Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Loose-ness

Writing Update: 
Thursday ~200 words
Friday: ~1,600 words
Saturday: ~1,800 words
Sunday: 1,880 words
Total to date: 20,041
New Pages since Nov 1st: 62

I know I gripe way too much about my life, my writing and everything in-between. Here's the thing, my griping is part of my process. It is. I whine. I bitch. I complain and then I write. Then I start again.  But I always come back to the page. It keeps me sane. It give me a glow. It's where I find some of my power. Some, not all.   I still don't know where i'm going with this novel.  More days than not, I just want to burn the damn thing...but I'm not allowed to do that.  I just need to get to the end of the story arc.  That is my only job at the moment.  

Although writing along with NaNoWriMo, the goal was to hit 50,000 words...I'm not sure I'll reach that goal.  I'll just keep digging in every day and see how far I get.  But I'll put in time every day.  Five more days left till the end of the month. (Which roughly means 6,000 words per day if I try to reach for that goal). Then 31 more days till the end of the year to get my first draft done.  I am REACHING...and STRETCHiNG to get it done.  

I had a good time spending Thanksgiving with my family  Lots of laughs, lots of good food, lots of alcohol (altho' I abstained for a change), lots of shouty discussions and I had a fantastic time. Yay! My baked butternut squash dish didn't quite turn out the way I wanted...just wouldn't cook properly.  Ah well, no point.  For a change I did not beat myself up over it.  Progress.Little baby steps. 

Healthy food choices were okay. This week is not the week for weighing in.  I treated myself to an amazing Thai massage on Sunday.  It's been awhile since I've been able to move my neck this freely.  Ergh!  Way too much time at the computer.  Anyway, must get back to yoga on a more regular basis to keep the loose feeling going.  

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, November 20, 2012

Long Answer to a Short Question

It’s Tuesday. Started my day with the sound of construction work outside my window. A jack hammer alarm is harder to find the snooze button on it. For a change, it actually didn’t bother me as much as it usually does. Mostly because the sound of construction gives me a sense that money is being spent on the infrastructure of the city and that always helps our limping economy.

Writing Update: Yep, don’t really wanna talk about it. Just haven’t done much with it this week. There are a hundred and one reasons (a.k.a. exuses) but none of them really matter. I was supposed to have been at 25,000 words on November 15th…wasn’t even close…still teetering around 14,000 somewhere [earlier I wrote 1,400 and that wasn't the case]. Writing this novel makes me want to hide my head under my duvet. It’s frustrating. I have a hard time letting go of control. Ergh. This lesson is biting me in the ass.

Last Wednesday, I was having the worst possible day. I hit my wall. I was just angry. Part of it is the writing (or lack thereof). Part of it is my past keeps trying to invade my present…and I was having complicated feelings about it. The scale was starting to creep up again. I know this is all very personal but hell this is part of the human experience, no? We all struggle with feelings of frustration and anger and how that impacts our every day. And I wanted to quit. Quit EVERYTHING!! Quit writing, quit my shamanic training, quit my job, quit project “healthy me.” Just cut out. Running away fantasies. The problem with running away is that I take ME along in this scenario. It doesn’t matter where I go, I will come upon the same problems and the same manners in which I deal with them in the same way. No way of getting around it…and no matter where I go, there is my stack of baggage that comes along. It didn’t help that I was also dealing with a wicked migraine. I just tuck myself into a cold dark room and I want the world to go away. Actually, I just want the pain to go away.

There is always this moment whenever I am doing things that are healthy for me where I just want to stop. No rhyme or reason to why I want to stop, I just don’t want to continue. I convince myself that nothing is ever really going to work. In fact, several years ago, I was running (jogging) pretty steadily. I had moved myself from running a couple of miles up to 5.5-6 mile runs. I was getting that lovely release of endorphins and feeling pretty good about my pace. Then one day, I went for a run down along the river and made it down to 116 street from 151 street. It was less than a 2 mile run and I stopped. I wasn’t hurting, I wasn’t winded…I just stopped moving. It was a clear bright cool spring day and I turned around and caught a bus home. I didn’t ask the question, didn’t even bother. That was the last time I ran. I miss running. Note to self: start running again.

