Friday, November 14, 2014

It's Been a Long Time -- Or, a Serious Blog Talk.

The time, my friend, has come 
To talk of other things --
Of shoes and ships and ceiling wax,
Of cabbages and kings --
And why the sea is boiling hot, 
And whether pigs have wings.
~Alice in Wonderland (1951) (Disney)

So, I know it has been months. You've stopped noticing. Stopped caring. Moved on with your life, as it were. I'm real sorry about that.

Right now, instead of bits of my own poetry or a book review or some fluffed out rant on romance or summaries, I want to have a Serious Blog Talk. Not the serious talk of I'm-About-to-Quit-Forever. It's the talk of the future and the past, of where I want things with this blog to go, and how I'll keep to a posting schedule.

Because I like this blog. I want to keep it. It keeps me sane, sometimes, to flick through my own sometimes childish or clumsy writings, and to write some more. And goodness knows, these blog posts are easier to read through than 50,000 word manuscripts, or my painful-to-look-at poetry.

My problem is posting it in the first place. I have a hard time getting up the urge to post. I shouldn't listen to "urges" or "the Muse" or anything else -- I know that. I should sit my butt in the chair and work. But this is a lot harder now, at college, where there is a ton of other work that needs to get done -- for example, the two papers I have due next week, or massive amount of textbook reading I haven't gotten to because I've been attending classes, working on shorter, more immediate homework like translating Greek sentences, or attending cool things like the Fall Festival, where we got free mason jars to decorate and popcorn and candy to eat, while sitting around having a normal conversation with friends.

The list goes on and on. And, to make things worse, my life has gotten sticky and sad. I don't want to do much of anything anymore. It was like that before -- before November, before college life, before high school, even. But it's gotten worse, because my sister died.

Chelsea, my older sister, was 22 years old. She got her Bachelor's degree in Biology this past May -- my mother, her, and me all graduated at the same time. We got to stand up at the podium, at the front of the sanctuary at our church, while a line of people came up to congratulate us. She had just started working toward her Master's this semester. She loved bugs, and free food, and drawing, and Dumpster-diving.

She died in a car accident November 2nd, 2014. A couple weeks ago, now. At times, it doesn't hit me -- I sit there and smile, and the thought begins to form -- Chelsea would love this -- and then I choke. What does random Greek sentences matter, in the face of that? What does posting on a blog matter, or reading a book, or attending class?

It's only been a couple weeks. It's as clear and bright and painful as the slowly-growing-colder air. Everything has to keep being arranged, when I want to go back in time -- to 2013, 2012, 2002. Some other time, before such a horrific event, before any of us knew this was coming. When we could have a measure of peace. When we were a whole family, complete -- because we can heal, now, after the event, but we will never be whole without our Chelsea.

But we have to deal with the future, no matter how much we want to go back in time. Life moves forward. My parents have to clean out her apartment. I have to continue my studies, make up the week I lost when I went home for the visitors and the funeral. I have to eat meals, and take showers, and pull out all these blasted sweaters and scarves and fingerless gloves. I got a work-study job, Monday afternoons -- I'll only be making around $22 to $27 a week, but it's money. I need to start thinking about Christmas, of what I'll get my family.

I have a mountain of laundry to do, and blog posts to write. I have a weekend to look forward to -- a trip on Sunday to Richmond, to see the Agecroft Manor or VMFA (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts). Later tonight, my friends are going to the movies, and they invited me.

All of this leads up to my main point, that this blog is going to look a lot different. I didn't want to bring my personal life into this, but it's a personal blog -- it's about books, which are as close to my heart as cats or my family. Well, maybe a bit less, as I've found myself more inclined to stare out windows and feel numb than reading books.

I don't think I can stand, right now, cheeriness and book reviews of lighthearted novels. I can't be enthusiastic about anything, not characters I love or fantastic worlds. I still love them -- I may still gush about them -- but I think that I need to take a step back, and talk more frankly about more. About my own writing. About the books I'm reading for class -- like English Women and War Literature. About the ways I'm keeping track of everything, from my personal reading to my class reading to my writing and personal time.

Poetry, I'll post -- most of it is spur-of-the-moment, stream-of-consciousness, which almost defines my writing. That's what this blog post is, after all. I'll probably still post book reviews, and things I find aggravating in books, like how ridiculous it is when authors try to cram a romance in their novel, for no other reason than to do it, and then don't even mention such a thing in the summary.

Right now, I have many things to do. I want to post, say, once a week. I'll try to do so. It's hard to do anything right now, but I want to try. So, I'll leave it here, and see what comes next week -- if I can keep to my word about this.

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