Saturday, November 24, 2007

Will it ever stop? and Happy Thanksgiving!

I've been wanting to try to simplify my life, but I guess it's not in my nature. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed again at work--all of the Fall 08 novels have safely made it into copyediting, more or less on time, but because I put everything else on hold during pretty much the entire month of October, I'm once again playing catchup, missing emails, buried in reading. If you sent me an email in October or late September and never received a response, please email me again, as most likely the email was deleted by the system before I could respond. I tried to catch them before that happened, but no doubt a few fell through the cracks.

I know I've been tired and hectic at work when I'm unable to muster going out on a Friday night. Lately, I'll I've had energy for is to maybe have a few drinks after work, and then I'm home by 9 or earlier, fast asleep by 10 pm.

I have managed to have some fun, though, of course. I went with some girl friends to see the Pan Asian Repertory Theater revival of The Joy Luck Club. Now, the movie adaptation is probably the movie that made me cry the hardest and the most. And so I braced myself during the play for tears, but they never came. There were some poignant moments, but not enough to make me cry. But I still enjoyed it overall. I think it's a tough book to adapt into a play, but they did a good job, and I thought overall it was very well-acted. It was nice to see older Asian actors up there. There was one white male cast member, and after the play we giggled about how he played both one character's father and husband.

Just a week earlier I saw Pygmalian on Broadway. My friend had scored us some free tickets, so I went, not knowing much about the play except that Claire Danes was in it (I love her from My So-Called Life). I skimmed the New York Times review beforehand, but didn't read it in detail because I don't like to be skewed by reviews, but I knew the review overall was mediocre. But personally, I thought the play was lovely. I knew that My Fair Lady had been adapted from it, but didn't realize how closely, down to the names of the characters. I was tempted several times to burst out in song. "I could have danced all night..." and wondered if the cast would have sung along with me. Some of the "speeches" and scenes went on for too long, but overall I found it to be humorous, well-acted, and wonderful to watch. The set was fantastic. I couldn't get over how it actually rained on stage at the beginning. How did they do that?

I also saw the movie Dan in Real Life on Halloween. Not a very Halloweeny thing to do, but fun nonetheless. I enjoyed the movie--I knew almost nothing about it going in, and so therefore had no expectations. It wasn't a true comedy--more of a family drama, similar to The Family Stone. But I found it well-acted and poignant. My friends and I especially liked the last line of the movie: expect to be surprised.

And now it's past Thanksgiving and I'm in CA at my parents' home. I had written most of the above about a month ago, but never posted it. I still hope to write about the NYC marathon, too (I didn't run it this year...well, not officially). I'm still trying to figure out how to simplify my life. I've been enjoying these past few days of vacation, the slow, fairly unplanned days, the time to go for a run, play tennis, play games, watch movies, get a facial, a haircut, visit with friends and family, and read. I'm actually reading an adult book for pleasure (I just realized that with the italics for emphasis, and if you didn't know I worked in children's books and assumed a different meaning for "adult," that sentence may be interpreted the wrong way). And sure, I'm reading a submission as well, but it's on my fancy new Sony Reader which is making it fun (my company is doing a trial for these Readers to see if they can help us save paper and money in the long-term, and I'm loving it so far. So many agents are submitting electronically now--it saves time, for sure, but on our end, we've been printing hard copies of the manuscript out, which is such a huge waste).

At any rate, I'm still on vacation next week and am going to ENJOY IT, dammit. And then on Friday I'm off to the Big Sur Children's Writing Workshop. Even though I've lived in the Bay Area before, I've never actually been to Big Sur, and am excited. Anyone else going?

I hope everyone is having a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.


Anonymous said...

"My So-Called Life" is now available on Netflix! I'm so excited!

Enjoy the rest of your vacation. Sounds like it comes at the perfect time!

Disco Mermaids said...

Hey Alvina!

So excited you're headed to Big Sur. I'll be there as well. My agent (who'll be there with me) said it's always such a fun weekend. And the weather's been fantastic up here on the Central plan for warmth and sun.

Happy va-cay. See you soon!


Anonymous said...

I too will be at Big Sur. It's a wonderful mystical magical place.
The environment should add interesting vibes to the gathering.
Very much looking forward to it.


Rita said...

I am constantly trying to simplify--and pile on more. And I've got month-old blog posts waiting, too!

I recently bought six or seven of the same shirt (in three colors) and consider myself done thinking about clothes--ever again.

(Or, for as long as that works.)

Have a great everything!