Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Very Bookish, Chocolate-y Birthday

It's been raining a lot lately. There's been weird weather patterns everywhere since it turns out December 13th has been one of the hottest recorded winter days ever--and people on Twitter celebrate that. Which I find disturbing. I realize it's annoying to shovel snow and be forced under twenty layers of clothing but wHY IS NO ONE CONCERNED?

Okay, okay. This post isn't a rant on global warming indifference. (Even though it SHOULD BE). Lemme get back to that later.

So it's been raining a lot lately. It rained through half of last week and then all of the week before that. Which, if I'm not mistaken, is scientifically proven to get people in a sour mood.

Rainy days have always been weird to me. I like the rain but I don't like the rain in Florida. I hate it when it gets hot and humid and you don't know if you're sweating or if it's just the fault of the skies taking a piss on you.

I like it a lot more when it's rainy and cold. I've always loved the sound of thunder. Lightning is very beautiful to me. My favorite time for driving is a time most people (particularly new, inexperienced drivers like myself) probably dread: nighttime and rainy in an urban landscape. It turns the city into an array of lights and reflections. All the reds and yellows double and blur. It tends to feel otherworldly. And yeah, okay, it reminds me of Millennium Girl. (You might have heard about it. It's that book I haven't shut up about for the past year and a half even though it's trying to kill me).

The weeks leading up to my birthday weren't particularly great. As I woke up every morning to grey skies and thunderous echoes, I couldn't decide if the weather was making me feel worse or making me better. I stayed inside for a good chunk of time, writing, revising, kinda annoyed at everything that had happened. On top of all that'd gone wrong, it was increasingly clear to me that deadline goal I'd set last New Year's Day had been absolutely ridiculous. I may be closer than ever to querying literary agents. But my book isn't. She's still got a long way to go.

And I wasn't very happy about that. I'm still not very happy about it. I always feel anxious to move forward, to get that validation in the form of a phone call, a contract, a release date. And it's a dangerous mindset to have when publishing is notorious for taking its time.

The sky cleared up for my birthday. I got two early happy birthday wishes--from Emzy and Carla--and then one thirty minutes after midnight, courtesy of my brother who very eloquently texted "happy birthday (right?)" At around 2 in the morning, still wide awake and contemplating just showering and reading until exhaustion hit me, I got a phone call from someone I've already talked about to death. And I answered it hopeful and hung up too angry and upset to care about sleeping.

One angry email, cold shower, and two hair products later, I fell asleep. When I woke up, I was still angry. But that didn't fade.

It sort of got obliterated?

It was too early and my parents still woke up to give me presents. Silvia picked me up soon after, then we went to get Ren. When our fourth movie-marathon-guest got too sick to come over, we watched all the Star Wars movies piled up on each other on the couch. (Original movies. And yes, I confirmed, through the viewings, that Silvia did indeed acquire all nonspecial, non-altered copies). It got me right back to my excitement about The Force Awakens (can'twaitcan'twaitcan'twait). I got texts throughout the day--from Maria Gabriela, Giselle, and Gaby O. I snacked on way too many chocolate chip cookies and chips.

And by far, one of the most amusing things involved Christopher Paolini's Eragon. Silvia knew he was a hack. She knew he was a terrible writer. We've known that for years. But the only true way to know the extent of the plagiarism in Eragon is to go back for a quick Star Wars viewing. Ahhh, joy.

We ate burgers and cake and for some reason talked about Ren's possible status as a Dom. Mistress vs. submissive about ten minutes before the climax of Return of the Jedi. (I don't even know how or why that happened.)

Overall I got two cakes, four books, and a few good pictures. (Which I will post out of order because the upload feature hates me here.)
Gifts, in order, from Ren, Silvia, and my parents.
Dad admitted he bought this book purely for the cover.
A+ decision. (And he also liked the first page he read).
Cake my parents got me.
Ren with the cake she got me.

And fyi, while Ren and Silvia were singing happy birthday, we were still lightning candles and stuffing them on the cake. It was frantic. And fun. They were holding onto lit candles by the time they finished the song, so I blew them all out. (Thankfully didn't burn anyone).

I got back home when it was dark and celebrated a little with my parents. When I collapsed in the living room bed (don't ask), I got a phone call from my aunt Cleo. She wished me a happy birthday and for some reason reassured me that one day, when she dies, I'll be getting all her jewelry.

Morbid? Or sweet? I decided both. I guess birthdays are a good time as any to be reminded we'll all have deathdays too.

The weather cleared out on Sunday. On Monday the rain came back.


It's sunny and hot and humid and rainy. Again.

Nothing's changed since my birthday. Last year, that might have been the most horrifying thing I could have said. No query letter replies, no finalized manuscript, no perfect resolution with the boy who hurt me, no job interviews awaiting me, nothing. I spent most of 2015 repeating that King essay in my head and wondering if I was doing it right. Making the right choices.

I quit worrying on my birthday. Which, in addition to my glutton ways and all those books, was a great gift to have.

And y'know, when I stop to think about it, nineteen was pretty good. Memorable. Which is more than I can say for other years.
~Becky

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"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.