Remember the 5th of November

…because at midnight (technically the 5th still) the last day of the eternal campaign finally ends. As far as I know, nothing is going to get blown up, or even be that surprising, but I’m sure the news will spend lots of make up and time convincing us otherwise.

Meanwhile, I’ll be writing. I already turned my vote in because that’s how the state of Washington rolls (and I love it).

Today I didn’t go to work like I should’ve. It’s a long story because of explanations and ultimately boring, so I’m going to skip it. I did finish retyping all my old stuff for NaNoWritMo and have added at least 200 words of new stuff. My total is 6,807. This combined with other events made this a spectacular autumn day of 100% self-indulgent productivity.

I’ve got my sleepy time tea and I’m going to try and sleep normally tonight, but if I wake up and find myself staring at the clock for more than 30 minutes, these keys be aclackin!

I Don’t Know…Yet.

I Don’t Know

I don’t know is what I used to fill out all my novel parts on NaNoWritMo.
It could be the question that destroys my generation.
And not because we don’t know like we’re not smart, because we don’t know like we just got too many options and we’re just smart enough to know picking the wrong option can really, really, suck.
For example: parents and marriage. Are you an accident? Are your parents miserable in their marriage and is it their 2nd, 3rd, or 4th? These aren’t the only options of course, but it’s so pervasive that even if you didn’t personally experience this, your friends did/are or you watch A LOT of TV, possible a combination of Lifetime and CSI. So are you happy enough to try for life with your significant other? No? Ok, break up and be miserable.
At least. That’s what I decided to do. It seems to have driven everything. Why I left my hometown to go to college. Why I dropped out of college. Why I DIDN’T break up with my ex-husband, thus he became my husband, thus he became my ex-husband.
But I digress.
This is not what my novel will be. At least, not in this narrative style/voice, not this NaNoWritMo. No.
How much is 50,000/30?
Holy Fuck. 1,666.667 words a day? Shit.
I have close to 900 words for Vampires in Space
I have 8, 235 words for Confessions
I have 6, 037 words for my YAL lit novel (maybe)
…yeah, the latter is the only one that fits nicely into novel format for me. So, here we go. To feel less like a cheater and to warm up I’m going to retype up what I have.

From Why-I-Don’t-Write to my first ever NaNoWriMo

My First NaNoWriMO


I’ve heard about it from my former roommate that seemed so much like me that we decided we were clones (well, I decided. She said twins, I pointed out that I was 4 or 5 years older so that meant she had to be a clone — why on earth did she end up hating me?) and thought, “this is exactly what I need.”

So here we go. I can’t decide if I should pick up writing up off of one of my three (four if you count a poetry project) started books or if I should stick to the rules and start completely fresh. (I won’t enter it if I ‘cheat’ of course). But whatever I do I’ve got to start in the next hour and 50 minutes.

Why I Don’t Write

The first Why I Don’t Write

Because, I think I’ve pretty much figured out why I write already. It’s the friend that’s always there, an obsession or madness, a therapeutic survival tool for hacking my way out of Mormonism, blah-blah-blah, then oddly hanging on to Mormonism by continually continuing to write about it. I hope the latter is not like my nail biting, because I don’t remember a time when I didn’t bite my nails and I sure as hell haven’t been able to quite yet.


Why I don’t write.


Mental fatigue after An 8 hour work day – which is actually 9 hours at/around the office and 20-50 minutes commute time depending on how I get there. So, like anyone with an 8/9-5-er but probably a shorter commute.

Emotional fatigue. I love my job; I help students one-on-one. Sometimes I’ll have 9 sessions in a day and average 5 or so. Emotional fatigue.

Emotional fatigue B: office politics. Really not a fan and I think also probably not that great at it. The good news is I had a revelation today that office politics is like Diplomacy – we just need to diplomatically decide that we are all equally powerful, except of course for the boss, and that we work better as a team. No more games, for the love of god. This does doesn’t appear to be going anywhere however so, emotional fatigue B.

This is Mildred or ‘Millie’. She’s super pissed off that I’m not writing and she’s sick of all my talk and no action. Though, to be fair, she kind of always seems pissed off…

Fear. Fear keeps me more charging on with an idea. I don’t know why I’m so afraid of writing crap. When I taught/tutored writing I would constantly tell my students that I was certain few, if any writers were good because they could shit gold. No, it’s about revising. And I hate all the hypocrisy I grew up with, so…that’s pretty lame that I’m inviting it into the one thing that I’ve maintained and been some level of passionate about for 20 years. Sigh.

Perfectionism fear. This is redundant. But I’m keeping it in the name of facing my fears of writing crap.

Timing. I recently talked to an awesome writer/teacher of mine about getting up early to write, because getting home late and writing wasn’t working. My significant other, bless ‘em, makes dinner and it’s usually ready fairly immediately after I get home. I can’t do coffee after eating without risking screwing up my sleep schedule. And, I’m not a morning person. However, as I write this, it is 11:36pm; I can’t seem to get back to my regular schedule since my awesome trip abroad. Maybe, my body is finally sick of me not writing. I don’t know.

Lack of time, see rambling last paragraph.

Accountability. There are no deadlines. There is no person hounding me to write or holding up consequences if I don’t. Recently, I made a promise with my mother that I would write for 5 minutes daily then she would work on her Microsoft text/class on the days she doesn’t watch my niece and nephew/her grandkids. This starts tomorrow. In fact I’m going to pause to make sure I’ve put this in my calendar and even though I have a feeling it will not work out, it will definitely not work out if I don’t give it a try.


