Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Jack London Writers Conference: Call of the Wild Mind

In honor of the upcoming Jack London Writers Conference Oct 10-11 in Foster City, CA

I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark
should burn out in a brilliant blaze
than it should be stifled by dryrot.
I would rather be a superb meteor,
every atom of me in magnificent
glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The proper function of man is to
live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days in trying
to prolong them.
I shall use my time.

-Jack London

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bring Back the Music

Lest you think I have completed my filing project, I have not quite.

Since I last blogged, my poster of Pele, the Hawaaiin goddess of the volcano, won't stay on the wall, and my inspiration has fallen. Also, I forgot to turn on music. Those things combined made filing a very dreary task the last few days. I am getting close to being "done" though. I've gone through every file except for one that is vaguely labeled "Story Parts" and has various envelopes, stapled together notes and partial scenes. I think I need to take a walk before tackling that one. Everything else is either thrown out or back in the cabinet, but I need to make a trip to the office supply store and get my file label maker working so I can get my new system in place. Pretty simple stuff, but it's the last step, and it will mean I have a place to put things the right way. Maybe I CAN do it. I got a website up, and I didn't know how that would happen for a long time.

It is good to rid myself of a lot of old paper. I kind of wish I could throw it ALL out, but I can't quite. Besides, there are those gems.

So can I actually get to my "real" writing this week? I'm a little obsessed with filing now. I get a little overly focused....My "Organizing" file did yield detailed notes from a professional organizer on how to put my files together. Some other organizer advice a long time ago suggested I do away with the hanging files altogether and just use manila folders. So half of one drawer is like that and all those files do is slide down and become mush. So, back you go, green hanging files.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gems and Duds

The truly horrible thing about writing workshops, is you end up with 12 or more copies of the same story, with markings and notes here and there. Most people probably go throught the notes, use what they want, and discard the copies.

Not me. I carry the whole set from place to place. All that paper is heavy. I just dumped a bunch of copies, keeping just the page of notes at the end. Even so, the story I just looked at is not one I might want to go back seems the first file I went through had the best "gems" so far.

The Lisa Files

I am going through the files from the back of the cabinet. The ones that have been shoved back their for years. There are stories and essays from 1999 when I first started taking classes at San Francisco State.

I was delighted to see that there was a whole bunch of stuff I'd forgotten about, and some of it I really like! Now why are they sitting in the back of a file cabinet for the last decade instead of being sent out to be published? I mean, really! It is high time!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

More Filing Revelations

Apparently FILING blogging is as prevalent as SANDWICH blogging was earlier this year. Am I a bit OBSESSIVE?

I just HAVE to say, though, that the BEST, BEST file I came across in my file cabinet, which had gone unopened and un-added to in too long, was "FLATTERY AND PRAISE." There is some really great feedback in there for me as an editor.

Yay, me!!!

Party On, Moms and Dads!

Still filing.

The most fun thing so far about today is that "Parenting" is now followed in the filing cabinet by "Parties." Now wouldn't that be something?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Aaron's Wish List

Aaron had this wish list on the wall before his 6th birthday and I came across it again today while cleaning my desk (one of the "pearls").

1. I don't want Nicholas to always be so fast. I want to be as fast as Daniel.
2. I don't want Daddy to yell at me. I want Daddy to talk more quietly to me.
3. I want to get stronger than all my friends and smarter. I'm going to do lots of reading, writing and drawing.
4. I want a Black Spiderman costume and a Red one.
5. I always want to get braver and cooler and have big claws like a bear.
6. I want to be scarier.
7. I want to be as strong as Daniel and Nicholas.
8. No waiting for the bathroom.
9. No kissing Aaron.

The Most Boring Post in the World

I am cleaning my desk. I cleaned my desk all day yesterday, and I'm going to clean it all day today. This will include filing the stack of things that need filing. It is partly the same stack of "to file" items left in a pile from my last semi-annual cleaning.

I wonder why I created files with labels like "Activities: Jon" (Was I planning to hire a P.I.?), "Books" (could mean a lot of things), "Disputes" (Am I looking for trouble?) "Gifts to Give" (Would I ever think of looking in the file when it is time to give a gift?) "Lists to Post" (Please! If I was going to post them they'd be posted! But where would they be posted...?) "Someday Maybe" (Yes, that's a real file in there), "Writing: Published" (Published writing deserves more than a file folder!), and my favorite, "Organizing." Yes, I really have a file called "Organizing." It's secret, apparently.

Here is my theory: if I actually file all that stuff on top of the desk, and clean up the files themselves so there's more room and they make more sense, then the new stuff that hits the desk heretofore will have no pile to grab onto and therefore no pile will form. It will just magically be put in the proper place, hopefully the recycling bin. Kind of like an oyster forming a pearl -- if there's no grain of sand, no pearl can form. Not that my messy desk is a precious stone, but there are good things in there, if I can find them in time. Twice a year when I do this I have hope I can get it right this time. I kind of know it won't happen by magic, if at all. But I have to have hope. I need to clear the decks for real work!!!

I am carting out the 6th bag of papers to the recyling bin now...wish me luck!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Aaron's Deep Thoughts

"If a pig was acting like a pig, what would he be called -- a cow?"

"Sophie disat bley en you batido
("Sophie doesn't believe in you but I do." Aaron's note to the Tooth Fairy, or was it Cupid or the Leprachaun?)

Cleaning my desk and came across these notes from my philospher boy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Moment

My thought and desire for the day is to rid myself of the constant nagging at the back of brain reminding me what I "should" be doing, and just do what I'm doing. Including relaxing now and then in the living room with a cold glass of hebal iced tea and some catalogs, with a breeze coming in the front door-- which I just did.

Love, Lisa

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I keep hearing people say they got on Facebook and old classmates contacted them but they didn't really care because they weren't people they liked then so why should they care now?

I have to differ. I've enjoyed hearing from people -- old friends and acquiantances and classmates. Some I would say hello to in the halls or sit next to in a class. Some were best friends in elementary school, even if we went our own ways in high school. My point is, there are a lot of connections points, even if it's just a quick post-card like correspondence. Living across the country from where I grew up, it's kind of nice getting those blasts from the past and hearing what people are doing now and thinking about, and what they still think about from the past. Some I don't really have anything to say to, but it's still fun to peek at a profile and see some pics.

We have all different segments of our lives. Sometimes friends are embraced and then forgotten, but they were still important in those times. My point is, we're not an end product.

Save our Schools!

We just got back from a trip to the east coast, where one activity included driving all over Westchester with a real estate agent looking at different towns and properties and being appalled at how high the taxes are. However, that tax money does go into the schools and therefore they have good schools. Then we came back to California where Prop 13 still rules, taxes are low and our state and education system is going bust.

All I can say is WAKE UP, CALIFORNIA! Good education is not a frill!!!!!!!!!!