Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What Was I Thinking?

There is a forum on NaNoWriMo entittled: NaNoWriMo Ate My Soul!

I feel very at home on that forum and have been spending a lot of time there (time I should be spending on my novel). 

Nevertheless, I love reading about other people who are in the same miserable boat as I am, watching the water, empty of words, fill my boat until I'm barely afloat.

I've seriously considered throwing in the towel.  Or, even worse, pretending to have written in order to keep up appearances.  After all, who would know?

But, no, I'm behind, plain and simple.  And every attempt to catch up has been thwarted.

I have been doing fairly well on my Art Every Day challenge.  So far, I've posted every day.  Some days what I've posted I would call "crap", but, hey, at least I posted.

Oh, well.

Fifteen more days to go until this crazy creative month is over.

We'll see what happens...

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Eye of Betrayal

On Sunday, I somehow scratched my right eye.

Now, I didn’t know this until Monday morning when I woke up with my eye screaming at me.

Ms. Right Eye was NOT a happy camper.

In fact, when I went to put in my contact, she threw a fit and refused to cooperate. She turned red-er and leaky-er (and gross-er). And then the skin around her (to show solidarity, I think) grew puffy and pink.

It was not a pretty sight! (Not that I could see it really well.)

So, that led to no work on Monday (which should have been “yay!” but because of the eye sitch was more of a “boo… my eye hurts… I’ll just sleep in sadness…”)

And it’s also made me wear my glasses this whole week.

And that fact has led me to this post, because you would think that switching from contacts to glasses would be no big deal, especially since it’s the same prescription.

But you would be wrong, my friends. Very wrong!

Here is a small list of things I’ve had to deal with as I’ve worn glasses this week to show you WHY I HATE GLASSES AND THINK THEY’RE DUMB (aside from giving me the gift of sight, which is awesome):

1) They make me feel like I’m walking slightly uphill (everywhere I go) (even when I know I’m going downhill).

2) They make things look smaller than I know they are.

3) They make things look farther away than I know they are.

4) They mess with my depth perception (see points 1, 2 and 3).

5) They make me hit myself in the face when blow-drying my hair (twice) (see points 3 and 4).

6) They limit my peripheral vision and make me have to turn my head (when I remember in time, which is never).

7) They make me get honked at while driving (see points 2, 3, 4, and especially 6).

8) They make me almost die while driving (see points 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7).

9) They make my eyes ache.

10) They give me a headache EVERY DAY!!! (see point 9).

11) They make me go home and sit in a stupor because I don’t know what to do with myself (see points 9 and 10).

12) They give me an excuse not to try to do anything after work because I can’t see properly, anyway (see points 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, and 11).

13) They make me go to sleep earlier than normal (and then lie there, pining for accurate vision) (see points 9, 10, 11, and 12)

14) They make me feel like a loser because I’ve done ABSOLUTELY nothing all week: no reading, no writing, no painting, no meeting with friends, no after work adventures, no nothing!

Tomorrow, Saturday, I’m going to try my contacts again because I have a lot of catching up to do (the next step on a new painting; writing for my writing group deadline on Monday; reading, sweet reading; etc.)

Please pray for me.

I mean it. Please!!!! Pretty please!!!!!!

I can’t handle my glasses anymore*.

*I know you’re thinking “Sounds like you need new glasses, Liz.” And you’re probably right. But, honestly, ever since I switched to wearing contacts 15+ years ago, wearing glasses always creates these side-effects for me. Always. It’s very disappointing, because fashion wise, there are such cute glasses!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I don't know how often I'll be posting on this blog in the next few months because most of my attention is on The Artist's Way journey I'm documenting on my other blog.
Frankly, it's consuming most of my "blogging" time.  And since I'm not a good multi-tasker, I keep forgetting that I have this blog.
So, check over there if this blog seems deserted.
P. S. But, I'll probably keep updating the books I'm reading on the sidebar of this blog.  (That is, when I remember I have this blog.)  So, there is that.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Letter to Myself

First, let me preface by saying that I (sometimes) (often) (all the time) separate myself into different categories when thinking or speaking about myself. (And yes, I know this seems a bit loony.) For example, there’s Past Liz, Present Liz, and Future Liz; there’s Work-Week Liz, Weekend Liz, and Vacation Liz; there’s Business Liz, Leisure Liz, Party Liz, and Party-Avoidance Liz; and there’s Morning Liz, Day Liz, and Night Liz. Just to name a few…

Now, with that explanation out of the way, here’s a letter Morning Liz recently (as in today) composed for Night Liz:

Dear Night Liz,

I’ll be brief since you have the attention span of a gnat on dope.