Ok, done. Also under the accountability category is no writing circle. I tried to start one, but the buddies weren’t having it. However, since it’s failure I have been encouraged to try again with a forum of what we’d be willing to put into it. Mmhh. I’m going to do that now too.


Ok, done.

Why else don’t I write?

Let’s see, accountability, perfectionism and fear induced procrastination, mental and emotional fatigue, and timing. I really don’t think lack of time is one I can honestly say, nor writer’s block (yet, knock on wood, thunk thunk!) but…

…Oh yeah, and laziness.

Please feel welcome and free to write via comments to me why you don’t end up writing.

Much Love,

E. Phoenix


And I’m an Ex-Mormon

Kevin and I should get coffee sometime. His line of thinking when he’s on a plane….well. I have been there. A lot. Maybe I shouldn’t proselytize against Mormonism, but I guess until Mormonism stops proselytizing and funding ad campaigns…it’s really only fair.

Merseyside Moments

Ferry Cross The Mersey

One of the two times that I spent out-of-the-classroom time with Professor Aged Cheese, was when a group of us road the tourist ferry across the Mersey river. I cannot help but like Professor Aged Cheese, crotchety man that he attempts to be; speed-smoker, Marxist, possible generational sexist, plus he bought me two Guinness at the Caledonia—what’s not to like, really? At the time, I didn’t necessarily think of it as a ‘time with Professor Aged Cheese,’ moment, but now, well, things evolve.

And fade.

I know it was a day we did out-of-the-classroom lecture, and I think it was the International Slavery Museum (ISM) but I’m not positive. It was InLove and Professor Aged Cheese that I remember interacting with the most, but about ten or so of us went.

I enjoyed it for a myriad of reasons; it was the closest to ‘outdoors’ I got besides jogging in parks, while I was in Europe, it was low-key, relaxing, and according to Professor Aged Cheese, loosely a local experience (if you take away, all the touristic parts).

We bought the tickets and had a wait. Professor Aged Cheese was being a macho butt head and wouldn’t let me take his picture. Thanks to zoom, I got one anyway—very dreamy actually. It was in between cigarette drags, his silver curls blowing in the wind as he gazed across the river.

Professor Aged Cheese told me about how there were regular ferries that people used to commute everyday. He told me that ‘Ferry Cross the Mersey’ was significant in that it was a first direct shout out to Liverpool (something the Beatles never wrote songs about, having been there now, I cannot understand why). Also he explained that it wasn’t ‘across,’ it was cross. An imploring “Ferry, cross the Mersey.” He is a person that genuinely loves his Merseyside, all it entails, enough to want to stay and make it better.

As he told me all these things, the sky was the makings of some summer Seattle days I’ve had; it oozes into the hottest time of day without really seeing the sun and not quite raining. Though it did finally sprinkle a bit during the ride. The breeze was such that you felt a little lighter while it teased through your hair. True to my character that I assumed as a temporary Liverpoodlian, I bought a not-so-tasty canned Guinness to sip on for the duration of the tour ride.

A posh English voice identified the buildings we passed by on the opposite shore and gave us historical facts. We took pictures (us American students, not Professor Aged Cheese). I especially remember the crazy looking buoys; floating, tar-colored blimps covered in little tires.

Who Knew?

I wanted to blend in while I was in Liverpool—not stick out as American—get a look at the “real” Liverpool, not just the tourist/shopping scene. It’s why I specifically had getting a haircut on my list of things to do while I was there.

I did it after Rita’s tour of Liverpool highlighting its ties to the slave trade and after having several uncharacteristically sunny days in a row, it was threatening to rain. I was delighted. I’d finally get to use the umbrella I’d packed anticipating all the rain. I would not have to worry about sunburn and growing up in a desert (albeit a fairly green one) I have always loved the rain.

I know her name started with an ‘M’, Melissa I wanna say. I really should remember my hairdresser’s name because she was adorable and did a fantastic job. Good thing too, cause it was 30 pounds plus and American sized tip that they allegedly don’t do the same there. (I’m suspicious that crotchety Professor Aged Cheese might just be a stickler for tips.)

She told me I made her think of P!nk when I walked in and I admitted I was a fan. We talked music for awhile; cliché as it is, I was a lover of the Beatles in Liverpool. She loved Mo-town. Apparently it was all the rage in Liverpool/UK at the time. Who knew? I loved their 40-50 year old music, and they loved our 40-50 year old music.

She told me about how most beauticians go to school right out of secondary (high school) but she had waited a while and gone to a college for training as a result. She also realized when I asked, that yes, she did always have an umbrella on her, though she’d never really thought about it. I was something you just always had in your bag along with your wallet, flat keys and chapstick.

She also really wanted to visit America and told me she would be going on her honeymoon to Florida.

“Oh, are you engaged?” I asked.

“No, I’m not dating anyone,” she says. “That’s just where I’m going to go when it happens.”

“Oh,” I smiled. Guess women across the pond plan weddings beforehand too.

I paid her and walked uphill Water Street to Mulberry and Myrtle where the bus would come for me, just a half a block from Caledonia Pub, on Caledonia Street, where Professor Aged Cheese and Mr. S invited me out and bought me some Guinness, just like a peer.

I sometimes forget that I am adult because I’m so often very terrible at it. I definitely made mistakes while I was over there, but I also definitely grasp tight to that confident, 24-year-old woman, roaming the streets of Merseyside.