Wednesday, May 27, 2009

One week and counting

3,190 words today. Some recycled. Most new.

Seven days to go until I turn this puppy in for my LAST PACKET.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Shh! I'm hiding!

You can't see me! I'm in . . .


It's very quiet here, in the basement where I used to write all my high school papers. The old computer isn't here, but the desk is, and my laptop lives here now.

I write thousands of words in the basement, while my parents intermittently feed me tabbouleh and fresh shrimp and sour dough bread, and tonight we'll be going to my cousin's husband's restaurant, Daniel George. It's the kind of place where you can use a phrase like "amuse bouche" and not feel stuck-up. Fancy schmance!

I mean Daniel should be on Iron Chef (which I just saw for the first time the other night and am now obsessed with). He's that good!

I'm supposed to be finished with my creative thesis, aka my novel, by June 4th.

So, shhhhhhhhhh!

Currently reading: Dreamquake by Elizabeth Knox. She's some sort of magician, I've decided. I'm jealous. Also, a nonfiction book about urban legends called The Vanishing Hitchhiker . . . it makes me feel academic AND spooky, all at the same time!!! If I thought I could ever get a job teaching folklore that didn't require me to live in the middle of nowhere, I'd be on that PhD in a second. Sigh.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Rain is to acid as sane fabrics are to silk shantung

Sitting on the porch of my tower room by the beach. I don't have a door, but I do have windows on all four sides -- the fulfillment of a childhood fantasy.

Trying to squeeze in writing between bridesmaiding duties, which is going . . . okay. I had a revelation yesterday, but not the time to implement it.

My fingernails and toenails are prettier than they have ever been. I'm about to go get my hair did, and after that I'll be trying to figure out how to wear reverse silk shantung in the rain.

When I first got the dress, I sneezed on it -- a tiny, tiny liquid sneeze, which made a dark, dark mark requiring dry cleaning. Pretend that rain is acid. That's the only way that this dress will survive the day.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A good bachelorette must always be prepared

Me: I might not make it to the third location. My shoes are really cutting into my heels, and I don't know if I can walk much more.

Bachelorette Dina: Oh, what size are you? Because I have an extra pair of shoes in my bag.

Bachelorette Dina was ready to keep the party going even after showing up at the wrong restaurant cross-town and getting swiped by a cab.

Wedding season is officially on.

Last night I bacheloretted with the first of three friends who will be wedding or wedding-partying over the next three weekends. Tuesday I head to Florida to be a bridesmaid in the wedding of one of my oldest friends. I'll be packeting while not wedding-ing, but there are worse places to write than the beach.

Currently reading: Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson and The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. Classic.


Last Tuesday my friend Scott and I took advantage of the MCA's free day to see the Olafur Eliasson and Buckminster Fuller exhibits.

Fantastic. Both.

Buckminster Fuller blows my mind. He's like an overgrown twelve-year-old tech geek who happens to be a genius. They've got clippings from his notebooks on 4D dwelling units and Dymaxion cars, and they look like a kid scribbling -- handblock letters, colored-in pictures of the globe covered in airships.

Here are just a few things Bucky has to say . . .

Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable.

God, to me, it seems, is a verb not a noun, proper or improper.

Love is metaphysical gravity.

Olafur Eliasson does funky things with space. 'Nough said. A couple of my friends made a silly rap about him that makes me happy. It's explicit as silly rapping will be . . . fair warning.

Monday, May 11, 2009


As of today, my new draft of my book is around 55,000 words.

I'm not sure how long this new draft will be, but I know I'm in the last third of the book, and I know I should be done by June 4th.


Today, I celebrate other people's writing -- specifically, the kids of the Loyola Park After-school program. The oldest group are putting on a full show adapting their own stories for performance side by side with five Monkey performers. My group (the little guys) and the middle group are each doing a short performance. Ours is an adaptation of a story they wrote as a group, "Where in Hollywood is the Royal Baby?" There will be jalepenos, and puking, a stunt baby, Icelandic royalty making handprints outside of Grauman's Chinese Theater, and a dance party.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Nineteen packets down. One to go!

Happy Saturday!

My second to last packet for my MFA program went in Thursday morning, and I got back a response that made me giddy. My lecture on fantastic ambiguity is approved. My first 200 pages of my novel are pretty much in order. I get to include my early reader, Tessa and the Frozen Tundra as part of my creative thesis, and I got to SLEEP as much as I wanted the last two nights in a row!

Beauty! I feel like my superhero from the Scientist/Monster song, minus the mental fragility!

I needed the sleep badly because in addition to packeting, I had the first two performances of Barrel of Monkeys Poetry Show on Thursday morning. I blogged about it over at the BOM site.

To celebrate on Thursday night, I checked out Sharon Greene's story at the 2nd Story Festival. She and the other storytellers (and Monkey Mike Przygoda's music) were great, and I highly recommend checking out the end of festival this weekend!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Overheard sublime

Walking Parker through the neighborhood, I heard what I took to be a little girl howling, playing at being a wolf or an unhappy dog. As we approached, I saw her leaning over the wall at the edge of her porch, making a whole range of high-pitched uncomfortable sounds. Warbling might be one word for it, but that sounds too melodic.

A woman, maybe an aunt or a grandmother sat on the porch steps helping the girl with her imaginings.

She was saying, "Oh, how beautiful! Oh! My fairy princess! How I love to hear her sing! What a beautiful voice!"

The girl kept going, "Ahhhrooooooooooooh!!!!!" never getting hung up on silly things like pitch.