I woke up on Thursday having a complete change over. Magic elves were working on my psyche that night because I felt bright and positive and shiny again. Where had all the self-pity that I usually cloak myself with gone? Instead, I opted to get back on healthy food choices and a long walk during lunch. I added another 200 words to my novel but I hardly count them. In fact, I don’t even think I added them onto my NaNoWriMo tally. Ergh! Anyway, neither here nor there. I just realized that I matter. Yes, my writing will sometimes suck…but my writing is just an aspect of who I am, it’s not the sum of all my parts. Weird how something so obvious seems so foreign to me.  This is my long answer to a short question: I'm back on track.

Friday night I went to dinner with a friend and we went to see the play, The Outgoing Tide written by Bruce Graham. Such a good piece of drama. Peter Strauss as the lead actor was fantastic! His performance gave me goose bumps. Graham’s writing was gorgeous because it was both funny and serious in a way that was even-handed. There were scenes that went on a tad too long but for the most part it really was an amazingly well developed piece.

Then Saturday night, I went to see Ani DiFranco in concert at Town Hall. She went on one of her feminist liberal rants and I LOVED IT! She started off the night by doing a poetic piece. About being citizens, not just consumers. Yay!! She said a lot more but I don’t want to mis-represent her with my own feminist rant! Hahaha!

Wait, before I get ahead of myself. Let me first talk about the opening act. A little group from Brooklyn called Pearl and the Beard. Their sound was so right on, they actually blew me away. I am sharing one of their songs below. They are so good that I didn’t want them to stop singing. They are playing at Brooklyn’s Bell House, Dec 1st. May go see them there. Their music give me chills!!
Back to Ani DiFranco. She sang new material and there is something about her music that speaks to me down to my DNA. She had some beautiful fucked up love songs that did me in. I was sitting in the balcony with big soppy tears streaming down my face but they were so WORTH IT! She also sang some of her old material, like 32 flavors and Shameless (one of my favorites) and I loved it when the audience sang along. It was a great moment. Really fantastic!
Okay, I think we are all caught up.

'Nuff 'bout me
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.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Inner Critic Won This Round

Let's see, where should I start this?...oh yes, word count.  I will confess that Friday night I did not write.  * Gasp - I KNOW * I had my inner critic shaking her finger at me and ranting on and on about laziness which is never my favorite word.  I was checked out and having a pity party for myself.  Should I list all the things that got in the way...really it was just my "skewed thinking brain" that got in my way.  Here are some sound bytes (take with a grain of salt in the light of day):  I don't like the story any more, I don't think I am smart enough to write this particular story, I am convinced that my writing is crap with all my split infinitives and excessive ramblings, And then it got worse. And nothing I told myself worked, I was convinced that washing dishes and  cleaning my cat's litter box was SO MUCH more important that working on my writing.  Really?!  Really?  So ONE WHOLE DAY without writing.  Ergh.

Today I was racing through my day.  Saturday was spent in a crazy whirlwind of errands. Picking up my dad's birthday present from the post office, buying the appropriate display case for it and pretty wrapping paper, lots of time on a line that snaked for two and a half days through the store, sheesh, ...it was crazy-town in my brain today because no one was moving fast enough. Then at 3:30, I met up with my writing group and we talked about Christine's story...gosh, so very proud of her and all the work that she's done on it. All the talking about writing craft made me ready to FACE THE PAGE...* by the way, I did that with a low, booming voice * So I hopped online, went to the NaNoWriMo website to check my stats and they were dismal since I didn't put one word on the page yesterday.  Today, I managed, 1,600 words in two and a half hours.  Yay!  Okay, I'm still behind the eight ball on this one...do you see that diagonal line...that's where I should be hitting right now if I'm going to hit 50,000 words at the end of the months...eeesh!  My grand total so far is 11,101 words.  Now, according to all their stats I need to write 8,000 words on Sunday to be caught up.  Why does it feel like I'm in school all over again? My goal for tomorrow is 5,000 words.  Eight hours, two breaks to eat a small meal...I can do it right?  *gulp* And could I possibly squeeze in a walk in Central Park?

