Friday, July 22, 2011

"Hey! They shorted us a shrimp egg roll!"

Note to whoever takes my job: the Chinatown Inn on Third Avenue owes you one of those. Make sure you collect next time you order in.

I know, I know. I said I'd be back on Thursday, and this is Friday. If I had a good excuse, I'd give it to you, but I don't, so I won't. Instead I shall ramble about random subjects, since my brain is busy going "Holy crap, I'm only going to be employed for five more days, what have I done..."

Poppy and Sesame are convinced that I have done something awful to Krystal (who is on a family vacation). They glare at me constantly when it gets to be 6:30 and 7 o'clock and 7:30 and she's still not home, what did you do to her, where is she... who knew cats were so good at giving the evil eye?

I coordinated my department's outing to the ballpark in May and all I got was a lousy sunburn... and, apparently, a pair of free tickets for a weekday game. I think I'll take a friend. Maybe I'll take a couple of friends.

Speaking of a couple of friends, party at my place, to celebrate my leaving my job! It's going to be one wild weekend, filled with... um... petting the cats, and building couch forts, and catching up on crazy stories, and WOW LIGHTNING (pardon the randomness but that was a HUGE bolt) and, of course, the Medieval Faire!

Faire breakdown for this summer: Pirate weekend is for friends. Celtic Celebration weekend is for sisters. And the entire family is going to Barbarians vs. Romans. Note to my dad: You have to pick a side for that one, you can't be both!

I will try to post again before the weekend is over, and this time I will try to have an actual topic to write about. But, until then...

Muffins. *huge grin*

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"A dishwasher, a window seat, and a yard. But mostly a dishwasher."

Do my three wishes label me as hopelessly pragmatic and out of the reach of the finer things in life? Or do they mean I'm a good honest realist, feet firmly on the ground to counterbalance my very active sense of fantasy?

Maybe they just mean I don't like doing the dishes. And like to curl up in a cozy spot with a book, and would adore being able to have a dog again. But mostly they mean I don't like doing the dishes.

Dishes and their ilk--all the chores involved in keeping a house, or even an apartment, in a state that doesn't cause my mother to perform emergency phone nagging (because she knows, she always knows)--were probably my biggest shock when I graduated from college and stepped out into "real life".

You mean there really isn't anyone who's going to pick up my mess? I have to do it... MYSELF? But... but... but I have a college education! I have a job! I don't have time to do this stuff!

Surprise, surprise... when I didn't have time to do "this stuff", "this stuff" didn't get done.

If you're like me, you probably grew up hearing the concept of "woman's work" despised and reviled in all directions. Down with housework! Down with the drudgery of the home! Women are fit for so much more than just a kitchen!

But through my first year on my own, I started to question this. Not the idea that women should be free to choose their own lives--besides having a personal stake in the question, I'd rather not be pilloried by screaming feminists--but the idea that a kitchen and a home are prisons that must be escaped at all costs.

Some of it probably goes back to my preoccupation with parents and families. The idea of home grows naturally out of those two, and with it the thought that it isn't such a bad thing to have one. Everyone needs a place to eat and sleep, along with a place to feel safe and happy. What is that but a home?

To add to that, the same factors which make a home and a kitchen confining also make them controllable. We live in a frightening world, where our actions have consequences beyond our comprehension. Isn't it comforting to know that you can make something better, even if it's just washing a bunch of dishes?

And now, unfortunately, it's time for me to put my money where my mouth is. Or rather, put my fingers... where my fingers were. (Is it just me, or did that make no sense and sound dirty at the same time?)

What I'm trying to say is, time to stop blogging about dishes and go do them. See everybody later this week, when there will be further random musings of Anne's mind and possibly an update on the writing!

Friday, July 15, 2011

"Come in here and show me how to terminate you..."

It sounds like the punchline to a bad office joke, doesn't it?

The long-suffering secretary finally snaps and tells her overbearing boss where to get off; he fires her on the spot; she starts packing up her desk while he stomps into his office to make it official; finally, after about five minutes of silence, he looks sheepishly out the door and says...

Only one problem with that. Well, three. The boss in question is female, she's never been anything but awesome to me, and the termination was my idea.

Two weeks from today, I leave the world of high finance, my bread and butter for the last twenty-fifth of a century, to embark upon a journey of self-discovery through the medium of the written word. For inspiration, I shall draw on the creative powers of my own tap into the human collective unconscious, along with one of the greatest phenomena in contemporary popular fiction.

In plain English: I just quit my job. I've been working at a bank for the last four years, and I've finally saved up enough money that I can afford to take some time off and focus on my writing. Due to both a wildly active imagination and a love of (among many others) the Harry Potter books, my forte is fantasy fiction, with a special focus on families.

If you're reading this on the day it's posted, you probably know that, because you've probably come here because I posted a link on my Facebook page or one of my fan fiction sites. If you're reading this at some future date, you may not know that. Or rather you didn't, but now you do.

What else will my hypothetical future readers need to know that they don't yet? Well, to start with, I'm Anne B. Walsh of Pittsburgh, PA, Anne with an E but never Annie. I am somewhere in my mid-to-late twenties, but prefer to act my shoe size. I have one roommate, named Krystal, and two cats named Poppy and Sesame have us.

(If you quibbled with the grammar of that last sentence, you have clearly never lived with cats. )

When I'm not writing, I love to read, sing, cook, eat, and drive the cats insane with the Laser Pointer of Doom. My three siblings, two parents, and one grandparent live about two hours away from here. And, when I was twelve years old, I found a list that changed my life.

Even at twelve, I knew words were going to be my future. So when I found a list called "Pointers for Young Adult Writers," I grabbed at it eagerly. Imagine my shock when the very first item on the list read as follows:

"1. Get rid of the parents. Be especially certain to kill off or otherwise remove the parent of the same gender as your hero or heroine. You want them to have lots of adventures, and you can't do that with parents hanging around and nagging about homework and bedtime."

Hanging around and nagging? Is that really all parents do? Well, take a good look at children's books, fairy tales, Disney movies, etc. How many of them feature parents who are either absent, ridiculous, or the enemy? It makes for good comedy, sure, but is it really the message we want to send?

From the day I read that list, I have made it my mission in life to prove that first item wrong. So here's to enjoyable and well-crafted fantasies with something for everyone, in which children grow up and have adventures not in spite of their parents but because of them and alongside them.

Maybe they're impossible, but I'm sure going to have fun trying to write them anyway!