Tuesday, August 26


Well, for anyone out there who might care, I'm still writing. I'm no longer channeling a bossy muse but I'm still having fun. I did, however, hit the wall last night. I had to work 'til 7:00 which always bums me out. I was particularly stressed out and had a bad night. My new job description is a biggie. I know I can handle it but it's a lot of pressure and I'm probably looking at about a year of looooong hours and loooots of travel. It's not what I initially signed up for but I'm up for the challenge. If it seriously sucks, I'll find another job.

Pretty much everyone I know is going through a serious rut. Most of my coworkers are reevaluating their careers. Lots of people got hosed in our new organizational structure. Lots of people from my area are saying "I'll give it 6 months then decide what I want to do." I think upper management would have a stroke if they had a real understanding of the level of discontent. We're gonna have a lot of desks to fill in about 6 months. Of course this isn't limited to my work place. I have many friends outside the workplace who seem to be struggling through the same difficult issues. It all sucks. I sometimes wonder if it's like a phantom itch. Maybe we're all feeling a phantom dread for back-to-school? What I'm feeling is very close to that back-to-school depression.

Then, as if I'm not busy enough, I received an email telling me I had to take the Preventing Workplace Harassment training. What?! I just took that Sexual Harassment class about 6 months ago. Naturally I replied saying just that. I then got a reply to my reply where they explained yes, I took Deterring Sexual Harassment in February but now it's time to take Preventing Workplace Harassment. Oh, well as long as we're clear. Did I mention this online "class" takes two hours? It's pure torture. Where is my Preventing Workplace Stress and Resulting Freak-out class?

All of these pressures have sucked the creative spirit right out of me. Last night I hated the direction my little story was taking and got mad. I managed to beat some stuff out on my laptop but I don't believe it's any good. I created a "Dump" folder where I put the stuff I'm not crazy about. I figure I can always to go back and use pieces of it. I don't throw anything out, no matter how crabby and discouraged I may have been when I wrote it.

I've not been sleeping well either. While tossing and turning last night, and listening to Hem on my iPod in an attempt to relax, I decided to completely change one of my story threads. It will require rewriting a bunch of stuff but since I have no deadline it's fine. The one parameter I've given myself is that I have to write something every day. I have promised myself I will turn off the tv, turn on my "Moody" playlist of music and get something out. So far I have written something every day. I have 12 chapters, that need to be rewritten, and the "Dump" folder full of scraps. I'm frustrated but I have a long weekend to look forward to. I'm hoping a day of no commitments will help me straighten out my story lines. I'm looking forward to it. I supposed that's a good sign.

So there you have it. I probably need more time off. I haven't had a real get-away vacation in ages and could probably use one. Someone suggested taking a week off and renting a cabin somewhere just to write. How great would that be? A girl can dream.

I'm off to write and, hopefully, de-stress. See ya later.

Oh, but before I go I'd jut like to say that all of those disgruntled Hillary supporters are really disappointing me. Thanks a lot ladies for taking us back 50 years and making sure the world believes all women are emotional and irrational. I also blame the media for talking exclusively to disgruntled Hillary delegates. Way to go assholes. We all know there is NO WAY you'll be talking exclusively to anti-McCain Republicans when it's their turn to cry in Minneapolis. No wonder my writing mojo is endangered! You're killin' me.

Friday, August 22

Little Liars Everywhere

My niece and nephew are over for the day and the second they entered the house all creativity ran away to hide. I decided to flee to the library. It's the same library I used in high school. I come here maybe once a year but not much more than that. I don't think I've been her during a week day since high school. It's usually teeming with students and loud parents when I come here. Today though the parking lot was fairly empty.

I went straight to the computer to look up a few things I wanted for research. I gathered my book then sat down at a small cubbyhole in a corner. If I look up I see cubby after cubby filled with students pretending to work. I know kids pretending to do homework a the library is nothing new but it's a whole new ball game now. I get the feeling kids are dropped off here for the day and expected to do summer reading and AP class prep. Trouble is, with all of the new technology these parents load their kids up with, the library is no place to study anymore. It's silent all right, but everywhere I look there are kids lazily texting each other. The girl in front of me has her spendy looking laptop up on the cubby shelf with nothing open on her desktop but her music program which is playing into her earbuds. She has been leaning, laying really, all the way over on her left arm while texting with her right the whole time I've been here. Man! A kid could stay here all day and never get a lick of work done. A kid could set and entire social life up and never leave her cubby.

