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Monday, November 19, 2007


Third NaNo Weekend.

Official NaNoWriMo 2007 ParticipantIt's a lovely, lovely evening, cool and fresh. I am sitting in front of my computer with a small bowl of pineapple chunks, the last chunks from a fresh pineapple I sliced up about three months ago and immersed into a large jar of white rum. This is sooooooo tasty. It's one of those "why didn't this occur to me earlier" sort of recipes.

Amon Tobin's "Easy Muffin" is playing on Limbik Frequencies (, my favorite web radio station. I'm trying to figure out if I love downtempo electronica because I grew up on New Wave, or if there is something else to it, something about how... naturally urban it sounds to me, how appropriate it sounds coming through my computer.

Despite the fact that electronic music is so mechanistic and jazz is so improvisational, the music gives me the same sort of mood on some nights. "Nights" is the key, I think. Electronica comes from dimly lit computers, jazz comes from dimly lit city nightclubs, and I sit in uncomfortable chairs, staring forward in both places. (I'm so romantic.) I believe the natural habitat of jazz is: cities at night. It is not the same in daylight; it is not the same surrounded by orchards...


My NaNoWriMo word count stands at 23,126 words as of Saturday evening. I have complicated my recent writing sessions by (a) daydreaming excessively, (b) spending much of the weekend listening to Portishead's remarkable album Portishead and then pondering its drama, (c) walking on gorgeously fog-bound Ocean Beach, collecting a perfect mussel shell with the wet membrane still covering it, and being haunted by all of the notably absent seabirds, (d) being jealous of my wonderful cousin, who had spent the previous day removing oil spilled from the container ship Cosco Busan from our local beaches, and (e) engaging in other forms of not-writing.

I am considering adding that to my list of pastimes: not-writing. (This would be a more convincing pastime to list if I were not currently blogging about it. I'll keep that in mind for next time.) I am certainly spending more time thinking about writing. Now that I'm approaching the halfway point of my NaNoWriMo goal, other stories are coming to mind. Stories of love and obsession. Stories of old women who think they control the weather (and who cannot be persuaded otherwise). Half-dreamt phrases that I want to use in books ("seamstress of fog"). Phrases that I'm happy I don't have to use in song lyrics, because it would be difficult to rhyme anything with them ("I look like a cut rate Medusa.") Most of these things only make any sense in the context of the storyline I was daydreaming about at the time... But that's what this month is for.


The only non-non-writing news I'm willing to disclose is that it appears the rumors were true: my healed elbow does seem capable of predicting rain. It hurts in a special way inside shortly before rainclouds arrive. I was convinced that this morning's ache was a false alarm, but it rained shortly after I arrived at work. My friend P. suggested that my elbow does not merely predict rain, but may actually CAUSE rain, which was one of those great suggestions that people who drink at Peet's are often willing to burst forth with.

God bless great coffee.

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posted by Arlene (Beth)7:42 PM

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