I am not a saleswoman. i want that bit out of the way from jump. i just want to write. And there is a rotund little character on my shoulder crying out, "But in order to be a writer AND eat, one must do the pesky chore of selling." I understand that it is not necessarily the art of selling my work, but it's selling myself. (And i don't even want to take me home, so how can i do that?)
*sigh* or *harrumph*
Where is the onomatopoeia for the sound my dog makes when she's annoyed?
The days I don't write, I am perfectly fine just ignoring that bit about me. But the days I DO! ... I feel ... I just feel! And that's pretty fucking good.
My commute for a few days has provided time with my thoughts, and if i was a shout out kind of girl, a quick enthusiastic one shoudl be hailed upon my meds that are being consumed in regular intervals as prescribed.
And there's the math isn't it? ... My time is short because I work at a job that pays for necessities like yogurt and seroquel. But if i just spent some time writing more, i could put efforts into being a writer even on the days when i don't feel worthy of the title. (I only entertained the idea of having raconteur on my business cards for a day or two.) And truly, aside from the selling, I make a pretty good go at writing.
I write my stuff, freelance, ghost a bit, have more coffeee and struggle with my bills.
(Struggle no more or less with numbers instead of words in my days.)
At the end of the day, if i sleep, i don't stress with the same stress as working at something that is clearly not my passion although it remains my skill.
I have this thought>> This jumble of melancholic wail over time and effort began because last night, i opened my computer to fill in all the brackets i jumped over during my yesterday commutes, and i was spent. I didnt' have it in me to key another word on the screen. But my mind raced and i had to get the words out before i forgot.
My brain was vomiting out the words and if i didn't sop up the mess right then and sort through the words, another minute would have come along with a wet vac and cleaned the whole mess away. (into a vacuum - i rather like that image of my brain being overstuffed with words that it must purge, with a minute jumping from horatio's timepiece and moving it to a place words have no sound - no story.)
I wrote a thing about being clean over on my heating a home page... and it sat on my phone in a 'note to myself' over a week. and this entry was actually started two days ago. I'm struggling with finishing things. I'm struggling seeing the end of projects and that punctuation on my sentences. I blame lack of time and lack of brain, sometimes lack of sleep and often lack of eloquence. but i have to finish. if i'm ever going to make the transition from not a writer to a writer, i need to finish.
The end of 2015 came and I was mindful of this li'l blog. I wanted to write the last thing for 2015 that was like the last bite of food. --That sumptuious morsel reminding of the pleasures some time later.
The beginning of 2016 is here. And I want to write those bits of words that energize and motivate - reminding me of why I keep this online journal to keep me going for three hundred sixty five more days - and the possibility of sharing some inspiration with the few folks who read the words I string together.
The fact is, i've been overwhelmed with just getting through my days. I've been moving forward for sure and can see some of my accomplishments. I've been too busy doing to record what i've done. And ceertainly too busy with doing to complain about not getting done. So that's something. And it may not be important to anyone- hell probably not even important enough for me to remember if I haven't got it in me to record it with an entry! But it seems like it is.
It seems REAL important that i'm actually functioning to the point of exhaustion. I'm not only surviving, I'm thriving. I'm facilitating days for those around me to be functional. I understand the banality of waking and making coffee and sliding a twenty into my daughter's pocket so she can have a plate of sushi after school; but there were days when just those normal things seemed unbearable in my world.
So I'm here again, three days late with so much gratitude and recovering from the debilitating anxiety attack yesterday evening with a need to share - not just my words, but everything!
And I'm thinking about this squirrel. That one in the photo. For months now I've taken the train to a job I'm struggling in which to find meaning and acceptance (internal!). All mornings, I stop to get coffee before the train and most mornings I see this little survivor. He (or she?) darts out of the honeysuckle and jumps onto the rim of the trashcan to pull out a brown paper bag, unwrap the crumbs and scoot back to his place in the trees.
Now, I've never dug through the trash - and if you are reading this and have, I"m not judging in the least - but i've hidden in my own trees, waiting until i'm confident enough for exposure and then gone to care for the necessary and retreat again, whether it's into my home or into my head.
This squirrel seems important.
I'm just not sure why and to whom. I don't know the place to which she runs with the bite of bagel, or the whole blueberry muffin she swiped when I laid my bag to the left checking the time.
