Friday, September 28, 2012

Happy Friday, Part Deux

Dear readers,

It’s a dark, soaking wet Friday in good ol’ Nu Yawk Sitty…but it’s FRIDAY!! YAY!! Before you start looking for part one of Happy Friday...there isn't one.  Hehehe...I just like writing DEUX. 

I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge that sometimes I put in way too minutiae regarding my life and that can be a little off-putting. After all, we all have to deal with the every day realities of our lives. So thanks for sticking around and reading my blog anyway.

Being a creative person in this world…is complicated sometimes. In writing this blog, I wanted to share some of my process with a larger audience. But I have found that writing about my writing life…is very similar to making a movie about a writer. Basically, you cut to a montage of a writer at a typewriter or a computer pounding away either in ecstasy or in dismay. Either lying on a bed bemoaning the work, or pacing the room talking to oneself as a writer struggles to get through a section. Riiiiiight!

That’s a romantic notion. I think pounding on a keyboard is right but everything else…eh, not so much. I say all this because this writer works a full time day job to pay bills, who jots character description based on the strangers I come across on the train, who daydreams about frantic love affairs to capture them on the page, who writes lines of poetry on scraps of papers, who is moved by good music and little independent movies, who consumes books like oxygen, who takes care of Pandora (a short haired black Bombay cat), who can’t decide between paying her cell phone bill or buying tickets to see Ed Sheeran in concert (hehehe, true story), who helps her dad with every computer questions he can come up with, who helps her sisters with writing memos, who helps friends revamp resumes, eeek…you get the point. A busy life. Don’t we all have that?

At the same time, I am trying to get healthier in my body, do a little walking, a little stretching, a little yoga, and eating better. I am down 19.5 lbs as of this morning. Hoo-RAH! Trying not to be everyone’s caretaker until I have my own house in order (not an easy lesson after being so good at be there for others). Trying a new outlook on life. Trying new recipes, cooking for myself again, tonight I am making an Okra Veggie Stew. Phew! Just writing this out makes me a little tired…hehehe. No, not really. I’m taking my vitamins and I am ready to go.

It’s really when I’m up late at night staring at the ceiling that I think I’m wasting time. Tick, tock, tick tock, there is much to do. White rabbit syndrome, “I’m late, I’m late, I’m late for an important date.” Yet knowing there is just so much I can do in a day. After writing this blog out, I’ll be off to write my errand list for tomorrow…and try really hard to remember that tomorrow night I’m going to see Jack White in concert. SWEET!!

[Upcoming Event]
I’ve been invited to read one of my poems at the New York Times VOCES Affinity Group Event for Hispanic Heritage Month on October 10, 5:30-8:30 pm at 620 Eighth Ave. New York, NY 10018. Open to the public. Palabras, Ritmo y Arte A Celebration of Latino Poetry, Music And Art Featuring spoken word artists, musicians and a mixed media artists gallery showcasing the vibrant words and art of Latinos from the Tristate area.

Have an amazing Friday!
Peace,
L~



All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2012 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Who Turned the Power Up?

It's Wednesday night and I'm feeling better today.  My energy is back up and the hacking cough has subsided (somewhat).  Really the only place where the cough acts up is in the ice boxes that I travel in a.k.a. MTA trains.

I'm in a pensive mood tonight.  I have a lot of work to do.  A lot of writing yet to be done.  The pressure is in my gut.  The tension in my jaw.  Tight.  I keep stretching my neck...and it won't let go.  There are too many things by way of distraction and all I want is some quiet.  I may have to go back to getting up at 5 am to write for a couple of hours.  It's the only time of day that seems to work.  Ergh!  I am not a morning person but drastic times call for drastic measures.  And I want to finish the story arc of this novel.
I've actually been thinking about buying an Underwood manual typewriter. I've been getting a bit fed up with technology of late.  This idea just made me giggle and I've already changed my mind to....it's going to be the gift I buy myself once I finish writing this first novel. We all need incentives.  

Pandora just plopped down against my leg to get her belly rubbed.  She doesn't quite understand "busy writing"...'cause in her life...it's always a good time to get a belly rub.

Oh goodness, I feel like my brain is on overdrive.  Who turned the power up?  I think it's time for me to unplug.

Oh wait...one last thing before I go...Jack White concert on Saturday night....WooHoo!!

Uhm yep, I think I'm done now.

Peace,

L~

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2012 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I jinxed myself.

I was telling a co-worker that I was NOT going to get sick this season. Boy was I wrong. Friday I had a scratchy throat and by Sunday it was a full blown head cold. Argh! I did manage to run a few errands on Saturday and meet up with my writing group to talk about the craft of writing. We took a look at some of our favorite writers to show what we think good writing looks like. Cool indeed. Afterwards, we hit a wine bar to have a couple of glasses of wine. I woke up on Sunday with a full blown cold. Ergh!!

