Category Archives: Personal

March

March has always been my least favorite month of the year.

There are no holidays.

It’s long.

A few years ago, in college, it was the Month of Midterms.

It’s also a month of transformation from Winter to Spring, and that change has always made me anxious and restless. (I still don’t know why.)

But most of all, it’s because Bad Things have always happened in March. Me and March have a HISTORY. March is the Month of Bad Things.

This March, my dog died.

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So far, that’s the only Bad Thing that has happened in the Month of Bad Things, but it has brought me more pain than any other March has before.

I already wrote a post about the experience of losing her, sooooo on to other things…

Things I Am Upset About

  • Losing Trudy.
  • Trump.
  • J.K. Rowling’s “History of Magic in North America,” which is so problematic, it makes my face hurt.

Things I Am Happy About

  • Joe.
  • A finished first draft of my novel (which I finished in February, but the high still hasn’t worn off).
  • The books I am reading right now: Sabriel and The Fifth Season. Amaaaaazing fantasies.

Upcoming

  • April: celebrations of my two best friends’ birthdays and Joe’s birthday.
  • May: potential trip to Austin, TX
  • June: visit from my sister
  • July: trip to Portland to visit my brother

Trudy

Three nights ago, my mom texted to let me know that Trudy, my dog of 16 years, was leaving us. The next day, I took off work and drove out to my parents’ house to spend the whole day with her. The entire drive I listened to Laura Marling, because usually she makes me feel stronger. But not this time. I cried. I sobbed.

I let myself in to my parents’ house, and as I shut the door behind me, I heard the familiar jangle of the tags on Trudy’s collar. I expected to see her run around the corner, barking, like always. But she didn’t. Instead, she only sat up in her bed and whined at me as I came over. That was enough.

“Hi baby,” I said, and sank to the floor next to her bed. I cradled her small head in my hands and kissed her forehead, then both of her temples. I don’t know why, but I have always liked to kiss her temples.

I helped her lie back down. She was so much thinner than when I had last seen her.

She didn’t want to put her head down and go back to sleep. As I sobbed next to her, there on the floor, she kept looking at me, like “What’s wrong?” Dogs always know when something’s wrong.

After a while, I moved to the couch, as close as I could be to her. I watched Disney movies. I cried.

She just slept. So peaceful.

It was pouring rain on and off all day. I kept catching myself thinking about how if it were sunny, I could have taken Trudy on one last walk. But then I’d remember that she was too weak.

My parents came home from work and we ate Mexican food and watched TV.

Trudy got up at one point and walked all the way outside and back inside.

I am realizing now that that may have been the very last time she got up. But even if it wasn’t, I’m glad she got to be outside, even if for only a few minutes, on her last day. I’m glad she got to smell the world and poke her little nose through the doggy door one last time. To walk back into the living room to see her People waiting for her. One last time.

I said goodbye to her around 9pm. I didn’t want to leave. I had to leave. I patted her on the head. She didn’t lift it this time.

“Bye, baby. I love you. Be good.”

It’s what I always said to her when I left, back to LA.

“I love you. Be good.” Until I’d see her again.

This was the last time though.

I stopped at the hallway leading to the front door and looked back at her. Her eyes were closed.

That night, just a few hours after I left her, she died in her sleep. She went peacefully.

I don’t know if she was waiting for me to come home…waiting to say goodbye to me before she went away. Maybe it was only a coincidence, that she died the same night that I said my goodbye to her. It feels like more than that. But I don’t know.

All I know is that now my baby girl is gone from this world. I won’t ever get to see her tail wag again. I won’t get to hear her bark. I won’t get to feel her warm fur. I won’t get to kiss her temples.

Trudy was Home, in the same way my parents, my siblings, my best friends, and now Joe, are Home. And now I have lost her. I have lost a part of my life. My self.

I want my dog back.

I miss her. I miss my friend.

Last night I dreamt of her all night long. When I woke up, I felt like I had gotten no sleep at all. My heart was empty. I told Joe, “I had bad dreams.” But now, an hour later, I have decided that they were not bad dreams. They were dreams about her. I got to see her again.

Goodbye, my baby. Thank you for living your wonderful life with me. Thank you for comforting me when I cried, even up to your last moments. Thank you for making me laugh. Thank you for making me miss you; the pain only confirms how fucking lucky I was to have you for as long as I did.

I love you.

