Monday, October 31, 2011

the eternal return

Two nights, after I'd gotten in bed for the second time, I got a surge of inspiration and got up again and wrote two sentences of a new piece of fiction. Granted, it wasn't a lot and perhaps wasn't even very good, but it was the most substantial writing I've done in perhaps a year. It was also enough to demolish all the plans I've spent the last six months erecting for myself.

It turns out not getting into Juilliard after getting SO close burned me out big time, along with simultaneously getting snotty treatment at a theater company in NYC that I not only was certain I'd have an "in" at when I decided to move, but whose work is actually downright mediocre if I'm being polite.

So I've spent the last six or seven months not WANTING to write--also frustrated with my job to an increasing degree, so planning on embarking on a seven-year journey to get a Ph.D. and teach college...and THEN write...maybe.

So that's it--I'm scraping myself up off the floor after this six-month excursion and applying to MFA programs this fall. And then I'm going to write and write and write and write.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

my year of quests: your princess is in another castle

These past few days as I prepare to move to New York (via my parents' house, until I get a job), I've found myself thinking about this guy named Troy I used to know.

I think it's fair to say I had a monster crush on him, the first crush I'd had, if memory serves, since breaking up with my boyfriend when I was 20, four years earlier. But by the time I met him, he was already dating his wife...just dating...his friends assured me it was nothing serious but women's intuition made me gawk at them and think they were insane.

To my best recollection, they were married pretty soon after I moved out here and had a baby fairly soon after that. And then, some nostalgic night a year or two later I googled him and found a blog he had started...chronicling his permanent move from Philadelphia, where he always thought he would die, to Austin, his wife's hometown. His last blog post was poignant, about how there was really no regret, no nostalgia, no time to reflect, just life. Then nothing.

And when I read it back in 2006, even though I had already left Philadelphia and a while back, and we were never close, I felt this sense of loss, like he had just disappeared.

So now, in pondering this enormous life change for myself, my mental rolodex pulled up his name again. Maybe because I'm making a huge change and he'd written about it so eloquently. Maybe because by the time I moved here, he'd already found something (someone) that I still haven't found these years later. Maybe because I don't want to disappear.

I googled him to see if there were any kind of updates. And there aren't. Save a note that he now has two children, a wife, and a bassett hound. When I knew him he had the wife (girlfriend) who had the bassett hound. I even met the bassett hound. He works in banking. His house is appraised at $540,000 (at age 32!).

I don't know why it all makes me so melancholy. I am reasonably sure he's very happy with the way things have unfolded for him. And after all, I barely ever knew him. And yes I had a crush on him, but I've probably had a hundred since then that don't hold much if any water in retrospect. It wasn't the crush part that means much.

Maybe he made such an impact on me because he was only slightly older than me and yet I KNEW I was already watching the denouement of his story even when none of his friends did, or even he did.

And my life is not going like that at all. And I don't want it to. I want to "level up" until I die.

And that's the predominant reason I'm moving. Better job opportunities, better playwriting opportunities, better guys (one can hope), older, better friends, a family I've gotten old enough to actually want to be close(ish) to, for a change. I am moving, in a way, to prevent myself from disappearing.

I've played my 9 rounds with LA (or 7 levels, to be true to my blog title) and I am still in the game, so it is time to level up.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

my e-mail to marie claire's editor-in-chief

This article made me so outraged to read this morning, not only for its hateful, ignorant "fattie"-bashing but for its plain old piss poor writing quality (as Jenelle Riley points's "heroin", not "heroine"...). Granted I never read Marie Claire magazine, but now I never will. So I guess you could say this article was BAD enough to get a non-reader, non-fat-person to try to get a total stranger fired. Anyway, for what it's worth, here is my letter to the editor. If you would also like to write to her, feel free to at

Dear Ms. Coles,

The fact that you have allowed Maura Kelly to admit to being hateful and offensive in a letter nearly as long as her poorly written and hate-filled article itself, without actually removing the article from the site or even the link from your homepage, says that you continue to endorse this article, the writer, and the prejudiced, uninformed views expressed therein.

It makes me think that the entire editorial team at Marie Claire must be vapid anorexics, and before you accuse me of being some bitter fat person, I'm a size 4, which you probably think is "chunky". Please fire Maura Kelly and her editor (although I can't believe an editor ever saw this article) and salvage some reputation for your magazine while you still have a small window of opportunity to be classy.


Christy B.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

my year of quests: life potions

This morning as I was frantically driving to kinko's to fax in the confirmation of the paperwork I filed a week ago to the Bureau of Clunk and Junk (LAUSD) for emergency processing, fraught with despair that I was going to lose this two-day assignment that stood to both save me financially this next month and set a foundation already for the following month, I was thinking--

"Life is not like a video game. There are no life potions and no heart potions and you can't die and you can't get fed up with it and quit and go do something else."

Then I got home, and called them to verify receipt of the fax. I waited on hold musak for about five (but what seemed like thirty) minutes as she went to check the fax.

When she got back on the phone, she had my fax in hand and said she was processing it as we spoke. She assured me I would be available in the system in ONE MINUTE. I called the school back and the woman there who is so nice and patient with me said she would only call me back if there was a problem, if not she'd see me tomorrow morning.

She hasn't called me back.

I just got a life potion, after all.