Category: stupid stuff

Run, eden, Run

My sister, Emily, is putting on a 5k in Shelbyville this August and over the past week or so, I’ve been training for it.
That’s right. The eden who said she would never run—specifically, the eden who said that even if something awful was chasing her, she would rather be eaten alive than pick up the pace—is going to run (and probably keel over dead during) the Runaway Bride/Runaway Groom 5k.
“What on earth could drive someone as adamant as eden to go against principles she’s held for most of her life?” you might ask. “Charity? Personal betterment? An attempt at a healthier lifestyle? The desire to measure oneself? The need to achieve something?”
None of the above. I just don’t want to do any of the jobs Emily might find for me to do if I’m not running. And I imagine there are a lot of them—timer, register, water-hander-outer, the guy who writes down what everybody’s number is, etc., etc., etc.
“So, you would rather run 1-3.1 miles a day for the next two months than do a small menial job for half an hour? Say, holding a stopwatch or handing out t-shirts?”
Yes. In fact, I have a long history of doing more work to get out of doing less work.
Ask my high school biology teacher. Instead of gathering, pressing, and labeling the native leaves of Missouri over the allotted 3-month period, I found them all the night before they were due, pressed them between cookie sheets and baked them in my mom’s oven. Then I pretended to be sick that next morning so I had time to glue, label, and binder my leaf project, before suddenly feeling better, calling around, finding a way to school to turn it in that afternoon.
Better yet, ask any teacher who required my class to keep a journal and then turn it in at the end of a semester. You think it’d be easy for a writer to write half a page a week about anything he or she wanted. The thing is, though, you can find about ten different pens and pencils around your house and fabricate entries the night before they’re due. (Helpful Tip: To make it especially engaging for your reader, refer to a “previous” entry in a “later” one. Maybe you realized something about yourself as a person or learned to see things from a different point of view.) My favorite trick is to start an entry with a pen that’s almost dead, run out of ink, try scribbling at the top to get that darn pen to work, then get a different pen to finish. It gives your journal an earnest, true-to-life appearance that your reader can relate to.
I once made, printed, and “wore-in” a funeral program for my little brother, falsified airline e-ticket documents, and forged an excuse from my dad just so I didn’t have to do makeup work for skipping one too many (terminally boring) composition classes in college.
I just don’t want to do the up-front work required to make life easier. I can’t even imagine living in a world where I put my nose to the grindstone, make a sincere effort, and rise through the ranks until I hold some respectable position in a reliable 9-5 job.
This is probably a huge reason I’m a writer. Say I write a book over the course of a year (Halo took me eight months, but let’s round up). Then I spend a year revising it, getting feedback, overhauling, and re-revising. Then another year doing the various and sundry things it takes to publish a book. Three years.
If I had a consistent job that paid $7 an hour, with two weeks’ vacation (and not counting all the days I would undoubtedly call in sick because I’m a terrible employee) I’d have made $42,000 in three years’. Also, I’d have 3024 hours of free time (not counting the assumed 8 hours a night for sleep).
The payoff for those same three years as a writer is anywhere from $80 on the low end (this is assuming every one of your family and friends buys your self-published book and not counting the expenses of self-publishing) to $20,000 on the high end (assuming you sign with a major publisher who thinks you’re aces and wants to promote your debut book out the wazoo (Which, by the way, they never want.)). The best-case scenario figures out to a whopping $1.14 an hour. And in case you’re wondering, there’s no such thing as “free time” for writers, only “wasted time.” If you’re not making words into sentences, you might as well be hitting yourself in the head with a hammer.
But I’d still rather write because, in my mind, it seems like a keen way out of doing a real job. (And other reasons that even fewer would laugh at.)
What was my point? I guess that I realize I would rather take the hardest possible way out than do a small amount of work because any way out at all makes me feel like I beat the system.

Note to Self

Remember how, when Oak was first born, he screamed and screamed whenever you were trying to change his diaper?  I miss that.  Now he’s constantly trying to escape, and he’s pretty good at it.  Must be the 1/16th Hitler in him.

A List of Random Stuff

1.  Blogspot informed me today that there is a new template organizer or something that will make my blog totally awesome and easier to look at.  Naturally, this made me laugh.  I hate unnecessary change.  Even a small unnecessary change is enough to really upset me.  For example: Every few months, or sometimes weeks, Joshua decides our house/apartment/camper/tent (wherever we’re living at the time) needs to be rearranged.  Unless you’re someone who also really hates unnecessary change, you wouldn’t believe how mad I get.  I’ll sit and glare while Joshua moves everything around and I’ll point out why something shouldn’t go there or why I liked it here.  My view on arranging things is, if something needs to be moved, I’ll move it.  If it hasn’t been moved in a month, it’s probably fine where it is.  So, thanks Blogspot, but no thanks.

2.  Are you that bored that you read that entire last paragraph?

3.  I hate it when you read a name, then you hear that name said out loud and the pronunciation is nothing like what you made up in your head.  For example: Siobahn, which I learned to day is pronounced ‘sha-baun.  Lame.

4.  I’ve put a lot of thought into it and decided that any mom could be the kind of mom who goes out for milk and never comes back.  Deciding not to is what makes the difference.  There’s no doubt in my mind that if I left with the intent not to return, I wouldn’t.  But I’m too jealous to do that.  There’s no one I’d trust to raise my son right and I sure as heck am not going to let some other chick sleep with my husband.  I mean, I’m a writer.  What makes her so special?

5.  The scars from my surgery are going away, which is too bad because they looked like someone had shot and stabbed me.

6.  Condoms aren’t as effective as you’d think.

7.  I have so much work to do if I plan to finish this romance novel by August.  And just imagine how much I could’ve gotten done if I’d worked on it instead of this post.