Saturday, February 8, 2014

Snow Day

Check out this snow, guys! This is from Thursday after work, and it's been snowing off and on since. Cars are covered in snow, people are skiing around town; it really is a... dare I say it, snowpocalypse?? Okay I fucking hate the term "snowpocalypse" because everyone uses it every time it snows anywhere, even in places where it's supposed to snow in the winter, but in Portland the whole city shuts down when it snows.

Unfortunately, for whatever hellish reason, I broke out in really bad hives right after I took this picture. So now I'm laid up at home, itchy and bright red and kinda miserable. I'm comforted by the fact that I probably wouldn't be out doing anything in this snow anyway, but I'd like the option. I wish there was some way to know what the fuck these hives are all about. Every doctor and allergist I go to says something different. Two doctors have been convinced it's a food allergy, one allergist says it's probably a viral infection, but the third doctor thinks it's definitely not. For now I'm not eating any berries, chocolate, or artificial food coloring, because I ate all three of those on Thursday and apparently they're common causes of hives, and the doctor told me not to. And I'm taking so many steroids I might Hulk out at any moment and run screaming about town, clothes torn asunder.

I think I could write a full novel just about how much I hate these hives and wish they would fuck off forever and die, but that would be entertaining for no one! I have been thinking about writing a lot though, since I joined the writing group. We're going to try to put together an anthology of short stories about "coming to Portland", with a sort of existential theme? I really want to write something for it, but I can't come up with anything that would make a good story. Writing about myself seems narcissistic (said the blogger), especially if it turns out to be an unbearably boring story. Plus my experiences seem so cliche and uninteresting. Oh, I broke up with my boyfriend and moved away, so exciting! I was unemployed for a bit and went on some dates later, wow! Portland is great and moving here made me happy! All of these are things that could, and have, happened to someone else. How do I write something engaging and meaningful that's true to who I am, but not affected and pretentious? And most of all, something that hasn't been done before?

I've always had such a hard time writing short stories. With novels you can let the words run a little bit wild. But with short stories, every sentence needs to work for its keep. And it's so easy to let plot or character take the center stage, letting the other fall into the background. Balance is hard. I was never good at writing short stories, but it's something I want to get better at. Maybe I just need to start writing with no plan in mind and see where that takes me. I don't know how else to begin at this point! What would you do?

Now I think it's time to drag myself out of the Pit of Sadness (my room), take a very lukewarm shower, and stop being such a giant sad sack.

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