Check In March 29

Man, life just seems to crash around you like waves, huh? For weeks everything comes up you and then your good friend life comes along and smacks you down again. I know I’m not alone feeling this way, which I can find some kind of solace in. No– this isn’t depression either, though it doesn’t help. I’m talking just plain ol’ taking whatever shit hand you get dealt.  

I’m about to vent: This week fucking sucked. My car went into the shop and is nearly ready to be scrapped. I got the dreaded “I don’t have time for a new relationship” text from someone I was interested in. I received rejection emails from a few jobs I applied to last week. I’ve been having trouble finding time to write everyday because of other obligations i.e. cover letters and work. And, I think I’m getting sick. No. Scratch that. I’m definitely getting sick– I can’t sleep more than a few hours without waking up covered in sweat. 

I suppose it’s all about perspective though. And, by extension perseverance. As far as my car goes, my grandma is going to help pay for the repairs. (Thanks Meme. You’re the best, and I owe you a game of Scrabble when I come back to Richmond.) Finding a job always sucks, but there are jobs (Thanks Obama!) and as long as employers are hiring, I’ll be shopping myself around. That goes for cover letters too, every one I write is opportunity to practice. The cold that I’m battling doesn’t have an upside. It’s going to suck– but only for a bit.

The text message warrants its own paragraph. There was this girl. A bit younger than me. Cute, into the Grateful Dead, and there was definitely more than met the eye with that one. I was under the impression that we were getting along. I was excited to get to know her. But, for reasons that she explained, she just couldn’t commit to a new relationship, and, that’s fine. That’s not to say it isn’t a bummer– I was bummed. But, she has her own issues to deal with and I wish her the best of luck. I recognize the importance of sorting yourself out before venturing out to other people.   

And, as far as writing goes, we’re at roughly 370 words right now. Normally I like to tackle writing prompts and gas until I reach around 700-800 words. I want to get that number up soon, I aim to double it by the end of May. I’ve said it before, but I just don’t have the stamina right now. I’ve also said before that I think it’s just like working out: that you need to keep writing to get your stamina up. And I think I want to amend that statement. You need to read more to get your writing stamina up. I can write 700 word stories until the cows come home, but I can’t really teach myself about how to set a scene, write dialog, or use imagery. The only thing constant practice does, I believe, is sharpen voice. I need, and have been, turning to a wider array of published fictions to learn more about what I’m missing in my own.

Speaking of reading, let’s segway into what I’ve just started reading. I’ve attempted to read this particular book three times previously. It’s small. It’s not in front of me, but I doubt that it tops a hundred pages. In fact, the introductory essay even refers to the book as “the little book.” And, after finding myself slogging through the first few pages I’m relieved that I actually picked it up. I’ve never seen so much information packed so neatly and concisely as I have in The Elements of Style.

I’m not entirely sure where this copy came from. My guess would be the annual university library sale that I try to attend every fall semester. If that’s the case, this bugger cost me $0.50. Quite a steal, as I may need to read it a few times to actually attempt to retain everything. When I say it’s dense, I mean that in the 30 or so pages I read in the gym I may have learned more than I have in any writing class I’ve ever attended. I mean no offense to my old English teachers and professors (I’m sure that keeping a roomful of kids in order and excited about reading is roughly 90 percent of the battle.) This little book just presents everything so cleanly that for some, meaning me in this instance, it’s just easier to absorb.

I’ll probably finish it tomorrow after another gym session (if I make it *Cough Cough*), but even then I would consider this more of a reference text to have close at hand. In other words, I’m an idiot for shunning this book so many times. Live and learn I suppose.

Huh, good check in. I hope that read as ramble-y as it was therapeutic to write. Who needs a therapist when you have unedited internet posts amiright?

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