guided writing.  That might just be because I can't write anything I like these days.  Well, I have a short story due tomorrow at 5 pm.  Deadlines are good, because whether it's okay or total tripe I will have something to turn in, and maybe I'll be able to share it here too.
  • Current Music
    "Travelling Riverside Blues" :: Led Zeppelin

Vienna: Now with working link and photos!

1.  I have been writing.  I have been writing crazy random insanity.  I'm liking it.



Okay, so here’s the thing about drinking espresso at five pm: don’t.  Especially if you’re like me and never ingest caffeine.  Now, nearly eight hours later, I’m still awake and in no mood to write up a résumé, do my Italian homework, or write either of the two papers that I have due in the next week.  I figure I might as well check one thing off my To-Do List (other than trying to finally catch up on episodes of Dexter, which I have been doing with relish for the past two days.).
(Click for more after the jump...)

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Happy New Year from Vienna!  I rang in 2010 dancing the Viennese waltz with a Malaysian nanny with an eyebrow piercing in the city’s street party while simultaneously trying to watch/avoid being hit by low-flying fireworks; but more on that later.  First I have to do some catch-up on my trip!

(Read more after the jump)

My family is eating sushi for dessert. I will miss this.

My flight leaves on Monday morning.

Obsessively checking and rechecking the Turbulence Forecast: happening.  Laundry: happening.  Watching “Dexter” on Netflix and reading about racefail in “Doctor Who”: definitely happening.  Eating my way through the Bay Area: happening (Cheeseboard Pizza, why can you not be everywhere on the planet).  Packing: probably not happening until about two hours before I leave for the airport.

(Read more after the jump at ...)

  • Current Mood
    stressed stressed

Getting geared up for a few weeks of writing

My straight man is more or less a non-entity right now. In this world I'm creating with weird, self-obsessed characters, he's supposed to be the one you identify with. Unfortunately he's so much of a surrogate-type character that he's really just kind of there. That's no good. My favorite straight men characters are just as well-developed and individual as any other character. It doesn't help that I'm pretty balls at making up interesting young male characters. I'm not sure doing a character profile will help; I don't think tacking on random things about him will help so much as developing some sort of -- I don't know. Personality. Bleh.

The leading lady is pretty much completely unlikeable and I made her that way by design, but I have to make her a empathetic if not sympathetic character. Also a challenge.

And my plot has a wonderful point C, and point A is okay, but the whole middle's a bit up in the air. I've got a bunch of different plot threads and have no idea how to put them into one cohesive storyline.

So basically I have some work to do. I'm excited for it. I'm hoping to go back up to Butte County on Tuesday, maybe check out their historical society.

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Thankful for: family, friends, being able to go home for Thanksgiving, Obama + Copenhagen, lots and lots more. If you celebrate it, happy Thanksgiving, and if not, happy Thursday. :)
  • Current Music
    "Little Darlin' Pal of Mine" :: Doc Watson

Oh right, this is a blog about writing and reading

Most of my recent posts have derailed into IRL blather, which, while fascinating (to me), is not the point of this journal. So, since I'm embroiled in finals week and have no particular thoughts on literature, I give you someone who did: Henry James!

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So that's what is rattling in my head. Weirdly the only thing I can get through of his, fiction-wise, is "The Turn of the Screw" (which is absolutely nuts and I love it). And now I'm back to the coal mines. Okay, I'll probably just watch "Doctor Who."



Well, it’s official.  The first half of my 2010 is going to look something like this:

San Francisco → Zurich airport → Vienna for New Year’s → Florence for three months → Zurich airport → Midwest for spring term.

This winter I’ll be in Florence, Italy, studying the Italian language and Renaissance art, intellectual life and politics in the Associated Colleges of the Midwest Arts in Context program.  Naturally the thing to do is start a blog.

I still have to buy train tickets to and from Austria (and figure out just if I should fork over money for a Eurail Pass as Rail Europe so badly wants me to), figure out my New Year’s Eve accommodations, and apply for an Italian visa.  I also should probably work on trying to find a job for this summer since I won’t be readily available for a face-to-face/phone interview when I’m abroad.  Not to mention that I still have a few weeks left of homework and final papers/projects that I’m badly behind on.

It just hit me how nervous I’m going to get about Europe before I actually get there.  I’m the type to accumulate anxiety, as the previous paragraph might indicate.

Other things worth noting about me: I’m from California, attending a small Midwestern liberal arts college where I’m a junior English major with tentative plans to go to school for environmental law.  During summer 2008, I studied at NUI Galway in western Ireland, so I am familiar with electric showers and other oddities of European life.  Well, odd to me, anyway.  Hobbies include exploring my school’s Arboretum, DJing for the student radio station, writing stories, eating many kinds of food.  I’m short, constantly worried, and very interested in getting out of my comfort zone.  Enough about that.


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It is the last (also maybe the third) blue October sky of the year and I'm stuck inside.  Stupid H1N1.  I had a fever for less than 24 hours, but I'm still lightheaded and dizzy. 

My parents are out of town and though I'm glad they're seeing the world I do wish I could just pick up the phone and call them.  Murad's been super busy with stuff, and everyone else I know was on screw dates last night (Screw Your Roommate night = set up your roommate on a blind date).  Last night I went just about stir crazy.  I watched a bunch of Netflix Instant Watch stuff, sometimes interrupted to peer at the noisy kids in the parking lot outside my window.  I'm actually becoming the old lonely meddling neighbor lady; bit terrifying, really.

I need to get on stuff.  Put a resume together, figure out a summer job, do lots and lots of homework.  I feel like this one stupid term has tremendous opportunities for me that are slipping through my fingers and this is the one chance I'll ever have to do (what? I don't even know) and I'm messing it up.  It's so stupid.  Gah.  I want to go on a walk.
  • Current Music
    "Space Walk" :: Lemon Jelly
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