Wednesday, June 19, 2013


It's 10:09 pm.   Almost the end of the day.

I finished reading Graham Joyce's new title, Some Kind of Fairy Tale.  It came out earlier this week.  It's the story about a woman, Tara Martin, who returns home after disappearing for twenty years.  When Joyce ventures into the Fey world he captures moments quite beautifully. This novel had some hits and misses for me.  Moments with thirteen year old Jack worked well.  And sad-sack Richie was handled nicely.  But the story felt uneven.  At times, it was missing some of the magic. I loved the quotes used at the beginning each chapter. When Tara becomes angry I am with her all the way and that was one of the stronger moments. I need to read more Joyce.

I'm still reading Ensouling Language. Taking it in slowly.

I've also been reading Kurt Vonnegut's Slapstick.  The story made me laugh out loud a few times while taking the train home from work.  But I've reached a point where the story went down the rabbit hole.  I'm not sure what to make of it yet.

That's all I really have for now...oh wait, one more thing...I really hate cardboard boxes.  Yep, now I'm done.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2013 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.

Monday, June 17, 2013

An Empty Room

Monday. 1:44 pm.  I'm home with a migraine.  This move has me stressed out.  I'm not really sure why but all the synapses are freaking out at the moment.  I'm mostly packed so that's almost done. I'm pretty organized on what I have left to do.  I have my family helping me with the move next week so there's that.  I have a summer gig.  So why the freak out?  It's just this general anxiety worrying about ????  [fill in the blank] Worried about my Life...with a capital L.

My birthday is next week and I am feeling pretty shitty, angry and pathetic about myself at the moment. I really hate birthdays lately.  It's a reminder of all the things I still have not achieved, all the regrets from the past haunt my present, and all the possibilities for the future become a little more than fantasies marked under too far to reach lately.  I think I'm throwing myself a big old pity party today.  It goes with the migraine I guess. I've been feeling this way since Friday.  I shared it with my sister a bit yesterday and her advice was to just save money to buy my own place.  Ergh.

I just feel a bit empty today.  Despite the good things in my life, I can't help focus on what's not working.  A cold dark empty room is the only thing that feels good at the moment.  Anyway, that's all I've got for today.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2013 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.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Pressure Against the Wall

It's Monday and I spent most of the weekend packing.  I did take a break or two but, for the most part, my life has been revolving around boxes and putting things into them for my move on the 22nd.  I have two dozen boxes packed and two bookshelves broken down plus two cd shelves tied together and ready to be hauled.  Also the contents of my filing cabinet have been emptied into a box.  Everything I own in this world is in 24 boxes.  There are still clothes to pack and toiletries to put away and my altar to be packed but that will happen the night before my move.  I haven't included the big pieces of furniture in the tally: t.v. stand, the bed and my desk.  I'm leaving behind my favorite couch, ergh.  I am trying hard not to cling to things but the more I move, the more attached I've become to my stuff. It's the Cancer Crab (astrology) in me.  It's interesting to have packed things away and now living with less stuff around.  It reminds me that I can live simply without having to burden myself with material goods.  Really what's important to me is having pen and paper, my laptop and a good book to read when I've stopped walking around in circles.

I've been reading Ensouling Language: On the Art of NonFiction and the Writer's Life by Stephen Harrod Buhner.  His text inspires me to be a better writer.  He reminds me of the magic that goes into writing.  I sometimes get stuck in the mire of slogging through my own text and think to myself, "Really?  What's the Point?" Buhner's text reminds me that writing is about putting constant pressure on that wall to ensure a breakthrough.  I am reading his book and I feel understood.  The act of writing is such a lonely art.  We sit with our work trying to get the world that is in our heads to come through in coherent passages onto the page.  And there are times when the beauty that is in our brains just doesn't  translate properly onto paper.  It's incredibly frustrating. It takes a tremendous amount of faith to be vigilant with the writing and when I flounder, get stuck in the mire of it's-just-not-good-enough mentality, a book like Ensouling Language helps light a fire with my flagging energy.  At the end of the day, writing is more important than quitting.  Finishing this novel is necessary.  I've invested three years (and counting) into this manuscript and even though I still have a long way to go with it, I can't stop now.

I'm going back to an old routine that worked for me, getting up early mornings (4:30/5:00 am) to start my day writing.  Work for two hours on the novel then get ready for work.  I need a routine in place to keep me active on this story.  This is the only way I can put constant pressure 'til I feel that breakthrough again.  It will also help me through yet another time of transition.  Is it just me or have I gone through quite a few transitions lately?  Goodness!

