Write Now, Write Away!

When I talk to people about my job and about being a writer in the same conversation, one question commonly comes up.

“Do you have time to write?” they ask. They ask with sincerity, because they want me to be writing, and they ask with trepidation, because they’re afraid I’m not, and sometimes I think they ask with envy, because they can’t always make time to write and don’t wany anyone else to, either.

The truth is yes, I find time to write. It’s not a lot of time and it’s not frequent, but I write. I write in my blog, I write emails to my family (but, please note, I am admittedly the world’s WORST email correspondent), sometimes I write poems, and I write a lot of garbage on Facebook that I probably shouldn’t.

Also true is that I don’t know how much other people write. By that, I really mean how often.

I don’t keep a regular writing schedule because my schedule is already fairly unpredictible, despite the better efforts of my light OCD tendencies. I know that my most “creative hours” are between 5 pm and 7:30 pm, right when I’m walking Arden, making dinner, and rotting my brain with Nintendo (read: Nofriendo) games. (It’s also the time immediately followed by Top Model, Project Runway, etc.)

When people ask me when I write because they think I don’t have any time to write, I think back on graduate school.

I think back on working a live-in job, very reminiscent of being a governmental au pair in many ways, where I was paid to work 20 hours and worked upwards of 40 while going to school full time. And then the years following that job, while I was a full time student working three jobs (retail, teaching, online teaching). After graduation, I worked a minimum of two jobs, with some added freelance work mixed in, for the next two and a half years. Then, when I wasn’t working two jobs, I was working full time while going back to graduate school full time.

I was also in two long relationships during these years, one of which was a live-in relationship with a man who was gone so often I wrote enough poems to fill two full books. My family moved to the state, my brother had kids, I launched an online poetry magazine, I blogged daily or almost daily, and I wrote grants for myself. I started working out five days a week. I continued to watch as much TV as I always had, and I traveled about once every two months.

If you don’t want to write, you can find a lot of reasons not to do it. In fact, you probably shouldn’t spend your time writing what with everything going on in your lives. I probably shouldn’t. I should play with my dog more, I should cook more food, I should keep my apartment cleaner.

The silver lining is that the insanity of my life, combined with a hot online calendaring system and OCD, has turned me into an amazing time management master. I am more likely to write a poem when I sit down to do so than when I have two weeks of vacation with only “writing and reading” planned. I need the kind of chaos of this life and so I’m grateful for it. It points me toward things to write about, or, better, it encourages me to flee my own life and write about other people.

If you’d like to learn more about my time management secrets, come to my seminar.

Guitar Hero III

My Christmas wish came true this year when I got the best gift ever:

Guitar Hero III.

You all know I play the guitar, the real one, so when I heard there was a video game that simulated guitar playing, I was all about it. Turns out I’m actually sort of a Guitar Hero idiot savant. I blew through the Easy and Medium settings already and have been trying to master that orange key under the pinky for a few days.

I’ve always been a master of sight reading rhythms, even back when I was a lowly trumpeter in the high school band. Once, my band teacher tried to stump me out of getting to first chair by giving me a complex sight reading assignment that I aced. But then he said, “Well, you still belong at second chair,” and that’s when I became a band class bad ass. I talked in class. Yeah.

In Guitar Hero, you get to play really fun songs like The Scorpion’s “Rock You Like a Hurricane” and Poison’s “Talk Dirty to Me.” My favorites are “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” and Heart’s “Barracuda,” which is actually little challenging.

This is how I spend my time now, Guitar Hero.

Fantasy ANTM!

America’s Next Top Model started last night, and that means recaps at Four Four will appear on Mondays.

It also means….

…you can now play Fantasy America’s Next Top Model!

Each week, you choose three models to be on your “team.” They are scored per the following episode criteria:

Check below to see what things the girls will get scored for!

6 points
Winning the Challenge

-4 points
Elimination

-2 points
Bottom 2

4 points
Verbal Fight (both models get points)

3 points
Crying

2 points
Tripping/Falling while ‘modeling’

2 points
Saying modelling is their “dream”

1 point
Reading TyraMail (any part will count)

1 point
Being told they have ‘dead eyes’

1 point
Being told they have no neck / missing neck

1 point
Being called “fierce” / calling self “fierce”

Clearly, this is entirely overdue in my life.