I’m afraid of many things. I blame my mother.

Lucky girl.

 

She was utterly convinced, from the time I was born, that the entire world was out to get me (it didn’t help that I was named after a relative who had died tragically young). She concluded that the best way to keep me alive would be to instill in me an irrational fear of EVERYTHING. I consequently grew up sheltered and loved and utterly terrified.

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On our second day in Phnom Penh, down one necklace, and sufficiently emotionally drained after the one-two punch of the Killing Fields and Choeung Ek, we went to the Royal Palace.

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I’ve realized something: I can only write for so many hours a week.

My notes for the book (center) and my notes from Cambodia (upper right).

 

This has been a tough thing to come to terms with. I figured there are 40 hours in a standard work week, so I can write for 40 hours, right? This isn’t the case. My brain, it seems, only allows for a certain number of productive writing hours every day. After that, I stare numbly at my computer, drooling, while my brain forces me to look at shoes on Zappos that I will never, ever buy.

Or maybe I’ll buy them, but I’ll return them. Really, I will.

For the past year, I’ve been trying to maintain the blog while working on the Great American Novel Pretty Good International Memoir. This has meant two things:

  1. I’ve written fewer blog posts than I would like this year.
  2. Writing the book is taking way longer that I thought.

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“Wait, what kind of car do you drive?”

She is my cousin’s little girl. Blond, California-born and raised, nearly as tall as I am, and presently obsessed with cars. We are walking through downtown Seattle together. I’ve been back from Cambodia for less than a week.

“A 2002 KIA Spectra,” I reply, “with power locks.”

This last bit I say with just a little bit too much gusto, and she laughs. Immediately, I confess to the lie.

“It doesn’t have power locks.”

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