Monthly Archives: March 2008

ahhh home.

You know you’ve been on the road a lot when you wake up and wonder, “Where am I?”

That’s followed by a light sniff (does it smell like hotel?), an awareness of the sheets (do they feel like MY sheets?)…all while keeping my eyes shut (I don’t wanna wake up!).

And then I open my eyes.  Ah, I’m home.  Yes.

2 Comments

Filed under Miscellaneous

week 2 report

Um.  I didn’t really exercise this week.  And I didn’t always follow the stop-eating-by-7pm rule, given my travel.

Will resume next week.

1 Comment

Filed under Fitness

another city, more sleep

IMG_3504.JPG

In Vegas! But don’t be too jealous. My life’s been work, sleep, work, sleep, work. This afternoon was our only afternoon off, and what did we do? We slept (just as we did in London).

In the spare moments, I’ve done my fair share of obsessing–for instance, obsessing about all my stories out for submission. Some of them have been out for about three months (does that mean I’m a contender? Or not). Some of the litmags, like Sycamore Review are in the homestretch of decision-making, and some are just plain slow. Ugh–the hope is killing me!!!! I hate that I’m hoping.

Oh, and there’s always web browsing…

Poets and Writers has a “tools for writers” page, with lists of grants, awards, litmags, and such. But I think duotrope has a more comprehensive list of litmags.

And a friend of mine sent me this link to a terrific video, “When a Brain Scientist Suffers a Stroke.” I mean, not terrific about the brain scientist, Jill Bolte Taylor, having had a stroke. But she is a wonderful speaker and her description of her stroke is just tip-top and on point. Her stroke is both eerily similar and different from my stroke, but the sense of disembodiment and “weirdness” is all there. If you want to know what a stroke is like, and learn a little about the human brain, check the video out. It, and she, are entrancing.

Anyway, I’m tired. So exhausted. My grammar sucks (it’s the first thing to go when I’m tired. I’d say it’s a post-stroke thing for me, but I’ve always sucked at grammar and it gets worse when I’m tired), so excuse any errors above.

And yes–we were in Vegas last year (for the same conference, at the same exact hotel) when we were struck with the horrid news. This week has had some very odd echoes for us. But we doggedly got through it. Now it’s time to decompress.

2 Comments

Filed under The Stroke, Writing

voice

IMG_2957.JPG

I have been thinking about voice in my writing. I have quite a few deficits in my creative writing, one of them being voice.

Voice is a critical factor–it’s the element that, if you get it right, can hook a reader right away and make him/her follow you for hundreds of pages, no matter what.

The irony is that I think I have it here on my blog, but not so much in my fiction. I have got to figure that out. The one time I wrote a story with an eye towards voice, it turned way too “voicey,” in a way that was utterly self-conscious, like the person who talks so loudly in a restaurant you know she is shouting for an audience.

There are those who think that a more backgrounded narrative voice is more attractive…but I’d just like to give voice a shot.   I think it’s a writer’s best friend when writing a novel.

7 Comments

Filed under Writing

where is this stress and nervousness coming from?

IMG_3367

I have had an unending desire for cigarettes since Sunday morning. I quit smoking about three years ago, cold turkey. I never smoked two packs a day (or even one), but I was definitely addicted, and I’d definitely formed a smoking habit. One day, it just didn’t make me feel good. And so I quit.

Every now and then, a desire to smoke falls over me. I overcome it by taking deep breaths, by distracting myself with other activities, and as a last resort, running away from the nearest cigarette. I am not sure what brings on the craving, it seems random. But I know it started when my husband left town. Maybe it’s what I do when I’m lonely. I know that I used to smoke a LOT more when my husband went out of town years ago–if only for the fact that he HATED that I smoked and so I could only really indulge myself when he was gone.

Paired with this cigarette craving is an incredible upper back/neck muscle pain. Bleah. I mean, really sucky. It was so unbearable this afternoon that I pondered whether or not I could make my business trip this week. How could I sit on an airplane with this pain? Shmooze at a tradeshow? Grrr.

Impulsively, I made a deep tissue massage appointment. I was desperate! And they had an opening. Before the lady could finish saying “We have an opening this evening,” I said “YES.” Ohhhh, pure relief. It didn’t get rid of the neck pain entirely but for that hour and a half, I was finally in a state of relief, as the pain was kneaded out of muscles.

When you’re in unrelenting pain, any relief is heaven. Now I’m sitting on the couch, with salon pas patches slapped all over my neck, wondering where all this stress is coming from.

Why the unhealthy craving? Why the neck pain?

At least–my allergies/cold/flu have lifted.

And look above! Those are trees lining the streets with white blossoms like snow. Today, they were falling like snow, too.

7 Comments

Filed under Life

sleep sleep sleep

Today is the year (at least by non-lunar calendar) anniversary of a death in the family. I didn’t think I’d be as affected by it as I am. I mean, it’s been a year. Right? But I am. I can’t seem to stop sleeping.

Perhaps it’s a coincidence–maybe I am sick or so besieged with allergies that my body craves the rest. But there is an unfamiliar subdued feeling that tells me that I might just be fucking sad.

3 Comments

Filed under Life, SuddenDeath

irl versus anonymous

IMG_3386.JPG

Writing under a pseudonym has been great.

While some of you know who I am “irl,” I don’t have to worry about the masses connecting some of this personal information to a specific person and all the consequences that may bring. No more stalkers is a good thing. Still being able to blog is a good thing. It’s a hard habit to break after blogging for ten years, before the word “blog” (which sounds like a vomit-burp) was born.

