Right here, right now

The script is out. Finished the A4 formatting, checked the entry page, wrote a short intro letter, and clicked send. No more thinking.

As usual, I was hit with a wave of manic energy afterwards. Bad enough my brother mentioned it was affecting him. I headed to the gym.

Think I might have turned the corner on my weight issue. Think I might have dropped some excess weight without quite knowing it. I mean, I wear sweat pants almost 24/7. It’s hard to judge where your body is when you’ve always got elastic waisted pants on. But I caught a few glimpses of myself that didn’t make me look wider than I am tall. A few sidelong looks where I thought gee, my stomach doesn’t stick out as much as it used to. And, hallelujah, I’ve found my collarbones again. Don’t even have to sink my chest in to see them – I can just stand there as usual and out they pop.

The house is pretty clean, thanks to my bro helping me on Sunday. I felt bad for a fleeting moment; he did the hoovering and ended up in a sweat because…well, it’s hoovering. Means you gotta move all the furniture and get underneath. It sounds like an easy job, but it isn’t. And I reminded myself of all the sweaty hours I spent cleaning this place, and the last one, and the one before that – and suddenly I didn’t feel so bad or guilty for allowing him to take on this tough task. Sometimes I think my bro needs to be reminded that hoovering sucks, that doing the dishes every day can make you lose your mind, and that housework doesn’t just get done all by itself.

No rehearsal Monday. The director bowed out with a sore throat. More than happy about that; I’m over anxious about staying healthy and my number one freak out is being exposed to other people’s illnesses. No rescheduled date yet.

Strangest thing this morning. Two strangest things. One, my hoodie is missing. It’s not in my room nor the living room, and I was just using it yesterday. Two, my coffee cup is missing. Gone. Non-existent. Had to use a secondary cup, not my normal one (didn’t feel right). Can’t for the life of me figure out why someone would come in, grab my hoodie and coffee cup and split. But I’ve been up and down this tiny place and see zero sign of either of them.

Finished reading the book on the Night Witches my director gave me. Need to make some notes. The bibliography lists several sources to check on for factual info. I’m well pleased with the info provided in this book. Gives me a good grounding on the groupings within the military and how they work in such a strict hierarchal system. And I’m beginning to see the play. Found my main character the other day. She’s still developing, but I caught the first glimpse of her. Beginning to know some of what the characters will face in the play. It’s big – and exciting. The setting I’ve chosen to write about allows me to bring in as many famous flyers as I want. It’s a strong skeleton, and I’m pinning my ideas down with factual points – dates, names, deaths.

First, tho, finish the US formatting for the current script. Get it out to as many places as I can find, because I think this one is a doozy. Do my Dutch homework. Keep getting to the gym. Keep following through on my commitments. Keep myself focused and busy in the now, not the past, not the unwritten future.

Right here, right now. This is where you make the change.


When in doubt, ask

Seems keeping my cool – literally and figuratively – has become the game of summer.

Friday’s language lesson sucked. Mince no words. I was not the only student bringing the mood down – plenty of reticent people in that room. No hands up, no volunteers. Our time consisted of writing down words and creating sentences from them. Okay with four or five words. Hit the ten word mark and you’re talking about prepositional phrases inserted somewhere in the basic framework. I was told I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Still don’t understand why the verb placement is where it is. Still don’t understand why MY conglomeration of the words was wrong, when an earlier sentence used the same structure and was perfectly fine.

Class broke early.

Came home to piled up dishes by the sink, a full garbage bin and overflowing recycling. Cleaned it all up AND ran down for more cool beverages and milk. Even remembered to turn in our old batteries (the pile was HUGE).

Today: a bullshit message from my uncle, the gist of which is ‘I don’t believe in climate change’. You can imagine how that went down with me. Managed to not say anything  – again. Do I get any points for preventing an argument?

Looking forward to an afternoon alone so I can read through my latest script. I’m waiting with baited breath, actually. Get up and get out of the house, bro! Is it creepy? Can it work?

Should get to the gym, too. Keep on with the basics.

Bleh. Like I want to take care of the basics right now.

Beginning to feel bogged down by the heat, the Dutch, the relentless get up and do the same fucking thing again – because all those pesky jobs like making your bed or keeping the house clean are never really ‘done’. Reminding myself I voluntarily took on more housework while my bro is working on his book. And some part of me replies – Yeah, yeah. You always make some sort of excuse for him, don’t you? He doesn’t do dishes now that he’s writing; he didn’t do dishes before because he was busy with music or comics or some other excuse that you let him get away with. Just admit it: the chores in the house are rather one-sided.

…Can’t really argue with that.

And I’ll admit I get fed up enough with it that, from time to time, I let everything go to Hell just to remind my brother how much work I generally do around here. It’s a nasty habit, formed out of years of not being able to ask for help when I need it.

