Wednesday, November 17, 2010


My GPS may be trying to kill me.

This may seem like a far fetched statement, but that's the thought that ran through my mind this past Sunday. When I punched in the address for Ikea, it took off the beaten track and through the wilds of Baltimore. Not the pretty, Harbor District of downtown, but the sketchy, terrifying part of Baltimore where entire streets of homes have boarded up windows and there's auto glass strewn across the road in every intersection. The very air reeked of desperation.

I, who grew up small town Utah, have never experienced this kind of poverty before. My response was fear; sweaty palms, racing heart, paranoid fear. I recognize that this is an unfair reaction, but it is one that I could not help. My husband thinks that I'm a racist because of it, but I assure you it has nothing to do with race. It has to do with fear of the unknown.

Now, I'm not saying that I was in any immediate danger from outside forces. Was I honestly afraid that some one was going to smash in the window of my car to steal it? No. It came from something else all together. I have, until very recently, lived in a bubble of security that was untouched by any of the really unpleasant truths about life.

Murder was not daily news. Serial rapists did not roam the streets of my hometown, or if they did, the media sure didn't say anything about it. The Ghetto, you must forgive me for using the term but it is the only one I have, consisted of the west side of the freeway in Downtown SLC. And it really wasn't all that scary.

I've developed a sort of Social Anxiety since moving to Maryland. I'm afraid to leave my house. I do it, but instead of a smile and a hello, I keep my head down, go about my business and go home. I'm not sure what changed. It's been this way from day one. Are the people less friendly here? Perhaps. Am I just taking a really long time to adjust to a new setting? Maybe.

I'm not sure what has caused it, but I can say with absolute certainty that I have changed from the happy, fun-loving girl who wasn't afraid of anything into a woman who's afraid all the time. I'm afraid to leave post at night. I'm afraid to be alone in my house. I'm afraid to make friends.

And that, my friends, is not my GPS's fault.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Foggy Mornings and Espresso

It's nearly 7:20 and I've been up since 4:30. While I would love to say that I'm upset by this, I'm really not. It's been a productive, peaceful sort of morning. It occurred to me that the almost complete silence in my apartment wasn't likely to last long, so I broke out my novel and made some serious progress. Sure enough, at 6 am the music from the neighbor's place started up. Still, the peace was nice while it lasted.

It's a beautiful morning here on the East Coast. It's foggy. This is something I wouldn't normally be aware of, as the fog usually burns off before I bother to look outside, but this morning I agreed to drive The Husband to the company building--he's going on some sort of week-long training mission, which I'll come back to--and I was greeted by thick, rolling fog. Have I ever mentioned how much I love the fog? It just seems to scream Autumn.

I came home, brewed some espresso, steamed the milk and sat down with my breakfast of Cheetos, hoping to get some more words out of me before the music got too loud or I got too frustrated. It hasn't happened, though. Instead, I'm grappling with a strange sense of loneliness.

As I said earlier, The Husband has gone away for training. This isn't anything especially abnormal, however this time I had no notice. It makes it harder, somehow, because I haven't had time to come to terms with the fact that I am once again sitting alone in a house 2000 miles away from everything I love. Usually when he leaves, I've had time to not only come to terms with this, but to turn it into a positive. For instance, I could say that this second week of training this month means I only have to cook and clean for myself which, in turn, means that I've just scored another two hours a day at least in which I can write(which isn't to say, that he hasn't been supportive of my writing). So, this is definitely a positive, I tell myself.

It's not helping.

Maybe I'll feel less maudlin when the sky is no longer gray and I manage to clear some of this blood out of my caffeine system.

Monday, November 8, 2010

NaNoWriMo: Day 8

It occurs to me that I should probably working on my novel at this moment rather than writing this blog. However, I am utterly incapable of a single creative thought right now. In my Nano Pep Talk, I rather glibly discussed the various stages of NaNo creation. Sure, I was speaking from my own personal experience, but I didn't do NaNo last year. I had forgotten how deeply these various stages can effect someone.

Today I have found every reason under the sun not to write. I've felt a deep, abiding rage at just about everything. My novel is open, the cursor is blinking and I have... nothing. Here are just a few of the thoughts that have come to me throughout the day as I attempted to get my word count down.

- The cursor is blinking too quickly. What were the programmers thinking, making it blink that quickly. Bastards, I think they did it on purpose.

-Why does the toilet keep running? Oh my god, if it makes that sound one more time, I'm going to go SheHulk on it's ass and smash it into tiny pieces of porcelain.

-I wonder if the neighbors would even notice if I killed that yappy fucking dog of theirs?

-I think that inconsiderate bastardry must run in the veins of said neighbors. Now the music. Oh my god, they should know that they never win this game with me by now.

-Get away from my ice water, Kitty!

-Oh my god, the toilet!

- Blinking cursor. Rage.


I have, of course, edited some of this for content and covering-my-own-ass's sake. I don't want to be arrested for making threats. That being said, I have managed exactly 166 words today. In other words, nothing. I love my story. It's progressing well. Some parts aren't even half bad for first draft, NaNo material.

I just can't write. I need an external force to coerce me into it, as word wars are no longer effective. Perhaps I'll have to find a write-in tomorrow. At the very least, I need to get out of my house.

In the meantime, I should get back to my novel.

Perhaps I'll have a drink. That bottle of vodka on the kitchen counter is looking better by the second.