And on mornings like this, when I just settle into the routine of waking and feeding a dog and having some coffee, i wonder what tiny little morsels of importance I'm displaying and for whom.
I'm dragging my own bagel crumbs, even if it looks like I'm sweeping them up.
New endeavor for 2016:
I've started an account with Patreon and I even put a button up there on the right hand side of my page to get there. (You can also click here if you're interested.)
I hesitate in asking for money for my writing. It's a weird thing. When i freelanced, one of my clients said, 'you charge less than some and do an excellent job - you could get more money.' But then, I explained, freelancing and ghosting becomes more important than my own work. I need to stay focused on my work. I need it to be important (for me).
Having said all that, Patreon is a crowdsourcing site and it's going to do what i need for it to do. It's going to require me to keep a commitment. I'm going to post a chapter and reward supporters with more chapters as well as other gifts. Some folks are using this to support their lifestyle. I"m not presumptuious enough to think that it's going to be that big; but i want the give and take to be mutual. Folks pay 12$ for a story in a movie theatre - if they stay with me for the very lowest tier of support, I'm committed to giving a story to them. I want 2016 to be a sucess in this venture. I want it to keep me motivated to write - not necessarily with deadlines, but to finish something without manic rewites or depressive insecurity.'
For anyone who had read this much of me today, I thank you with sincerity for sticking with me and look forward to a continued exchange in 2016 - me writing and you reading.
I slept last night. The rain poured down and I probably should check the back wall to assure the shingles haven't lost any integrity listening to what sounded like a deluge from a fire hose running over my house. My dad used to say he only had restful sleep when it was pouring rain. He said it was because he knew someone else was out working. I remember cringing every time he said it-thinking of how he wished hardship on someone else, never realizing he was grateful for the respite given to him.
The sound of rain concerns me that there is a leak in the plumbing. It is most certainly NOT a soothing sound for me.
But just beyond where I lay my head on a pillow under the comfort of the thickest and biggest blanket I have lay a puppy snoring. A giant, head bigger than mine, still growing into her bear-claw sized paws, puppy.
I woke of course throughout the night and checked on the baby to find her curled up in a ball or stretched out like a queen, breathing heavy and snoring.
And I know this is bizarre. It's a puppy and she's just sleeping. But she had a rough start in life and then had a wonderful family care for her in ways I could never expect, and now her visit seems to have ended - she's back with me.
I want her to be happy. (the dog-just to be clear) I want her to feel safe. I want her to be cared for. I want her to snore when she sleeps knowing there is nothing keeping her at the edge of her dreams.
This morning, she ate a very big bowl of food, lapped some water and then laid her head on my lap while I watched the news and drank coffee. She purred. Or growled. Or whatever guttural noise she made from all the way deep inside letting me know that she was happy without words.
The friend who took the dog for a bit was amazing. (We have shared custody at this point I think). She said she feels shitty about giving her back. I felt shitty about feeling unable to care for the pup when I was starting to rebuild my life. Cried in fact and was worried nightly that the dog would be bad or that I was awful with all roads pointing back to a friendship lost.
But upon reflection, that is truly not the case. I needed a respite from working through the storm. And now, this incredible friend needs a little bit of time and space. I can't express the gratitude I feel for this whole situation. It's more than a beer and a story. It's more than a laugh and a hug....
Not to mention, I have this wonderful little being who just snuggles up and purrs telling me its all good because she is cared for. And in turn, I get to draw in puppy love. <3
Cheap computer to get some work done was what I could afford, until the work was done. When it was, the computer was fine -great in fact. But now, (three months later mind you) the computer has had some - lets just say its no timex! Alright, the computer has taken a lickin' and it is behaving in a way that does not seem to be tickin'.
In detail, I have signed up for November writing challenge and wanted truly to complete revision seven of a past project to have a fresh start. However, I keep adding to the past and although that's fine with me, its terribly disappointing when I pour into words that seem important -cautiously editing as i write so eight doesn't have to be a thing - and then look to the screen to find a thousand words gone.
Control + Z. Control + Z. Control + Z! Control + Z!!!! Fucking whore-face son of a bitch! Where are my words???
Again I'm starting someplace in the middle at a loss. I SAID, I'M STARTING SOMEPLACE IN THE MIDDLE AT A LOSS.
