Happy New Year! I truly did not mean to be gone from blogging for such a long time but since nothing is worse than reading a blog about all the reasons a person HASN’T blogged I will just say I am happy to be back and that my time off was filled with vacation, good friends, family, food and much love. S. and I spent much of the holiday in Louisiana – New Orleans and Lafayette – and had an amazing time making various music and food pilgrimages around those two areas.
There is little I love more than a new year, and while I tried to restrain myself from creating too many resolutions for 2010 I fear my list is worse than ever, although it’s designed differently and really, is more about organization and goal-accomplishing than anything else. I won’t go into the whole creation with you right now but S. and I have declared 2010 The Year of the House, and the Year of Pittsburgh. We’ve officially been living in our home for a little over a year now and while we’ve managed various small tasks, like planting a small garden and replacing windows, we’ve yet to really set our minds to creating a home out of the mess the previous owners left us with. This is due partially to funds and partially to time…one thing we have learned is that every project in an old home takes a minimum of three times the time and three times the money as you first anticipate. And if I am to be fair in this post, I have to admit it is S. that has done the majority of the work thus far because for whatever reason I fear touching this house that I own, as though I could somehow make it worse, and that is not fair to S. or to myself. Previous years have taken us away for many, many weekends at a time, to visit family and friends, for concerts or long weekend trips alone, and while we both cherish all of the time with those we love we have decided to put a halt, as much as possible, to unnecessary travel and concentrate our time, energy and money on the house, for this year. Oh, there will be a visit to Chicgao to see the beloved J. and SA and some previous commitments we already made but there will be no more stretches like the one that occurred last winter where we were gone for twelve, yes, twelve, weeks in a row. If we have learned one thing from this old-house ownership thing, it is that it takes sustained attention, love and money and if it is going to look any different at the end of 2010, we need to apply a whole lot of each to the situation.
So, the Year of the House. The Year of the Burgh. A natural and pleasing by-product of our recent commitment to the house is spending more time in the city we love and don’t take as much advantage of as we should. As I discussed with S. over vacation, I spent much of 2009 feeling pretty lonely – he travels for work often and being a transplant in Pittsburgh is much more difficult without the ready-made community graduate school provided. Pittsburgh is a much harder community to break into than, say, Raleigh-Durham, because it isn’t very transient in nature and the family and neighborhood ties run long and deep. But if I am being honest with myself I am not putting the work in necessary to make a community – I have many friends and even some family here in the city and a thousand opportunities to instill roots here. So, year of the house, year of the burgh. Expect calls from me.
I haven’t written much since Thanksgiving – I have to admit finishing the first draft of my novel caused a bit of a crisis of faith for me. I waiver between absolute conviction that the book I wrote is pretty terrible and serves, as I discussed before, as the book I HAD to write in order to move my writing forward, the space I needed to occupy for a while, and then berating myself for thinking in that way because that sort of thought process is really just another way of quitting, and I am terrible about finishing processes I start. Ultimately I am fairly sure the novel will be revised and submitted over the course of the next several months if only to prove to myself I can complete the process but I think it’s going to look very different from it’s original incarnation. More on this later, surely.
One last thing…I am tweeting now under the everything in between alias…if you have been following me under my real name you know by now it’s all about work stuff and so if you want to follow me talking about things like books and tv and movies and Pittsburgh and writing and etcetera, my “handle” is inbetween77.
Wow, it feels good to be back…to write something, anything. Wishing you all a wonderful beginning to the new year – I’m looking forward to a very bloggy year!