Posted by: alegra22 | April 27, 2009


the-persistence-of-memory1Someone asked me what ‘feeling swervy’ meant. I replied, ‘Imagine sitting in the backseat of a car with a bad driver navigating a snaking road while you’re trying to read a 365 page tech manual, or say, Numbers from the Bible.” That is feeling swervy. And right now, I am not swamped in full swervedom, but I am getting close.

So this Monday blog is going to be random. Unedited. And this is only the beginning. Come tumble down the white rabbit hole of this hormonal wild ride with me.

I thought I didn’t get anything done this last week but in hindsight, I didn’t totally bottom out. I am exhausted during the day but then at night my mind starts racing. About midweek I was so tired that at 6 o’clock I was ready to curl into bed but by the time I was actually allowed into bed I couldn’t sleep. So I did what anyone would do…I sat up and read through the entire book of Deuteronomy. By the way, I can’t pronounce this to save my life. Doo-too-er-on-omee. Something like that. I was then challenged by my pastor buddy who has to be one of my top ten favorite versions of fantastic to translate this book into Twitter speak, that is I had to Twitter it in 140 characters or less. This was my attempt: Deuteronomy: To turn from true life is to trade the gentlest heart for the endless hunger of cannibalizing the self.

I then moved on to the book of Job the following night and repeated the Twitter translation process. The response to both translations? My pastor buddy told me that my mind reminded him of a Salvador Dali painting. What a compliment, right? I replied that on a bad day my mind is all Hieronymous Bosch. I googled Hieronymous Bosch for Dan, he looked at me with concern.

All of the Bible stuff has been a personal goal but also is relevant to the novel, so once again, I realize I probably got done more than I imagined. I have also begun to reread one of the books Joel gave me and learned a few things about structure and POV. Yesterday I got back into the writing and managed to churn out about 1600 words. Now all I need to do is keep at it and annotate all of my research books. I am going to attempt to get at least 5 of them done tonight before I go into Hamilton tomorrow.

Also, with the help of the most beloved Dubious Sleuth, I reworked a short story and sent it off to a competition. Adam (aka Dubious Sleuth) is not only my right-hand man in helping me in the area of one of my prime writing weaknesses = clearly isolating storyline, he also gave me a great boost this week in the area of self-confidence. I always get by with a little help from my friends.

So this week:

1) Chapter 1 complete
2) rough draft chapter 2
3) research books annotated
4) chop up my research notes and begin to organizing them into possible scenes
5) try to keep up with my exercise

How did your week go?
I am going to curl up in the corner and rock for awhile. Actually, that might make me more nauseated.



  1. Awww… I’m sending you a hug, Allegra. And some dramamine. I also had to google Hieronymos Bosch (should I be ashamed to admit that?). It looks like your mind is as busy as mine – although yours seems to be full of beautiful imagery, so that’s a plus! Don’t you wish we came with an off switch?

    • The only reason I know about Bosch is that my mom had this giant book of paintings when I was a child and it had some of Bosch’s work – it burned itself into my mind! And don’t worry, I am full believer in admitting things without shame ;o)…although, errr, I don’t know if that makes you feel any better to be drawing your lot with the likes of me.

      Yes! Yes! Yes! I do wish my brain came with an off switch! I was watching a snippet of the Amazing Race the other night and there are two blonde Southern Belles on it, I turned to Dan and said, “Sometimes I wish I was like that, sometimes I wish I giggled and said things like, “I just saw his butt!””

  2. I think you forgot something…ahem…from the list Alegra.

    My list?


    Go Down Under laughing in the face of Swine Sickness – wondering the whole time if I should really take a mask & anti-virals, or if Cecile’s just being neurotically paranoid again.



    • Ugh, I can’t handle contemplating viruses right now. I think the other one, the chicken flu broke out while I was pregnant too and it fah-reaked me out. I want to put my children in isolation.