I've been a broken record recently with disappointment that I'm in a position to start over. I have to start over once again. Tears stream down my face and I cry silently to no one because they are sick of hearing me. I cry out in loud screams and violent text messages my anger and frustration. No one responds because they are out of words with which to respond.
But this morning, in this bit of rage, experienced in transit to whatever is next in the day, it occurs to me that I'm not starting at the beginning... I'm quite literally in the middle, even though there has been some loss.
I was asked if this spider was real hanging out in the back yard on Wednesday. I can see it, so it must exist. The words that should have been used for the inquiry are, Is this alive? To my novice eye it seemed to be real and the web around it further substantited its liveliness, although truly I do not profess to be a biologist of any fashion. It is in fact real. As real as I am, in that I do exist and others can see me even if I don't always notice myself.
Thursday in the daylight, I looked again to assure it wasn't a fake. It is the season of spiderwebs and plastic spooks. Again, as alive as anything else I've seen sharing the air in the yard.
Friday a tornado swept through the area with seventy mile an hour winds. I thought nothing of the spider and worried that my little babies were carried out to Oz while walking from her school to the subway.
Saturday the weather was gorgeous. It was the right amount of breeziness and sunshine to hang laundry outside to dry and I had blankets to clean. So, there I was in the yard once again and noticed this giant spider hanging out in the same space between the neighbor and us on the fence, waiting on its web.
It was then that I took the photo at the top of these words. Now, even the infrequent visitor of this page of Bitchy Loquacious Online Grumbling will understand that a theme in my life and in my head is immobility. So, while I consider all the things I've done in my life to stay exactly where I have been for forty two years, I see this little arachnid who is the epitome of immobility. Steadfast, not only weathering the storm, but given the opportunity to leave once it's over, he stayed. He's there reaping the benefit of the sunlight on the web he spun in circles to remain in the same place he had been for - well for as long as I've known him to be.
I'm reminded of a friend's words who told me very plainly one day, 'If you can keep breathing, then so can i.' It's quite a different viewpoint, but i think there is a correlation here. If this creature can be still while he awaits the benefits coming to that which he spun, then so too can i, even if it means i have to dig in to weather a storm in the interim.
I take the train into a bad neighborhood and cut through the city with a bus.
Although interesting characters sometimes present themselves in that route, there seems to be a banality to the time spent changing from one vehicle to another.
But on the days when I'm late and the sky is dark, or like tonight when I want to be dropped a little closer home by a bus that takes me a wee bit nearer the door because of tornado winds and howling dogs or wailing banshees dropping to the earth, I venture into center city.
And below a pavilion near the berth, benches are fixed to the brick pavers to offer relief.
Now, I have books in my shelves that were free for the taking from many sources, but this bench has had books on several days just sitting there.
And yes, I have rescued a few of the orphaned books to give them a home in my bag, on my shelf and in my mind.
Tonight, in the windy rain, I walked to the bus and stood without concern of the bench, but noticed there was a gentleman with a heavy beard and a cap made of hemp standing over the books. Within his hands and between his fingertips, he flipped pages of a William Burroughs book. I wondered if he was the responsible party. I wondered if he was just bidding adieu to a favorite work before placing it upon the bench.
"Are there books here again?" I asked the question hoping he would hand me the book at which he was looking, tell me his mission and offer him my name.
He responded, "Yeah. I've seen stacks of books here before. Who leaves them here?"
I smiled and realized he was as clueless as I. He noticed my eyes and said unequivocally, "I'm taking this one."
I picked up the blue fabiric clad piece and flipped through it to find it was signed on the title pages although the words did not interest me. I wanted that Burroughs.
"What is this about? Who leaves the books here?" He asked as if I had some secret knowledge behind by smile, but truly I only think it's a brilliant way to get folks to keep fingers on paper in an age of digitized transitiory rubbish. Words are now strung together as almost a remnant of hurried thought with more concern about a thumbs up from the masses than an introspective analysis of one's reason.
Hemp-topped-Beard smiled again and said, "There is an independent book store around the corner. Maybe someone there leaves them?"
