A Broad

Oh, hey, look! I haz a blog! Who knew? Sorry for the interminable delay in new posts, folks...I haz been trying to find re-entry into many things lately, including my life, including my book, including the blog.

And wow. It's not easy.

Now where the HELL did I put my ROBES??
So what do you do when your life feels like some exotic country and you're an alien abroad? To wit: I spent most of July holed up in isolationus extremus. I was child-free, my 13-year-old son having jetted to England with his British grandmum for the entire summer and my stepson having headed to his mom's for the same length o time.

While 'twas faboo getting all that lush writing time (10-hour days! 97 percent of the second draft done!), memories of that life now seem like a travelogue from someone else's journey. Like on BBC. Or one of Morgan Freeman's time-, space- and brain-bending dispatches from Through the Wormhole.

EsPECially since I've experienced some major WIP-us Interruptus lately. See, in the past two weeks, I've retrieved one son, hosted my brother for several days, road-tripped home to the D.C. urrea with said brother to retrieve the other boy from Dulles Airport, spent a week in that urrea visiting me mum, and then spent the last two days trying to get back to Atlanta from Dulles (damn you, AirTran!!!)

See, it's lovely as hell in the country of my usual life. But damn if I can seem to GET BACK to that country.
Got home last night. Cracked open the MS, which looked alien as hell. Tried to remember those blissful July weeks, which felt alien as hell. Mothered two newly-returned boys, who, being teenagers, are alien as hell. And don't get me started on reacquainting with my four kittehs. (Feline = alien. Aw, hell.)

So what do you do when your life is, like, Cambodia and you're from, like, Finland? Take pictures? Eat? Gesture wildly to the locals that you're, in fact, a local too, but just forgot your mother tongue - and hope it all comes back to you?

No. You ask Morgan Freeman what happened before this life, that's what you do. Cuz Freeman knows all. Sees all. And haz cool 3-D freckles.


Lydia Kang | August 7, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Oooh, your country is sooo beautiful! I know what you mean, I'm "out" of my country right now, and when I get back, it's going to feel weird, weird, weird. But good.

Zoe C. Courtman | August 7, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Hey, Lydia! Thanks for moseying on over :D It's definitely weird, but I'm trying to acclimate. Ack!!

divaluxe | August 7, 2010 at 12:15 PM

If it were possible for me to lighten the load of expectations on your shoulders, I would. To whit, I'd like to recommend "Blogging Without Obligation". http://www.tartx.com/blog/?page_id=233

Hope it helps. If not, at least I can send positive reorientation thoughts your way.


Alleged Author | August 7, 2010 at 1:02 PM

I agree that reentering life after writing is weird! Hate that feeling of being out of place in normal life after slogging through an ms. :P

Roland D. Yeomans | August 7, 2010 at 2:58 PM

Life will not ever completely let me go.

I must use the crowbar of my will to pry an opening of a few minutes here, an hour there, to get in work on my novel -- which seems in the eyes of agents to be wearing leper robes!

Hemingway would suggest just sitting down, thinking on the scene you would wish to write, and then writing one true sentence on that scene.

Or if no scene comes to mind : just write one true sentence - one that speaks to your heart, touches your imagination. It can be on any subject.

But once you have written it, think on how it applies to your characters. You may be surprised to find your muse re-activated.

Happy surviving the kids and kittens, Roland

~Nicole Ducleroir~ | August 7, 2010 at 4:10 PM

Exactly how I feel, opening my MS these days. (Who wrote those chapters, and what did she have in mind for the next one??) With the kids back in school last Monday, I gave myself some much needed R&R (dancing around in my bra, ignoring the piled up dirty laundry). But this week it's time to buckle down. I plan to give myself schedules: writing time, housework time, time in the gym...

And when things calm down for both of us, lets talk about getting GA writers together! You had such a good idea, and I know at least five writer/bloggers who are in!

Good luck with everything :D

Elliot Grace | August 8, 2010 at 10:45 AM

..."time" is my foe on most days, ever fleeting from my grasp. It's a constant struggle searching out a minute here, a minute there, just to fine tune a paragraph or re-phrase someone's comment. It's madness really.

Your pics are a thing of beauty, by the way. Simply gorgeous:)

Zoe C. Courtman | August 8, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Maria - thanks for that link! Blogging Without Obligation is my new mantra. :D

Alleged, GAH that's so true. Sigh. Just have to do my re-entry GENTLY, lol.

Roland! LOVED that tip from Hemingway. Putting it to use!!

Nicole, you're so right. Schedules are a good idea. Think I might try that myself! (Tomorrow. Sunday is still Pre-Re-Entry Day, lol) And 10-4 re: Georgia writers. Let's do it!!

Hi, Elliot! It's definitely a struggle, I agree. Thanks re: pics (though I snurched 'em from a Cambodia site).

Alex J. Cavanaugh | August 8, 2010 at 11:26 AM

Sorry, those teenage boys won't morph from aliens into humans until sometime in their 20's. At that point, they will resume communication, too.