      If it helps, you seem fairly uncompatible with swine, so that might put some points on your side ;o)

      Dan and I are in discussions right now about Sunday, I don’t know if it is going to happen because of his work, but here is keeping fingers crossed!!! It would be sad to miss you when you are all the way over on this side of the world.

      • Well it would be great if we could, but I certainly understand! I’m actually kinda hesitant now not knowing what I might come in contact with the Dallas & LA during our layovers, ya know?

        If it doesn’t work out, send your sister-in-law (She’s in Auckland right?) over to the SkyCity Hotel sometime in the next week or two. There will be something labeled Baby Clarke at the desk.

        Keep hammering away at it Alegra!


  3. My brother had a dog named Hieronymous and called him ‘Hermie’ for short. I also have a book by Ananda Coomsweramy (totally chopped up the last name…I think) and the cover is a painting by H.. Door In The Sky. I don’t know much about the artist myself though.

    And my favorite painting by Dali is Alegoria De Sol (again, the sp).

    My last week was crazy, cramming for a paper that needs more work but turned it in anyways. I could work on it more this week and try for a better grade if the first attempt is not so good. This paper however is kind of the borderline decision that gives me an A or B in the class.

    My week this week is reading up for a final for Thurs night and maybe working on that stupid paper. However, this is the LAST week of this semester, I still have to decide what classes I am taking for summer. But the weekend will be great, no homework or studying and I have off from my other job.

    Oh yea, and as a student, you will relate, this whole ‘rate my professor’ web sites is kind of what is making my summer classes decision so hard. When I read posts that state DONT TAKE THIS CLASS!!! or other negative comments that are repeated on the same professor, I end up not wanting to take it.

    Anyways……..hope you are well and healthy. Remember to give yourself a break!!

    • You are definitely in full-school mode! Try not to let the website thing stress you out too much in choosing professors, sometimes getting challenging professors can be a good thing – and, for example, I have found that professors that other people have complained about, I have adored. The main thing you probably want is a professor who isn’t afraid to have thinking students. What I mean is, some professors don’t actually want you to challenge or come up with your own ideas (which seems contrary to me and bizarre) they just want to give you their version of things and have you align with it. Of course, it always helps to have a professor who is gifted in presenting material as well.

      But regardless, how amazing is it that you are in school fulfilling your dream???

  4. hrm, I’m feeling ya’ on the swervy-ness (a little song breaks out in my head – “Slow down, ya’ swerve too fast, you’ve got to make the swerving last, just kicking back and feeling swervy… swervy swervy swervy swerve….”).

    Didn’t get a heck of a lot done due to young-me’s visiting, and older-me’s not focusing.

    Goals for this week are pretty simple – finish JG Ballard’s “Atrocity Exhibition” – a strange book, but very interesting. Reads very much like an early hypertext. So working through that, need to start writing more. Got about 500 out yesterday, but I need to be churning out more, to at least get my mind working on expanding ideas and squeezing the bloody oranges for every last drop.

    Oh! I think I’m doing a guest lecture next semester on a book by Sherman Alexie – “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.” Ever heard of it? Sounds like it could be a lot of fun.

    Anyways, hope you’re voyage to the Tron goes smoothly. Sending extra-padded-for-safe-traveling-hugsies.

    PS: interesting that your pastor buddy also made a link between you and Dali…

    • Okay, now I have that song in my head, plus I also have a little Adam in my brain doing a cruisey dance number to it.

      I totally noted the double reference to Dali! And, I am pretty sure it happened in the same day. I had to show both artists to Dan, he got the Dali, shivered at the Bosch.

      I am glad to hear I am not the only one who has drifted behind, it makes it feel less personal to me and more just the reality of the way things go. Hurrah on the guest lecture! I have heard of the book but have not read it. I love the title if that is anything to go on.

      Okay, I am stuffing a lemon poppyseed muffin in my mouth to hold off the swervedom but I better get back to work before the dam breaks.