I nodded and shared something that happened recently in my family. My sixteen year old daughter had a baby shower to attend. She had no clue what to buy for someone expecting their first child. The mama-to-be shared with my daughter when she was a baby, her parents were poorer than they wanted to be. Money was used for necessities, not books. But, stories were a necessity. In the time she spent alone with her daughter, this very clever mother used paper and pens to draw pictures and write tales for the little one. By the time the little one had a little sister, there were volumes of stories this mama shared. And by her third baby, she had a library of books that were both purchased from the store as well as the homemade ones.
So, my daughter received an invitation with a simple request, written in rhyme: Gifts are always appreciated but instead of spending extra money on wrapping and a card, a small book would be lovely. She even suggested used book stores or thrift shops and recycling old children's books.
My daughter only took books in a little basket for the kid. Her favorite, her sister's favorite, a few old standards and a book that was jsut released this year when the little one would be born. Turns out not many at the party adhered to the request and as a result, my daughter was a superstar understanding the importance of a story for this family.
There is a story everywhere. It's a matter of listening to it. Sometimes we have to tell it. Sometimes we have to pick it up and bring it home. Sometimes we leave it behind for another.
i thought about doing an entry focusing on stealing several months ago and it turned too personal to get words strung together.
I pulled out toys from my mom's basement from when I was a wee lass. ALL my toys aren't boxed up and stacked neatly, but there are some - and important ones too from my memories.
The entry was truly going to focus on stories I've heard from friends about the theft of their toys when their parents were certain they lost their usefulness.
In the same time, a memory surfaced of my own baby. I've been told I killed her blanket. And if I had a photo of it without her little face snuggled up with it, I would include it for illustrate its death was truly to put it out of its misery.
But I digress to stealing, thievery, pilfering, pinching, nicking, purloining, filching....
I'm not gonna call everyone a thief and liar; but it's more common than some like to believe and I am going to explore this in my next writing project.
Now last night, I was told by a (nosey) neighbor about some things that were stolen from my home. I can see the absence of things so I didn't need the conversation. One could also reason that the person who stole was selling the things and indeed earning money? What the neighbor told me is this: although she knew the theft was not right, she really was not in the position to stop it. I wouldn't expect it and I tried to disregard her words altogether, not truly ready to cope with the situation. Then it occurred to me that she needed assurance that she would be absolved of her actions-more appropriate to say, inaction as I'm sure she peeked through her blinds taking mental notes for gossip knowing she had no intention of reporting to police or an insurance company.
It's of no matter as I try to live my life with the philosophy, "if they took it, they needed it more than I."
So back to the toys, it's the first thing that is ours. It's the first possession and the first outlet of creativity. It's the catalyst for nostalgia and it's the first comfort we know. For some its one thing they were given, or something they made... Perhaps a twist tie from a bag of bread twisted into a person.
For me it was all the characters I watched on tv and in a movie theatre and all their accessories right down to Jamie Summers bionic woman dog because she would never lounge in her blow up dome house without Max. For me, it was the story within I was permitted to retreat without being reprimanded to close my mouth, before I made someone cry. It was a farm girl who could didn't have to smell cow poop and smashed daisy duke's jeep into a white convertible so ponch could take a police report and call her ma'am. It was a terrible accident where grandmom fell down the stairs to explain why her head didn't quite fit on her body. And it was Darth Vader retreating to private quarters for introspection on killing everyone on Alderan.
But the toys were mine. I pulled them out, set them up, played and put them away. Sometimes shoving things in the boxes whose sides would bulge from my haste. Other times, there was precision in sliding everything into place so the lid could close and fit upon the shelf in the basement.
Toys were rewards for good behavior and a status symbol among friends. They were given freely with the warning that i could have nice things if i cared for them.
Until someone took them away.
The basement is certainly not filled with all the toys I had. And if they were given to someone who will use them (or sold), truly it is not the end of the world. But that violation of someone (mom and pop included) taking something so valued is devastating emotionally.
Conversely I must say, because my brain has spent time thinking on the matter; it is an equal an opposite reaction when someone holds a remnant of the memory in their possession. That is to say, I have been filled with joy when trudging through the day and i am presented with a trinket from the past that was thoughtfully given and diligently kept to poke the corners of mutual memories.
I think this is all I'm going to say on the matter for now.
