Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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On the fear of the forever funk.

Published August 9, 2013 by mandileighbean

Whenever I leave my house to go absolutely anywhere – even to Wawa in my pajamas for a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread – the following exquisite scene from an equally amazing film plays over and over in my head, soundtrack included:

Maybe it is because of the crippling disappointment I experience when reality does not match nor even meet my expectations that I haven’t really left the house, or found a reason to get dressed or style my hair for a couple of days.  These are the dog days of summer and no one particularly feels like doing much of anything, but I worry when these moments of complete lethargy and absolute disinterest stretch into a day and then a week.  Everyone experiences these so-called “funks,” but most snap out of it eventually.  I have definitely slipped into a funk that has been going on for what feels like months.  I have been avoiding social interactions, sleeping more, gaining weight, and going from one set of pajamas to another.  I know I recently wrote about how liberating it can be to wake up with an absolutely clear schedule, but after a while, it becomes tiresome. 

I think my apathetic nature will be eradicated once the school year starts, but what if it is only yet another instance of reality falling short of the expectations of a wildly romantic writer?  I thought my life would change in high school; it didn’t, so I thought college would make all the difference.  Everything remained the same, so the key to an exciting and fulfilling life must be in a full-time teaching job.  I acquired the job and am still restless.  Even when my novel was published, it did not inspire the instantaneous and dramatic change I thought it would.  Do I need to lower my expectations?  It seems a simple enough solution, but won’t doing so also eliminate that wonderfully dreamy aspect of my nature that allows to me create and – hopefully- inspire?  I think the real answer is not to depend on change for happiness, though it is a consistent aspect of our lives.

That being said, do I believe one hundred people will show up at my upcoming author events?  No, not exactly; I will be obviously devastated if not a soul shows up, but I know I will be equally as devastated if no romance comes of it.  I don’t limit the meaning of romance to a chance encounter with a handsome stranger – I’m talking about all kinds of romance, like there’s a large portion of the crowd that attends with a battered copy of my novel clutched in their hands, eager for me to sign it because they really did love the story that much.

I started this blog to narrate my writing life and what I have discovered is that my “writing life” is my life; they cannot be separated.  I am still determining whether or not this is a good thing.

I remembered my earlier promise of trying to accentuate the positive, so here it goes: I have an author talk/book signing event at the Manchester Branch of the Ocean County Library on October 15, 2013!  The event should begin around 7:00PM.  I am waiting on confirmation from the program coordinator, but so far, all systems are go! Smile  I hope to see some of you there.

Stay golden. xoxo

On steak and eggs.

Published October 15, 2012 by mandileighbean

The other day, when I was running, I noticed the road kill had been removed and had been removed quite thoroughly.  Macabre as it may be, I looked intently at the previously gory scene for any kind of remnants, for any kind of tangible proof that the dead possum had been there in the first place.  There was no evidence – the pavement was stained, no organs had been absent-mindedly neglected, and there was absolutely nothing disturbed or out of place.  Admittedly, I was relieved that my eyes did not take in anything that would upset my stomach, but I was also somewhat saddened.  That poor creature had been wiped from existence.  It was no longer living and as far as I know, I am the only who knows and cares enough to write about it.  I understand that the possum was not a sentient being and was not a pet and that to some factions of thought its death is not a tragedy but a mere continuation of the pattern of existence we are all traveling along.  I can understand, acknowledge, and accept all of that and still be upset because I worry and fear that the same fate belongs to some human beings, some that I may even know.  I have already discussed how a wasted life is my greatest fear.

“Looper,” the new science fiction film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis tackles that same theme, in a manner of speaking.  It is about time travel and while that may set off some alarms, the story does not become mired down in hypotheticals and impossibilities and trivial aspects.  Rather, the story focuses on the passage of time as humans grow and age and learn and live.  Time spent on Earth means different things to different people and it even means different things to the same person at different times.  It also reviews and challenges the cyclical nature of time and goes so far as to hint, in my always humble opinion, that it is our responsibility to be cognizant of this cycle, and to sacrifice our own cycle of time to break a cycle in which a neighbor is suffering.  “Looper” was a remarkable film and without a doubt, it is a new favorite.

In the movie, both male leads order steak and eggs for breakfast at a diner.  I did the same today.  Yes, I ordered steak and eggs because I saw it in a movie once.  The eggs and hash browns and toast and coffee were great; the steak was okay.  It wasn’t the best cut as it was very fatty, so I’m going to try the order again at a different diner.  The diner experience was not ruined, however.  I talked with an older man about football and his father’s military service.  I thanked a table of enlisted men for their service.  I chatted with an elderly couple about the economy, employment and the weather.  When the female half of the couple observed me hunched over many sheets of lined paper with a pen clutched in my hand, she correctly assumed that I was an English teacher with papers to grade.  However, I was not grading papers; I was working – or trying to work – on my second novel.  Why didn’t I tell her that?  Why didn’t I explain that I was a young, up and coming author?  Why did I falter?

Maybe it’s because I do not have a physical copy of the book and as such, my dream has not truly been realized.  Maybe I’m afraid that if I say it out loud, it won’t come true because it is still only a wish, a desperate fantasy, a silly girl’s imagination running away.

Who knows?

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