      Much love to you

  5. A few too many Patrons and you feel swerved..:)

    Can you pronounce Job?

    • joob. Joking.
      Ugh, don’t mention alcohol.
      I am assuming that is what a Patron is, rather than a Saint

  6. Umm… can I buy your other book yet? I don’t mean to change the subject, but i really, really want to.

    I should read the bible too. Just because everyone seems to refer to it so much.

    Bless you, I didn’t to crap today… except for work and clean.

    • What other book? I WISH I had another book. The one I am working on is the one that has been a work in progress. Well, actually, it sprung up from the original novel that I took to NYC after I met with my agent in L.A. That other book, the NYC book, will sit on a shelf for a later release date should I be so blessed. What I am working on now, Razing Eden, is the one I am doing for my masters thesis and hopefully one that can be represented by my agent. Any prayers are welcome regarding this matter ;o)

      You can be sure that I will keep you updated!

  7. Yep…I’d go with Dali and Bosch for your mind…won’t go into the psychology behind those two artists though or Dan will be even more a shiver!

    Hehehe…so I’ll leave my art historian information forever locked away on this matter, and to avoid boring everyone half to death…or making people angry, etc.

    I seem to feel ‘swervy’ a lot, too, and I’m not even expecting a baby! But, I guess I am in a sort of extended gestation with my seemingly never-ending journey to obtain a college degree, and one hopes…resultant highly rewarding career. So maybe that’s why my brain frequently feels addled and overly overfilled.

    The Bible is an interesting read, for sure. Bosch certainly had his opinions about it all…reflected in his paintings…oops, I said I wasn’t going to go there!

    Purely from a scholarly POV, the Bible is an amazing piece of literature filled with anthropological and sociological issues as well as potential clues that may point to certain historical events…among many other things…and, its subject matter continues to be studied, debated, and discussed by some of the greatest intellectual minds on our planet.

    So…on to the mundane: Here’s my list for the week:

    1. Get better. Been sick and coughing like a freak for a week. Was sure the malevolent chest cold fairy made her way on the high winds we’ve been having from NZ to CA last week…I haven’t been listening to the news because I am so wildly busy all the time and my daughter told me to go to the doctor today to get checked for swine flu. She said, “Mom! It’s been all over the news! You can’t die just because you refuse to go to the doctor!” My retort was to snort piggishly at her and then cough spasmodically. So, I did call the doc and waiting for appointment. But, I’m sure it’s just a very nasty cold from the NZ evil chest cold fairy who blew here on an ill wind after she finished with my sis and others on her nefarious path.

    2. Be here next Monday for my check-in/update because I DO NOT HAVE SWINE FLU!!! ‘snort-snort’ – nudge-nudge-wink-wink…no really, it’s just a crappy, really bad cold.

    3. Try to keep up with my homework in spite of being so sick.

    4. Keep working on my term paper from last semester that my wonderful professor is so patiently waiting for! Talk about good teachers, I wish they were all like him!

    5. Keep going to work as much as my health will allow…if the doctor says I am clean and clear of course…

    6. And, quality time with the family – but with our surgical masks and gloves on! Hahahaha! JK – I know I shouldn’t joke about this…it’s just my way of dealing…

    7. If I can breath normally again sometime this week I’ll get back to my garden and put in my half hour a day…my own personal QT.

    8. Watch a few sunsets, smell the roses (through my runny nose), and remember to smile…a lot.

    Love and Peace

    • Yeah, let’s just keep it at ‘visually the paintings – not the artists – represent a certain landscape in Ms.Alegra’s Strange and Wonderous Mind’.

      I really, really want to write more but I am on a slow grinding curve right now. My brain is soup. All I want to do is rent a DVD of some yet undiscovered t.v. series…if only I could locate the second season of Weeds. All productivity would be gloriously lost.

  8. Talk about Swervish. I just accomplished a pretty big goal, so I thought it right to comment on your goals blog.

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