That's all I have for now....more later.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2013 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, June 6, 2013

Falling Off the Grid

I admit, I fell off the grid for awhile.  Been traveling a bit.  Was also looking for a new gig since I have a stack of bills staring me down.  Landed a temp gig down on Wall Street through my agency.  The job is perfect.  It's easy admin work and at the end of the day I can walk out of the building and not give the "work" another thought.  Today I finished out my first full week so a full paycheck by next Friday will come in handy.  I was told the gig is good until the end of August.  I have the next three months to find something a bit more permanent but in this economy a steady paycheck is enough for now.

Where to start?

Moving: In 16 days, I move from my current apartment in the Bronx back to Brooklyn.  Being out of work for two months left me needing to re-evaluate matters. I used up my piddly savings to pay for living expenses.  So I'm moving back in with the folks temporarily while I get this whole job/money deal sorted out.  Which is really kind of odd since they plan on selling their house in the next year or so.   Guess I'll figure that out when it's time.  Anyway, in the meantime I've been packing.  I've got a stack of boxes, comprised mostly of books, against the dining room wall.  It's strange to not have access to them. I know it will only be for a short time but I already miss the ability to grab a book at random just to read a passage.  I've whittled down my library every time I've moved and I'm down to about 10 medium boxes.  It's the object that I still spend money on acquiring. I keep sorting and re-sorting through papers and old journals and I keep wanting to chuck them but then my attachment to them stops me from doing it. Guess they go with me.

This whole transition time has me thinking about moving away from NYC to somewhere more remote. The problem with remote is lack of access to public transportation, 'cause altho' I have a driver's license, I really suck at the whole driving thing.  The idea of having to take care of a car and insurance payments and gasoline and whatever else it might need just does not appeal to me at all. So I guess I'm choosing to stay in a more urban setting. At times, I wouldn't mind living a simpler existence. Have less stuff but I'm not sure I could live out of a backpack tho'.  There are limits to my running away fantasies.  I'm not much of a camper.

Movie: Wednesday night I went to see the movie: The East.  It's another Brit Marling film altho' it was co-written with the director, Zal Batmanglij.  I've been waiting for this one for awhile now.  It's a decent flick but some of the storyline was problematic for me.  Sometimes, the dialogue got caught up in it's own sanctimonious bullshit.  I caught myself rolling my eyes a few times.  HOWEVER, what's underlying the actual story is this call-to-action social activism that I really dig.  I think Marling is still genius and I look forward to her next projects!!

Reading: While on vacation last week, I picked up the book Delirium by Lauren Oliver.  It's a young adult science fiction novel.  It's part of a trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium & Requiem.  "In Delirium, the government requires that all teenagers be cured of love, a.k.a. deliria, to keep society safe. But 95 days before her treatment, Lena Haloway falls in love--and must face the truth about her own feelings and the world in which she lives." The writing at times has a lyrical quality that really made me savor the story. Oliver really captured that angst that comes with budding love.  I picked up her second book when I got back to the city and then downloaded the last novel onto my Nook.  I have to say the first novel was the best one for me because of the depth of emotion I felt while reading it. The second one was compelling but the writing was uneven for me. I finished the third novel today and hmmm....some of the story was satisfying and some of it was not.   

Writing:  I haven't been writing at all.  I've been trying to start a couple of new short stories but they won't come out.  Unfortunately, Indigo is still my obsession but I haven't been working on it either.  Which reminds me, I want to change the title...the title is starting to bug me.  I can't stop thinking about the story itself and my characters.  I just have to sit and write but I've been too active, too up-rooted, too social and doing everything else other than facing a revision of this novel.  I've been drinking with friends and going to movies instead.  Ergh.  Despite the fact the novel still calls to me.  I feel it constantly in the back of my brain, working, working out some of the problems.  But I need to take pen to paper or sit in front of my laptop and just start pounding on the keys.  I just need to get past my laziness and just take it one chapter at a time.  I can just feel that it's going to be a HUGE undertaking and I'm just not ready.

Play:  I went to see the play Relatively Speaking and I laughed so hard I could barely breathe.  I was up in the balcony section but I actually think the actors heard my hysterics.  I really love comedies based on misunderstandings and in this piece they were able to sustain the misunderstandings almost all the way through.  I want to know the craft behind that piece...perhaps I will break it down one day and figure out how it works.

Publication: I was notified a couple of weeks ago that Applause Books is going to take a monologue from Glass Knives and publish it in Best American Monologues.  How cool is that?!!  When I find out publication date, I'll let folks know.

All righty, I think that's all I have for the moment.  I've been sitting here for an hour trying to fill in all the blank spaces on this page.


P.S. Please forgive all typos and grammar problems.  I've realized lately that when I am writing off-the-cuff...the words are coming out before my thoughts have even formed.  It happens.

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2013 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.