Monday, September 24, 2012

So, September...

I got home with knots in my shoulders, but a spring in my step. For the first time in the last four weeks, I finally have a spot of free time to relax and regroup. The perfect time to blog. My plans for this month's posts were going to be fantastic. Trust me. They would have blown your mind.

But September decided to have none of it.

From The Enchanted Cottage (1924). YES. My sentiments exactly.

The Fall semester is typically a whirlwind of surprises, deadlines, and extra events to color autumn and dawning winter with different flavors of stress.

The best way to express this past month is with bullet points:

  • Being up to my nostrils in manuscript revisions
  • Attending meetings about things like how to graduate by properly formatting thesis 
  • The usual school stuff (like teaching and taking classes)
  • Squirming over a ridiculously lovely burgundy coat - and NOT pressing the "purchase" button
  • Emotionally prepping for Disney's Food and Wine Festival 
  • Welcoming my best friend and her husband's new baby girl (even if it's only through email so far). 
  • Rolling around on the floor with my dog, Misty
  • Putting off watching Gravity Falls because, as amazing as that cartoon looks, I can't find whole episodes (or balance that and manuscript revisions).
  • Contemplating buying a blow-up, electronic Dalek and riding around in it at school. 
  • Adopting a Dalek mentality towards my revisions. EXTERMINATE THE ADVERBS! 

Through every speed bump this past month, I had to tell myself:

The truth is: of course I care. I always care. But just watching this gif made my stress more bearable - especially because I loved the film, In the Good Old Summertime. It's the first color film I saw with Buster in it. He's adorable and I almost cried when he appeared on screen ;_;

Dwah. Look at 'im.

Returning from my digression... this month hasn't been all business. I've eaten a lot of sushi (there's a new all-you-can-eat buffet in town), listened to Shelly Fraley's albums over and over, and geeked out over Richard Barthelmess in The Enchanted Cottage (1924).

OH. And I was just bored enough at a meeting today that I doodled this (and colored it when I came home):

Jimmy, Ashlyn, and Diamond! Yay!

I dragged my feet through this month. It's actually surreal to think that it's almost over. And I'm looking forward to October.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dime Stories: The Escapist Book Fair

"No chance of rain. Hurry."

There's a rumor in this city, as old as the sewer steam that rises from the vents. The librarians whisper about it during their lunch hours, spearing their walnut and roman salads with silver forks. Derek's heard them talk about the book fair that meets only once a year, a book fair that only invites the dreamers of the city.

Derek thinks that he's earned the right to attend the book fair this year - he's racked up some good karma. On the weekends, Derek shaves, dons his black trench coat, and tracks down abandoned books. He carries a net with him that he uses to catch books, as if they were strays.

"I find most of them in dumpsters," he tells his friends. They back away from him; his clothes smell like rotten eggs.

Sometimes Derek thinks the books are talking to him. They squeak and groan as he puts their spines back together.

On the morning of the book fair, they woke him up by falling off his desk.

"'No chance of rain. Hurry,'" Derek reads. He fingers the telegram that was slipped under his door. The address listed is downtown, not too far from his apartment, but Derek jerkily completes his morning rituals of shaving, eating, and dressing. His heart pounds as he races down the street.

The door fair is in an abandoned lot. The narrow space, caught between two apartment buildings, is stacked with books. Trolleys form makeshift rows, nothing is labeled, and all of the books have unmarked covers. Dereks barely breathes, scared that the entire book fair will fade away like the smoky remains of a snuffed candle.

There are other dreamers at the book fair. Derek sees an artist with a shaved head fingering through a book of photographs. A little girl clutches five books in her arms.

Derek doesn't notice that they all disappear, at some point, the echoes of their smiles imprinting the air.

A mustard yellow book grabs his attention. It hums in his hands. When Derek turns to the first page, he reads the first sentence in his head. It's a story about tropical winds, sandcastle palaces, sword fights.

Before he can even think about closing the book, he falls into the pages, slipping into the ink and merging with the words.