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it's been a hard day

It's been a hard day and maybe this is not the right time to be following the Disch LJ and comments, but then again maybe it is....

when it's better the rest is worse

Well, now that the one chapter actually is better style-wise, everything else is now terrible in comparison. Truly I am no writer....

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how many details?

I'm thinking of calling the new book Grain of Detail. It's about reenactments as elements in changes in what we've thought of as authors and audiences since the invention of authorship in the seventeenth century. Now these are becoming distributed elements in new forms of production for many more kinds of groups than audiences and with much less control than authors. Grain of detail matters as one moves from one sort of group to another. Too much detail for one is too little for another. Lots of details usually means one is a member of that group, but one has to use fewer details when talking about groups' stuff to others. Something like that.

Business last two days also about needing more details or getting too many. "Far more detail than I wanted to know" sort of thing. I tend to give too many details, either personal or scholarly. I figure you can throw away the ones you don't want. But sometimes too many details is intrusive or unpleasant in other ways. And it's not easy to know how many details are appropriate, except with trial and error, which means errors. Asking is not simple, and often involves too many details, and then turns out to be an error.

Oh well.

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washing the floor

Knew I had business to take care of today -- stuff that's "for others" although to my benefit in a larger sense. But the kind of stuff I hate anyway, and when "for me" I often just don't do -- not always good either.

I get anxious doing this kind of stuff. I try to do only one sort of this thing a day, but I'd procrastinated so long it was not possible.

And the house is filthy and many other things have gotten to their least okay forms.

So I woke up, and immediately started cleaning the kitchen. It needs so much more cleaning at the deep level, that what I was doing only touched the surface, but that was bad enough. I cleaned the stove top, and the counter tops and then got out the pails and scrubbed the floor. Which is tiny, and scrubbing it really needs behind and underneath stove and frig and the baseboards are icky and so none of that got attention, just the floor basics. But it looks a lot better.

Forgot to eat. Forgot to take blood pressure meds. Started in on the hardest business with most emotional fallout. it went well and ceased being hardest. Next even harder one. It went well, but requires an apt. tomorrow, taking up more book time. Emailed family member to report. Someone who does lots of this for all of us and deserves lots of credit. Got back brief message which assumed that some comparative legwork might help.

Plunged.

Sent email trying hard to both explain why this wasn't something I could do now, recognizing that to others I look like I'm "off" work now, and keep it brief and thoughtful.

Response was even briefer and seemed offended. Briefly expressed regret. Even briefer appearance of resolution.

Realized food was necessary -- and medication.

How normal. How trivial. How unpleasant. How anxiety attaching. How to let it wash away, and get on to the rest of the business.

Or something else. More procrastination?

Made a nicer lunch than usual and write it out of my hair, hoping that will lower intensity.

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working on sunday

I am just not getting enough done on the book revision. I"m worried. And I have a million bits to do for school now over the summer which I really find distracting. I am not a multitasker.

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NASA culture

I went to the Folklife Festival yesterday -- good thing, the weather was almost perfect and today will be THICK AND HOT.

Here's the website: http://www.folklife.si.edu/festival/2008/index.html

I didn't do the Texas part, I'd left it til last and around 3:30 I was too hot and tired to go on there.

Met my friend Gretchen and we did Bhutan song and dance in and out during the day -- her fav since she is a dancer, and she was telling me all day about her great experiences at a contact inprov summer workshops and conference event.

She hung in with me doing a NASA thing in and out all day too. We talked to the engineer who is head of the teams keeping the Shuttle up and going. They had cross sections of the wheels to look at to demonstrate redundant systems. We talked about what was and wasn't redundant, and about his career trajectory and so on. All fascinating. Young guy.

We talked to a married opsex couple, the guy was head of Life Sciences Division and they had both done undersea trainings of astronauts. Then I asked about SF and they were both very up up, although disappointingly full of "manifest destiny" talk and "us against the robots." Turned out the guy had been a Heinlein friend in the days before his death. Wrote SF himself. Handed me his card with website. Looked at it last night: http://underseacolony.com/

Made me wonder about becoming an undersea colonist for a few moments -- retire and then do that. Fun to think about.... Wonder if I would have the adventurous spirit -- not to mention the accommodations to diabetes....

Then talked to a guy who had been an artist for NASA, now retired. He had a portfolio of mostly technical paintings used to illustrate various proposals. Some of the most interesting were for an orbiting fuel station, a permanent lunar base, and a Mars lander. He couldn't bring any of the actual paintings he said -- they belong to NASA, are kept in archives and just aren't made available. Clear he was disappointed not to have one or two at least. Asked if he continued such paintings after retirement and he said he didn't have time. Said he'd be up for illustrating SF but wasn't in those circles.

Left a brief oral history of what I was doing the day people landed on the moon and my reactions.

But the best conversation was with the guy who realized that NASA satallite photos could be used to find ancient human habitations. Young guy. I'd actually seen him on TV before, NOVA I think, but didn't recognize him, but did remember the project and history.

That was probably the most thrilling thing for me personally at the festival. Told him a bit about my khipu project and had started to talk about the reenactments book when of course he had others to attend to. Left my card and got his email address, although not sure if it will make sense to actually be in contact. Still, that was my most exciting point in the day.

Now, back to work.

the writing draw...

I have a bunch of fiddly things to do for school and a couple of non-writing chores that need to get done pretty soon -- on deadlines -- and I should just give over the morning to them, get them done and out of my hair....

but I don't want to!

I'd rather settle into the writing space, curl up in it, and, despite all the frustrations and slow progress (if it is progress) go to that contemplative place.

I'm not even at a good spot -- a rather tricky one and I'm not sure any of it is any good right now. So it's not even energy.

Maybe it's the opposite of energy. (never noticed before how close the words opposite and opossum are.) Another kind of avoidance and procrastination?

sea lions barking

It's just a bit chilly this morning -- very unusual in DC in summer time.

I put on an ocean sounds album and the bits of sounds of backwash transported me to the Santa Cruz pier.

I can see the sea lions now, lazing in the sun and shade, occasionally barking, but mostly moistly and sort of gelatinously adjusting themselves on the planks below.

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anxiety

It's embodied -- it's neurological as well as everything else. It has a kind of life of its own, not connected to the sites to which it attaches. It's neurons firing, hormones going up and down in  "sympathy", memories and emotional associations triggered with the amygdala and affecting the hippocampus.

Hail and befriend? Learn and connect? Savor body sensations and cognitive processes?