It tortures me.

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Ever read a book that tortures you, draws you to it until you are forced to read it every moment you get, and you are thinking about it every moment you aren’t reading it?

I haven’t had a book haunt me in a long time. But I’ve got one going now.

The Flamenco Academy by Sarah Bird.

Picked it up at the library in the new fiction section. In fact I didn’t even find it, my partner did. He handed it to me saying, “it’s set in Albuquerque”. I read the cover blurb and thought, “ok, I’ll give it a try”.

Little did I know….

It HAUNTS me!

Maybe it’s supposed to? Maybe that is the heart of Flamenco? To haunt those who enjoy the art? Maybe it’s all one big metaphor I’m either not smart enough or not drunk enough to understand?

I’ve learned a lot about Flamenco from these pages. I admit, I knew very little going in. Heck, I didn’t even know there is a Flamenco academy at UNM. Who knew? Lots of people, evidently.

The fact that the story is so painfully wrought, touches a *little* close to home with some of the emotional issues AND is set in Albuquerque? Oy. Torture.

About three chapters in I slammed it down and told my partner, “I can’t read this” and got snotty about it.

Then I picked it back up and kept going. I’ve been going to sleep too late every night with the “just one more chapter” philosophy that *never* works. One more turns into one more that turns into one more.

There is this negative review of the book on Amazon. The reviewer says “If you have any intellect this book will drive you crazy.” Well, I have some intellect and it does drive me crazy…but not in the way the reviewer meant. Just…crazy.

I can’t say I *love* it, I can repeat that I’m tortured by it. I remarked this evening that I can hardly wait until I’m finished with it so the torture can end.

For now, I’m about three quarters done and this book OWNS me.
______________________________

Update: I finished. The ending left me….unfinished.

Uh oh…here it comes.

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In a few more days.

A birthday.

Not a milestone year, but another year that reminds me that I’m not getting any younger…

That I wasted the carefree years when youth and time were on my side….

That I should be a hell of a lot farther along in my career…

and in my personal life…

That I should have these inner demons by the tail. Demons that have chased me since childhood, that invade my life, my relationships, my dreams, my thoughts. After this many years of fighting the good fight, can’t the soldiers just lay down arms and have a backyard bbq?

When can my demons and I share a frosty beverage, some charcoal cooked meat and learn to peacefully coexist? I don’t ask the demons to leave, no, they are an essential part of the human existence. When can we learn to live peaceably in the same space? That is the question.

I am the sum of all my parts, both good and bad. Some days, like today, I absolutely love who I am and what I’ve become.

Somedays I can’t tolerate being in my own skin. Like last week.

When did I go from being invincible to wondering if I should see a doctor about every ache and pain?

When did thoughts of my own mortality pervade my life?

Remember as a kid when you ran, it was like you were running SO fast and the wind made a whooshing sound in your ears and you felt like you could run forever and thoughts of dying, heartache, agony and disorder never crossed your little mind?

When does cynicism and melancholy take the place of easy joy? When did it swap that I have to work at staying happy instead of just *being* happy?

And when, fer cripes sakes, did we stop getting a big juicy birthday cake with a big passel of candles on top and awkwardly wrapped toys to celebrate another trip around the sun?

Where is my piñata?!?!

Ah well, birthday snarkiness is my new tradition. This should hang around a few more days, by the way, and I’ll be back to regularly scheduled rantiness.

My new birth year resolutions:

1) Hug my cat more, despite the fact she doesn’t like being hugged.

2) Hug my man more….he rather enjoys it

3) Tell myself I love myself one hell of a lot more.

4) Extend a hand to those demons and invite them to stop growling so loud

5) Eat. More. Cake.

Yes, we have no post-anas….

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We have no post-anas, tooooooday!

It’s a bad day when work gets in the way of your real life. That being said, watch this space because warm posty goodness will be coming your way soon enough.

Meanwhile, back to the Gods of Corporate who own my ass today and I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Wait, yes I am sure how I feel about that. It sucks. A lot.

The sound of crickets chirping…

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In my head. Oh god, all day long when I ponder what will be my blog entry for today, all I hear are crickets. (Go here if you are aurally challenged and need help imagining the sound. I did.)

It is day nine of blogdom for me and I’m more than embarrassed to admit I don’t have any good ideas for a post today. So I’ll post about my lack of post, how’s that?

When I set out (just over a week ago) the ideas flowed easily. I’m not ashamed to admit I’m pretty proud about how things are going so far. As I mentioned in the beginning, this blog starts out as a source of good discipline for me as a writer. And today I’m up against one of my demons as a writer. “Eh, I don’t have a good idea, so I’ll not bother to even write.”

This is bad. It victimizes great writers every day.

For the past few years I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month, an exercise in which you force yourself to write 50,000 words in thirty days for the sheer challenge of doing so. I’ve done it twice and won both times. Mainly because I learned this about myself: I work great under a tight deadline. When the race is on and there’s “something in it”, I’m all over it.

But my momentum tends to lag when there isn’t a carrot out there that I’m running toward.

That’s the discipline I’m working on. I’m an amateur writer working on growing my chops. I see how far I’ve come in the almost ten years since I set out to honestly focus on writing, and I can sure see how far I’ve yet to grow.

They say, “write what you know” and writing about New Mexico fits that bill. So far I’m having a good time with this. I hope over time I can get some eyes here that aren’t just family and friends (though I’m incredibly grateful to any family member or friend who is giving me a glance).

I love writing, I really do, and this blog, I’ve discovered, is actually harder to do than it seems. Not complaining. It was just surprising to me. I have some favorite bloggers that I’ve read over the years who complain about how much time a blog takes. I always thought, “pish posh, get with the posting!” Now I know better.

I’m having a fun time…despite the ever increasing volume of crickets in the noggin today.

I suppose I could blame the ABQjournal for having a slow Sunday, or New Mexico Magazine for having a slow month (the “home edition” always leaves me cold, I flipped through it in record time today). But that’s just all excuses. And the time has come to stop making excuses.

Today, I write. Look at that….you can squeeze a whole post outta nothing to write about!