Look at me! I came here to write, and I have, but because of wireless Internet access I can write a quick blog entry too. Shandon, KB and Troop... thank God we didn't have this technology in high school. I don't see how we would have learned a thing much less ever graduated. I know KB and I would have been the worst with that texting. We were bad enough with plain old notebook paper and pencils. Ah, the good old days of passing notes. I guess nobody does that anymore. *sigh* It's a shame too. KB and I used to illustrate our notes to each other. the thoguht of those pictures still crakcs me up. So inappropriate!

Ok, back to more writing...

Thursday, August 21

One more thing

I'm not so afraid of my story drifting away so I'm branching out. I even went to lunch with Shandon today. I had to get out to replace the completely useless Thesaurus I owned. I couldn't find my beloved American Heritage Dictionary but it's sort of spendy so I refuse to buy a new one. I went on an full blown search for it this afternoon.

All of my books are boxed in the garage. We've had a bit of a mouse infestation lately so I was a little scared to dig through the storage closet where my books are but I needed that damn dictionary. I poked around and saw that the new box of mouse poison had been disturbed. I also saw droppings. Gross!! Through the carrier hole of one box I could see lint from the dryer that some resourceful critter had dragged up there. I almost didn't open that one but I knocked on the box and jumped back hoping nothing would leap out at me. Nothing did. After much disruption of the mouse house I found my dictionary. Hoorah! I also found my fun Timetables of History book. It's just what I needed! Oh, and according to the book we're due for a plague and I'm pretty sure I breathed in some plague today. If this is the beginning of the end, my apologies for bringing Black Death back. (By the way, I don't think the plague looked as good as depicted above.)

And thank you for the kind comments. I won't be sharing my story online (sorry Troop!) but frankly, even in person, it's difficult. Shandon and I agree that most of the best stories sound completely ludicrous when briefed. I have trouble putting mine in a nutshell. No matter what I say it sounds stupid so I'm just not talking about it much.

I will say the characters have been making me laugh. I take that as an encouraging sign.

Ok, I'm off for some dinner and more writing.

Wednesday, August 20

Please excuse Lucy's absence

Sorry about the unexcused absence. There really is a perfectly good explanation.

Last weekend, while wondering if I could ever write good characters, and why a Harry Potter hadn't landed on my shoulder yet just begging me to tell his story, another set of characters stopped by and have been demanding my attention.

This has never happened to me before. It hit me last Sunday and, except for work, I've been unable to stop writing. Even at work they are chattering away in the back of my head. Luckily work is very busy so I can drown them out. Trouble is I don't want to drown them out. My solution? I decided to take 3 whole days off just to write. How decadent!! I started my outline last Sunday and wrote a key chapter. I've since tightened up the outline and written a prologue and 6 chapters. What the hell is going on? I still don't know if I can write compelling characters but I sure like them. I like them enough to take valuable vacation time to get their story out.

I don't know that I will ever have the guts to let anyone read it. I'm doing this because I'm having so much fun and I like the challenge of it. I've always wanted to write a book but never had a story to tell. Now I do. I'm still not certain I can do it but I'm having fun trying.

I do worry that it's all just a rehashing of other familiar stories but I'm pretty sure it's a new story. Then again I remember reading a story about Paul McCartney waking up in the middle of the night with a great little tune in his head. He got up and wrote down the music for it then went back to sleep. He woke up the next morning only to learn had had written down the music for "Yesterday". Trouble is he'd written "Yesterday" 20 years previously.

That's sort of my fear. I'm afraid I'm going to write all of this down only to find it's been written, much better, before.

Oh well, like I said, I'm just doing this for me, for the fun of it. I'm having a blast but my bottom hurts from sitting so long.

Oh, and I've discovered that I can write to very loud and hyper music. I also have a bulletin board of visual references that's really helpful. Thank God for the Internet! I just think about a location and can quickly look it it and pin it on my board. It's great!

My only distraction today? I got up to get more water from the kitchen and saw the the world's biggest fire engine was parked in front of our house. It literally filled the entire space in front of our house. It was huge! But where were the fire fighters? I looked up the street to see about 15 of them gathered at the corner. I also saw another fire engine parked up the street. I didn't know what was going but I was glad I'd taken a shower earlier.

So anyway, that's what I'm doing. I don't know that I'll be posting here for a the next week or so. Its' really all about channeling this creative energy into this story before it dries up. That's probably my greatest fear, that it will all just float away as quickly as it came.

Here's a weird thing too, when I sit down to write a chapter, I have a general idea of where the story is going but I have no idea where the details and dialog comes from. It's the damnedest thing. I'm literally surprised at the things that come out these character's mouths. I'm just hoping they aren't flat, boring characters that only I like. The girl in the story makes me laugh though and one scene actually made me cry but that may have just been PMS. It's all just a fun adventure.

