November 1st, 2002

abstract butterfly

I turn into a leaf and change colors

After a very productive meeting yesterday, I did the drive from rural West Virginia to Columbus. Last night I ran out of energy in a place called Logan, Ohio. Logan is in the middle of something called the Hocking Hills. Somehow that name kept coming back to me as an amusing literal phrase, relating to rather disagreeable spit-related activity. The whole area interested me, though--I know nothing about south and central Ohio, and yet there seemed something to learn.

I read an article on the flight magazine about "chowhounds", folks who seek out odd little restaurants for curious "food experiences"--holes in the wall with exotic foods rather than gourmet places. I feel that way about travel. I always want to see the Arbuckle Mountains instead of the Rockies. I want to visit the Hocking Hills more than Beverly Hills. I want to drink in things that are odd, like the buckle your seat belt signs which remind me of Burma Shave signs in West Virginia, like rushing creeks with little whitecaps that appear and disappear, nameless and unknown. I feel sometimes like a little creek, bubbling away, surfacing, disappearing, dodging around cut rock; or maybe a Fall leaf, so ordinary, so one of a multitude, but capable of turning brilliant orange, and then being gone.

I arose early this morning and drove to Columbus. I broke all gender sterotypes by actually asking for directions to the airport once I got there. I rode on an extremely crowded but thankfully non-stop plane to Dallas and arrived at my office just after noon.

Somehow, at the end of the work day, I suddenly began work on my nanowrimo November novel. I am having fun already. Word count thus far: 5,337 words. If I keep going at this pace, I will finish by November 30, even allowing for sloth. I have thus far stuck to my intention, though--I am writing a plotted, long bad poem, a paean to things discovered, things lost, thing we learn from our mutual distance, things we never learn at all, all set to a cheap Cormanesque-without-the-violence-vamps-or-bugs sci fi theme. I have a story to tell, and 45,000 more words in which to tell it. If I can remain entirely unselfconscious about it, I will have a novella, and I will be pleased.
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    Call me Ishmael