Once I was up and about, I convinced myself that I was well enough to go into Little Italy to try to find a restaurant with my sister. Lo and behold we happened to hit the San Genero festival….eeek!! Too many people and not enough room to walk. After walking the length of Spring street and unable to find the place we were looking for…we hopped in a cab and went back cross town to one of our favorite spots on MacDougal called Snack. Yummy Greek food. We had lamb sandwiches, and an assortment of appetizers of tzizki, stuffed grape leaves, potato garlic puree, feta cheese with warm pita bread. And let’s not forget the Mimosa and Bellini. As good as the food was…I was chilled to the bone from out trek through little Italy.

By the time I made it home...well let’s just say, I crashed hard. The next day I could barely get out of bed. I called in sick and spent the day curled under my duvet. I had some homemade stew left and ate a little of that but mostly I drank lots of tea.

Today, I’m back at work…I feel better than yesterday…but I can feel the heaviness of being ill. I can’t really afford to take another sick day so I’m as bright and bushy tail as someone with a head cold can be.
All for now.

Peace,
L~
P.S.  I'm putting below The Lumineers' video of Ho Hey.  It's a sweet song that's grown on me so enjoy!! 
All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2012 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Baracuda--Heart


In keeping with the homage to Heart, I’m putting up Baracuda. Yay!!
Ann Wilson can wail!! I can’t stop listening to their music.
A bit of good news, I scored tickets to see Heart in concert on October 3rd. I’m stoked!!!

Let's see, I’ve also hit my 3 pm slump. Ergh. I had a choice between a small Dove dark chocolate and a Fuji apple. Yep, you guessed it, chocolate it is. No guilt, just yum. Plus a large mug of tea.

I took a late break and managed to sit out by the fountain at Bryant Park. The place was packed with tourists and workers alike. After about ten minutes dark rain clouds started rolling in so I scurried back to work. I thought the fresh air would wake me up a bit…hmmm, didn’t quite work that way. Instead I feel sleepy and I’ve been staring without seeing for the past ten minutes letting myself daydream a little.

I finally thought, “right, I need to do something.” and began with this bit of freewriting. Perhaps inspiration will hit me somewhere within these lines. Goodness…guess that’s not working either.
I’ll end it there for now.

Ciao,

L~


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2012 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

HEART Rocks!

How shall I begin this entry today? It’s a gorgeous bright, windy, fall day and I am bursting with lots of lovely, bubbly energy. I love this time of year…the humidity is being taken over by windier days and I can wear a light jacket. Yum!

I am putting up a video of one of my favorite female rock bands: HEART
With Ann's voice and Nancy's playing you can't go wrong.  I heard that they are coming out with a new album on October 2 called FANATIC. Can it be true?! Say it’s so!! Very excited indeed!! Can’t wait!! Okay, have I put up enough exclamation points…can’t help the enthusiasm. They are killer musicians and you know what I’m like with rockers. ;-)

Let’s see…I’m still reading about Patricia Highsmith’s life and she feels like a kindred spirit…bendito. Her tragic love affairs, the ups and downs with her creative life, her bouts with drinking and depression…yep, I can relate to this woman very well. I am mid-way through a 400+ page biography.

Reading about her work, her process, has helped me to navigate through a rough sketch of an idea for another novel. I think I made mention of it sometime last week. I worked on it last night and put in another 1,000+ words down. It’s rough and I’ll try not to judge it. The story is about a married man’s obsession over a female co-worker. I sketched out a couple of chapters so far, nothing major. Not sure where it’s going yet but trying to stay with it, without throwing it out. For the first time, I’m not writing in a linear way. I am moving only from one major incident to the next. How I’ll tie it together, I’m not quite sure yet but it’ll figure itself out.

I’m also still working on Indigo although that seems to be going much slower. The plotting out is a bit grueling. Perhaps, I need to sketch out the rest of the novel as a way of thinking through the next couple of chapters. I know where I want it to end, just not sure how I’m going to get there from where I am 1/3 of the way through this novel. Ergh! I have three months to finish this draft. I can feel the deadline breathing down my neck. Then I’ll put in a drawer for a month before I start going through the revising process.

Last bit, I took a walk around Bryant Park during my lunch break and they were shooting an episode of Person of Interest. Jim Caviezel (one of the lead actors) was standing there running lines with someone and he was looking dapper in his tailored suit. Do people say dapper anymore? Anyway there’s the word in black and white and very appropriate indeed.

Anyway, that’s all for now.

Peace,

L~

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2012 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I am in a mood today.  Not sure where it's coming from or what's bothering me at the moment, but I'm in a bit of a snit.  The thing is I don't have anything to complain about at the moment.  I've addressed some issues that have popped up (for a change, instead of letting them fester), I've reached out to friends for support and advise (check), cooked healthy foods for myself (check), taken walks to clear my head (check).  So where is the funky stink mood coming from?  Ergh!! 
 
