Krissie: A Day Off

Photo on 2013-07-16 at 10.07 First of all, thank you for your patience while we changed servers. We got a little too portly for the original server, so we had to switch over and these things, as the Wicked Witch of the West once said, “must be done delicately.” But we’re all safe and happy in our new home, and all should be well.
Oh, my, the wind is blowing softly and I just got a whiff of herbs from my herb pots. Dill and basil. Lovely.
But I digress. So I have a day off from the killing pace. Yesterday I froze snow peas, made a huge tuna and whole wheat macaroni salad, floated in the pool, showed up for rehearsal at 2, learned Eulalie’s Ballet (over and over again, ye gods), went through until 5, a quick hour off where I jumped in the pool (I really love my pool), assembled the salad with too many onions (yuck), sat for twenty minutes and then ran out at 6 to work until 9 on a first act stumble-through, all in 90 degree heat. Vermonters don’t do well in 90 degree heat.
And I loved it! I’m having the best time in the world. At first I thought it was family. Not only do I have my real family, two of my favorite cousins, playing townspeople, but the whole troupe feels like family. But it’s not just that.
And then I realized it’s the socialization. The camaraderie, the people. As a writer (and even as a child) I always need a huge amount of quiet time to dream. As a kid I loved when my parents went off for the day and I could stay home alone, particularly when we came to Vermont. And while I miss Richie terribly I also relish the very few days he goes off without me.
But I also like being around people, talking to them. I love that about RWA, though there can be a burden there of all the subtext. My favorite conferences have been when I’ve shared a suite with three or four other people — it always gives us a safe place to come back to, not a lonely place to increase one’s feelings of insecurity.
We talk, we laugh, we work at rehearsals. We have one shared goal and not much ego (even for the stars and director. They have some, but they’ve earned it).
I’m just so happy doing this, even when people are dragging out of rehearsal. Even when I can barely walk and sleep for 14 hours.
I just need to find a way to translate this friendliness.
In the meantime, on my day off, I need to finish author’s proofs on a book, get in the pool, go to the local free store to look for white sheets, drive to the Bend (4 miles) to have a conference confab, drive 20 miles each way and shop, come home and get in the pool, and I bet Alex gets thrown in there somewhere.
Ah, peace.
Doesn’t matter. I having the time of my life, it’s all good.
Just gotta figure out how to keep it in my life.
(Oh, and I’m losing weight because I don’t eat much and I’m getting a lot of exercise — I don’t look it (note Wittle Wattle) but my clothes are fitting better (still in the new size clothes but some of them had gotten tight).
So win/win all around!

Krissie: Isolation

It’s easy for writers to isolate. After all, we work on our own, just us and our computer, and to actually create most people need solitude. Jenny, Lani and I have played around with writing in the same room, with varied levels of success, and I’ve done quite well writing with my BFF, but mostly it’s alone, in our office, in our bedroom, in our basement.
And because we’re caught up in our characters and their lives, we start shutting off from other people who usually aren’t nearly as interesting.
There are other reasons for isolating. Depression. Bad temper. Inertia.
I live in a tiny town where everyone I used to do things with has either moved away physically or moved away emotionally. We were dropped by our closest friends, ones we had known for thirty-five years. Other relationships just faded as people divorced and remarried. And in a town of 700 there simply isn’t a whole lot of choice.
My BFF moved here about five years ago, but now she’s left for the winter and the birth of her new grandson, and the easiest thing for me to do is stay inside and isolate. Richie is my best friend, but … it’s not enough.
I’ve started going back to church, to get me out of the house (and I have a lot of old friends there, all of them a lot older than I am and not necessarily for doing anything else with). And encouraging Richie to take claw hammer banjo lessons, just so he can interact with someone other than me.
I’m thinking of this because I was reading www.zenhabits.net (a great site) and today they’re talking about how to get people to support you when you’re making major life changes. You need someone with similar goals, someone who’s a little ahead of you but not too far ahead, and someone who’s a little bit competitive (but not too much so).
And guys, you’re it. We all have similar goals, to reinvent our own fabulousness. I’m sure at least some of you are lightly competitive (as in, if she can do it I certainly can). Crusie and I have just about the right amount. We don’t compete with each other, but there’s a natural competitiveness that comes up. I told you guys about when I was first talking to her about this blog. I said I was afraid I was gonna die — that I was fat, high risk for breast cancer, a sort-of ovarian cancer survivor, high blood pressure, etc.
Jenny shot back with high blood pressure, her blood disease, and stage three colon cancer survivor. I said, “Okay, you win. You die sooner.” And we both laughed.
Competition takes strange forms.
So even if you guys can’t go see HUGO with me (Richie won’t because 3D gives him a headache) or drive down to Keepsake Quilting with me, or just come over for a cup of coffee or green tea, you can be here for me and I can be here for you online.
And ah, next week Crusie, Lani and I can shop and go to movies and just sit around and laugh. It’s gotta be enough to carry me through the months with no one around, and you know, it is.