So this is my reminder to me: I don’t like dust bunnies. They annoy me to no end. Better to just pick them up. Don’t count how many times you bend over to pick them up, just remind yourself how nice it is not to see them anymore. Same goes with the rest. I/You like a clean house. Keep that way for me/us. …And ask yourself this: if you lived alone, would you let the housework go? If you wouldn’t, not doing the chores because you’re pissed off at your brother for not helping ISN’T an excuse [wonderful multiple negative statement – SEE how your brain works?].

Ohm. Calm. Do not lash out. When in doubt, stay silent. – Whoa! Maybe that’s my problem. How about -‘when in doubt, ask’? …Oh, I like that better. Calm. Do not lash out. When in doubt, ask.







Keep your eyes open

Do not know how long I was at it yesterday. Began writing before my brother woke up. Took a breakfast break when he came out of his room for coffee. Back at it before he left for the comic book shop. Surfaced around five in the afternoon. Came up gulping for air, actually. It was intensive.

And the first draft is complete.

Shivers. I think I’m dead on with my 30 minute timing, too…

A glance at my calendar told me I’m not one month ahead of myself, but two. So I’m not touching the new script for a few days. Oh, I’m itching to read it through. Test it. See if it’s as good as I think it might be. But I’m gonna let my brain rest. Honestly, it feels swollen. Like the grey goo is all puffed up and pushing against my cranium. Not pain, exactly…just very tired.

Two days ago my brother pointed out that our glass recycling needed taking out. Today, the recycling is still sitting in our kitchen, un-taken-out. The dishes aren’t done, either, for the second or third day in a row (I forget how many). I wonder how my bro feels about that. …Irritated? Has it wound him up like it winds me up, and will his sleeping brain program him to NEED to clean when he wakes up? Color me skeptical. I think he’ll easily let it slide for a few more days…whereas I, now out of my writing trance, am irritated by it no end and will probably begin cleaning by 8 a.m.

Someone needs to do the grocery shopping, too.

…Thinking about calling for a reading of the new script, tho I’m concerned about two things. One, this is very topical. So topical I’m not mentioning it (even the title of the piece) to anyone but my brother. It’s not that I don’t trust the people I know, I just know that people are stupid. They’ll say something without thinking to their hairdresser or the receptionist at the dentist’s office – who’ll then say something to someone they know, who happens to be a writer, who’ll be better known or have an agent or just get their stuff out faster than me, and suddenly my brilliant idea is old hat that no one wants to read. My second concern is more personal: I don’t want to call a reading just to toot my own horn or show off – Come! Read my fantastic script! I feel confident on my timing, sure in the story telling. There’s no real reason to read it through, no questions I have other than can it actually be pulled off? – And the answer to that question will not be revealed in a read through.

I’d like to squeeze in some gym time today. Not that I’m in the mood to go and sweat. Nope. Want to let my body ooze through the day, inert and sluggish. But I think getting up and (at least) walking for an hour would do me good.

Received a temporary rehearsal schedule from the director. Temporary because it’s only laid out for four weeks and if anyone can’t make their night, the whole thing will get shifted around. Fine by me. I’ve nothing on in the evenings. Thought we were going to work with two scenes each night, meaning four actors would be at every rehearsal. But the director’s schedule has only one scene blocked out each night. Which means, since my acting partner is on holiday from now ’til July, I’m working alone with the director on my nights. He even blocked himself in for reading the other role in my scene.

On the heels of my questioning his girlfriend’s reaction and all that I see occurring within the dynamics of the theatre group, that tiny, black and white rehearsal notification set my heart racing. Oh, Goddess! Not again! 

What the fuck am I gonna do now?

My first thought: circumspection. Don’t stand too close, don’t laugh too long, don’t talk too earnestly to him – and certainly don’t bring him any blueberry muffins! That grates at me. Damn it! It’s so rare I meet someone who could actually be my friend that when I do I become this big, enthusiastic dog. Jumping around, slobbering everywhere – happy just to be there. And I like to stand close to my friends, laugh long and hard with them, discuss real issues in a forthright and serious manner, and bake them goodies. It’s what I do. So to ask me to reign it in…feels like I’m asking myself to erect walls – something I’ve been told I do very, very well. Something I’ve been trying very hard NOT to do.

Ach! Enough. I’m thinking too far into the future again. I don’t know what’s going to happen, and I shouldn’t be making so many bleeding assumptions.

Look down at your feet. You have so many steps to take before you’re there!

Just…walk slowly. And keep your eyes open.

