I still remember, vividly, the sensation of imbuing unworthy men with magic. For years, I turned distracted dudes into demigods using only the powers of my own imagination. I was a creative person, that’s all, one who wanted more magic in her life. So I created magic out of thin air.

Ask  Polly

My “Leaving New York” essay (sort of)

A friend of mine expressed concern yesterday that my going part-time might be a Bad Idea, life-wise. Either way, it’s in the works starting next week, so Good Idea or Bad, it’s happening. I’ve made arrangements for when my lease is up so that I’ll be in a place where my rent (amazingly) will be only $500/month. In order to do this, I’ll be living on Long Island, which is perhaps not ideal, but honestly it’s better than sleeping on the couch in my parents’ apartment. (No offense to my parents at all! They’re super supportive of my writing — they’re actually my first readers for my novel — but for whatever reason, it is almost impossible for me to write at home.)

The friend who I’ll be staying with once my lease is up has deemed the move I’m making “downsizing,” because she is an accountant and also the most grown up person I know. This makes the move seem much more official and much less frivolous. My friend who is concerned for my future/my choices, is concerned because:

  • I’ll be far away from the city, from the people I want to be around and the things I want to do,
  • By being at work only half as much as I am now, I will not be “engaging with the world” as much,
  • No one can write for hours and hours,
  • I will have less pasta/dinero/moo-la/cash/$$$.

Oddly, though, these things (with the exception of the money bullet) are precisely why I’m excited to make this move.

Continue reading My “Leaving New York” essay (sort of)

CHECK IN: WriMo Week 1

Hello, WriMos! How has everyone’s first week been?

I’m still about 4000 words behind — it’s been a rough week — but I’m not worried! I wrote close to six thousand words today in an attempt to catch up, and I may still have another thousand or so in me. We’ll see. I’m holding fast to Hemingway’s “write drunk, edit sober” rule and I’ve had about half a bottle of red wine, which I’ll probably regret in the morning. Oh well.

Today I’ve written about:

  • two girls in Brooklyn intent on doing a horrible spell on their friend (partial draft)
  • the beginnings of a personal essay about the summer my grandmother passed away (shittiest of shitty first drafts)
  • the first draft of a fairy tale about an asexual princess (first draft; flash fiction)

I usually try to commit to a single NaNoWriMo project, but this year I’ve decided instead to go with short stories and essays and try to generate as many first drafts as possible.

What’s everyone else working on?

Rules for WriMos

Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don’t whine. Margaret Atwood

So here we are, Day One of NaNoWriMo 2014. It’s 2pm and I haven’t yet started, and I’m fighting the urge to take a nap. But if any day is a good writing day, it is this day. I’m sitting in the solarium. I like using that word, it makes me feel fancy. Really, though, it’s my living room that used to be a garage until the landlord replaced one and a half walls and also the ceiling with glass. I’m listening to the rain and to my brother pick out scales on his guitar. I’m wearing a fleece onesie, the way adults do.

Treat writing as a job. Be disciplined. Sarah Waters

In two weeks I’ll be going part time at work. My lease is up in March, and I’ve managed to save up enough over the past few years to do this relatively comfortably for the next three months. Lucky, lucky me. Then I’ll likely be moving to cheaper accommodations — a room of my own in friend’s house on Long Island — so that I can continue this writing thing. Or, so that I can finally begin to the devote the time to writing that I’ve always wanted to, that I’ve always been meaning to, but that practicality, back up plans, Being A Grown Up, and generally just being a little bit of a chicken, got in the way of. I’m nervous. Part of me isn’t sure if this is the right thing. It’s the part of me that is bitterly full of self-doubt, who thinks this is a vain and foolish move, who can’t believe that I’d have the audacity to try to take myself seriously.

Well, she’s gonna have to shut the hell up for once.

All that matters is what you leave on the page. Zadie Smith

Welcome to NaNoWriMo 2014, everyone! Good luck!