I've tried some retail therapy but that hasn't work out lately.  I've bought three pairs of shoes in the last three months only to return them as soon as I get them home.  My flat Sasquash feet don't fit into anything pretty.  And since I'm not 20 anymore...wearing dr. marten's with dresses just doesn't look right. *sigh* 

I've lost 16 lbs up until last week and today I'm back up 3 lbs...*frustrating*  My sister says she can see the weight loss...unfortunately, I don't.  * grumble, grumble *

I have an idea for another story about desire and obsession.  Last night, I sat down at my desk to quickly sketch out the story.  It was just to get down the overall idea. But somewhere between sketching out the idea, my direction changed and I was trying to block out the story and the writing was just terrible.  Big clunky phrasing that reminded me of undergraduate work. I balled everything up and threw it out.  I'll have to go back tonight and fish it out of the wastepaper basket...in hopes of salvaging the idea itself.  I'm frustrated with writing lately.  It's like holding a finger down on a bruise.  It hurts but I can't help but do it, write, that is.  I know there are hills and valleys to my process...just sometimes wish there were more peaks than troughs.  Maybe that is where the mood is coming from...wanting the writing to be better than what it is currently. 

On the bright side, today is Friday.  I'm having dinner with my sister and her boyfriend at one of our favorite Korean restaurants.  Yummy Kimchi and Dolsot BiBamBop, can't wait.  I think I'll walk around Bryant Park a couple of times during my lunch break to help with the funky mood.  It's a warm, bright day...I may as well take it in before winter sets in.  
I'm not in the mood to work (day job) today. Instead, I just want to pile everything up in the corner of my desk and try my hand at that story again.  See if I can piece together the impulse with the act of writing. Wish me luck. 

All for now,

L~

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2012 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

DoAn Art - www.doanart.com

Being a writer, I can sometimes be a bit self-absorbed.  Eh, it’s in my nature. I think it has something to do with living in my own head….eek! Anyway, this past weekend, I helped Tony at a craft fair upstate and in the midst of a wind storm we managed to sell a few pieces. Then I got to thinking, I need to do a shout out (on my blog) to my best friend and his work. 'Cause quite frankly Tony is an amazing artist. I joked around this past weekend that watching him do his work is like magic…’cause altho’ I understand the mechanics of the sculpting…these pieces have “personality”. So you HAVE TO check out his gallery. Tony (DoAn) Galbraith also does custom work in pet portraits and/or animal totems.  But check out his website...his work needs to be seen.  I would personally buy up every one of his hummingbirds...they glitter in the sunlight and who doesn't love sparkling birds.  Peace~ L.

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2012 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lianne La Havas at The Bowery Ballroom (Sep 11, 2012)


I went to see the Lianne La Havas last night at The Bowery Ballroom and she was phenomenal!! I loved her vibe and the way she flirted with her audience. She wore a black velvet bolero jacket with gold thread and a short leather skirt with black platform shoes. I was up in the balcony…yay! so I could actually see her act without getting squished. The music was sensational and listening to her live actually made me well up with an abundance of soppy emotions. The sadder the ballad, the bigger the well-up of tears yet it was cathartic. There were a few songs where the audience sang along with her and the energy could barely be contained in the place. There was a couple of audience members right in front of the stage that was jamming and grooving so hard…that their energy was infectious. Her last song of the night was Is Your Love Big Enough. Hoorah! Last but not least, her band mates were on point. Her drummer is fierce. After the concert, I walked up along the Bowery, and the street was dark and the night was cool and I had her music inside of me. I hummed all the way to the train station in a low mellow way and it was a gorgeous night. Lovely!!



All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2012 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

And now back to our regularly scheduled program


Dark heavy clouds skim across the horizon.
Damp wind on a warm day does not soothe
Instead it leaves behind an oily film on one’s skin.

Anyway, I spent the weekend with family and friends having good food and decent wine. Very chilled out indeed. Of course there is always a bit of drama but for now we will forgo details since they are not mine to share...or better yet they can be used against us in a court of law. (teehee).


Moving on, went to see this really sweet and charming indie movie called Robot and Frank.  I have to admit if there is a tiny bit of sci-fi element to a movie, I want to see it. I strong-armed a friend to come with...promising a pitcher of sangria. Robot and Frank is written by Christopher Ford and directed by Jake Schreier. This movie surprised me, the humor in it was so right on that I laughed out loud quite a few times. It also has a big beating heart right smack in the middle of it that brought up a few tears up. Frank Langella and Susan Sarandon were marvelous...and it has a tiny twist that I just wasn’t expecting that raised the human element of it. Lovely. This is a debut project for both writer and director and I can’t wait to see more from them.

I finished Highsmith’s novel Deep Water, it was so intense that I had a hard time putting the book down for the last couple of chapters. I had to sneak off on tiny breaks, at work, because I wanted to know what happened next. The story was haunting and cruel. I was going to jump into yet another novel but opted instead to read Andrew Wilson’s biography on Highsmith, Beautiful Shadow. Reading about her life and her creative process both inspires me and haunts me at the same time. She wrote about herself and her work with the same impatience that I have for my own. In reading excerpt passages from her diaries, Highsmith feels like a kindred spirit. She was a voracious reader with a keen intellect who looked upon the human condition as fodder for her novels, especially when dealing with deviant behavior. She was also vastly unhappy, emotionally removed and seeking more than just peace. I am barely 100 pages into the biography and her impatience has fired up my own desperation for more time to work on my novel. Funny how that works.

All for now...skipping off to take a walk around Bryant Park.  It's a nice break to clear the cobwebs. 

Peace,

L~
All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2012 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.