Happy Feet



Oh, all caps don’t even come close to what’s going on with me right now. I thought, at first, it was a standard thanks but no thanks rejection e-mail. I had to read the first two sentences twice before I realized that they had accepted my short story and included a contract for me to fill in. Then I cried. I actually cried, and am still close to tears. Validation. Someone LIKES my writing, enough to pony up a few quid for it. I know it’s a short story, little pay, small publication. I know all that but someone LIKES my stuff. And for the first time in a very long time, I’ll have a little bit of cash I can hang onto and say ‘I earned this. No one just gave it to me. I earned it.’ Oh my goddess, to do that! To be able to say that! What a difference in my self-esteem to just SAY that once in a while. I earned money. Oh, goddess, I can’t thank you enough for this feeling. Could we please try to make it NOT hinge on someone else’s opinion of my work, though?

I’m now in orbit, and have NO idea what I was going to grouse about today. Probably somethin’. But what can I say? I’m ready to get out of this chair and do my happy dance around the neighborhood I feel so good.

I wanna go on and on. This is when I become insufferable to some people, because I get so excited I can barely discuss anything else. But I’m gonna try to stop here. I know how hard it can be to read about someone else reaching a milestone (and I was just complaining about a lack of sign posts in yesterday’s blog).

I’m gonna need to open my own bank account. Been living here for over a year and still don’t have one. Haven’t needed one, tho I’ve wanted one because so many places here do transactions via PIN rather than cash. Woohoo! Guess I know what my errand today is. It’ll be handy to finally have a bank account. I know it’ll be one of those accounts where nothing much happens all year round. It’s the principle of the thing, you know? That little bit of independence that tells me I’m not a complete drain on society. And maybe I’ll get a few more little deposits in there over the next year. 🙂

Me, me, me. When you write 5 paragraphs and 4 start with ‘I’, you know you’re focusing on yourself.

Had a rather strange yet touching moment with my brother yesterday. Came back from a few errands in the afternoon and he casually asked me if I was planning to move. Move what, I asked, confused. He then confessed that he’d seen I’d friended a relocation specialist on LinkedIn and wondered if I was planning on moving away. It was strange, the way he asked it. It was touching because upon reflection, I realized he asked me what he did and how he did because he was freaking scared to death I was going to say yes, I want to move away and leave him. It made me sad to think he’d think I’d abandon him, and it made me happy because I knew in that moment how important I was to him, and he’s not the kind of person to put that kind of thing into words. Weird, I know. I try not to judge it.

Friday. Still loads to do if I can get my feet back on the ground. Those good old basics that keep me going on a daily basis are still there: dishes, laundry, cleaning. I hate those chores and yet I’m thankful for them, for the utter dependence I have on them. It’s like the sun; I expect it to be there and damn! It’s never let me down yet. Same with dishes and laundry and cleaning. Like, no matter how high I fly those chores remain to remind me that despite any ups (or downs) LIVING goes on. Somedays I hate that. Today I’ll use it as an anchor.

Had a Dutch helper come over yesterday. My brother has apparently qualified for some assistance now that he’s diagnosed as ADHD. He’s actually got a person who is helping him sort through tax issues and just stuff we don’t fully understand yet. She’s helping us find some language classes, and helping my brother cut through the red tape with his doctors. I’m pretty gob-smacked by the whole thing. I didn’t meet her the first time, but I hung around yesterday. She’s actually CONCERNED about my brother’s health. She made a few comments regarding his anxiety showing me that she’s paying close attention to him. Had a bit of a laugh when she walked in and I greeted her in flawless Dutch. I know it’s flawless because when I do it everyone thinks I MUST speak the language and they go on with long sentences I only get 40% of. But she took the time to let me get through a few stilted sentences with her, which I appreciate. I know I’m really slow when I speak. That’s part of my problem: I feel like everyone else is impatient with how slow I am. And I know I mispronounce a lot of words. I get close, but I’m learning more from reading than from hearing, so I also know I’m not getting the correct nuances of pronunciation. Got my fingers crossed right now; she told us about some language classes close by that will charge €2-3 each class. It’s partially financed by the government in order to help immigrants integrate into Dutch society. So maybe we can get everything sorted out and start classes soon.

Went on my errands after the woman left. I started off a little angry. A little? Okay, a part of me wanted to grind my teeth in frustration. I’d planned on sitting down and writing yesterday afternoon. The errand that came up was unexpected. So I was on the metro, my head in music, and I reminded myself that I could sit there and throw out enough anger that everyone would avoid me OR I could drop it and enjoy what the day had to offer. I chose to drop it. The day didn’t give me too much. It was pissing rain and public transport was crowded. I saw nothing extraordinary. I spoke to cashiers only. Still, I kept thinking how much nicer it was to just do what I needed to do rather than stomp around all angry because I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do. I think I did good. *pat on my back*

Still flyin’ high. The day is fine, so I think I’ll indulge in a walk and some dreamtime. I’ll let myself fantasize today, to celebrate. Hell, this time the fantasy is based on a little reality! I’m gonna go out and SMILE at the world. Just take my happy feet on out and dance away…