You’re killing me! Really. You are.

Do you have any regard for how early I have to get up?

Do you think I like rushing around in the morning because I hit snooze one too many times?

Do you know what it’s like to wake up already exhausted?

Of course you don’t! You leave that all for me to deal with.

And I’m really starting to hate you for it. A deep, passionate, loathsome hate.

So please, I beg of you, keep this in mind tonight when you think of starting French lessons at 10:00pm, or that 11:45pm is the perfect time to begin a puzzle.

If you don’t, I’ve already talked to Mid-Afternoon Liz, and she’s fully prepared to take a sleeping pill or two in order to avoid you all together.

Heed my warning!


Morning Liz

P.S. Don’t be surprised if you get a letter from Day Liz. She also has a bone to pick with you.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Calling London

[I wrote this post about a week ago, and then promptly forgot about it. But, since I’m still ruminating over my discomfiture, I decided to post it.]

So, if you know me, you know I hate calling people.

It’s not that I’m afraid they’ll answer. I WANT them the answer.

What causes me distress (and possibly night terrors) is the fear that they won’t answer, which then means I’ll have to leave them a message. (Or hang up, as I’ve been known to do. Sorry.)

You see, I leave THE WORST MESSAGES IN THE WORLD! (And by worst, I mean messages that embarrass me.)

For some reason, as soon as I hear the BEEEEEEEP, I become the most long-winded, rambling, idiotic person on earth. And before I know it, instead of asking what I called for, like, “What time does the movie start?” I have opined on the state of the union, mentioned that the last mixtape I made had the song “Together Forever” on it, revealed how I wish my five-year plan included being a busker, and questioned the validity of calling something that squirts out of a can “cheese.”

Needless to say, anytime I have to make a phone call to someone who doesn’t know me (and won’t find my three-minute pontifications endearing), I write down what to say in case I must leave a message.

This is what I should have done when I recently called my favorite bookstore, Slightly Foxed Books,* in London (I have never been to this bookshop, but fantasize about it in inappropriate quantities).

Smartly, I did come up with things that IABSOLUTELYMUSTNOTMENTION, such as:

1) Some of my English ancestors came over as indentured servants and maybe that’s why I abhor participating in manual labor,

2) How it was okay that they (the English) lost the war (Revolutionary), because it all worked out in the end with multiple holidays to celebrate for all, and

3) That I easily fall into an English accent whenever I watch (or think about) Pride and Prejudice, or North and South, and would they like to hear it, and could they give me tips on making it more believable?

Connected to this, I also warned myself that I should NOT use an English accent while leaving the message (wanted to), and that I should also NOT include any English-y words that I love but that we don’t really use in America, like: barrister, nutter, posh, gobsmacked , daft, petrol, knackered, and lorry etc.

Thankfully, I did not say/do any of these things.

But, here’s what I did say (to the best of my recollection (which is pretty good since I’ve been obsessing about it ever since)) after I heard their “Leave a message” message (which was said in the most beautiful Female English accent and sounded very posh):

“Oh my gosh, I got through! I’m calling London! Hi! I’m Liz! Elizabeth Wolfe! From America! The U. S. A.! I ordered books from you! And I was told to call and leave a message authorizing payment! So, I’m calling! My name is Elizabeth Wolfe! W. O. L. F. E.! I don’t know my order number! Dang it! Where’s my paper!? [Long pause while looking for receipt] Okay! I ordered three books! The names are… [Long pause while finding the names of the books only to realize that I wasn’t sure how to pronounce the first title (I couldn’t remember if the “s” in Libris, as in “Ex Libris” was silent. (It’s not.)) So not wanting to sound stupid (too late) I say the following…] Well, they’re books! [Insert embarrassing giggle] Of course they’re books! You’re a bookstore! [Awkward snort] I’m sorry! I’m flabbergasted!**** Again, my name is Elizabeth Wolfe! I think I already mentioned that! And my number is [gave them my number faster than the speed of light]. Thank you for all that you do! I love your book review!”

When I got off the phone, I immediately went and told my sisters that I shamed America.

And in case you’re wondering, the exclamation points are intentional because I feel like I spoke in excited tones the entire message.

Also, in case you’re wondering, do you know how much it costs to call London? I do. The first minute cost me $3.10, and the next two minutes cost $5.78. Three-minute rambling call = $8.88

Lesson learned.

Always write down your messages Liz! Elizabeth Wolfe! From America! The U. S. A.!