“I also buried a part of my life along with my dog.”
-Wilson Rawls, Where the Red Fern Grows

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A Half-Finished Book, and Other Proudities

I did it. I reached my first major milestone on my first ever novel: the halfway point. This is a huge accomplishment for me, and I feel very proud. I restarted this story several times, over a period of several months, before my frantic drafting truly began. And I mean HARD RESTARTS. Like, new outline, new characters, starting from scratch from page one. Again and again. Finally in September 2015, 4 months ago, I got an outline to stick. Then I got a first act to stick. I ended up writing 40,000 words in 4 months, hardly any of which were repurposed from past drafts. I have never in my life written so much in such a span of time!

The key, it turns out, was pure commitment, which turned into habit. With the help of my wonderful (read: stern) boyfriend, I committed to waking up an hour early every day so I could write before work. I am the opposite of a morning person. My typical work day used to begin with me waiting until the last possible second to get up (hitting snooze all the while), then rushing to get showered and dressed, doing makeup at stop lights in the car, and arriving at work 15-20 minutes late, sometimes forgetting my coffee. Well, I still arrive 15-20 minutes late, but the several hundred written words back home make it worth it! And not only do I write every morning before work, but also 2-3 evenings after work. Getting into this daily habit has been career-changing, if not life-changing (that remains to be seen). This was truly the turning point for this particular project, anyway. And I have the word count now to prove it!

(Side note: if you don’t track your daily and weekly word counts in excel, I don’t know how you live. Sometimes that number at the end of the day is the ONLY thing I am proud of.)

I’ve done other things this year that I am also pretty pleased with. Here are a few, for posterity’s sake:

-I placed in the 2nd round at the Austin Film Festival with my one-hour original pilot script, AGE OF AMERICA (available to read on my website). I went to the festival and met some really great people, and got to watch amazing panels. I even got to pitch my pilot to a woman who wrote on one of my favorite TV shows, “Battlestar Galactica” (her name is Anne Cofell Saunders, if you’re curious). Nothing concrete has come of my trip to ATX, but even if all of it only ends up amounting to an extra shot of validation, it’s worth it. (I often do not feel like a “real” writer, despite having a fucking degree in it, winning a fucking award for it right out of school, and the fact that I write EVERY. FUCKING. DAY. So some extra validation is always welcome…)

-I read 26 amazing books in 2015, the most I have read in one year…maybe…ever. And all but 3 were written by women. GIRL POWER. YEAH, BITCH.

-I moved in with my boyfriend. It has been absolutely lovely, and not difficult at all (which I was afraid of because I fear any sort of change). We have a 2 bedroom apartment. Joe brought his 2 cats, which I get to pet and play with and cuddle, but do not have to feed or clean up after. It’s perfect! On weekends we drink coffee slowly and watch cartoons, then we read, cook, don’t shower until evening, and fall asleep watching movies. We don’t ever get dressed. #truelove

-I learned how to cook pasta and rice. Don’t laugh!

-I started yoga, kept it up for a good few months, then fell off the habit. But I was doing it! Even setting foot in a fitness class is really big for me (see: fear of change above).

-I saw Star Wars twice on opening day. This was an accident, but I feel like I need to mention it.

2016 is just around the corner, and I am very excited to see what is to come.

xxxooo

Sunday evening

The dog outside is barking again. But this time his master kicks him. Or hits him. I’m not sure. But the bark strangles in his throat and then he is silent.

A teenager skateboards down the hill and it sounds like the wind.

I read about Biafra and listen to Highlife on Youtube. Just one song.

I eat cookies from the diner where we had dinner last night.

He has been gone for only an hour. But.

It is so quiet now.

Her

You don’t know.

You don’t know,

Little girl,

What it is

To be a woman.

Take down your hair

and take up your head

and strengthen your eyes

and soften your stare.

Look at me

I once was you.

Once upon a time

I was alone like you.

I am you. Little girl,

I know what it is

To be.

Sometimes you feel like

Nothing will ever be like this

And it won’t.

It will be better

And it will be worse

And your heart will almost burst

With love and with pain.

I hope more love than pain.

I know more love than pain.

Because I am you,

Little girl.

I Write.

I write. Someday it would be nice to get paid for it. But I work a day job and write at night. It works for now.

Here are some things about me. I write television, novels, and poetry (sometimes). I have a few projects in progress. I’m 25 and I live in Los Angeles. My block has a lot of barking dogs. I rent a one bedroom apartment. I share it with a half-dead plant that Joe waters for me every time he comes over. Actually I don’t share the apartment with the plant. It lives outside. The plant situation is why Joe thinks I shouldn’t get a cat.