I have a dinner party to go to tomorrow night.  That's actually going to be my incentive...prize at the end of the tunnel...'cause I love Lance's cooking and his wife Patty makes the best Sangria EVER!!

My Stats on NaNoWriMo Website...Eeek!!


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, November 9, 2012

Note to Self: Write

First thing first: Word count for today is 1,004 bringing total word count to 9,501
I'm okay with the short clip.  Not fighting with my story and just allowing myself to follow its lead.  It's funny, I've written and re-written the first six chapters so many times that I sometimes lose the story line thread.  Today, I kept checking back on what I've written to make sure that the new material is mostly in line with what I've written before.   Note to self: print out the last version of Indigo and place in a binder.  I've had my computer crash one too many times not to have a hard copy handy.  Altho' I could back up my files too...hmm should be time since I can't remember the last time I actually backed up my computer.

New music...I came across this artist while surfing for new music.  Heard the song and really liked it's pop-py tune. Misha B's voice reminds me of my queen of soul, Chaka Khan. This song, at around 2:39, picks up temp and it's the reason why I keep listening to this song over and over again.  Enjoy!!


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.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Word Count is Kicking My A**

Let's start off with word count update.  That seems to be all I have eyes for these days even though I've had two very slow days. 
On Tuesday: 513 words
On Wednesday: 824 words
Total word count to date: 8,497 words

I'm trying not to be too hard on myself for not meeting at least 1,600 words for each of those days. I'm trying to think bigger picture.  What I find interesting about this process is that my sucky mood on Tuesday left me fighting even with my own writing.  The story wanted to go one way and I didn't want to go in that particular direction so the words stopped coming out. Hmph!  So we were at an impasse and we sat there staring at each other.  My story didn't blink and I backed away for the night. 

Then last night, I told myself to let the story go wherever it wanted to go and I managed to eke out 800 more words. But then the story bucked up once again and it wanted to go in a direction that I didn't think was very believeable. Ergh! I was fighting with it again.  I deleted words and then I reminded myself that I was going to allow the story to go where it wanted to go and it didn't matter if I believed  it or not.  I needed to give the story space to breathe so then I retyped those last couple of sentences again and waited.  Now that it was going into unknown country I was going to follow its lead.  I could feel myself reaching out trying to figure out what next? The words wouldn't come...hell, I was staring at a blank screen, literally and figuratively.  I stayed in place.  Just sat there and waited for 15 more minutes.  I've even stopped tweezing, I realized that I was in danger of tweezing all my eyebrows off and then I would have to paint eyebrows on every morning.  Hehehe.  I called it a night after writing for an hour and waiting for more those empty 15 minutes. 

Oh yes, I wanted to share this tidbit.  I hopped on the scale this morning and it gave me a number I didn't quite believe. I dropped another three lbs.  Despite what the scale is indicating, I almost don't want to take it at face value. I got off and on three times to make sure that my scale wasn't broken or wrong. My weight has been up and down all week but the weight I write down is Thursday's weight. Something I learned from my Weight Watcher days because weight fluctuates depending on meals, water retention, etc.  My total weight loss to date is 25.5 lbs. Holy Fucking Hell!! I am entering Week 15 of my Healthy Lifestyle changes and I am reminding myself to curb the sweet drinks.  I've allowed myself a couple of sodas this week when I was feeling crappy but seeing the scale on it's downward trajectory is getting me back on track.  Hoorah!!
Doing a little happy dance!

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, November 6, 2012

Crackling Tuesday

I am taking a break from the tedious dysfunction of my day job because my head is about to split open and a swarm of locust are going to come flying out. Argh!! I am in such a rotten mood today. And the worse my mood gets, the quicker I snap at the people around me. Perhaps I shouldn’t listen to the head-thrashing rock music right now…that seems to exacerbate this feeling of utter frustration coursing through my body. I need ice cubes to nosh on. It always helps “cool” me down.
My sister writes, “You determine how you respond to information.”
Ergh. Right now my response is anger, the cold jaw-tightening kind.

