22 November 2007

to-do list, another list

to do:
  1. write heartfelt tearjerker mom tribute post on her birthday yesterday
  2. tie that into record-breaking second heartfelt tearjerker post in one week re: thanksgiving, what i'm thankful for and how much the patriots rock
  3. get knitting!
  4. wait, finish the novel first
  5. spend the next four days rocking the casbah with mr. michael
  6. keep the zine up and running
  7. stay updated on the news! days go by without my glimpsing the nyt front pages. going back to the states for the holidays, must keep up with current affairs!
  8. 20,000 words and counting (eek!)
another list, this one unnumbered:
  • here's a nice "what i'm thankful for" blog post. what she said!
  • eli's helpful tips for taking good digital photos
  • if, like me, you're not going to be in the 'ham for thankgiving, here is a amazing series of still photos from the niner back when it was navegable. home sweet 'ham.
happy thanksgiving everyone!

16 November 2007


nina simone is just one of those artists where...sometimes you feel like you know the vast majority of her oeuvre -- at least all the good stuff, which is most of it. then one day you're writing your novel and a song comes on that blows your mind. how have you lived so long without this song? how has it escaped your notice for this long?

and i'm not talking about a particular song, although i did have a similar experience yesterday with "nobody's fault but mine" off of her legends cd2. but what i'm saying is that i think i could continue listening to nina for the rest of my life and while writing like my 60th novel i would hear some new-to-me song that would have the power to stop me mid-thought so i could listen intently to every note she sang and played, almost make me cry and practically change my life.

you know what i'm talking about. or you do if you are familiar with ms. simone.

thanks, america!

my mom emailed me yesterday to say that a suprise package had arrived at her house in the 'ham. the us embassy in madrid mailed my keys and wallet, complete with license and credit cards. although i have had to cancel and replace all of those things anyway, it is nice to know that somebody, somewhere along the line did a good deed.

so thanks, random stranger, for help restoring my faith in humanity. and, i know beggars can't be choosers, but if only you could have included my armwarmers in your care package, they are so irreplacable! but thanks, i really mean it.

and thanks, us embassy, and more specifically the us state department and by association condoleeza rice for doing a girl a favor!

09 November 2007

i found it

i found my writing music: my muse, so to speak. this year it's you are free, by cat power.

i realized that this was the one yesterday when i was burning through my daily 2,000 words, trying to finish so i could hit the town. i was on a roll, typing as fast as i could think. suddenly the album ended, and not wanted to break my rhythm i simply hit play and started again from the beginning.

and there you have it: perfect writing music. it has to be something old, something that i have heard many many times before, but haven't listened to in a long time. it has to be smooth and steady with lyrics that aren't too demanding. but i also realized that having lyrics is important; the ratatat just wasn't working. i would listen to the music instead of writing. so ms. chan marshall, i thank you. i put down those 2,000 words in an hour and was soon out the door, humming the tunes as i hopped on the metro.

07 November 2007

nothing to declare

in my spare time i have been working on designing and creating a webzine called nothing to declare. from the zine: nothing to declare is a webzine started in november 2007 in madrid, spain. it is inspired by the unique experiences that occur when one is traveling or living away from one's home. we look for original voices to bring these experiences to the masses.

i'm going to try for five previously unpublished features per week: monday through friday. i want to make it as multi-media as my internerd skillz can handle; i'm hoping to include photography, music, video etc. i also have a wishlist of design/functionality changes that should be rolling out over the next few months.

the idea was born the day i watched my friends paint a mural on the wall of my terrace - i thought: wow, my friends are so talented, they really rose to the occasion. i felt like many of my talented friends don't often get the opportunity to showcase their brilliance. thus, the webzine.

i am still looking for more people to add to the roster, so if you or anybody you know is interested in contributing, send them my way. and please help me spread the word! u hope you enjoy!

06 November 2007

music to write novels to

when updating my profile on the national novel writing month website, i noticed a new field: favorite music for novel writing. you may recall that part 1 of this novel was written mostly to the tunes of badly drawn boy. i had randomly downloaded that album last november and it just happened to be the perfect writing music: steady, melodic, not too catchy, not demanding too much attention.

this year my music collection stands at about 20 albums. after 40gig of un-backedup music was stolen from me, i'm back at zero: a blank state. i'm slowly piecing it back together which is either extremely frustrating or a fun challenge, depending on how you look at it. (any music contributions/donations are welcome! really, i've lost everything!)

but the real question today is, what to put on while i'm writing? right now i'm rocking the ratatat, but will it carry me through? will it be the soundtrack to part 2? any suggestions?

05 November 2007

personal projects

november is upon us again, which means that it's time for me to write a novel. last year i wrote a 120-page story that i'm really proud of and that has received good reviews by the few people who have read it. i've decided that what i wrote last year is a good part 1, and this year i will continue the story with a part 2. together i hope the two parts will form an actual novel.

in other news, i've been working on putting together and launching a webzine. this has been eating up all my free time and is a project that i'm extremely excited about and proud of. stay tuned for official launch info later this week.

and, shmemily came to visit last week and we spent the last six days gallivanting around madrid and granada, celebrating halloween, conversing and drinking some scotch.

SO. that is my news. i have been busy. here is what i have been reading, in the meantime: