I think it’s safe to say I’ve been ignoring this blog for a little while.
November has been kind of a mixed bag for me. Emotionally, I’ve not exactly been at my best, whatever that is, and it’s been tough to find any real interest in chronicling my life, beyond the occasional — well, certainly more than occasional — sighing about it over on Twitter. It’s been tempting to just post the occasional link to my last real entry and say something like “ibid.” or “same shit, different day.” It’s not as if anything has really changed.
In all fairness — to the universe, I guess — it’s probably way too early for things to have actually changed. I can’t really expect overnight transformation in my life…but that, of course, doesn’t stop me from wanting it. That doesn’t stop me from being sad when I look at all the things in my life that I want to transform and feel powerless to ever enact that level of change.
I’ve been re-watching a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer recently. It started out as just this thing I was doing and has taken on the level almost of comfort food. And it’s occurred to me, with something akin to surprise and even a little dismay, that the character I most relate to is actually Jonathan. He’s a likable character, but certainly not a model of healthy behavior. This is a character to whom Buffy says at one point, “You can’t keep trying to make everything work out all at once, with some huge gesture. Things are complicated. They take time and work.” It’s questionable if he ever learns that lesson. It’s a tough lesson to learn. I know I’d prefer if I didn’t have to do so.
So what have I been doing lately? You know, besides re-watching old Joss Whedon shows?
My writing is going okay. I’ve sold two short stories in the past month, which is a good incentive to keep writing more. I’ve had more than twice as many rejections as that, of course, and the writing isn’t going easily. But this at least feels like an area of my life I know how to make better. There’s going to be a lot of work involved, which would be easier if I had anything approaching a real work ethic, but I feel better about writing right now than I do about a lot of other things.
I’ve also decided in the new year to take an online writing class with Cat Rambo, which I’m hoping will help me with the craft somewhat, and maybe even get me out in the world a little. I’d been eyeing a couple of other workshop classes, like this one or this one, but Rambo’s seemed a good match for where I feel like I am as a writer and where I want to get to.
Meanwhile, I have been trying, with mixed results, to get out into the world and meet new people.
I’ve gone to a write-in thing held by the Gotham Writer’s Workshop a couple of times. It’s a free-writing exercise, akin to the sort of thing I do most Sundays with friends, but this time with strangers. (And with a $20 price tag, admittedly. Though there is conversation, snacks, and wine.)
I went to a science fiction/horror meetup in the city, where they were showing Nightmare on Elm Street for the 30th anniversary. It was a lot of fun, even if I did only really get to talk to one person — she and I may have been the only ones from the sci-fi half of the meetup group — and even if I did leave before they actually showed the movie. (They showed a lot of other content, including part of a Bollywood remake, but after three hours, I had a train to catch.)
I went to the Fantastic Fiction reading at the KGB Bar in the East Village, where I felt very awkward. Seriously, the readings themselves were great — Nancy Kress and Jack Skillingstead — but I think I said all of two words to anybody else in that very tiny bar. (And that was, “Oh, okay,” when Ellen Datlow kindly gave me a folding chair, I think just to get me out of the way.) I might go back, but I think I’d need more than a couple of beers for courage.
I went to a British film and TV meetup at a bar in midtown. (Have I mentioned how I was once the president of the Penn State Monty Python Society? I do have Britcomedy-fan street cred.) The bar was loud — people sure do drink for a Thursday night — and we didn’t all get to really talk over dinner, but they seemed like a nice enough group of people.
I also skipped out on a book club when, five minutes after I’d turned up, they lost their venue, and I decided to forgo another late night in the city with another meetup that was showing this.
That was all in the past week. (With the exception of the write-in, which was the two weeks before.) None the huge, life-changing gesture the dumb (but likable) Jonathan part of my brain has been looking for, but it’s kept me busy, I guess.
I went to see a live taping of A Prairie Home Companion with my parents last night, too.
Oh, and I also registered for both next year’s Readercon and World Fantasy Convention. But those are a ways off, so.
Finally, the search for an apartment doesn’t go terrifically well, not least of all because New York rental prices are ridiculous and the process is so complicated. But I’m off from work all this week, and I’m going to go look at a place tomorrow afternoon. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that I like it, can afford it, and won’t get locked out by another renter. Though it might take a minor miracle for that to happen.
All of this maybe makes it sound like I’m meandering towards happiness, and maybe eventually I am. But it’s a slow, long and lonely meander, and, like I said, a mixed bag of a month. I’m going to have to think long and hard this Thursday about just what exactly I am thankful for.
I’m not really at my best lately, but I’m working on it.