“When I write stories I am like someone who is in her own country, walking along streets that she has known since she was a child, between walls and trees that are hers.”
Natalie Goldberg

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

Quick Update From NOLA
Wed 2009-05-27 21:56:56 (in context)
  • 3,891 words (if poetry, lines) long

Now we'll see whether anyone reads my blog I don't know about. Because I'm rather guilty of telling nobody in the area--including, with one exception, family--that my next stop after Chicago would be New Orleans.

Yes. Sneaky stealth French Quarter stay. John and I had a week with Interval International to use up, and John was out of vacation days, so it was up to me. I plugged a likely looking week into The Quarter House and called it an extended writing retreat. (It just happened to line up well with the annual Chicago crawfish outing.) Also a preview homecoming, given that I'm hell-bent on moving back to New Orleans someday, at least part-time. I mean, it's home, dangit. I ought to spend more time actually living there.

So why haven't I told anyone about it? Because... well, a week and a half can go by really quick if it fills up with visiting obligations and other unforeseen restrictions. And I just want this week and a half to myself, right? I'm allowed, right? Right?

So. If I get a phone call tomorrow afternoon with disappointed family members scolding me for this (or even saying "hey, it's all right, enjoy your vacation, just promise to visit next time"), that will be an interesting and possibly scary way to find out that Mom and Dad (or friends of theirs, or other family members) are reading my blog. If they are, I must beg them not to get mad at my brother, who mixed me this lovely, lovely Bloody Mary I am drinking. I swore him to secrecy on pain of pain. Blame me, not him! I'm the older one, right? I'm a bad influence, clearly!

OK, well, you can blame him for any typos. He mixes a non-trivially strong Bloody Mary. Vodka makes me insanely uncoordinated as far as fine motor control goes. I'm fixing the fat-finger fuxxups as I go, but I may miss a few.

Don't worry, gross motor control should remain trouble-free. This is important. I'm on my bike. Woo, Riverbend to French Quarter. Woo, past midnight.

This update is not turning out to be so quick. On with it.

1) Got here. Pleasant train ride. Interesting scenery, among which I will count the guy who was shouting at everyone who would listen that "They Blew The [17th Street Canal] Levee!!!" because "They" wanted to shut down the Lower Ninth Ward and needed a Cat. 5 Hurricane for cover. I think this particular theory has been around since before Camille, actually. Most of the times I hear it, it's attached to, I dunno, a canal with less proximity to multi-million-dollar neighborhoods like Lakeview. But whatever. He says he heard a BOOM, and Gods know there's nothing but dynamite can cause a boom, right? Like I said - interesting scenery on my train.

1)b. No free wi-fi in the W, and I refuse to pay when any number of fine establishments like Z'otz and Bruno's will give me what I want. Also the Royal Cafe, if I'm not feeling all that "woo" about biking to the Riverbend and I'd rather just walk about 4 blocks instead.

2) Nibbled at the short story WIP. Really, only nibbled. And not until I got into town and was having dinner at this little Vietnamese place two doors down from Camillia Grill. My nibbling gave me an ending, and it gave me an unforeseen backstory complication. I'm so proud of my little 650-word story! It's developing a back-story!

3) Will probably do more nibbling tomorrow, as well as a visit to the Williams Research Center for microfiche reading to buttress the verisimilitude of "A Surfeit of Turnips" (which will probably get a new title before it goes out again). Hey, when Gumbo Ya-Ya tantalizingly mentions a 1930 story in the New Orleans Item Tribune referencing the most bizarre ghost story I have ever heard, who am I to resist?

4) Will probably have lunch here (via both Neilhimself and docbrite).

And that's it for now. Laters!

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