Monday, June 22, 2009

A weekend at the Crow's Nest

The Crow's Nest is what my landlords call my apartment. The name fits - it's got wood paneling in places that resembles the sides of a boat, giant curtains like sails that separate the bedroom and living room, and a deck from which you can see the rooftops of nearby houses. In the proud tradition of seafarers, its tenant may also be contracting scurvy, but that's more an issue of my own poor grocery trip planning than the apartment itself.

After a hyper-social Friday night, I spent most of the weekend at home, knitting and unpacking. I was project monogamous all weekend, working on my Ishbel shawl until it was done. It's my first completed shawl - shawlette, if you wanna get technical - and I love it!

I'm wearing it wrapped around my neck like a scarf, and it's both cute and practical in my chilly office. The lace pattern is addictive, so I'll definitely make another eventually.

Most of Sunday was spent organizing my art closet and my notebook shelf. I'm a creative pack rat, so every sketchbook, painting, colored pencil piece, copper print plate, and writing notebook I've ever worked on is in my apartment, begging for organization. Organizing the art closet was fairly easy. The process went like this: Flip to next sketchbook page/loose piece in portfolio. Laugh like a lunatic over something I drew six years ago, surely confusing the downstairs neighbors. File the piece away at random or throw it in the "too good/awful to be stuffed in a closet" pile. Pieces from the latter will either be displayed artistically on walls or stuck to the fridge.

First thing to go on the fridge?

She is, you know. (This makes total sense in the context of a comic I'm never going to finish.)

The big project, though, was the writing notebook organization. It's still in progress, only about 20% done after two and a half hours of work last night. I've saved every writing notebook I've used since eighth grade, which amounts to...well, I don't have a number, but when I was moving it took one large, expanded rolling suitcase, one large duffel bag, and two messenger bags to cart them all over.

A sane person would take this epic pile of notebooks and toss them on the shelves where they landed. But me? I want chronology. I've been going through these notebooks with tape and Sharpies, making color-coded date tags. It takes some detective work, because pre-2007 me wasn't so keen on writing down dates. I've had to identify some notebooks based on events or teachers who are referenced in to-do lists in margins, or in a few cases, what part of my first novel was written in a given notebook.

My favorite part of this process is that the detective work almost inevitably turns into re-reading my horrible old writing. I don't just save my old notebooks to show myself how far I've come; I save them because they're freaking hilarious.

I got most of 1998-2002 sorted last night, and y'know what I found? Scenes from the very genesis of my first novel! Bad art! Dragon Ball Z fanfiction! Interviews with characters! Really, really bad art! Angst, angst, and comic-illustrated angst! Those notebooks are a veritable minefield of LOL.

And tonight, it's on to 2003. I'm looking forward to finding the one where I gave one of my main characters a drug addiction just for the sake of adding drama. (For those in the know: it was Rowyn, and I believe it was speed. Yeah, I don't know what the crap I was thinking, either.)

I hope my current notebook scribblings are this entertaining to the me of ten years in the future.

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