What have I been doing? Where the hell have I been? I’m settling back into reality and getting back to work after leaving a paradise of four dollar meals, including alcoholic beverages and tip. Insane paradise. I spent the past few weeks in Cambodia and the Philippines, and it was as great as you would imagine. I have sleuths of pictures and my creative writing professor “assigned” homework for me; to write down things that no one else notices about these places. I’m not sure how close I stuck to the guidelines, but took a lot of notes on the inner workings of a Filipino restroom, and how it feels to get a five dollar massage from a girl you’re sure should be in class.
I’ve been back for two weeks and have barely worked. Also, as great as you would imagine. Although I haven’t been posting here, all this idle time has allowed me to read and write a lot more. But now it’s time to come back to the land of writers.
What have I been reading? Lots of lit magazines. The best company during my six hour bus ride from Phnom Phem to Siem Reap was the Summer Reading issue of Tin House magazine. Someone once told me it’s good to know what people are writing right now, and personally I love finding lots of different authors in one space – it’s a good way of finding new writers. I’ve since been reading the latest Faith issue and picked up a copy of Golf Coast magazine I’m excited to get into. I bought a cheap copy of Norwegian Wood at an airport on the way to Puerto Princesca and have been reading Haruki Murakami ever since. After inhaling Norwegian Wood I started his collection of short stories Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, which has not been a disappointment either. The writing is simple, mysterious, and descriptive. I also read We Need to Talk About Kevin and Between the World and Me. I’ll have reviews up for these soon.
What have I been writing? Well, I edited A Stranger in a Strange Place (which really needs a better title, but that’s something I’m struggling with), sent it to a podcast show called The Jammiest Bits, and was welcomed to read my story for the upcoming May episode. Whoop! The reading is supposed to be around ten minutes but mine came up to a solid twenty five. Ah, well it’s all about pacing.
Inspired by my trip, I’ve started taking notes on a potential short story where something horrible occurs in a utopic location. I’m hoping this story will be a lot shorter than my last, but we’ll see how that goes. My husband and I are planning to move to San Francisco by the end of the year so I’ve been fluffing up my resume and looking for freelance writing opportunities. They are not easy to come by and, like most careers, requires some prior experience. So I’m stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place until I find a simple job to do to build up on. But, that’s about all the new writer related things that have happened recently. I’m off to check one way flight tickets to Vietnam for next year, I find life is most bareable when you’re in between vacations.
Have you read any good books or lit magazines lately? What projects are you working on?