Lately, I’ve had little to no time by myself. I’ve been babysitting, moving between houses, writing grants that are beyond my science knowledge, and living in the coffee shops trying to determine exactly where my favorite is. I’m pretty sure it’s the Caribou Coffee in Brier Creek and this little chalk board is probably why. Anytime I can force my opinions on others in a large space, with many chairs – I get excited, and get that bubbly-too-much-soda feeling in my stomach. Plus, it gave me the opportunity to really dive into those corner neurons of my brain and decide what my dreams exactly are. It’s easy to say, one day, I’d like to fly in a hot air balloon with someone I love and awkwardly kiss in front of the air balloon operator who has probably had much more awkward experiences than this one (I’m planning on using tongue).
But, what are dreams? Are they those slippery things we have in the night? Do they turn white, or are they always yellow – deep and sepia like after a storm? Can they even really come true, or is that just Cinderella’s lie to the whole world, hidden inside her hair bun?
I guess, it’s pretty obvious, I have dreams of writing a book. Not necessarily a best seller because I don’t particularly like those, but maybe a cult-classic or an indie-classic. I’d like all the mom and pop stores to want to get their greedy, inked hands on it. I’d like it to have an interesting Penguin-ink-like cover, nothing pink, no sparkly high-heels. I’d like it to be picked up by Harper Perennial and made into a movie (okay, maybe the movie is going a little over board. Speaking of movies, the trailer for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is UN-FUCKING-BELIEVABLE. Take it in below:
Probably because I needed a little inspiration for my new blog, and the chick beyond me is getting good news, exclaiming “that’s wonderful!” into the phone. So, I was feeling pretty down and needed a bit of a pick-me-up (very much like a forget-me-knot), but less flowery, and more jolty. (It’s fascinating jolty is a word). So, I’ve been searching the internet Burroughs for further inspiration (not that a Chalk board or Jonathan Safron Foer’s novels aren’t inspiration enough). But, I came upon the website for one word once again, which I love. (This one is called Big Picture Classes, but uses the one word philosophy). The idea is that in January you choose a word that you will come back to over and over throughout the year. I haven’t actually succeeded in remembering my word for the entire year, and this year I’m starting a little late since it’s almost October. But, it’s time I had a word. The co-founders word is light, which is perfect, but I’m into finding my own way.
So, my word is going to be: find. Four letters, 8 points in scrabble without a double or triple letter, nice southern vowel sound, not explicative.
Like Oskar, in Extremely Loud, I have things to find. (This list includes, but is not limited too: my winter sweaters, a full-time job, why the air bag light is on in my car, the right color autumn nail polish for my toes, a cheaper copy of Father David’s other two books, myself, etc, etc). With all of this pressure – it’s time to actually act on it. I’m on a finding mission, it’s eye-spy time.
That being said, I’ve found a little survey from the one word website that may help me find, at least a little bit more about myself – as well as for you to fill out in your free time to discover new things you may have forgotten about yourself, like that crumpled note from your mother that you washed in last nights jeans. (I have too many of those). Or that gas receipt that is throwing your online banking off. All of these things, I need to remember, and I need to remember to take some “me time.” Thus, this blog.
So here goes: (And please, steal this and do it on your blog so I can read about you and we can get to know each other, YAY FRIENDSHIP)
Top Ten About Cassie:
Ten “essentials” that I cannot write without:
1. Hair gel (bare with me): Without it, I look like an angry lion. Then, I go into this hair-picking fit where I find all the white ends on my scalp and pull them out (they’re already unattached and looking to mate so it doesn’t hurt, and it isn’t bad for my head). When I was little, the girl down the street used to pull her eyebrows out when she was stressed (basically when her mother went out of town) so, it’s nothing like that, is what I’m trying to say. I just cut my Barbie’s hair off when I got stressed. Pulling out my hair makes me incapable of writing anything worth reading, or just anything because both of my hands, all ten fingers, are busy smothered in curls.
2. Flashlight: I tend to get the Muse O’ Poetry late at night, or I wake up to her smothering me with a pillow (let’s see how many times I can use smother in these questions), or starring at me from the end of the bed with that dead zombie look, head cocked to the side … and then I write until she floats out of the room. Poetry muses don’t have legs, nor are they normally beautiful and Goddess like in my case. I’m no Odysseus.
3. Ink Pen: This one is sort of obvious. I prefer pens that don’t bleed through to the next page, but that also make my handwriting look good because I’ll focus on the hand writing if it ain’t pretty instead of on what my brain is telling my fingers to put into words. Someone should smother the page occasionnally so I can just write. Type, you say? No. That’s throwing in the towel on the ancient art of writing. People have written stories in the mud and dirt, and rock even, of caves and you want me to sell-out on a computer….ugh.
4. These notebooks from Target by Greenroom an Eco Friendly Writing Company. They make other styles (I also have the spiral notebooks with leaves, flower ones with lining). I prefer these by Greenroom because they have really faint lines so that I can remember: this is where I’m supposed to write unless I’m doodling, but I can also ignore and go screaming off into the blank space oblivion.
