Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year

Nothing that happens today is real. Does that mean that all the homework I'm doing will disintegrate at midnight? Or does it mean that if I don't do it, nothing bad will happen? And if a person gets divorced or married today, does that also make it not real? There's no question about births--it just means those people age slower because they only have a birthday every four years. But what if someone dies on February 29th? Do they come back to life the next day? Or do we just forget that they died, like it never happened?

I am, of course, being silly, because I needed something to distract me. Huzzah, it's February 29th! Do something brash and exciting, like rob a bank or jump off a roof and pretend to fly! It's not a real day so nothing real happens. Yep.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The root of it

Retrospectively, this year has not been a good one for writing. I have written but one poem and half-a-handful of journals (in a real journal, with a real pen). I purchased a tiny notebook in order to force myself to write down the poetry that inevitably comes to me at the most inconvenient times, in hopes that I might return to the way I was in high school. I have a thousand notebooks. I used to have a thousand tiny notebooks, and would fill them with poetry and prose until, brimming with my adolescent spirit, they would fall apart and the wire spiral would be squashed in an accident. The notebook would be dropped into a drawer of other old notebooks which I painstakingly looked at a few months before marriage, after which they were packed away indefinitely.

In other ways, in regards to literature, and finding my "muses", this year has been a good one. I have squandered hours of sleeping time reading instead, pouring over the pages of books that I would prefer to leave alone. Russian literature, Daniel Defoe, whatever the assignment is, they are just not interesting to me right now. I have spent the last eight years of my life reading beautiful books with worn pages and written on classics and epic poems and now... now I have somehow fallen out of love with the whole concept of reading something "because it's worth it" or because I "should" because I'm an English major, or because it's "good for me." I have no inclination to let myself be pretentious and give insincere critiques of a critique of some novel that was written about 150 years ago. This is the first semester since my freshman year that I am not taking any education-related classes--all I do is read!--and I don't even want to read what I'm supposed to.

Rather than continuously make myself bored by feigning interest, I feign interest on the surface, in the classroom, in conversation with other English-y people, and when I am at home with my husband we read other things.

In the last two weeks we read The Giver by Lois Lowry, and Fighting Ruben Wolfe by Markus Zusak. The last few books we read together were things that Joey pretty much picked out, and he read them to me almost in their entirety. So I decided to take charge and do something different. Joey had never read The Giver, but I had. Four times. It was nothing like the first time I read it, or any of the others, because I had this other person listening in and feeling everything beside me--and of course, I had forgotten a few things. And the book is full of those shocking moments, sometimes I wanted to just skip over them because they are actually quite horrible.

Reading the Zusak book was another adventure. It's already established that he is my favorite author. Joey and I read his best novel (The Book Thief) over Christmas break, which he, of course, read to me. I tried to get him to read Fighting Ruben Wolfe right after and for some reason it didn't interest him. Reading it to him was the best option. What guy wouldn't want to hear his wife read a story about two brothers beating each other up?

Now we're moving on to A Wrinkle in Time. It's been about ten years since I last read it. I remember only feelings and impressions, and scattered details. I had forgotten how long the chapters are. We only got through the first one before I got tired.

It's been a nostalgic trip through these books, I can at least say that in all honesty. In a time when I have all these feelings about rushing into the future and starting new things, the words that keep me going are not translated from Russian or turned into films. They are words that held me aloft in other times of change and transition. I reveled in them once, I appreciate them now, and someday I will probably need them again.

Perhaps we'll read The Chosen next...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

On words and writing.

I have heard once in a quote somewhere, its origin I cannot I remember, that real writers are scared to death of being a writer, and that it's the fake writers who are wildly self-confident and sure of themselves. However, I believe there is a bit of both in the former and the latter.

I have my moments of wild self-confidence. I was once applauded in a creative writing seminar, and I thought to myself, "Alright. I'll only write stories with endings that are almost cliffhangers, and almost totally miserable, and a little open-ended. That's the key to my success."

And then, as mentioned previously, I've hit a dry spell in the last few months, as far as writing goes, and this semester is at fault. I have a lot of reading to do, and no classes on teaching. So the part of me that loves teaching is asleep. And the part of me that loves literature is being bashed over the head with books that I definitely do not want to read (80% of the time.)

