I’ve started the New Year well! I don’t have a resolution, per se. Instead, I am just continuing to make changes to my diet and health habits (still having homemade smoothies, juices and raw veggies and fruit even though the detox is over) and be deliberate in my choices. “Deliberate” is my word for this year. Last year, it was “honor.” I want to be cognizant of what I am doing, as much as possible. For a long time, I have been on autopilot, just doing the same things and eating the same things every damn day. If I choose to sit down and watch TV, I want to be sure it is what I truly WANT to be doing at that time. I don’t want to just sit there, mindlessly scanning the channels. Or, mindlessly playing on the internet. Life is short, and I have goals to achieve that will NOT happen unless I’m actively working towards those goals. This book, for instance, ain’t gonna write itself!
I didn’t plan to do two things over the past day, but I’m glad I did just jump out there and do them. One is buying some furniture and the other is joining a writing workshop.
Yesterday started off nice and lazy. I was also feeling kind of sorry for myself in the morning, because Jason was over and had to leave by 8am because he had someone coming to look at a car he rebuilt and was selling. I hadn’t seen him in two weeks, and we really only had about 10 hours total together for New Year’s Eve. It was GREAT. But it went so fast! And I realized I missed him a lot after he drove away that morning. It’s a challenge to have a boyfriend who lives so far away, but I am optimistic that we can make it work. Anyway, there I was, all lazy and blah, and I saw a commercial for a furniture store I’d bought from in the past. They said that January 1 and 2 only was a two day promotion– 0% APR until 2016, no minimum purchase. I’d bought my living room furniture and the futon three years ago on a similar promotion, and paid it off early and didn’t pay any interest… so based on that experience, I thought it couldn’t hurt to go take a look and see if they had some nice bedroom furniture.
My current furniture is a joke. I have one IKEA chest that’s small and has two broken drawers– it’s leftover from my marriage. Then I have a tall, narrow chest that’s held up OK for the most part since 2001, when I got it at Denmarket. It doesn’t match the IKEA chest, and has a cheap, dated look I am so sick of looking at. And then finally there is the completely busted matching nightstand from Denmarket– two drawers, both broken beyond repair. It’s still sitting in my room, though, and I use the top surface to pile junk or laundry before I finally get around to putting it away. It’s a waste of space and total clutter.
Over break, I purchased the paint to do my bedroom, at last. Now I have a strong motivator to get the painting done… my new furniture arrives in 4 weeks! And yes, it’s not something I need to put together myself, and it is being delivered. SO LOVELY. It feels almost decadent, but in reality I got the three pieces I bought– a dresser, mirror and tall chest– for $550, because I bought them as a package deal and got $100 off. NOT bad at all! I wouldn’t have found something so affordable at IKEA, honestly.
The best part is my Mom came along with me to the store. She helped me decide on the set I bought, but she also picked out a TV console she wanted for her new apartment. But I bought it for her. She deserved that, at the very least! She’s helped me out over the years so much. She was so happy she started to cry. Awww! Don’t cry, Mom! It’s just a TV console. Anyway, I was glad she let me do that. Other times, she puts up an actual fight and we have “words” as we try to jostle one another out of the way so we can buy the item in question and other other person can’t.
The whole thing was spontaneous, unplanned, but it worked out so well. I have been procrastinating about getting new bedroom furniture for years now. I won’t walk into the bottom drawer that doesn’t close all the way in the dark anymore! Fewer shin bruises is always a good thing. And the dark wood is going to look so pretty against the gray walls when I am done painting.
The second thing happened just a little while ago. I’m back at work, trying to get into the swing of sitting in my cubicle again, and I remembered this very cool quarterly literary magazine I’d picked up at Changing Hands when I was Christmas shopping: The Palo Verde Pages. I read the whole thing cover to cover one day while I was doing the detox, and was super impressed. It was high quality writing, and the stories were just my style. I’ve been thinking ever since about what I could submit to this magazine, because it would be awesome to publish some fiction as I gear up to do the search for an agent this year.
Today I was on their site and realized they only publish works that come from one of three writing workshops. Damn, I thought. I finally find a magazine I am excited about submitting something to, and I can’t. UNLESS… I join one of the writing workshops…!
And so, after a few more links and reading about meetings and the kind of writers welcome at the workshops, I joined the East Valley Writing Workshop. And the first meeting is this Wednesday night! I’ll be able to bring some work to read aloud and the others can critique it, and vice versa. Again, this was something I’ve thought about for years, but I have yet to do. I could really use the feedback and social-sharing aspect that comes with a regular workshop environment. Especially now, as things get closer than ever to me accomplishing this particular goal of “being a published fiction writer.”
I didn’t wake up today thinking “Hmm, I think I’ll join a writer’s workshop today” but I’m so happy I just took this leap and did it before I thought too much about it! I think it’s going to push me to write a new short story by Wednesday night, and will help keep me focused on the thing I really enjoying doing more than anything else — making shit up, and telling stories.
So, there it is. So far, 2012 has been filled with spontaneity. Weird! I wouldn’t have expected that I’d buy furniture (that’s a commitment, yo) or join up with other writers if you told me this on Saturday. But I love this. I feel pretty damn good about things right now. It’s a great feeling.