dubious beginnings

Okay.

So my live journal has been sitting here like an empty storefront for months now while I pondered, do I really want to do this? Do I really want to have this online confessional? But then I thought, hey, why should my friends and family be the only ones to know how psychotic I am?

So I begin. Started the morning off with lots ‘o big plans (it’s amazing what a primer coat of coffee will do for a girl’s optimism.) To wit, here’s what I put on my to-do list for today:

* go to the gym. run 5 miles on treadmill followed by a half-hour of weights. emerge 5’ 8″ and leggy
* grocery shop for nothing but veggies and fruits, fruits and veggies
* work in my son’s lunchroom (sorry, no hairnet pics available) proving to be a beacon of unlimited patience, love, and calm conflict negotiation
* write at least 4 zip-bang chapters of the new book

Good, good, all good. Oh hold on…let me just take another bite of that Mallomar. Mmmmm, I’m back. Yeah, so here’s my day so far:

* Went to the gym. Took the first ten minutes to feel the blood moving in my legs again as there’s an Arctic blast blowing through Brooklyn. Felt like I should be told I was a beautiful Amazon goddess of love just for making it through the door. Scored a treadmill. Realized I had “the wrong CD” and that having “the wrong CD” meant I was going to have to run to music usually reserved for imagining that I am the lone survivor of an horrific accident at sea. Grumbled quietly. Someone switched the wall of muted TVs from CNN to “Regis and Kelly.” We’re talking six screens of this. Started moving. Began a game of supplying dialogue for their unheard banter:

Reege: Kelly, I’m thinking of storing vegetables in my colon.
Kelly: America, wouldn’t Reege make an adorable crisper drawer?
Reege: People, this colon could handle it.
Kelly: Makes me want to have another baby!
Reege: We can store it in my colon!

I don’t watch morning televison and felt oddly fascinated by the forced frivolity-coffee klatsch environment. I started to think that, honestly, they could put my OB/GYN on there to do celebrity pap smears, and as long as the tone was light and there were free gift bags for the audience, it would probably do okay in the ratings. After tripping on the hallucinatory experience of Mad Libs (no pun intended) Morning TV while trying to run to a Radiohead soundtrack (don’t try this at home, kids!), Russell Crowe made an appearance as a guest. Feeling less suicidal, I managed a decent 30 minutes before considering sit-ups and thinking, naaaahhhh….that’s what big shirts are for.

* Hit the grocery store. Bought fruits and veggies. Also, Cocoa Puffs cereal bars, Tostitos, half n half, and rice pudding. You know, just in case…

* Worked in the lunchroom! Made my son cry within the first five minutes. Had to find a tactful way to tell one of the little girls that I was glad she liked my velvet shirt but that didn’t mean she could feel me up. Also had to explain why we don’t wear ketchup-coated bread on our heads like food yarmulkes. Had the pleasure of removing the ketchup from said head with wet paper towels scored from the scowling lunch lady who I swear to you could scare a lifelong Teamster and who could probably work for Homeland Security considering the grilling she gave me about what I was going to use the paper towels for. Fantasized about telling all the kids that when they’re so loud, it wakes the monsters up and makes them come out at night–but first they put a sleeping potion on your mommy and daddy so that even if you scream and scream for help, they can’t hear you. Or at least, that’s what I’ve heard. Left the building to discover I had jelly smeared on my butt.

* Wrote nothing on the new book today. Zero. Zippo. Nada. Yesterday, I realized that I approach novel writing the way Francis Ford Coppola approaches filmmaking: I’ll shoot five hundred hours of film for one, two-hour movie. So I thought, hey, I’ll try to outline this thing (yeah, those who know me can quit laughing right now…) I’ve now outlined four different versions of chapters 1-9. I don’t think this is working.

All right. That’s it. I’ve gotta hit the coffee shop with my notebook and see if I can wrestle this puppy into some kind of shape.

26 thoughts on “dubious beginnings

  1. Oh, yes, spread the word

    Libba, the world *needs* to know how psychotic you are. We really do. You must keep posting. Seriously, you made me spit salad at my screen, I was laughing so hard. Must go for my own paper towels now.

    XOXOXOX
    TheMurrmaid

  2. I found your livejournal through the BookDivas message boards.

    I just wanted to say that I finished reading your book A Great and Terrible Beauty today. It was such a great book. I couldn’t stop reading it. I stayed up until 4 in the morning reading it, but then I decided I’d just finish it when I woke up. I even skipped out on going to the gym with my friends to finish.

    I can’t wait until the next books come out! 🙂 By the way, about what time do you think that you’ll be done with the second one?

  3. Wow!

    Hi! I feel like a big dork… but i got to your LJ through like, four other journals, but i had to let you know that i bought A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY last friday and i LOVE it… i have already read it three times (which is sad but i realllllly liked it).