But I have come to a conclusion about myself. I know that someday, in some distant world where I don't have homework and I'm on a summer break from my glamorous teaching job, I will publish a book. I don't know if it will be poetry, or a compilation of short stories, or if someone will actually take interest in my 7-novel series and get me a contract. But someday, it will happen--but not because I think I have the most important thing to say.

My hope is not that everyone will think I am an important person with perfect things to say. My hope is that someone will find my words to have an important meaning, and that by those words, they find something important and meaningful in themselves, or in their lives, or in some decision about to be made. What I have to say won't mean anything to a lot of people, but I hope it means something to someone. It will at least mean something to me, to have been published, to have fulfilled a lifelong (albeit so far a short life) dream.

I know it will be a long time from now. I know that I will set aside that dream to be a good wife, and to have babies and be a good mother, but I have held onto this dream for over ten years now. It's not going away.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Where have I been?

Things that are bothering me today:

1. I can't pull those friggen plastic Command strips off the wall without break them, which is even more of a hassle if a little plastic hook is attached. So, just picture me with a pair of scissors reaching up with an injured shoulder to PRY some crap off the wall. Just to re-hang a shadowbox which I also had to fix today.

2. Lighting candles next to the coffee pot while coffee is being made = the sound of something catching on fire. Seriously, I came and checked on it three times because I thought something was ablaze.

3. My shoulder. It hurts. Really bad. For no reason.

4. I haven't written a poem in an extremely long time. You know when I find myself inspired to write? During class. But I am attempting to be extra studious, so I don't write during class anymore, and if I have to doodle (which I almost always do) I have a separate sheet of paper for such purposes. However, even out of class, I don't really have time to sit down and mull over how I'm feeling and write it out. I miss it. So much. Blogging is definitely not a replacement. I'm probably going to be done writing this in about 6 minutes total. It might be an emotional release but, if you know me at all, this is nothing compared to poetry.

5. One of our fish died last week and now Ruru, the male, is depressed and boring.


Things that I realized today that don't bother me:

1. I have a WordPress account. I'm supposed to be writing in part of a blog for a class, so I went to join WordPress and typed in my usual account name, and it said, "This name is already taken." So of course then I had to check, and behold, it was I who had already taken my name.

2. Since I added my maiden name to my middle name, my full name looks sort of bad-ass, if you use initials. Katherine M.F. Voss. Yeah. I'll let you guess what the initials remind me of.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Before you say anything else

Let me clarify something. Because I've never said in an outright way on this blog: I am a Christian. I believe that the Bible is the 100% divine truth. I believe that Jesus came to the earth, died for our sins, and came back to life. I believe He's coming back someday.

I also believe that in order to fully be devoted to God, and to make my belief in the Bible real and not just "convenient", I have to let my Biblical beliefs cover my whole life. My faith is not something I carry around in my pocket and take it out when it will make me look good, like chapstick that you use when your lips are dry. My faith transcends my whole life. Now, before you start yammering about hypocrisy, this does not mean I am perfect, believe I am perfect, or that I am "better" than anyone else.

I'm a sinner. I do crappy, stupid, selfish things. I make lots of mistakes. Mistakes that I should feel bad about right away, but sometimes I take a while. But this doesn't mean I'm okay. And this doesn't mean I think it's okay for other people. Stealing, lying, sleeping around, and being a flat-out jerk is wrong, no matter who you are, no matter the context. Just because I'm a jerk or whatever else you want to call me, does NOT mean that I can tell my other jerky friends, "Don't worry about it! I'm a jerk too!" If the Bible says it's wrong for me, it's wrong for you too.

And that's where I stand. On pretty much everything. I'm not going to rant about politics in this blog, because that's not how I roll. If you REALLY want to have a conversation with me about it--and I mean a conversation, not a confrontation-- you can call me or come visit me or do it in person. I am not going to be swayed by some articles you found on an internet news site, or a book. My belief is solid, and I don't care what philosophers or politicians or psychologists have to say about what I believe. I talk bout what I believe in my own spaces, on my own Facebook, on my own blog, and I don't go confronting people on his or her personal pages just because we disagree about something. I would appreciate it if you would all do the same. Like I said, if you really want to have a conversation, it's not going to be on the internet. At all.

The end. I'm going to try and sleep now.