Today I only have a few random things to impart, and it is in that spirit of randomness that I include a picture of a little pig with two noses and one eye (but all heart?). Because honestly, nothing is more random and fascinating that disfigurations resulting from mal-accomplished animal husbandry.
I first discovered that on a trip to the Kunstkamera Museum in Russia, which houses Peter the Great's collection of freaks. My friend Sabrina and I thought that we would be all over this little vacation destination, but in fact lost heart after a significant amount of time in the human fetus room. There was a pretty fascinating attention to detail, however, a testament to the dedication of some of the first scholars of anatomy. For example: a tiny human hand, not only perfectly preserved, but accompanied into the formaldehyde afterlife by painted nails and a little lace cuff.
My mother thought that the museum was the cat's meow, and she's successfully brought four children into the world. So it's possible that Sab and I are just wussies. Always something to consider.
The past few days have found me more than a little homesick for Russia - or perhaps not just Russia, though the memory of seeing the St. Petersburg streets gussied up for Christmas with snow and faerie lights tugs at my chest. I guess I'm a bit heartsick for wide open spaces, adventure and strangeness. Sometimes this leads me to read job postings in Appalachia, just for the hell of it.
A large part of my mood - both good and bad - is being governed by my continued participation in National Novel Writing Month. The concept always gave me a bit of indigestion before this year, because I thought it cheapened and made (mere) craft out of the work of writing. But as an actual participant, I'm really enjoying it. Mostly I feel the flexing possibility of actual accomplishment: yes, the novel I am writing now, in its current draft and formulation, may be bunkum, but I have written 64 pages in 12 days. I can write 64 pages of something, and not hate them all (just some)!
The writing of 1,667 words (at least) per day is wreaking a bit of havoc on my free time, however. It takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to complete the goal, which means that I don't ever want to go out to dinner, go to an improv show, or even watch a movie. It is a little bit wearing.
But it feels like a very different world from my actual job, where I am bound by duty to spend 8 hours of every day. Most months out of the year, when I get home it will take me a little while to unwind, and when I do I won't want to stop. Actually getting to work on my writing, as opposed to reading, watching a movie, or drinking a glass of wine with Dave, seems like an uphill road. But since beginning to work on a NaNo novel (or whatever...I still find the abbreviation silly), writing has become a separate and welcome world for me. Though some days I may end up only half-satisfied with what I've produced, I always wish I could continue. Certainly, I've been reminded that 8 hours a day on the novel and maybe 2 (or zero) in a desk job would be preferable.
But that's a pretty airy and distant dream. Not a bad sort of dream to have.