Friday, June 30, 2006

Older people like to say things such as "before you were born" to feel a sense of belonging. They're painfully aware that the younger generation has the future without them, so they must claim the past before their successors.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

I set my alarm early an hour for something that didn't happen and now I feel like the biggest fool in the world.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Josiah and I just played an interesting variation of catch involving a tennis ball and plastic golf clubs.

I've uploaded my pictures of Ireland on my webshots account:

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Imagine me, trying too hard...

Last week, my host dad took my host mum out to London for her birthday. He took her to West End to see the Phantom of the Opera. He's been humming it now for the past two days. It came up on rotation on my iTunes today, and I decided that, though I have not seen it all the way through since I saw it in theatres, tonight I'm going to make myself a cup of tea, change into my pajamas, and drag my laptop into my amazingly comfortable bed to watch it and reminisce about an amazing part of my life.
My room always smells different than the rest of the house. I don't know what it is. But I'll walk into my room at night and it will smell like what we had for tea three hours ago. Or I'll slip in during the evening and I know the neighbors are barbequeing. Or I'll open the door and I'll have no idea what the smell is that hits me. It's funny.

I relaying a scene I had visualized to a friend (it's to the song Transatlanticism, about which I've been meaning to write a huge blog for the past three weeks). This scene takes place at a train station at the end of the story, and I've been trying to figure out how to get it to mesh with a concept I'm working with that also takes place largely at a train station (can't have the same motif in too many of your stories, which is a huge myth that I am trying to disregard). It's been frustrating, because this beginning and this end that I've thought up just won't feel right. And today it clicked why. They are truly two different stories about two different things. Even though one has no end and one has no beginning, I know they would never work together because they aren't telling the same story. One is a story about the struggle people have when they try to leave and one is about people meeting each other and helping them through difficult times. Well, that's the cheesy synopsis. Truly, one is about the struggle of separation and one is about the joys of friendship and intimacy. And while it's a little, well, typical of me to have too many ideas running around, and I fear that one will suffer from this over abundance and never get written, it's better than trying to fit these two pieces together. They would be wrong. And while I've done no real writing today, I feel incredibly satisfied with my progress.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Irish blessings

I have some sort of deep attachment to Ireland.

Since I've been in England, there have been times when I've been struck with a sort of longing for Ireland. England comes very close, but not enough, just similiar enough to remind me that I'm not there. And a few weeks ago I confessed to the youth leader of my church here that while I'd love to live abroad for an extended period of time, England is not a place that I have to live. I liked it well enough, but it's just another place I'm living, really. In the end I'll leave and look back on my time with warm feelings and nostalgia (I hope, of course), but I won't have the same sort of desire to return as I have to always go back to Ireland.

I got to go to Dublin this past weekend. It's a little strange, taking weekend trips to foreign countries. I had a nice time. I bought a Claddagh ring finally, which I had made myself wait to buy until I was in Ireland again. I spent a day wandering around Dublin, spent a night in Temple Bar, stayed in hostels for the first time (they are soo cool), spent a late morning/early afternoon by the coast (the Irish coast is amazing), watched part of the English-Ecuador world cup game in an Irish pub, hung out with a Danish girl and a bunch of Frenchmen. I prefer the coast and the green mountains of Ireland to Dublin, but it was nice just to be in the country again. The weather wasn't great half the time and I had to deal with a pulled muscle in my foot for the majority of the trip, but when I walked down O'Connell street at 430 in the morning to catch my plane to Bristol, I was sad to think that this could be the last time I'm in Dublin for a very long while. I'm going to get out to western Ireland still, but another trip to Dublin will probably not be for at least four more years. The funny thing is, as I was on one of the three trains I took back from Bristol to Southbourne, I noticed places that have become familiar to me, cricket fields, horse paddocks, train stations. And I thought of the children, how this first month has passed so quickly and I only have five more ahead of me, how one Tuesday in November I'll send them off to school with a real goodbye. And now I've realized, I'm not only attached to this wonderful family, I'm attached to this land. The cricket fields, the mill pond in Emsworth, the endless train tracks over field and hill. I may never find myself living here again, but it's going to be hard to leave. Harder than I thought.

Even though Southbourne is the tiniest town in the world. There are only three places that are not cities where I would consent to live: in a villa in southern France, in a coastal town in Ireland, or wherever the love of my life waits.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


When I made the switch to screenplay writing a couple of months ago, my main concern was trying to adjust to the completely different way screenplay writing worked, as opposed to fiction writing. The different focuses, the different format, different structure, different goals. I set out to conquer this uncharted literary territory and make it mine, to see if I liked it and could make a career out of it.

Today I sat outside a little pub in a little English town and wrote for hours.

Literally. I don't know how long I was there. But I got an incredible amount of writing done, and for the most part it was easy. My last few months at university I was in a creative drought. It was awful. Here I write all the time. Journal entries, long emails, working on my screenplay ideas. It's a great switch, and I'm rediscovering some of the joy I had in writing that I lost somewhere along the way in my panic to be brilliant. However, today I realized something that made me a little trepidatious.

I'm not sure I can write two genres at once. It was hard enough to try to write fantasy and literary fiction at the same time. But today I was looking back at some of the places where I've worked as an editor, and I thought about my fiction contributions or pieces that are waiting to be submitted, and I found myself wondering if I could actually sit down one night and write ten pages for a screenplay and then sit down the next night and outline a short story. I can't do them both on the same day. Today I can't even think about touching any of my story ideas, while if I had more paper, I'm sure I could continue with my screenplay. And it's not like I don't have any fiction ideas, because I do. I just don't think I can focus on more than one genre at a time. It's exhausting. It's daunting, just thinking about it. And that worries me a bit, because - even though I know I will probably never have to - I don't want to choose which one will be my focus. I want them both.

Sometimes I think maybe I want the world a little too much.

I did not rig this.

Which fantasy/sci fi character are you?

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

Princess Leia

A strong-willed herald of causes against injustice, you passionately strive to right the wrongs around you.

"Somebody has to save our skins!"
Today I used the last empty sheet of paper in my yellow legal pad. It's full. That's a great feeling.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


I am running out of ink in my favorite pen and they do not sell this kind here in England.


Friday, June 16, 2006


I've decided that in honor of the crazy week I've had, I'm going to post my baking/cooking tally. Besides all the breakfastes and lunches I've made, I've also cooked/baked:

- Four teas (suppers)
- One batch of cupcakes
- Four cakes (all at once - someone got a little carried away and added a bit too much water)
- Three batches of icing
- Four loaves of bread

The one cake that actually got iced and decorated and everything, probably one of the most awful chores I've had to do to date. But I finally got cupcakes to turn out alright; and we don't get to eat them. They go to some church sale thing.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I just bought tickets to freaking Dublin for next weekend!

Monday, June 12, 2006

aahhh, i miss my friends

Sunday, June 11, 2006

It really is a happy song.

If I could open my arms
and span the length of the isle of Manhattan
I'd bring it to where you are
making a lake of the East River and Hudson

And if I could open my mouth
wide enough for a marching band to march out
they would make your name sing
and bend through alleys and bounce off all the buildings
I wish we could open our eyes
to see in all directions at the same time

Oh what a beautiful view
if you were never aware of what was around you
and it is true what you say
that I live like a hermit in my own head
but when the sun shines again
I'll pull the curtains and blinds to let the light in

Sorrow drips into your heart through a pinhole
just like a faucet that leaks and there is comfort in the sound
but while you debate half empty or half full
it slowly rises your love is gonna drown

-Marching Bands of Manhattan, Death Cab for Cutie
Today I got lost in an English subdivision after I missed my train.
Today I ate a baguette from the best view of the Duke of Norfolk's house, Arundel Castle.
Today I listened to Coldplay in the train station while the setting sun roasted me.
Today I made tentative plans to travel to Ireland.
Today I bought a ring.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The thing with the time difference is that half the time your tomorrow is my today and sometimes you're still even in yesterday.
I set fire to the oven mitt.
Yay, I got my first piece of mail! Thanks, Brandon. But, I supopse you specialize only in PCs, not Macs, huh? Pity.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

In my first real home that isn't a studio apartment, I am going to have an amazing room. It's going to be a library. It's going to be a rectangular room with floor to ceiling bookshelves on the long walls. Wooden bookshelves, dark red wood. And the floor will be dark hard wood, too, with a rug in the center and a sofa and an armchair and a few end tables with lamps. The two short walls will be windows, and I will have skylights so that there is always sunshine to create gild the shelved wisdom. The windows will have window seats, except for one, which will have my desk. And I will always be able to go there and smell books and leather and mothballs and the spring air and the sunshine and the warm wood. And I will always be able to write. My library will always be full of love or devestatingly empty.

"Amie," as told by Damien Rice

Nothing unusual, nothing strange
Close to nothing at all
The same old scenario, the same old rain
And there's no explosions here
Then something unusual, something strange
Comes from nothing at all
I saw a spaceship fly by your window
Did you see it disappear?

Amie come sit on my wall
And read me the story of O
And tell it like you still believe
That the end of the century
Brings a change for you and me

Nothing unusual, nothing's changed
Just a little older that's all
You know when you've found it,
There's something I've learned
'Cause you feel it when they take it away

Something unusual, something strange
Comes from nothing at all
But I'm not a miracle
And you're not a saint
Just another soldier
On the road to nowhere

Amie come sit on my wall
And read me the story of O
And tell it like you still believe
That the end of the century
Brings a change for you and me

And Amie come sit on my wall
And read me the story of O
And tell it like you still believe
That the end of the century
Brings a change for you and me
I'm walking around with an oven mitt on my hand. And I actually enjoyed making tea today. I guess I have sort of a love-hate relationship with cooking...
I noticed some time ago that when I get done for the night, I like to go into my room and do whatever I want - in silence. I'm not too into music or TV or even movies sometimes. I think lots of it comes from all the noise I get bombarded with during the day.

Today I realized that part of the reason it's so exhausting taking care of the children, especially Josiah during the day, is that we're constantly talking. We never stop. He asks questions, I answer them, I ask questions, I try to interpret what he's saying, he repeats and repeats and repeates especially if he doesn't think I heard, we talk for the sake of talking, I think he's getting into trouble if he's in the other room and he's not talking. By the end of the night, I've had it with talking. I love talking with him, and I love when he starts saying things like "Nearly, we're nearly home" or "Naughty horse" or other amazingly cute things, but I also look forward to his nap every day, just so I can iron and cook and wash dishes in silence.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Finding Neverland

Mary Ansell Barrie: I was hopelessly naive when I married you. I imagined that brilliant people disappeared to some secret place where good ideas floated around like leaves in autumn, and I hoped at least once you would take me there with you.
J.M. Barrie: There is no such place.
Mary Ansell Barrie: Yes there is: Neverland.

The other day I was thinking about a friend, and this quote popped into my head. There is something about this quote that reverberates in our relationship; one of us is the genius, and the other one is tagging along. I started to think about all my important friendships in this sort of light. In my most important relationships, am I the genius or am I the devotee? Or are we equals?

J.M. Barrie: ...and that was the end of the boy James. I used to say to myself he'd gone to Neverland.
Sylvia Llewelyn Davies: Where?
J.M. Barrie: Neverland. It's a wonderful place... I've not spoken about this before to anyone- ever.
Sylvia Llewelyn Davies: What's it like, Neverland?
J.M. Barrie: One day I'll take you there.
So, a brief update on my life. I'm having a great time in England. The other au pairs and I have a lot out fun in our time off, but work time isn't too bad either, though sometimes the hours are long. I had a fun day with Josiah today, and we're planning on taking a train ride to see the old sailboats in Portsmouth sometime this week, and he's very excited about it. He was asking me about it every 5 minutes today.

Post-England. I have a long list of about 10 universities I'm considering. I think I'll narrow that down to at least 7 or 8 before I do any real applying. I'm going to have to start looking for independent scholarships, too, because a lot of them aren't that cheap. I hate indepent scholarship research. As for a job when I get back, I got this idea from Katie, the au pair from South Africa, and it's really sticking with me. I'm going to look into being a flight attendent. I think it would be a lot more fun than some dull retail or waitressing job. I'm going to start looking at companies now, so that maybe by the time I get home I can get all my applying done before the holidays, or at least before Christmas. So watch out. I may be popping up in random places all the time. It'd made it awful nice for visiting people, because the ones with seniority won't want to go to the places that I will. Who really wants to fly to Indy and Detriot?
Is cooking supposed to remind you of your 10th grade biology class dissections?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Heh, so, I live in England. I think that's pretty cool.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Ok, well, I know some people (most of the people who read this) are going to roll their eyes at this movie 'cause I'm sure they think it's a predicatble, shallow chick click - heck, I think it's a predictable, shallow chick flick. But the "Wedding Date" has some great lines, and I'm feeling compelled to share them.

Jeffrey: [to Edward about Nick] He's walking around all American, like he owns the place

Nick Mercer: [to Kat] Let me teach you a trick: if you look people in the eye, they won't notice what you're wearing.

Kat Ellis: An escort at a funeral? Somebody's dead.
Nick Mercer: Yeah; imagine facing that alone.

Kat Ellis: You know what pisses me off? I've been spilling my guts all weekend and I don't know a thing about you.
Nick Mercer: [pause] I'm allergic to fabric softener. I majored in comparative literature at Brown. I hate anchovies. And I think I'd miss you even if we never met.

Nick Mercer: I'd rather fight with you than make love with anyone else.
The Wilsons have the most amazing trampoline!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The greatest stories come from never having what you want. The greatest endings come from realizing that maybe that doesn't matter anyway.
Someone take me out and give me a break from this exhaustingly amazing life I've been sucked into.