Wednesday, April 29, 2009

No, It's Not Swine Flu

Today I am sick as a dog. I guess when people picture animals afflicted with illness, dogs evoke the most pathos and revulsion. Think of a sick deer: you've probably never seen one, but you can imagine its neck droops, its feet stumble, it stands unsteadily. That's about it. But with a dog, you've got a full range of facial expressions and non-verbal communication. Yes, the two things animals can do to ensure their protection and cultivation by humans is to master a range of non-verbal communication or be tasty.

The cats are curled up on the bed with me. Toki is a black pool of licorice at my feet, while Bella is spooled up on my right. Occasionally her head shoots up and she glanced with concern at some noise (real or imagined) that has occurred either in the house or outside of it. Toki is not prone to sudden gestures or alarmism, though he did snap out of his slumber to lick off his left shoulder with some urgency. Once the three licks got it clean, he went back to sleep. What the hell.

I called my supervisor and e-mailed her with my Gmail account, so she can send me any pressing jobs to be edited. If I'm asleep she can call my cell and I can attack the document with suitable concern and attention. I think it's awesome that I have a job I can largely perform from home. I would rather go into the office because my coworkers are freakin' awesome and I enjoy my time there, but this is the next best thing. I've put on a kettle of hot water for tea and should think about making some kind of grain-based hot cereal for nourishment, or at least to fill my grumbling tummy, even if I have no appetite.

And while I'm not asleep, I will use this time to get some serious writing done. Short stories, and working on the chapters of my novel. I only have one more class session left for Writers As Readers, which means my Advanced Creative Writing class is also winding down. I've got some work to do for the latter. The issue has been raised, in the former class, of forming a writers group. I've had bad experiences with this in the past. One group was unwilling to challenge themselves and we did not actively critique each other's work. The next group had one good writer and a couple people who just wanted praise, and one guy who only based his work off of the good writer's work. It was irritating and it left a bad taste in my mouth, much like when a cute girl ends up in a crappy AD&D group and assumes for the rest of her life that the game itself is faulty so you can't talk to her about how cool it really is.

My instructor has suggested that some of us form a couple groups of no more than five people total and meet no more than once a month. There are definitely some people in this class I would love to connect with, though I wonder how committed they would be to such a group and doubt whether they may be interested in working with me. I know that I write well, when I do write, but I have a hard time with motivating myself to write. I did pretty well last week, once, when I ritualized the writing experience so maybe that's what I need to rely on for the time being.

I just woke the cats up with a sneeze, but they've nestled down again. Time to make some tea.

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