“fifteen kids in the backyard drinking wine”

So, it seems, at least to me, like I dropped off the face of the blogging earth to cat sit, wander, drink coffee at the Zabar’s counter, listen to music (Sam Phillips, Angus and Julia Stone, Folded Light, Tilly and the Wall, the new Decemberists album that I physically cannot turn off or shuffle past), and write a lot of fiction in nothing that resembles a working order.

I didn’t plan this, but  I didn’t do anything to stop it, I just let myself  be kidnapped by imaginary friends. I feel okay about it, even though it sounds crazy, and even though it’s distracted me from many other things and my brain feels cluttered and restless, still.

Last night, after excellent adventuring with JF (pudding, dumplings, looking at New Jersey-surprisingly beautiful, ), I came home and made a series of small cards stamped with the names of my characters. I might use them like puzzle pieces, to see how things can fit together, or to see the permutations I’ve created or can create, or I might just line them up against the bottom of my computer screen because they make everything feel more beautiful and comforting.

A casualty of this temporary insanity is that I basically quit following certain crucial pieces of news. I was paying attention to Egypt, the attempt to redefine rape, and various other horrifying/revolutionary events, but at some point, looking at the news made me so tired that I just couldn’t handle it. It’s likely a reminder that a person can only maintain a particular level of stress for so long before it’s either check out for a little while or get eaten alive.

In February, everything always seems more peculiar. Maybe it’s the winter, the lack of light, ennui, the fact that it’s the month that my mother died (it always comes back to that somehow,and I’m sick of it), but I’m wanting  to do something new, something impossible and impractical. I spent several hours on Saturday with the great LA, whose words about  living a creative life always push me to open myself more fully and take my work more seriously. This time, she brought me Flannery O’Connor, about whom I’m left thinking: “People without hope not only don’t write novels, but what is more to the point, they don’t read them.”

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