Alesa Warcan | August 9, 2010 at 9:03 AM

Aloha! Wow, you've been busy! : j

In all of that whirlwind, did you get the email I sent you a while back? The one so loaded with pop culture references that it was more popcul with underpinnings of an email. ; j

Aliens? Huh! Right up our alley! Soakem in fast-food after midnight! No.. That was for mogwais. Wax them? No, that's scarface meets Mr. Miyagi.
Joking set aside, if you find yourself in Cambodia, then yes you must definitely eat something! They have all kinds of delicious things to delight the palate of a curious gourmand. ; j

Kittens and cats aren't aliens by the way, they are evil hells'paw'n fiends, I know mine is. Sometimes she curls up in my arm pit and purrs and looks me in the eyes and thinks, if i could be bothered to, and I were bigger, I'd disembowel you and eat you, you pitiful food dispensing creature. But I'm feeling merciful so you may serve me as a bed for the time being.

I wonder if somebody has asked Morgan Freeman to record himself saying: "Hello folks, I'd like to tell you all that the end of time has come and that we shall all die in precisely 47hours and 57 minute. But don't worry, it'll all be just fine."

At any rate, welcome back to your life. : j

Zoe C. Courtman | August 9, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Thanks, Alex! Sigh. Guess I need to just settle in and buy a Teenage Boy - Mom Translation Dictionary. :/ Cuz sometimes they for DAMN sure don't make any sense :D

Hi, Alesa! Not sure if I got that email - gonna go back and check. Have you seen Bill Hader doing the mogwai song on SNL?? SO freakin funny. (And I thought only MY cat looked up at me with that mixture of adoration and primal, gut-slashing disgust, lol). Thanks for the big welcome back - STILL adjusting. Ugh.

Alesa Warcan | August 9, 2010 at 10:09 AM

It's really hard to get SNL stuff in France... So I only hear about a tiny trickle of what goes on there.

So as a result, I don't know what you're talking about. : p I didn't even know who Bill Hader was until I looked him up. Oh well.

Cthulhu could tap-dance while juggling cruise ships through the holes in my pop culture. ;j

Tamara Narayan | August 9, 2010 at 11:32 AM

My cats would like to kill each other, but that's what I get for adopting two unrelated females. My darling daughters must be from the planet make-mommy-crazy as they pummel each other over who gets to walk up the stairs first or have the pink cup. I keep asking them for my sanity back, but so far it's no soap. I'd like to kill my manuscript or give it a decent burial, but the little voice in the back of my mind says, "Keep going" while another voice says, "The next one could be so much better." And the fight goes on . . .

rebecca | August 9, 2010 at 3:56 PM

Just found you by way of another. So glad I did. Hard to find interesting blogs. As a writer whose current WIP is a sci-fi thriller (kinda oxymoronic no, are there any other?), you are a kindred spirit. Ima follow....

btw, anyone ever tell you you look a little like Nenah Cherry? Remember her from the 80s? Buffalo Stance?

Zoe C. Courtman | August 9, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Hey, Tamara! Sigh. The things kids'll argue over, right?? :D DEFINITELY KEEP FIGHTING!!! It's all about the craft. Thanks for popping in :)

Welcome, Rebecca :D Thanks for checking out the blog. Moseying over to yours now. (And THANKS for song-bombing my ass. Now I have "Buffalo Stance" all UP in my head. *grin*)

Raquel Byrnes | August 9, 2010 at 6:08 PM

Oh to be like Stephen King, where my only daily concern is to pound out ten pages and eat lunch.

Everyday ife always finds a way to elbow itself to the front of the line of my attention. Bleh!

AKAmamma | August 10, 2010 at 4:53 AM

I know the feeling. When I'm on top of life, family and work, I know that it's short-lived. Something will surface to sow chaos in every aspect of our lives.

Sangu | August 10, 2010 at 9:04 AM

I love Cambodia. Ah, that photo brought back all the happiness.

I know what you mean. Some days I get so into writing whatever I'm working on, then I stop for a bit, go back and... huh. I feel completely disconnected from it, and it feels so unfamiliar.

Fortunately, that doesn't happen often, but it's a pain in the patootie when it does.

Vicki Rocho | August 12, 2010 at 12:00 AM

I say take some time off.

Eat some chocolate.

Have a drink (or two!)

Get acclimated before moving forward again.

Alesa Warcan | August 17, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Heya Zoe, I was lurking in the dark corners of my blog and I found this strange thing with your name on it... Do you have any idea what this is about?

The Alliterative Allomorph | August 18, 2010 at 7:58 AM

Hi! Long time no chatter! :o) Hope you're feeling a little less alien-like today!

Are you a writer? Then you MUST enter this CONTEST!

Palindrome | August 19, 2010 at 8:39 AM

How's this for a fantasticly late entrance! I'm just as bad as you trying to balance blogging and writing and working and you know, living. It'll all fall in place eventually, at least that's what I keep telling myself.

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