    So…wow. Just had to let you know how great it was. Which technically means you are great. 🙂

    Thank you!
    Carmena

    PS- can i friend you??

  4. Yesterday, I realized that I approach novel writing the way Francis Ford Coppola approaches filmmaking: I’ll shoot five hundred hours of film for one, two-hour movie. So I thought, hey, I’ll try to outline this thing (yeah, those who know me can quit laughing right now…) I’ve now outlined four different versions of chapters 1-9. I don’t think this is working.

    I love you so much for posting this. I am scrapping my first chapter AGAIN.

  5. Thanks. Good to know I’ve contributed to your physical deterioration (staying up late, skipping the gym);-)

    Seriously, I’m glad you liked BEAUTY. As for when the next one will be finished…not soon enough, my friend, not soon enough.

  6. Re: Wow!

    You got to me through four other journals? Dude, I can’t even navigate my sock drawer. I’m impressed.

    Anyone who has read my book three times in one weekend can friend me all she likes. Welcome!

  7. You give me hope…to carry on. And fill my world. With. Song.
    It can’t be wrong, when it feels so right.
    And you, you light up my life.

    Okay, I’ve been writing scenes with carnivorous, supposedly dead people, and yet this is the scariest thing that has popped into my brain all week.

    Help me, Holly. Help me.

    P.S. Thanks for telling me I’m not alone in the writing carnage.

  8. Loves your book!

    o kay i just wrote this long long thing and somehow it got deleted i just said that your book should become a movie! like harry potter! it would seel out so fast i swear! you need to do this! email if you ever decide to do this! jnddarcey@yahoo.com My name is taylar you need to do this! if you decide to do this ask me to be Gemma! she seems like she is just like me! i can so realate to her the attitude i even highlighted a page that i thought sounded just like me and put it in my quote book! i say the same thing every day. hold on…okay, page 211-“It’s knowing that ill never have what she has-a beauty so powerful it brings things to you. I fear i will always have to chase things i want. Ill always have to wounder whetherim truley wanted or ive just been settled for.” love it! My best friend is so gorgeous everyone is in love with her! it makes me so mad! no really likes me but people say im pretty. im 14 and wiegh 120. i have brown hair and i look like the girl on the cover of the book. anyway i can understand if you dont wanna reply because you tihnk im a phsico or something but im really just a girl who wants to be a famous actor. help me out! thank you. and if you do decide to email me be sure to say, “for Taylar, Very important!!!” otherwise my parents might delete it! \
    Thanks! **Taylar

  9. ur book

    u sound like a fun person libba. neway i checked out ur book at the library and i LOVED it. i read it everyday 4 2 weeks. i stayed up til 6 o’clock in the morning reading it. i loved it so much!!!!!!!!! it was kinda funny tho cuz my mom saw it on the table and she thought it mite be 1 of those dirty romances cuz the title and then the pic of the girl wearing her corset. neway i xplained 2 my mom so she bought it 4 me. and now i’ve read it about another 17 times. not including the 1st 14. neway i can’t wait til the next 1 comes out!!!! it’s now my fav book.

  10. a great and terrible beauty

    I just wanted to say that i finished reading “a great and terrible beauty” i absolutely loved it. How in the world did you come up with a plot so exciting and suspenseful? Can you give a couple hints as to what might happen in the second book? : ) cant wait till it comes out.

  11. ‘ello there

    G’day to you! I know you have most likely heard this from so many people, but your book was brilliant! I read it in two days, and bumped into many people in the school hallways, and almost had it taken away, by my (of all people) English teacher, lol. A Great and Terrible Beauty is a most pleasant edition to my growing library, which I shall most likely force all of my friends to read, like I do with books that I especially like, and I rambling now, so I shall take my leave! ^_^

  12. Hello. I just finished the first novel in your triology “A Great and Terrible Beauty”. I know I’m a little late…I actually got it a few weeks ago randomly. I just found your livejournal on Great Beauty’s website, so I had to read it.

    I must say…you are a very…ah I don’t know how to say it. Just you are the first author, that I actually felt a connection with. You understand how you feel connections with the characters and usually you forget who the author is (until you want to read the next one, or a former of his/her novels). You, Libba Bray, give so much “voice”, that it just makes me feel I could publish.

    You may ask why, if you do. It’s because I’ve felt because I have such a strong “voice” (not as strong as yours mind you!) in my writings…I felt I couldn’t complete a novel, better yet write it well enough to grab some fans.

    You may not read this, you may not care what I just wrote. Either of those two, I do not believe will happen..and if it does. Well, I don’t think this was a pointless entry.

    A Reader from Maine
    ~Kasey

    P.S. I’m adding you to my friends list, if that’s ok…

  13. Sometimes I wish I could edit out comments….I just had to say I love your book, and that I hope it’s ok I’m adding you to my friends list. Had to clear that up or my conscience would have felt guilty.

