Oh, and it’s also very cold outside

I woke up 40 minutes early this morning to write 3 pages, in what took about 10 or 15 minutes. Then I went to the train station 10 minutes early for the 7:20 train. One minute after I arrived, the 7:01 pulled into the station, 11 minutes late. I figured I’d get on that rather than wait for who knows how long. I arrived in Manhattan 15 minutes early, at the tail end of the lamest math non-problem ever.

I didn’t love getting up early this morning, but I did it, and I scribbled my three longhand pages. Because it really does seems to be helping. I wrote another page of my story this evening. For me, for this story, a page is damn good. I don’t want to suggest that it’s a page of all gold, or that the words weren’t still all hard-earned. Writing three, free-flowing, stream-of-consciousness pages every morning isn’t remaking me as a writer. But it does seem to be helping me past what’s always been my biggest obstacle: editing as I go. I know I can get three pages out, and knowing that has been helping me not get so hung up on each and every word.

I mean, nobody has to see a first draft.

Well, depending on when I finish this story and what I do with it, I might like to submit it to the Online Writing Workshop. I haven’t completely got a handle on what’s going on, but it’s certainly some kind of horror.

Well, nobody’s going to see that notebook of morning pages. I think I can guarantee that.

This evening, I had a ticket to see Selected Shorts, a night of Junot Diaz and Karen Russell’s stories, but I didn’t really want to go, as much as I’ve enjoyed both of their work, and Selected Shorts as a whole. I thought, rather than not get home until 11 or 12 o’clock, I’d come home and write. And I’m glad I did. I’m sorry to be out the $28, but…oh look, this is turning into a math problem again.

Time, I think, for me to turn in.

This day was just bananas

So today was kind of an interesting day.

I got to sleep in a little later than usual because I wasn’t headed to the office, but to a conference a little further uptown, and I would be taking the subway from Penn Station to arrive there at 9 am. I was filling in for a colleague for about four hours, helping to sell books to psychoanalysts. Aside from the exhibit space itself, which was in a dark and cramped room well off the beaten path from the rest of the conference (or much of anything else in the hotel that would direct foot traffic our way), those four hours passed just fine. I left a little after 1 pm and walked back to the office.

Where I stayed for the better part of half an hour, mostly just to grab a bite to eat for lunch, and check in. (Also to print out my receipt for a talk I was attending later that evening, but I’m getting ahead of myself there.) I ate a chicken club sandwich, read a couple of e-mails — my favorite was easily IT’s earlier apology for the fact that we were apparently “experiencing internet and network access” — and got my name badge and team number for our company- and midtown Manhattan-wide scavenger hunt.

Yes, a scavenger hunt. It was ten bucks, to benefit the World Cancer Research Fund, the company’s charitable organization of choice, and I got a T-shirt out of it, plus a couple of drinks (again, skipping head), and an excuse to leave the office at 2:30 and run around Manhattan taking photos of bananas in unusual places.

This, in itself, is sort of a long story. The company’s charitable events, from fundraisers to races to this inter-office scavenger hunt, are for some inexplicable reason, banana-themed. So we got bright yellow shirts, a bag of bananas to each group, and instructions on the sort of pictures we had to take. There were ten in total, from “a police officer holding a banana” to “a banana in disguise” to “a banana riding a subway.” It was all silly, and a surprising amount of fun, thanks in no small part to the really lovely weather we had today. The eight or nine groups started near the UN, a few blocks from our new office, and reunited at a bar further downtown. There, a winner was picked, leading to the sort of grumbling and nitpicking — the teams showed up long before HR did to judge who arrived first — that’s likely only of mild interest to the parties involved.

The important thing is, it was a surprising amount of fun. Even if — or probably because — I was only really at work for about fifteen minutes today.

After the drinks — a beer and whiskey sour, the latter of which our HR department graciously bought, along with a round for our office — I headed uptown, near Columbia, for a talk between Neil Gaiman and Paul Levitz, hosted by the university. I had a very nice dinner right beforehand, at a Japanese/Thai place across the street from the theater, and enjoyed the heck out of the talk itself. (I also spotted Amanda Palmer briefly at the box office, so that was neat too.)

And now I’m home, a little tired but glad to have had such an interesting day. Tomorrow probably won’t be half as exciting, but it will at least be Friday.

Wednesday various

Wednesday various

Monday various