music monday

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new colorfriends

it had been awhie so i made some new color friends. don't know what color friends are? get the 411 here. but in the meantime, enjoy!

lust barrette // necklace

embers necklace // barrette

mycology barrette // necklace

strut necklace // barrette

visit kateri's shop here and mine here!

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i ran

so, i started running again. this is kind of big news, at least for me. you see, i hate running. hate it.

i started running in college at the recommendation of a smart, older woman who thought it would be good for me mentally, that it would help me clear my head. i liked and respected her enough that i didn't just laugh at her.

i had been never been very sporty, you see. i dabbled a bit when i was younger - swimming, basketball, baseball, field hockey. nothing ever really stuck though. i was under the mistaken impression that you could not be good at sports, smart and cool. so i never really let myself get good and if i started to show signs of athletic ability, i quit. what can i tell you? i was an idiot. additionally, i was amongst the girls who almost always walked on running day in gym class OR ran it as quick as i could so i could sit in the locker room and read while ignoring the inevitable stomach and leg cramps. as far as i was concerned, sports sucked and running was the worst.

"shana, i think you would benefit from a good long run every now and then," she said. i said "ok" and dug my gym shoes out of the back of my dorm room closet.

i ran in the woods adjacent to my college and then in the park near my parents house. i ran in the hills surrounding our apartment in austin and then around a track when we moved back to chicago. i ran for about six years. i hated it but i did benefit from a good long run every now and then.

my brain never stops working and it excels at multi-tasking. i can be designing a necklace, planning the grocery list and writing a letter in my head all at once with what feels like the greatest of ease. but when i need to REALLY FOCUS on something, like say writing this blog post or choosing the proper homonym, my brain sometimes stalls. my thoughts will drift to my to do list or worse, to the nether regions of my brain where there are little boxes labelled "eighth grade misery" or "crippling self doubt." this has always been the case and running helped quiet my mind. it helped me focus, keep all the balls in the air and kept me from falling down a rabbit hole.

but it hurt. running hurts. sore knees and ankles and nighttime leg cramps when i forgot to stretch. so, i started to run less and less. i was running on a track, which i never loved. it was boring, painful and my brain seemed to be doing ok without it so i stopped.

lately though, i've been poking around in those dark corners on my mind. i've been trying to do more writing. i'm working my brain hard these days and well, its a little sore. plenty of sleep and reading help, as does yoga.

a few months ago while i was doing yoga, a serene little voice popped into my head "maybe you should start running again." i told that voice to fuck right the hell off and went about my day. i thought i was done with that nonsense but we live in a neighborhood that is overrun with runners. there is a big beautiful park nearby that people just love running in. there's no escaping them. i remembered that when i quit it was partially because running around a track is lame. i hated it far less when i was outside, in fresh air, surrounded by trees.

about a month ago, i saw pictures of people who had done color runs in chicago, san francisco and here in portland. i'm a little obsessed with holi so something about a color run was appealing.

a few weeks ago, i read marion winik's essay entitled "16,409 easy steps to late-life fitness." i totally recommend it because the next morning i laced up my running shoes.

i still hate it. it still hurts. probably more. the first time, i listened to the new tilly & the wall REALLY LOUD and took it slow. i wanted to die when it was over but it was done. the next day i decided to think about a problem i'd been having with some writing i'm doing. i felt like i'd written myself into a corner and needed to find a way out. when i walked into the house, i grabbed my notebook and made some notes before collapsing in a heap. i had solved my problem and created a new one. i'm running again and i need new shoes. 

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everyday i write the book

here's something that most everyone who knows me now does not know: i used to want to be a writer when i grew up. there was a period, post-forensic anthropology classes and pre-synagogue where that was all i ever thought about doing.

an even lesser known fact: i've already written a novel. its ok. it definitely needs a lot of work. i was actually working with an editor on it, about a million years ago, and decided it sucked and the work was too hard and i was done. yep. that's right. that crippling self doubt that occasionally consumes me consumed me and i squashed that dream of mine like a freakin' bug. not my shining moment. now you understand why you're just hearing about this now, right?

and another shana fact: i've been working half heartedly on a graphic novel for the last year and a half. half heartedly because i cannot draw and that seemed like a major road block. yeah, i could collaborate but dammit, there's that crippling self doubt. again. 

a few months ago, it occurred to me that maybe i should shift gears and write the story as a young adult novel. the hero of my story is a pretty kick ass girl, after all. i thought maybe i was onto something. 

determined to not let my brain get the best of me, i talked it out with some friends. most were incredibly enthusiastic. my friend syndy said, "don't you think you owe the world a young adult novel?" 

so, i made the decision. i was going to write a young adult novel. in january. 

why in january, you ask? well, because its october and we're coming up on the holiday season. i am going to be BUSY. so, january. that's what i told myself.

but my brain was already working; making the necessary adjustments to my already existing plot outline, thinking about how to handle my main characters parents since they weren't a big part of the graphic novel but will need to play a larger role now, developing characters in my head in slightly different ways than i had previously imagined them. this is what my brain is doing pretty much constantly. i wake up and make notes to myself. i talk to the dog about it. i talk to shawn about it.  i talk to myself about it while i run. THIS is why i started running again.

it is always on my mind and i don't think waiting for january is a good idea.

over the weekend, neil gaiman posted this National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) pep talk. I read it and felt really inspired. i suddenly realized what i need to do.

just write. no waiting until january. i need to strike while the iron is hot. i need to do NaNoWriMo. 

i asked shawn if he thought this was my craziest and/or worst idea ever? no, not even a little. would he intervene if i did this and went off the rails because of the (self imposed) pressure? of course he would. did he think i should do this? fuck YES.

i sent donovan an email. she is my main character's namesake and the character is loosely based on her. i think donovan sort of thought i was kidding all this time when i told her i was going to write a book as a result of a crazy conversation a bunch of us had over dinner and a great deal of wine. i wasn't then and now i'm really not. she used the word awesome in her response. awesome.

last night i told two more friends. i recieved high fives from both. 

so here i am, telling you all. crippling self doubt be damned. i've got this.

(except for the part where if the holiday prep and show schedule becomes untenable and i've gone feral or i'm constantly weeping. if i can't finish it in november because i'm losing my mind, its ok. i will have gotten a good start and will totally be able to pick up the ball and run with it once things chill. but that's only if i lose my mind. otherwise, i've totally got this.)

wish me luck and don't be surprised if you don't see me much around these parts before december. 

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