Day 44: Federal Bureau of Unfucking

I got no writing done at all today. Bookstart was delayed by research roadblocks, and I’m way behind.

What I did get done—yesterday I got a haircut and other various body-maintenance procedures including GOING TO THE DOCTOR like a BADASS (I am terrified of the doctor). And cleaning the kitchen while having a fight with my husband. MULTITASKING. Then stayed up half the night unfucking a social situation.

Didn’t sleep well. Duh.

Today I committed bed-making, teaching a group of folks over at the senior center how to use a Mac, and picking up my animals from their vet checkups. Making dinner (roasted lemon chicken, arugula salad, parmesan pesto bread). Maybe half a blog post.

But no work. I just unraveled at the end of the day. I have no me left.

I’m trying not to feel bad about it. I can’t do anything to fix it. Telling myself I’ll write 10,000 words tomorrow is unhelpful and lolleriffic in its unlikelihood, so I just…I don’t know. Gotta keep on. Accept that some stuff will probably be a week late and hope that the publishing gods forgive me.

I feel really drained of creative energy, to be honest. Scraped over too much bread. GODDAMMIT I HAVE TO STOP LISTENING TO BON IVER IT’S ONLY MAKING ME EMO AS SHIT.

Anyway. THE THING IS I want so badly, so terribly badly to be this guy:

I want to be Dale Cooper! He is my spirit animal. I want to be all slick and competent and intuitive and enthusiastic and FUCK YEAH DAMN FINE COFFEE DIANE TIBETAN ROCK THROWING.

But most of the time I’m this guy instead.

And every night I swear I’m gonna be Dale Cooper tomorrow and some days, very few and precious days, I almost am. But today I was a panda on a rocking horse. Motherfucker.

Maybe tomorrow, I will be a better girl.


Day 35: Everyone <3 Unfucking


Yeah, I don’t even know. In the minus column, I didn’t make my bed or tidy up much of anything (by which I mean anything at all) or fold any of the three baskets of laundry that need to be folded.

The plus column is complicated!

I could NOT get up this morning. Just flat exhausted, second day in a row.

On the bright side, I have a sweet outfit on today. Black skirt with green swirly stripe, green curvy top, long brass tassel necklace, toast-colored clog heels. Booya. Did my makeup and everything.

Beastly was super stressed about his deadlines and I’ve been super stressed about mine. I got us breakfast at the cafe and dinner ingredients so I wouldn’t have to bother with the whole WHAT SHOULD WE HAVE FOR DINNER Eternal Debate. (Saffron-Honey Carnitas with Cumin Guacamole. I have been told my carnitas are comfort food.)

I went to my office. I’ve had these poems due for several days and every damn line is like PULLING TEETH. GOD.

I’m days late starting on the novella and novel because of these poems, and I guess I’m sort of done with them mostly but I am DUBIOUS as to their quality and it was SO HARD. BARF. I’ve just dragged myself to the end of both of them and sort of hate myself and feel like I’m already behind on the major projects because of it.

Came home, practiced accordion, which I hadn’t done for two days, and my performance can be summed up as blerrrrrg.

We got an accountant like motherfucking grownups. Intake appointment tomorrow. I’m terrified.

I don’t know. Today sucked. Yesterday sucked. I did things, the plus column is bigger than the minus and I can’t say I failed at the day, but every one was SO HARD. SWAMP OF SADNESS HARD.

ARTAAAAX. YOU STUPID FUCKING HORSE. YOU HAVE TO CAAAAAAARE. Though technically speaking it’s not the Swamp of Not Giving a Shit. That place would probably be pretty chill.

I live in hope of a good mood landing on me tomorrow. OH WAIT ACCOUNTANT. UNLIKELY.

Food. Drag Race. Poem editing. Moose pajamas.


Day 6: Unfuck Troopers

My house full of guests has dwindled to a houseful of me.

And the mess.

Not shown: dining room and living room, also a mess.

And I got up at 9! I made my bed! I got dressed! (Wearing my Hipster!Maine shirt, which is a long sleeved, low cut long-john style thing with a plaid patch in the shape of the state of Maine on it because I LOVE MY STATE IT IS THE BEST ONE SHUT UP I WILL HEAR NO ARGUMENT. LOBSTER OWNED.)

