The song says "slowly," but in my life, time goes by quickly. Sometimes I feel like I'm spinning - one activity rushes into another and I don't get the time to even breathe deeply. The last few weeks have been like that. I have been doing Mystery Shopping - secretly checking out the performance of employees at various retail establishments - and I think I've gotten too c aught up in it. I am going farther afield - spending more time and money driving - to do shops and I am doing more of them. This is partly because of the money, although it isn't a lot, and partly because of the competitive rush of seeing if you can beat out the other countless shoppers for that $15 opportunity that is available NOW on your computer. After spending too much time running around doing the shops and then inputting them on the computer, I think I need to back off a little bit.
I have been able to fund some of my writing and art activities from the proceeds, which is great. Since Michael is still looking for a permanent job - or contract work will do, too - I feel guilty spending family dollars on my pursuits which may someone be financially productive but for now are not.
Speaking of writing pursuits, I am busy. I sent off a query to a national magazine for an article about 6 weeks ago. Haven't heard anything yet. I sent off an application to the Vermont Studio Center for a fellowship so I can go spend a month writing and make more progress on my book. And my play, "Like Fish Swimming Through Rock," has an opening date set: October 7, 2005 at the Mid-Town Art Center in Houston, Texas! Y'all come and see it!
I am so delighted by this. There is work to be done - particularly some revisions I want to do - but the deal is done. Not only is the play set for twelve performances, it looks like the producers will be partnering with a breast cancer charity for talk-backs, education and information, and even an art show. (Of particular interest is a photography show featuring photos of breast cancer survivors that show their scars and physicals changes in a positive way. So if you are a photographer with some pictures to submit for consideration, get in touch with me for more details.)
So much writing to do, so many things taking time away from my writing life. I had been using the concept of "a lovely ruthlessness" that I learned from Laurie Fox (writer and agent) to focus my time, but that got away from me. Part of it is summertime - everything is hot and I have a child around. Part of it is the mystery shopping, which is pernicious. Part of it is being ill and falling asleep at inconvenient moments. And part of it is the writer's bogeyman: fear of the blank page. But it is time for me to tackle these things and wrestle them into submission. I have my work and it calls to me.
Illness aside: I have been reading an odd little book that is starting to seem not-so-odd. It is titled "The ABC of Asthma, Allergies and Lupus" by Dr. F. Batmanghelidj. He states that severe, chronic dehydration is at the root of all these "illnesses" and outlines a method to cure them with a lot of water and a tiny bit of salt every day (plus healthy diet, exercise, and the other normal good-health items). I got the book (on-line at www.watercure.com) because a friend recommended it. Her co-worker, who's lupus was so severe she couldn't work, used the method and is now back at work and apparently 100% better. Since both these women work as physical therapists and my friend is not known for crackpot ideas, I decided to invest the money for the book. I'm about 2/3rds done with it and I think it makes very good sense. His science seems right - although I am not a scientist - and I figure that if all it takes is water and salt, which are pretty benign elements, what do I have to lose?
Check back in a couple of weeks to see how I am doing with the program. My goal is to not be so fatigued, to have more energy, and - ultimately - to reduce the number of drugs that I take daily.
Wish me luck!