Trying to listen to some music to pull me out of my mood or at the very least change my automatic setting. Anyway, I’ve been listening to this new group, POLI√áA. The lead singer uses reverb or Auto-tunes or some crazy techie app to create this computerized sound. Usually, not a big fan of this kind of music making but for some reason I’m hooked on this song. Maybe it’s the cute lead singer with the pixie haircut. Or maybe it’s her awkward nerdy dance moves. You gotta love it.

Novel Writing Update: Last night’s word count: 1,404
Bringing my total word count up to 7,160.
That’s something, I guess.

I’m off shortly to go take a walk. Perhaps NYC’s icy air will help dispel the heat of this fury. Or maybe some retail therapy? The vendors are up in Bryant Park. Oof, need to be very careful with that tactic.

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.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Word Count Update


Pandora keeping me company while I write (Nov. 2012)
Saturday total word count: 1,740
Sunday word count: 1,456
Total to date: 5,756

I know I wanted to write more but the words began to slow down. I stuck to it and stayed in place tho' just in case there was more to transcribe. Pandora kept me company.  She's been sticking close which is totally appreciated.  Managed to cook a healthy meal so I have lunch for a couple of days (steamed kale, baked tofu and sprouts). Uhm yep.  That's all she wrote.

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.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sweet Chilly Saturday

Tagged Scaffold on E. 77th.  Complete tag is "love yaya" (Nov. 2012)
I spent the day walking around Central Park.  People were out in droves.  It's chilly but walking around was exactly what I needed after I spent the morning writing.  Let's see it's day 3 of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo, for short).  

Thursday's word count: 1,140.
Last night's word count: 1,420.
This morning's word count: 1,212.
Total word count so far: 3,772

It's amazing how a little writing every day adds up.  Hoorah. Feeling pretty proud of myself at the moment. I know it's only three days in and after I finish with this post, I'm going for a second writing jag. I'm trying to hit 3,000 words today and another 3,000 words tomorrow. Just trying to give myself a cushion in case the writing slows down during the week.  Always anticipating the worst.  Hehehe.  

Just had a bowl of chili with beans as a late lunch.  Brewing a pot of tea while I write this entry up.  And then I'm off to NYC in the year 2127.  Crazy shit is going down and my protagonist Castle has been accused of treason.  She's heading back to Alpha base to get some answers and to help clear her name but information is coming to light that makes it seem as if she might be working for the other side.   I think my role here is that of typist because this story is tumbling out onto the page faster than I can type.  Every time there is  a pause or a feeling like I'm not sure what else is coming up ahead...I just tweeze my eyebrows.  Yep, you read that right, I tweeze *giggle *  So my eyebrows are finally starting to have of a more tamed look to them finally...I've been sporting the crazy scientist version up until now.  I'm not even sure I meant to share that much information but hell, these bits are all part of the quirky eccentricities that make me, ME!   Yay!!  I feel a musical number bubbling up...hehehe.  

Anyway, one more pic uploaded below and then I'm off to try to hit my 3,000 word count.  
Sunlight on moving water in Central Park (Nov. 2012)
Voilà.
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.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lady Luck

First off, let’s talk about Hurricane Sandy. It has left NYC scrambling, I’m sure the news agencies are still talking about the millions of dollars in damage, and the families impacted, and the efforts still happening with clean up. Thankfully, my immediate family stayed safe and most of us live on higher ground. Altho’ my sister’s Soho apartment is out of electricity, she and the kids are crashing at my mom’s place. Poor mami. Hehehe. No, just kidding. We have been lucky and I acknowledge that. I know there are people who were not so lucky. My neighborhood had trees go down but that was the worst of it.

Really I spent the last three days taking cat naps with Pandora, watching episodes of shows recorded on my DVR, wrote a little, worked on some assignments that are long overdue and listened to music. I took the opportunity to just take it easy. I had a mild migraine during the storm but once the storm let up so did my migraine. I did not take photos of the damage nor did I venture outside during the storm...I opted for being safe. Today was the first day back at the office and my subway line is working. I was able to get into work in an hour and a half. Again, I’ve been lucky. Last bit, today is the start of National Writing Month. I am going to try to hit 50,000 words by the end of the month and hopefully finish the draft of my novel. That is the plan. I will let you know how that pans out. It amount to about 1,666 words per day. Wish me luck!!

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.