  14. STOP stressing out about your 2cd book, yes i know, your staring at screen, eyebrow highly arched thinking ” yes, Il just do that because having some oblivious person off the internet tell me to do so, will surly remedemy all my troubles, right”*cue sarcastic hmmphh* but no, Im serious, Iv read your 1st book at least 5 times, Iv used quotes from it, nd reccommemded it too all my giddy school girl friendz who were simply smittin with the eminant//HOT kurtik (hey, if luvin a completly made up character iz rong, hunny i dont wana b rite….no,no ridilin is not nessicary, but pleez by all meanz come back 2morrow b4 skool)im sure that all my friendz didnt appreciate all ur humor quite like me, no, they did not laugh so disruptivly loud that their parents came rushing into the room mistaking their laughter for the clamor of a robber who some how was able to make it up to the socond floor nd completly avoided the open kitchen window downstairz, no, they did not spend a friday afternoon reading (i skipped 3hrz of prime party time for your book, if thats not a compliment i just dont know wut iz)And would you like to know why they did not grasp immportance of each of your metaphors, and simalies lik your baby sister grasps your hair and pulls hard enough until she has sum that she can now keep for herself? wel, to b quite frank so wood I!!(yes, u in this similie, ur the big sister, who grimaces in excruciatin pain, yet r willing to give up ur hair for our enjoyment..rather then sound brilliant im finding myself sound more an more pshycotic,great)..I noe its not bcuz i dont have a life, bcuz i do, evn thoo im not exactly making my case by leaving u a novel of a comment im almost certain u will read throo half way nd then decide im not worthy nd u will simply laugh at the sad little weirdo girl, no..im actually prettty popular (im rllly not tryin to sound conceited)I seem to b able to relate to all the stereotypical groups of my hIghskool..iv evn dated a senior, nd im a frosh.hmm, for sum reazon i feel az thoo i shood b sprawled out on a chase lounge while u sit in a xpensive chair…
    you: nd how doez that make u feeel? *tap the pen u stole from the hilton hotel against ur notebook where youv scribbled several conspicuous drawingz as to have me beleive yove been taking very scientificaly accurate diagnoses*
    me: well, i think it al started wen i wuz 2…
    Im srry for the way im dragging this out but im talkative, nd i suppose thats the cheerleaderz get a kick out of me at skool(AHA, iv found a way to link my self back to my priar subject…mrs pappas would b proud)the goths & punkz seem to like me becuz of a poem i wrote that wuz exxxtremmly cynical, and depressing nd deep nd wen i wuz done reciting it to them they looked az thoo Kurt Cobain had been brouhgt bak to life thro the human sacfifice of brittany spearz..jocks (sad to sey, but my fav. group of ppl, nd not 4 the reazons that mite seem obvious)nd i get along bcuz i liike to play sports nd watch them..i gess b cuz it remindz me of timez with my father..the qoute “nerdz” like me bcuz im acctually not stupid, im in honorz english (thnx 2 my advanced proficient score on the GEPA’z which was the 2cd highest of the two local skoolz…me? brag? never!)i have been able to maintain an 88 average in math nd 90 nd above in all the other classes who dont deserve mention because art iz not 1 of them…this bringin me to my next group…the drama club ppl (do they have a specific name…artistic outcasts???) like me bcuz im not half bad az an actress nd iv been drawing since i wuz two nd its 1 of my fav. thingz to do and not jus cuz im rllly good at it (seriously, im NOT tryin to brag) So dont the girlz in my skool appreciate ur wrinting GENIUS? b cuz they dont not take twenty minutes out of their midterm study time to write u a comment quite lik this 1 nd only thn wood they appreciate evry minute u had to take out of your time with your son, or w/e else u do to write evry page of the simply BRILLIANT BOOK!! nd thus the excessivly long nd completly unnessicary comment from me is done! (whom im sure u simply detest…..uugh, srry…il go regret leaving this in the dark corner of my room, excuse me

  15. Re: Loves your book!

    OMG I think we might be twins or something. I read your comment and it gave me chills. That part you quoted about the beauty…i did the same exact thing! I am also 14 and I weigh 118. I have brown curly hair and i also look similar to the girl on the cover. I am a dancer and I like acting also. mmk well just thought id let ya know!!
    *Shelby*

  16. Amazing

    Hey =] Just wanted to let you know A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels were amazing! I found Beauty one day while looking around in the library, and once I started reading I couldn’t put it down. I almost wish I had, though, because I read it on a Saturday and had to wait all through Sunday with nothing to read. Damn closed libraries. As soon as I got home from school on Monday I spent two hours “Mooommmm”-ing before she finally took me to the library. I can’t wait to read more from you! -Mel

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