But sometimes, it’s a bummer. Like when I want to connect with some of you on facebook or goodreads. I have to stop myself. You know like, literally say to myself, my finger hovering over the click thing by my trackpad, “Hey, this person doesn’t know that YOU are Jade Park!” Duh. And so I refrain from making the connection, because you’ll be like, “Who the HELL is this person?!”

I do come out occasionally–that’s the nature of friendship. At one point you shed the mask and the clothes and enter the world of psychic intimacy. I mean, shit, it gets lonely here at times, and this blog really is about making a connection with the world, somehow. And writing under a pseudonym, for all its safety, stops shy of real intimacy and connection. I love all the friends I’ve made through my blog.

Only a few times have I been faced with folks who wished I’d stayed anonymous. “You’ve lost your mystique!” one of them said to me.

Oh.

6 Comments

Filed under Life, Writing

Week 1 report

IMG_3231.JPG

I put myself on a plan last week. I’ll be posting a report every Sunday, I think. Here’s the first report…

Wednesday: 2.18 miles on the elliptical trainer in 30 minutes. Ate dinner at 6:40pm. Stopped eating at 7pm. Did a light edit of two chapters of my novel.

Thursday: did not run. Ate dinner at 7:15pm. Stopped eating at 7:30pm (yes, fast eating). No writing, just a short blog post. :( Just too tired from work, and I think I’m either totally befelled by allergies or a cold/flu.

Friday: shit, what did I do Friday? I didn’t run. Still befelled by the strange cold/flu/allergies. But I did skip dinner. For my writing, I wrote a letter to my mother-in-law, in commemoration of the one year anniversary of her death.

Saturday: No running again (man, am I a slacker or what). I skipped dinner again. No writing.

This week I am fighting off some weird cold/flu/allergy/emotional malaise thing and am also heading out of town on Tuesday…so I will just aim to stop eating by 8pm (7pm is not going to be realistic on this particular business trip) each day.  I will also aim to get some writing done on Monday and Tuesday…and maybe get some walking in.

2 Comments

Filed under Fitness, The Novel

Parsley craving

IMG_3410.JPG

I have two cute and affectionate, but at times extremely odd, wiener dogs. Today, I discovered my female dachshund eating the parsley plant in my herb planter outside. She did not eat the sage, the chervil, the dill, or the oregano. Just the parsley.

As soon as she saw me, she scurried away from the planter, through the doggie door, and into the house. I am not sure what the cause for this ravenous parsley appetite might be–maybe she was trying to self-treat her doggie halitosis?

Poor plant. 90% of its leaves are gone now.

2 Comments

Filed under Funny Shit, Funny Stuff, Life

Common short story faults, according to…

IMG_2944.JPG

Did you know that there are 27 common faults in short stories, according to the Willesden Herald? The Willesden Herald is known for not awarding a short story prize to any of the entries because Zadie Smith found none of them fit for reward.

While that very move to not award a winner was very controversial, it’s blossomed interesting debates and commentary. Should a contest award a winner, no matter what? Were they right to withhold the award? Good stuff to digest on both sides of the debate (most notable: Edward Champion’s chastisement of Zadie Smith‘s decision).

Now the list. (And yes, I’m late on bringing this up here–but hey, I’m behind on my blogging).

With twenty-seven items, it’s a fairly comprehensive list. I have mixed feelings about the list. Maybe you do, too.

4 Comments

Filed under Writing

Do Better…

IMG_3223.JPG

I have the doldrums. I feel like total doo-doo. I feel discouraged. I feel fat. Hell, I am gaining weight, so it’s more than a feeling. I’m not writing like I should.

These days, I feel like all my energy stems towards work, and then recuperation from work. Not so good! I end up beat down, and depressed. That is so sucky. I have to change that shit up.

Of course, I’m beating myself down for lack of achievement, instead of encouraging myself to DO SOMETHING about it. Or, in the words of a blog I discovered today, Do Better.

Her post on her diet and fitness inspired me. I am going to do better–and make good on my resolution to get more disciplined (with my writing and fitness)!

I am going to channel some towards myself, towards the things that make me FEEL better: writing and fitness.

So I think I too, will post my progress here on a weekly basis.

My fitness goals will initially be to:

  • Run at least one mile a day four days a week. (I will increase this as I get more fit)
  • Start doing sit-ups/core exercises again.
  • Stop eating by 7pm.
  • No dietary restrictions, but stop eating when I’m no longer hungry (really, so sad that I have to make this a goal but so true).
  • Drink water.
  • Keep chocolate to a little bite a day.

My writing goals will be to:

  • Write something everyday, even if it is in a blog post or a diary (really, so sad that my writing output has diminished such that I don’t write everyday, but it is so true and should not be so true).
  • Read. A book every two weeks?
  • On my weekly day off, set aside at least 4 hours of the day to spend exclusively on writing.

So in addition to my general blog posts, I’ll be updating you on a weekly basis of my progress. You, my dear readers and friends, will be my coach.

BTW, the picture up there has nothing to do with the blog post….except maybe the idea of running in Green Park in London (I really did have that idea while in London last week–but rapidly tossed it aside). I just wanted to use that image in my blog before it became ENTIRELY irrelevant.

7 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Inspiring, Life, Writing

behind behind

I’m behind on work, I’m behind on writing. I’m behind on a critique for my workshop. I’m just terribly behind.

Bleah.

And my literally (ack!  my brain is melting) behind is getting bigger too. I keep mysteriously gaining weight–I say mysteriously because I’m actually eating LESS.  I have a fantasy that I’m gaining all this weight because I’m really pregnant…but that is so not true.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized