a week of wonder

January 17, 2014

it started off sunday night. i came home from work, changed into my jammies and had dinner with my parents. i settled down to watch the golden globes. the thing is... i always forget how much i don't like watching award shows. this is for two reasons: i generally find the role of the host pretty unnecessary, mostly because i don't need the stupid commentary (case in point... whomever that was hosting the critic's choice awards last night was RIDICULOUS. and no, i did not choose to watch that. it was on when i got home); the winners of one are often the winners in all the rest (because, yes, i wanted to see matthew mcconaughey say alright, alright, alright again). what's the point of the oscars AND the golden globes AND the critics choice AND the people's choice? i just don't get it. i LOVE film. and yes, good work should be rewarded. absolutely. and when i was an adolescent, my favorite thing to do on a sunday night this time of year was watch stuff like that.

but as i've gotten older, the interest has waned. so at half past nine, i turned the television off, changed into my jeans and tee and went to the movies. i was gonna see saving mr. banks.

as i approached the theater, i ran into one of the servers from pappadeaux's. he and some of his colleagues (i love that word. i don't know why). they were going to lone survivor. they let me tag along with them.

and yall... THAT's a film worthy of high praise. THAT's great cinema right there. not just because of the impressive story, but because of how it's told. peter berg did a phenomenal job. mark wahlberg, ben foster, taylor kitsch and emile hirsch (i didn't even recognize him!) were superb! it was so good, yall. SO GOOD.

and it was nice to spend some time with some good guys. i don't get to do too much of that.

my cousin and his wife had their first child on the fifteenth. a daughter. they are beautiful people, and their daughter is beautiful. you would think, of course, beautiful people have beautiful babies. but for this particular branch of my family's tree, this isn't always the case. two of my cousins--brothers--they each have children. some are biologically theirs. some are adopted. some of those biological children are healthy. but for each of those brothers, one child was born with severe genetic defect. two babies. a boy and a girl. the girl died when she was eight or so. the boy still lives, in part because of hospitals like shriner's. so, there was this small part of me that worried that my cousin's daughter might be affected as well. and i'm grateful that she seems to be fine.

on this same day, my friend and neighbor... a woman who has been a wonderful source for faith for me... a friend who was diagnosed with cancer not too long ago... she lost the fight.

i learned of this moments before going to see saving mr. banks. bawled like a baby. it's a hard film to watch. because of the story. because i'm a writer, and it's about writing... about a writer. about family. about loss. and i'm not necessarily talking about death here. i'm talking about the sense of wonder we have in childhood and how life eats away at it.

i cried because life's eaten away at much of mine. i cried because it's a powerful tale. i cried because i mourned for my friend.

and when i came home the other night, instead of a black sky it was the lovely shade of deep, deep indigo. and somehow the night was brilliant. crisp and clear. quiet. so peaceful. and my friend would've loved that, i think.

i stood outside in my yard and wondered at it.

she would've liked that, too.

by the way... i was more impressed with paul giamatti's performance in that film than anyone else's.

and last of all... also on the fifteenth, i made myself a novel to do list:

one. strengthen chapters six and eight: more angst about isabel's mother; more allusion to her madness. (here a few well-placed, well-crafted sentences would suffice.)

two. in chapter eleven, incorporate scene in which isabel and august discuss isabel's relationship with her mother. (ditto.)

three. in chapter twelve: retell chapter one (which was the original chapter twelve... i moved it to to the first and consolidated ten and eleven)  from isabel's perspective. 

(this sounds easy enough, but i just wasted five sheets of paper, time and brain power, in addition to getting a lovely bit of pain in my hand because i started it in the wrong place.)

four. in chapter seventeen, incorporate a scene detailing isabel's having acquired a second job and an apartment. (here a few well-placed, well-crafted sentences would suffice.)

five. make chapter nineteen better. less telling. more showing. (of the tasks at hand, this is my least favorite one.)

six. write chapter twenty-two: isabel meets her mother for her birthday; she discusses her relationship with her mother with reese, but does NOT discuss reese with her mother.

seven. write chapter twenty-four: good date montage.

those chapters? they don't have to be long. five pages or so. sounds easy peasy, right? the amount of work i have to do could, in theory (so long as the muse cooperates) be done in a week or so.

this has basically been my to do list (though i've not really written it down) since june.

and there is why the thing still isn't finished. because i am never satisfied with the fucker.

i need good date ideas. fork'm over.


  1. Wasn't Saving Mr. Banks incredible? I bought the book of the story as soon as I got home.

  2. I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend! That's so hard!!!