I think it was that Stephenie Meyer. I told you her story was as interesting to me as her books. Well I guess she inspired me to actually think about creating my own characters and I think I have.

This has never happened to me. I hear writer's say they write because they can't help themselves. I never understood that instinct until now. Now, it's all I can do. I don't even want to leave the house. Yes, it's happened... I'm finally a shut in. *sigh*

Oh, and that picture above? That's a location of mine. What do you think?

Saturday, August 16


I finished the Twilight series early last week. About 20 other women in my office are just as obsessed as I am with the books. A book club is forming from the series. Some women admit to having mid-life crisis' because of the books. A newlywed friend looks up from her book to see her husband burping or scratching and rolls her eyes in disgust. Another friend is planning her wedding and can't stop thinking that her fiance has never looked at her the way Edward looks at Bella. It's bad. It's an epidemic.

I'm now reading the author's adult book, The Host. So far I like it. It's strange but good.

As for other obsessions, I'm losing sleep watching the Olympics. My new favorite thing to do is hit the mute button on the tv and watch gymnastics, swimming and diving with my iPod on 'til about 1:00 am. I highly recommend iPod part, not the staying up too late on a week night.

Today was the first time in about a month that I didn't have to be anywhere all day. It's been heavenly. My plan was to read, upload CDs (I'm' up to Cabaret in my Soundtracks collection) and watch some tv. I had no interest in the USA Basketball game so I popped disc one of Friday Night Lights on the DVD player. I've pretty much been a shut-in ever since. Several friends recommended the show to me and one loaned the Season One DVDs to me. So far I'm liking it but what I'm really looking forward to is the release of Dexter on DVD next week. I'm sure that will kick off a whole other obsession.

On the life-is-getting-grown-up front, I've been getting house listings from my realtor every day for a couple of weeks now. I finally got one I liked Thursday night. It was for a very cute house in Pasadena not far from Shandon's place. I called my realtor and asked her about it. She called me right back with the info after speaking with the listing agent. It's a cute, clean house because it's owned by and investment company. "Oh, forget it." I told her. In this market I'm not going to haggle with professional flippers for my house. I'm looking for somebody who has to sell and has to compromise. That certainly isn't difficult to find these days so why bother with the pros? My realtor agreed. I really like her. She seems very protective of my future home purchase and is not at all pushy. I love that about her. We discussed how lucky I am to be in the position that I'll know my house when I see it. I'm getting impatient but know that the more I wait and save, the better. And if all of that isn't enough, work is getting stressful. I've been put in charge of a pretty big business. I'm flattered and know I can do it but the stress is beginning to build.

It should be an interesting year.

Wednesday, August 13

Quote of the day

A friend and I have been working together on some rather frustrating programs for months now. We've pretty much hit the wall but today was especially annoying. As my friend stomped around the corner to pick up something from the printer she said:

"Every day I just want to bash my own head in with a rock!"

Of course, 20 seconds later I heard her gleefully exclaim "They're giving away kids scooters?! I'm so jealous!!"

Tuesday, August 12

Was that innappropriate?

Today, during a meeting about several new projects, Jake Gyllenhaal's name came up. He's shooting a new film in which he appears shirtless and the pix were apparently all over the internet today. My favorite Creative Director, sitting at the end of the table, got up and crossed the room, mid-meeting, to proudly show me this pic on his Blackberry:

Creative Director: *waiting for my reaction*
Lucy: Whoa! Now that's why I watched Jarhead. It's just like 300, I hit mute and enjoy. I really don't care what they're talking about.

Let's just say the ladies in the room agreed with me. The men, on the other hand, just shook their heads. (Aww, poor babies don't like being objectified? Cry me a river.)

About 20 minutes later a female Executive VP sat down across from me. Here's the disturbing part: After a few minutes she slid her Blackberry across the table at me with the same image on the screen while waggling her eyebrows up and down. What kind of reputation do I have anyway? I've apparently made other inappropriate comments before. I'd try to be more diplomatic in the future but the powers-that-be seem to not only like but encourage my off color remarks. Hmm, it's a fine line I walk, don't ya think?

But just between you and me, I highly recommend watching 300 on mute and with your iPod on. Good times, good times indeed. See what I mean:

Tuesday, August 5

No Thanks. I'm reading.

