Thursday, October 13, 2005

Writer's block on other projects leads to senseless ramblings that will, hopefully, jar something loose.

Case in point:

Several years ago I underwent the messiest, most painful breakup of my life. In the time since, I've made an effort to avoid my former beloved, but each time the opportunity comes up, I give in to temptation. It doesn't matter how filthy or weak I feel afterward; I simply can't resist. See, we had such a good relationship while it lasted. But there came a point when I had to end what had become an unhealthy relationship.

In 2002, in the middle of my second year at graduate school, I was forced to give up coffee.

Yeah, I thought it was bad timing too. But at the time I was working on my thesis, taking classes, working at the uni writing center, studying for my MA comprehensive exam, AND working on PhD applications (which entailed studying for the GRE Lit alongside the comp exam). Add to this the fact that I was living in a post-9/11 D.C.

Is it any wonder I got an ulcer?

Since then, I started drinking tea, which works out all right for me. It allowed me to sound intolerably high-end and pretentious when going out with friends, and that's always good for a laugh. Something about having tea when everyone else is having coffee feels wildly sophisticated; I can't explain it any better than that.

The only problem is most places out there serve really awful tea.

No, really. There's more to it than a nifty paper bag filled with leaves and twigs and whatnot. There's a difference between good tea and bad tea and, god help me, I think I've come to a point in my life where I can recognize the difference.

Not long ago I was staying at a very nice B&B in the heart of a sickeningly cute beachside town. While packing for this trip, I had a moment of weakness and tossed a canister of one of my favorite teas (a loose Earl Grey with lavender) in the bag. As an afterthought I grabbed a few packets of pure peppermint tea. I felt like the biggest geek that ever geeked (and maybe just a little like an addict in need of an intervention), but I still packed the tea.

Did I use it? You bet your tanins I used it. (All they had was Lipton. LIPTON. No. Just... no.)

The sad part (sadder than packing my own geektastic tea and using it) is despite the solid, happy relationship I have with tea -- and it is excellent -- I cannot be entirely faithful to the darling little leaves. I love them with all my heart: Earl Grey (yes, with lavender), Oolong, jasmine, Irish Breakfast, Gunpowder Green -- and the Darjeeling (can't forget the Darjeeling).

Despite the surge of righteousness that warms my breast when I drink tea, despite the snuggly comfort of a cuppa on a drizzly, depressing day; despite my limited-edition tetsubin and the $7-an-ounce Oolong in my cupboard that is like an orgasm in a cup -- despite all this, I stray.

It takes a woman stronger than I to resist the Siren call of the latte.

3 Comments:

Blogger jason evans said...

Nice comments over at Miss Snark!

You have a sharp, tight writing style. What genre (or non-genre) is your novel?

October 13, 2005 4:22 PM  
Blogger Bunneh said...

Well thank you!

The novel is... hmm. Well, broadly speaking, it's SFF. To narrow it down a bit more, it's a SFF adaptation of a classic novel.

Scared yet? ;)

October 13, 2005 4:58 PM  
Blogger Mark Pettus said...

I liked your comments at Snarky's place, as well, but I'm slower than Jason.

I got a funny feeling I knew what agent you were talking about, and what festival you attended. (Don't freak out, the timing was what tipped me).

Good luck with your story. You should read some of James D. McDonald's stuff. Sounds like you have some things in common.

October 23, 2005 7:45 PM  

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