*Why is this my favorite bookstore (aside from the fact that I’m an Anglophile)? Because they publish a fabulous, and I mean FABULOUS, quarterly magazine. Anyone who puts out such a wonderful book review can only be awesome, and worthy of my esteem.**

** When I finally go to England [gazing at the heavens in silent prayer and oblations], Slightly Foxed is on my list of MUSTS, right under Stonehenge. ***

***If you ever go to London, and visit Slightly Foxed Books, please only tell me that it’s wonderful and magical and dazzling! Don’t tell me that it’s just a regular bookstore, with regular books, and regular people. I’ll be crushed. Let me have my fantasies.

****In the back of my mind, I feel like I said the word lambasted, instead of flabbergasted. But, since I meant to say flummoxed, instead of flabbergasted in the first place, I’m just pretending that the whole thing didn’t happen.

Monday, August 29, 2011

And So It Begins…

Follow my Artist’s Way journey here and spark your creativity!

And stay tuned on this blog for more zany adventures…

Well, maybe not zany, or particularly adventuresome, but definitely something that happened or occured to me (or someone I know) at some point in time that might be low to moderately interesting.

Does that sound exciting?


I’m already bored.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Creative Endeavor, Cont'd

.....There on my bookcase, partially blocked by my miniature replica of Westminster Abbey, was a book I had purchased years before and had half-heartedly attempted to follow.

But, now, I knew I was ready! So, I went to the bookcase and pulled out The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.

Do you have this book? Have you heard of it?

You probably have. It’s sold over a million copies.

But, in case you haven’t, here’s the gist:

Only you can remove your creative blocks. You remove them by tapping into the creative power of the Creator/Universe/God/Zeitgeist/however you define it.

These blocks prevent you from not only creating art as society has come to define it (like painting, writing, singing, dancing, etc), but they also block you from living more creative daily (like figuring out a solution to a work issue, or developing fuller and fun-er relationships).

Creativity can heal you, and heal those around you. And tuning in to your creativity can change how you view your world, making each day more exciting. (And who doesn’t want that?!)

And The Artist’s Way helps you challenge your blocks and break through them!

Now, before you say, “But, um, I’m not creative”, you need to remember that creativity is our birthright, and in every one of us. So, while you may not be writing a novel or painting your family portrait, you’re probably choosing what you wear each day (and accessorizing), or making up a story for your child, or coming up with a new way to spice up your spaghetti sauce, or changing the layout of your living room, or re-telling an incident that occurred at work (with gestures and voices). THAT IS CREATIVITY!!!

One of my favorite quotes from her book is “[A]s we are creative beings, our lives become our artwork” (Cameron, p. xxvi).

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never thought about my life as being my artwork! What an inspiring idea! And I’m ready for the challenge to make it more colorful.

Are you?

The Artist’s Way is a 12 week course. And Julia (I’m going to call her by her first name because it sounds like we’re friends) makes two requests that must be fulfilled during the 3 months:

1) You must write three pages, first thing every morning. This she calls “Morning Pages.” You are not to show these pages to anyone and you are to write whatever comes to mind (even if nothing comes to mind). Ramble away!

2) You must have a weekly “Artist’s Date.” This date should be between 1 to 2 hours long and should be done solo. It doesn’t have to cost anything, but it should delight you!

Both of these things are going to be tough for me because:

1) I’m not a morning person. So waking up earlier, just to write poorly, is going to be a challenge.

2) While I don’t mind going places or doing things by myself, I’m not so good at following through when I’m not held accountable by others (especially when my pajamas are calling my name).

But, I’m going to do it. There’s a contract in the book and I’m going to sign it!

Now, along with these two requirements, she has weekly exercises to pick and choose from. Julia suggests you pick the ones that make you the most uncomfortable. So, that’s what I’m going to do.

At this point, if you’re still reading, you might be asking yourself “Why are you telling me all this?”

Good question.

To be honest, I wasn’t going to mention it. It was just going to be something I did for myself, by myself. But last week, as I was discussing this book and it’s concepts with my friend, Taryn, she suggested that I should blog about it, and that perhaps it might inspire someone else to try something creative. And she’s absolutely right! (Plus, it helps me with accountability. Bonus!)

So, if you’re interested, I’m starting next week (on Monday, of course). I’ll being posting about the exercises I choose, the struggles I have, the discoveries I make, and my weekly Artist Date. My plan is to post all this on my sad, lonely, and forgotten blog. (I want to leave this blog open for all my other witty thoughts…..… [crickets chirping]……… [hollow wind blowing]……… [……….]………)

If you want to try this with me, great! I would love for you to share this journey with me.

But, more than that, I hope you realize that you have the option of injecting creativity into your life any time you choose.

Choose now!