5. Inspiration. Don’t we all, sister?
6. A quiet space. I wasn’t one of those gifted with listening to music while writing. I need my head to only be concentrated on the fat, or sluggish words that are, or aren’t dripping out of my pen. Usually, they aren’t. They are skinny, black tortoises toying with my emotions. On a good day though, I like to write while it’s quiet, or raining, or the soft sound of “The Story” on NPR, if I’m writing poems while I’m driving. (In my head, not on paper, it’s okay mom). The Story always tells me something interesting that I want to use in my poems and I text it to myself for later. It’s like saving food on your face for a snack.
7. My watch. I try really hard not to look at my phone while I’m writing and if I desperately need to know how long I’ve been sitting there and the writing just isn’t coming that day and I’m bullshitting about some ex-boyfriend, petty bullshit, which I don’t like to write, but I quite enjoy reading. Sometimes, this happens on days when I’m thinking about my grandparents and I can feel the poem coming in the forms of goosebumps and night prayers, but I can’t get it out. So, I sit there, in the silence, with the blank page laughing – its lines becoming your grandmother’s wrinkles, and I look at my watch. Over, and over, and over again. It’s orange so it makes me quite happy until I realize it’s only been three minutes and I have at least twenty-seven more.
8. Non-chipped fingernails. If you’ve seen me in public. I always have a different color nail polish on. I also always pick away at my nails in boredom. This is a problem because I’ll find anything to distract me from writing. Toes and nails are one of my weaknesses, I’ll do the full pedicure before I even step back to the notebook just to get myself away and into a world of girly rubbing and chipping. As you can see, I’m gray today.
9. My Cat. He’s essential in all situations, but especially when he joins me in the writing process. I’ll have to “specially thank him” in my first book, along with the editors, and other people in business suits and tall buildings.
10. My mind, and imagination. I’m no Roald Dahl here. Writing doesn’t come at me like a spider monkey. It has to smother me in the bed at night. So, once I set myself on something – it usually doesn’t happen. It’s in that half-awake state or a state of shock, and awe, or just a state of boredom that my best poems come, so hopefully my mind will get me there, since it can’t make me an MIT Neuroscience Engineer, darn it all.
Nine words I love (for completely inappropriate or non-understandable reasons):
Befuddled, hair, sex, Carolina, bottle (because it’s fun to say in almost any accent), poetry, leaf, speak, electric, dead.
Eight Coping Strategies in No Particular Order:
1. Nap (yep, I sleep to cope). Welcome to my freshman year of college.
2. Mexican Food (Two cheese enchilada’s and a Taco).
3. Squeeze Jasper (rip him from the spot he is delicately sleeping and pet his eyes back into his head).
4. Watch Grease (or the second one. I’m an equal opportunity musical kinda’ girl).
5. Walk the neighborhood with my mom.
6. Call my best friends: Jess or Sars. Sars because she can come up with honest, disgusting nicknames always containing the word ginger, and Jess because she says the most ridiculous, whimsical things and we can share an order of fried pickle chips.
7. Huddle into an MTV bad television marathon.
8. Dance around my room to teen girl pop music (Katy Perry essentially).
Things I Love About my Everyday Life:
- Sunday: Father Bill, or Father David Homilies. Especially when Father David reads the whole congregation Billy Collins.
- Monday: The drive from Raleigh Review to Child, Family, Community class on Monday night. It’s busy, traffic is hectic, I can roll my windows down and ignore it all.
- Tuesday: Staff meeting ice-breakers. Last time we had to choose our Star Wars names.
- Wednesday: Getting juicy school stories from the teens.
- Thursday: Drinking Rob’s homemade cappachino, and eating Tyree’s Chef Special at the Raleigh Review.
- Friday: Picking my nephew up from school and on the ride home, him singing the newest song he’s learned, “Jump up, Jump Down” was the most recent.
- Saturday: Morning flea market, or being able to cheat my healthy eating plan.
Six Places I’d love to Visit Before I die:
- Machu Picchu
- Grand Canyon
- Dead Sea
- New Zealand
- Take my thyroid medicine. I will have babies one day (with or without the human male contact) and so I need to make sure I’m on point on my medicine.
- Tell my parents I love them. My parents are really affectionate, my mother almost hugs too much (as you can see from my blogs because she’s commented on every single one) and so “I love you’s” are passed around like hand sanitizer.
- Play Words with Friends with Sars, who is across many an ocean, but still beats me in Scrabble every time.
- Read. Even if I don’t feel like it. I read road signs, poetry, websites, news, twitter.
- Eat: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. My healthy eating plan requires it.
2. Geninne (I’m obsessed with birds)
Three Photos I love: (this is my new computer, so I have very few photos, but it was time to start fresh.
Two Decisions I’ve Never Regretted:
- Majoring in Creative writing (or anything I love for that matter) regardless of the economy, and jobs available to people like me.
- Wearing that blue disco dress to homecoming senior year and bejeweling my own clear heels.