Scenes from A Week (8.31.2014-9.4.2014)

Selfie-on-a-Sunday.jpgSunday

I wear lipstick all the time now. Almost all the time. I like how it dresses me up. It brightens up my day when I’m not feeling well. It’s not that I’m bluffing behind my lipstick. I’m just taking care of myself. So I took a selfie because self care includes selfies.

 

 

 

Lipstick-stained-coffee-cup.jpgMonday

Monday was a sad day. I took my daughter and myself to brunch. Never underestimate how food can comfort. And if you don’t believe me, you’ve never experienced how a cup of coffee starts time around you.

 

 

 

 

Houston-at-night.jpgWednesday

As I exited Minute Maid Park that evening, I looked around me, trying to remember where I parked. In front of me were concrete baseballs, a crane, and the Downtown Houston skyline. I quickly pulled out my phone and tried to take a picture before a car crossed in front of me.

2014-09-04-18.21.11.jpgThursday
 

I don’t cook everyday.  I don’t know if it has anything to do with how I was raised (my mom worked an 8 to 5 job and I remember clearly how tired and frustrated she would get on occasion because she didn’t feel like cooking), but I cook when I feel like it. Other times I freeze food and warm it up when dinnertime comes. This weekday evening, however, I had planned on making enchiladas (I’ve been on a Pinterest binge lately and I’ve pinned several crock pot recipes). I made the chicken the night before and left it in the pot while I went to the ballgame). The next day I used it to make enchiladas.

I enjoy cooking a lot, and so I try to cut myself some slack when I’ve had a rough day or when I’m too tired to put together a meal. I like making meals because I see it as an extension of love. I internalized the mantra “women don’t have to be homemakers to be of value,” so I cook not just because I feel I have to but because I want to. I see it as a way of taking care of the people around me. If I like you and you live close, I will probably cook for you. I take the time to chop, slice, research, bake, wash, with the idea that I want to provide you with something that will fill your tummy with happiness. Because I love you.

I need a new pan though.

An Episode from The Writerly Life: Update on the Postcard Book Project

Lately my mind has been somewhere else. Somewhere else important, but definitely somewhere else. Where was it supposed to be? Well, let me elaborate: I’ve been working (gotta pay my bills somehow!) but the free time that I wanted to use for the book has dissolved into dealing with life in general. Now that I have something of a clearer head, I know I need to get back to my book research.

So my book research has been stalled the past few weeks. I’ve bought postcards–and I even started organizing them, look!

postcards categorized

 

But the research has been stalled. This may not be a new occurrence, but I’m going to try to flesh out why I think this is happening:

  • I don’t have a clear focus to my topic. Right now I’m stuck on researching postcards. I have a few leads, but nothing that I can say would sustain me for a whole book.
  • I find things interesting but I don’t follow up on them. For example, I recently read several articles on postcards on the Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York City’s website. The website is a detailed but-not-overwhelming history of postcards. One thing that caught my eye were the real photo postcards, the first of which was sent out in 1899. I was interested in the technology that produced them and the subject matter of these postcards. In fact, now when I go look for postcards at antique shops I look to see if there are any picture postcards. But then, I didn’t keep on investigating.

2014-08-27 11.21.52

  • I don’t have a clear rhyme or reason when I buy them–not yet. A friend in Boston accompanied me when I shopped for postcards recently. When I picked one and exclaimed, “Yes, I’m taking this one home!” she immediately followed that with “so why are you picking this one?” And I think my brain stopped for a moment. It’s still hard for me to pinpoint what I’m looking for.
  • I’m still thinking large scale and I need to break it down. I am aware that I keep on thinking about the book and I should probably start thinking in terms of chapters. But somehow I can’t take the step down in the outline.
  • I don’t have a set schedule. When I’m not dealing with newsletter deadlines, I can usually find something urgent to take care of instead of delving into figuring out my book. Lately, the “urgent stuff” has been life stuff that, frankly, IS more urgent than figuring out my book.
  • I feel unsure about jumping into a topic before researching where I can step into the conversation. Grad school mindset, I know. The only way I can overcome that is doing more research, but right now every Google search is overwhelming.

Basically, I’m overwhelmed. I want to move forward but I can’t pick a direction. And I need to just start. I know that if I do a chapter, the project will move from there.

Scenes From an East Coast Trip

Sometimes there’s too much to say and I don’t know where to start or whether I even want to say it out loud. Because I want to write anyway, I am sharing some pictures from my flight to the East Coast a couple of weeks ago. My daughter and I went to Boston and New York with my husband, who was on the road with the baseball team.

I enjoy taking pictures, even if I don’t own a professional camera. I take so many and post only a few of them on social media. (I have an Instagram account for mostly postcard pictures.) I will let these pictures do the talking for now.

Dinner on Wednesday night

Dinner on Wednesday night (taken by my daughter)

Postcards from Boston

Postcards from Boston

Looking at Manhattan, sundown

Looking at Manhattan, sundown

The Chrysler building, early in the morning

The Chrysler building, early in the morning

42nd Street, east to west

42nd Street, east to west

Empire State Building

Empire State Building

Jay & Bey

Jay & Bey

Tram

Tram

Chrysler Building tells folks underground its history

Chrysler Building tells folks underground its history