Hi. I moved. I mentioned I was moving, right? Only an hour south but that hour south has made all the difference. My backyard is a forest, and that forest has trails that lead to a beach or lead to more trees. It’s quiet. It’s so quiet, and it rains ever so slightly more. A hush exists. Strangers smile. My neighbor offered me an ice pack when I fell down my spiral stairs, when she heard my thuds and cry, and that was the strangest warmth. And, oh, driving home means taking the 101 north, and life is always something special when home entails the 101 north (hi, Humboldt). And from the 101, my exit is dark. I have to use my brights and squint and drive real slow as I weave through trees, it’s something like a maze that I learned within a day but it feels safe, protected, beautiful. And yes, I’m so dramatic, but when I enjoy the immediate commute to and from home, I know I’m lucky. This element reminds me of Colorado Springs, when I took the long way home through Garden of the Gods; when I lived in Chipita Park, curving up the mountain pass about Manitou every day. It was a balm. After the exhaustive six months in Renton, to have my home be a balm feels so strange and lovely.
But, oh my, February was weird. Is February ever not weird? A rapid attempt of settling, of organizing, of finding a new work rhythm–all cut off by a quick trip to Utah. And then, the last full week, last week, an utter slam: strep throat, hip woes, falling down my stairs, my Mini (finally) breaking down, and a stomach bug. Last week nearly did me in. But I saw my family this month, I fell more in love with where I live, I saw a concept for Nothing Left to Burn’s book cover (!!!!), and–on many days when it felt improbable–I got myself up from the floor. I want to better focus on the good. I have a home, a workspace, a forest, health and support. And while, yes, simultaneously I feel like I’m in the thick of something–life heavy in ways that are both private and hard to articulate–it’s okay. The future of my life in Olympia isn’t stable when I so desperately want it to be. I’m living month to month, living on hope and dumb luck. And that’s fine. It’s only temporary. And I’m here now.
I am lucky. So I’ll hope and push for that luck to continue.
What I’m working on in March: the next round of NLTB edits, a meaty freelance project (I hope!), two proposals and WIP drafting, lovely Indiana visitors, the onslaught of longer days that March always thrusts onto me (I take it personally), and the continued intention of taking care of myself before anything else.
I hope you find your way outside this month. I’ll be right here.
bio from 2011-2015
I am Heather. I was born and raised in Southern California, but can’t admit this without insisting I spent a chunk of my teens in Colorado Springs
I like to pretend I’m weird but I’m really just as normal as you. I also claim to be a lion, courageous and fierce, roaring like a mad fool with my tangled hair, when I’m all too often a pansy, shaking and whimpering in airports because I don’t want to go home, I want to go THERE, but where is there? Why there is anywhere but here! I like to travel and move and then travel some more. When I’m not traveling, you’ll most likely find me under my desk, biting my knuckles red. Not for earthquake protection, no, but rather to hide from the sun that too often fades my words. There is no greater tragedy than a faded word. The photo above is from Spring 2010. I’ve aged a bit, but clearly not much as I’m still sometimes IDed at the airport for being an unaccompanied minor. Yes, yes, Frontier Lady. Yes, I’m definitely fourteen. So kind of you to notice!
I love to scream in pursuit of the ideal word-filled day. Even if it’s just a sentence, just a thought, just a line scrawled onto my astronomy lecture table, I must write and write and write and write every day of my life and do you get the point yet, Dear Universe? I need more writing time. As a couch-restricted anemic teenager, I composed two novel-things and revised them both until they became bloody and sticky from my excessive tending. Those were the golden writing days. But in my current daily life I aim to balance the hyper writer child that lurks in my gut with the obsessive academic that dances in the place where my spleen would be if I still had a spleen.
When the rage inside my head becomes too loud, I sometimes come here. I whine. I post silly photos. I pretend to know what I’m talking about. I sometimes shut the site down for periods at a time because I feel too exposed and scared and you know how it goes. I also sometimes shout. You’ll know when I’m shouting because I’ll use caps lock and abuse profanities. I probably should be more private and professional. But I am what I am and I actually make an effort not to censor myself. I also, clearly, enjoy being dramatic in the Redwood Forest.
When blogging, I have a fetish for looooong sentences that would destroy my English professors’ red pens because they never ever end and I love them so because they make me want to go on a raging roller coaster that lacks proper brakes and I advise you to just go with it, to simply follow these sentences, these crazy improper, what is she even saying, where is she even going, COME BACK, COME BACK, sentences because if I can’t do this in English class then I sure as hell am going to do it on my personal blog that holds my name. So if I want to write a paragraph of a sentence, then damn it, I will. As a side note, I like to think my fiction makes a bit more sense than my blogging.