Client, from out of town, calling from car: Do you want to go out to dinner tonight? I'll take you anywhere you want to go.
Lucy: Umm, I can't.
Client: Why, what are you doing?
Lucy: Well, I'm ... reading.
Clinet: What are you reading?
Lucy: It's embarrassing.
Client: Oh come on, what are you reading?
Lucy: Seriously, its embarrassing.
Client: OH MY GOD! I totally know what you're reading. You're reading that Breaking Dawn book aren't you?
Lucy: No! Of course not. I'm reading the one right before it... book three.
Client: I can't believe you're going to read instead of coming out with me tonight.
Client (to others in the car): "Can you believe she's going to read instead of coming out with us?"
Voice from the car/background: Yes. It's Twilight, I don't blame her. Go home!
Client: Wow.
Lucy: Sorry.
Client: ...
Lucy: ...
Client: You know I completely understand, right?
Lucy: Thanks.

Earlier in the day another ordinarily reasonable co-worker breathlessly ran to me and another friend and said "Oh my God! Last night I bought that Twilight book you guys were talking about and I finished it this morning! I love it!!!"

This is getting ridiculous.

Thank God for fellow readers who understand the draw of a fun book. Where would we be without them?

Sunday, August 3

Quick update

I admit it, I'm completely caught up in the Twilight frenzy. It's a phenomenon I've been curious about for a while. I asked Shandon what she thought of Twilight and she said she liked it but didn't feel compelled to read the rest of the books. I just shrugged off the books thinking they were "Young Adult" (i.e. Romance) and avoided them. Lately, though, they've become unavoidable.

Last week I learned that a pack of otherwise perfectly reasonable co-workers were rabid fans of the books. I heard more about them at lunch and figured I'd give Twilight a try. The final book was coming out on Friday so if I liked it, I'd be able to read them without having to wait a year for the next installment. If I hated it, no harm no foul. Well, I love them. I started Twilight late Wednesday night and finished by Friday night. I immediately began New Moon (the 2nd book) and finished it this morning. My only real criticism is that the author uses the word "incredulously" a LOT (... she said incredulously). I suppose that's the editor's oversight as much as the author's so I won't hold it against her. Oh well, maybe it made some kid curious enough to look it up.

These books are very fast reads. I know, because it's not as though I'm just sitting around reading all the time. I'm still ripping CDs to my recovering laptop (I'm up to Lauryn Hill!). Yesterday I tore myself away long enough to see a matinee stage performance of Singin' in the Rain and have an early bird dinner with Tony. Even then there was no escaping the Twilight freakout. the woman sitting next to me was reading Twilight every time the lights were up in the theater. I saw her walking towards us with the book in hand and told her I'd just finished it and loved it. She explained that she was re-reading them before starting the fourth book that came out at midnight.

But here's the deal, it's not jut the story that I like so much. I'm also supremely fascinated by (and terribly jealous of) the author's story. Stephenie Meyer was a contented homemaker with no intention of ever becoming a writer when she had an incredibly vivid dream about two teenagers who were in the middle of first love. The only trouble seemed to be that the boy had to fight his urge to kill the girl every minute they were together. Interesting! She was so intrigued by the dream that she wrote it all down and kept on writing their story for an entire summer. She had a Publisher by November of the same year. I mean, who does that?! Oh, and did I mention she's a Mormon stay-at-home-Mom inspired by music from Coldplay, My Chemical Romance, Linkin Park and Radiohead to name a few? She thoughtfully includes playlists of the music that inspired each book on her website. I don't know where this diva came from but I love her!

And here's the very best part about the books. It sets the standard so impossibly high for dreamy boys that I really don't see why any self respecting teen girl would even bother speaking to boys while absorbing these stories. I love that! I have friends with pre-teen girls and I'm already sounding like an old lady when I warn them that boys aren't worth bothering with for a while. "Don't give yourself away to a boy right now. They are SO unworthy." Luckily the girl I spoke those words to agreed with me. It's not that I dislike boys, I just like the idea of young girls having ridiculously high standards especially at that age. I heard a statistic that claimed something like 1 out of every 4 teen girls in a relationship is in an abusive relationship. What?! And to be clear, it's not just the youngins getting into trouble. Grown women seem to have just as much trouble in love. I happen to feel that everyone should set high standards when it comes to who you plan to spend your time on earth with. That's why I hope even more girls read these books. Is the love story over-the-top and unrealistic? Absolutely. Is it sexy? Umm, I wouldn't call it sexy, I'd call it sensual and that's something all young people need to look into before diving into the deep end of the sex pool.

So, while I often claim to be a granny, these days I'm a 15 year old girl at heart and loving it.