The Air is Full of Spices…

37th Trial: Walking through Kuala Lumpur’s largest bookstore, and experiencing two trials:  what NOT to buy and the oppressive intimidation that my writing faces when I look onto these great writers.

Weekly Hours Spent Writing or in the Pursuit of Plot: 6 hours

Weekly Choice of Tea: Teh Tarik and Malaysian White Coffee

Biggest Success: Where to begin…FINISHING chapter SIX! Also, finishing the wonderful Alchemist while traveling through the beautiful countryside of Malaysia.

“The air is full of spices.”

One of my favorite lines in the movie Sense and Sensibility is by Colonel Brandon, the voice and beautiful performance by the beloved Alan Rickman. He is talking about his time in the East Indies to the little Margaret Dashwood. I love Rickman deeply in that role, and even more so, I hear his line as I travel through the same countries his character was likely referring to. If not, I will imagine otherwise. Especially in Malaysia, where the cuisine is greatly influenced by many cultures, Indian and Malay curries here can be smelt and tasted as you walk the streets lined with open shops and restaurants. My literary and movie enthusiasm seems to follow me through the country side, and that one line continues to sound in my head as if on replay. It is like the fly that keeps landing on my arm or shoulder blade, though without the nuisance.

Maybe Jane Austen heard of travel here, heard of the exotic cuisine and the boiling nature of the tropical sun. Her novel Sense and Sensibility has made its way to where her characters supposedly traveled, and where her admirers currently do. If only Austen could have traveled here, what wonderfully colorful stories would come from it! I look to my own novel, already having the plot within a much different country than I am currently in. I have wrote before about my struggles of not putting a looming volcano in the heart of North Carolina, or of an ancient Temple at a corner in Charlotte.  While Austen did not have such influence, I can say that I now do. What will I do with it all? What can I grab, transform, and steep in imagination?

Currently I am in Malaysia, and today I thought about all the places that I have sat down and wrote pieces of Chapter Six. Ristr8toLab in Chiang Mai. Atop the coarse sand of Koh Phangan, or the soft grainy beaches of Koh Phi Phi. From Thailand this chapter has extended into Malaysia, where it progressed surrounded by the tea plantations of BOH and Cameron Valley of Cameron Highlands. In the heart of Kuala Lumpur, I finally finished the chapter. I am getting to a point in the book where I need to do further brainstorming. I jumped into writing because waiting to write was, obviously, getting me nowhere. But introduction of what I hope to be my main road of the symbolism is about to begin, and I need to buckle down. Because writing is easy. Plot has always been my unformed and jeering companion.

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Happy Christmas!

28th Trial:  Balance. I have said goodbye to the office that has up to this point become like-family to me, and am now balancing a life on the road and a purpose to substitute.

Weekly Hours Spent Writing or in the Pursuit of Plot: 2hr at a wonderful new coffee shop near home. The Greene shall now become a Room of my Own to escape and write.

Weekly Choice of Tea:  Green Macha Latte

Biggest Success:  I am making a  move from Charlotte! Together Jamie and I are devising a travel scheme and our official move out to California. AND I am now a licensed chiropractor in California!!!

 

Happy Christmas to everyone!!! Here are a few photos from my travels home so far, a few staples that must be visited and enjoyed. In the literary regard– no deep thoughts to unveil there. I am happily content with playing ball with my dog in my parent’s home, watching Christmas movies one right after another, and sleeping in till 10am. Minimal progress has been made on my novel, much to my dismay, but I fully plan that next week you shall hear a different tune.

How exciting. To wake up every morning and approach a blank, white sheet of paper! I realize that I cannot do this forever, however, knowing that the next month will be this way is easy to accept.

Skyline

Skyline in Cincinnati

Painting

My Painting hung at my Aunt’s Practice

Dublin Pub

Dublin Pub Birthday Toast

Coke

Stockings

My Muse Must be Magnanimous

27th Trial: Saying goodbye to a home that has become my Muse

Weekly hours spent writing or in the pursuit of plot: 1 Hour (in total since last post)

Weekly Choice of Tea: Christmas Blend

Biggest Success: Eating authentic Austrian Macaroni and Cheese. Philip, my Austrian connection and the one that helped Jamie and I out when she fell off the cliff side, full-filled his promise to make us macaroni and cheese using specific Austrian cheese. There. are. no. words.

It has been two weeks hence since I picked up my laptop to speak again to you all, and I beg that you forgive such absent-mindedness. Over the past two weeks I have been re-packing, selling with vehemence, and planning. Not to mention doing all of this and keeping the Christmas spirit alive! Luckily for me I am back on the couch you saw in the earlier post, sitting peacefully next to the fireplace. This week will be my last week working for a while, until I move to California and begin practicing there. Yes, you heard correctly! I will be leaving my dear Charlotte–a place that has given my novel its voice and its setting. I can only hope that my Muse will morph into the trees and oceans that meet me on my upcoming journey, and does not create a yearning within that dries one’s quill or locks prose in corners I cannot reach.

What is a Muse to me, then, if it be ever changing? Charlotte, and more specifically Noda, has given me song and inspiration as of late. And when I am in California, can She become the seals by the chilling waves of the Pacific? The sweet temperament of sun’s rays on endless coastal highways? Will she be spiteful towards me, for forcing change and inconsistency? My muse must be magnanimous, and without solid shape. A Boggart of sorts!

Do I look forward to this change, this immediate lack of work? Can idleness and inactivity give me any rest or repose? I will make a promise to this blog and to myself:  let anytime away from one passion allow another passion to thrive. Over the next month and a half I will be dedicated to my novel, and will dazzle you surely with witty sense and breath-taking revelations. Surely, I will!

FALL-ing Inspiration

22nd Trial: Where momentum comes from

Weekly hours spent writing or in the pursuit of plot: 2.5 Hours

Weekly Choice of “Tea”: Spiced Apple Cider!

Biggest Success: Chapter four is typed up and printed! Began brainstorming for chapter five

While swimming what seemed like endless laps in the pool today, I realized that chapter five is before me. My goal is within reach, however if momentum does not befriend me, chaos will ensue within the plot. Who knows where we shall be when it then all ends! And so tonight I brainstormed. To begin writing a new chapter, I need a solid scene visualized, and the already-formed story will fill around it. So far I have had events as small as a conversation around a kitchen island, or as large as the classic ‘meet-cute’ which is important to any Austenite (I would like to hereby dub that word as defining a writer that follows the happy-ending-technique of Jane Austen….and not an allotrope of iron).

I pondered this as I swam, and images/scenes flashed before me. The falling leaves that bring the new season to my doorsteps; Boo Radley sitting by pumpkins. The smell of espresso as it fills the shot glass; the warmth of a coffee mug. Flyers that litter warehouse buildings of upcoming concerts and festivals. A community play for Halloween. Whether these visions will influence the next chapter, I enjoy the endless possibilities that could take this story to its new destination. I have no other option as of right now but to play it chapter by chapter. The little sense of security that I have is more empowering than I could have thought, as the direction can change with any gust of wind.

Thank goodness for my eternal muse ❤

NODA