And then, ADDGirl forgot she had two back-to-back Skype school visits this morning. Literally until the T-5 minutes ping.

Cue scrambling to get hair dry and coffee/meds inside mah body. The next one is in 30 minutes, and I haven’t had a chance to touch the kitchen yet. Arrrrgh.

Also must do today:

  • Fill out form for one of my students
  • Fill out form for being a guest at literary festival this fall
  • Read the things I should have read last week because I have to review them this week
  • Have student conference tonight at 9
  • Pack for NYC

If I can actually get all this squared away, I will be a GODDESS OF PIE AND GOLD STARS.

*wishes she had a goofy furry hat to hide under because the day head is TOO METAL FOR ME RIGHT NOW*

St. Ru, my moral adviser, is unimpressed by both my lack of hats and desire to hide.


Fighting the Miserable, Tasteless Tofu of My Motivation

Chickens unfucked. Er…chickens lovingly cared for by earnest postmodern farmer grrl?

My actual chicken’s actual bitchface. That there behind her is an empty jar of mealworms. OH SNAP.

I emptied the dishwasher and put more dishes in. It is eternal, neverending, Xeno’s Dishadox: you can never truly arrive at 100% clean dishes, only approach it in increasingly small increments.

But I don’t want to do anything else. IT’S SO GREY OUTSIDE YOU GUYS. GREY LIKE MY SOUL.

I don’t want to put up towel racks or write or eat or brush the cat. I WANT TO WOE.

I was doing so well yesterday. That means I don’t have to do shit today, right? Bluuuuuuh. SO MUCH MUD OUTSIDE. SO MUCH COLD.

Four hours before I have to leave. Get up, Trinity. Go to your office.

Don’t wanna. I’m going. Don’t wanna. I’m going.


The Long, Slow Unfuckening of My Writing

I did something really scary today.

I only wrote 1400 words.

Ok, that’s a lot, right? I know, intellectually, that it’s a lot by any standard. But for me, it feels like failure.

What I usually do is procrastinate LIKE A MACHINE DESIGNED TO DO NOTHING and then finish a whole project in a day or a week or a month depending on the length. If I sit down to write I’m going to WRITE THE SHIT OUT OF THINGS. And then fall apart and hide form myself. I have done this literally my whole working life, and that includes grad school and let’s be BOLD AND UNFLINCHING here, undergrad and high school too. This is me and every deadline I’ve ever had:

I have no idea how to just do a little bit every day.

I know this is partly my ADD issues, but partly it’s just that like many of the things I’m trying to deal with here, I was either never taught the skill or I didn’t pay any damn attention when everyone else ever learned it.

In my head, I understand that if I wrote 1000 words a day, I’d have a novel in three months. And not be physically and mentally broken. But I panic at the thought of it, like it’s just TOO MUCH to stick to that, it’s so much EASIER to write 100,000 words in 4 weeks. After all, that’s how I’ve always done it. I have to be a superhero or I’m worthless, isn’t that obvious? I have to do it all at once!

But I’m not a kid anymore and I can’t keep whipping myself into exhaustion like I’m some kind of ELDRITCH DEMON PONY.

I know that. And yet.

Stopping in the middle of a story I could finish because I’d written 1000 words of it and that was my limit for today felt gut-wrenching. It does not feel like victory. It feels like I’m a slacker and a loser. I wrote 450 words of a blog post for tomorrow, and the first paragraph of a new book—which is a small bit of progress, too, as I only got hit with the idea train on Sunday and am biting while the hook looks irresistible rather than waiting until two years from now when I’m done with snuggling it before I even write a proposal. I have done this. With every book. You guys don’t even know. It seems like they come out so fast. But I do horrible things to myself over and over behind the curtain.

So this is my plan, which is going to be brutally hard for me. I am trying to commit to it. Every day, write not less than 1000 but not more than 3000 words, not including blog posts. Am allowed to take weekends off. I want to say I can take other days off when I’m caught up, but there is no catching up in this industry. DO IT. 1000 words ain’t nothing. I gotta pace myself before I break myself, aw yeah. MODERATION IS GANGSTA I SWEARS.

I’m scared.

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