Woke in the morning feeling like I got seven minutes of sleep instead of seven hours. I sweat like it was mid-summer and I was vacationing in the humid swamps of.... A humid swampy area.... Head throbbed like i had a good time the night before, when my memory told me that i had become exhausted watching half of a heavy movie. (spolier- the kid dies and karma dished out a lesson-not sure if it was learned)
Surely it was not a day I could skip a shower and reasonably my reason tells me that my days are better when I wash the dreams from my eyes and smell of perfumed soaps while i walk through this world that stinks.
So steam filled the room and I turned the faucets to adjust the temperature lower so it wouldn't leave my skin quite so hot, but as warm as I could bear to burn the muck out from within. I just wanted a fresh start. i spent the whole of the day before saying both outwardly and inwardly, "tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow," realizing under the scent of an almond and shea butter veil that it is only today.
Coffee in my cup, keys in my hands, I have no goal other than to leave work on time and get home at a reasonable hour. Home.
My mind races as I write these words telling me to list painting the banister and buying new pillows and blankets to the goals for the day. And in my manic state, I'm repressing the urge to listen to that voice. Goal is only to get home at a reasonable hour. That's it brain!
I slid into my seat on the train and crossed my legs to find my right shoe is untied and the one lace was completely out of the grommit. Maybe if I look a bit closer, I'll see the aglet is cracked or missing? Bottom line, I am what you call undone.
I am untied. The left shoe is tied neatly. So I poke my brain into action remembering sliding into my shoes and folding the lace neatly in a bow. Left is fine and ready for the day. Right... Nope. How my shoe even stayed on my foot walking to the bus, climbing stairs - never mind the escalator where it could have easily been eaten by monstrous mechanical teeth causing me to overreact and remember when the fabric of my big pants was chewed to shreds as I saw my life end in a comedic display of hyperbolic tension. well, I'll never know how it stayed on.
Sometimes I do manage to keep shoes on my feet and brains in my head when I am completely untied and unready for the day.
I signed up for a writing challenge to blog every day of October. I figured it would be a great way prepare for Nanowrimo - which is a month of writing on one project with a goal of 50,000 words. Day One I walked through my day with some fire in my belly knowing everything had the potential to show up here on this internet vent and although i should have retreated into my head to take notes on certain occurrances, I totally burst out with some things I should not have said and found the lesson of the day was simply, "sometimes i should close my mouth and walk out of the room."
When i had time to write about all the ups and downs of my day which were humorous in my opinion with the cathartic process of vomitting it through my fingertips on to the screen, i sighed heavily and my computer decided for me to shut down and walk away. That is to say, the program stopped working and because i was writing ferociously, i had only saved the title, which was in fact, Day One.
It was after midnight, so Oct. 1 was now Oct. 2 and it was really day two then. Already i felt overwhelmed and like i had failed.
I realized it was nothing more than expressing how once again i took on too much. Even took that nifty photo of my dinner to illustrate i just didn't have time for one more thing, but i would try my best to get everything done.
Day two started with the same kind of hopefulness. i had been struggling with depression for a few weeks and the constant churning in my head of what i needed to do was daunting - intimidating really. I am overwhelmed at some giant task before me. And if I'm ready to expose it to the world, I suppose the words will come through my fingers and my computer will let it remain on the screen to publish to the web of folks out there reading on the other sides of their computer screens.
I've been living with my mom for a few months now. It was just supposed to be a couple days when i could no longer walk in fear and insecurity within my home. And now it is time to return, clean up and move forward. I keep giving myself one more thing so I don't have time to go and do something as simple as bleach the stairwell. The word that keeps popping into my brain is immobility. I'm immobile right now. I wake up and care for some of the things on my to do list and beat myself up for not completing all that i have taken on. i allot an hour of writing here and there throughout my day as time allows and find some days i can't get to those sixty minutes - never beating myself up for neglecting something that would bring me pleasure. So day two ended without a blog post, exhaustion and nothing of value except the motivation from my youngest baby to get that row house cleaned up so i can actually move back in and write within my home.
Day three, i woke with a sense of humility, believing i was not going to get anything done. I had taken some time for me the night before and shared food, drink and merriment - i had no business in felicitious companionship when there was so much work to be done. I figured out an extremely complicated coffee machine and then moved on with my day crossing things off my to-do list. No time for writing. No energy to walk back into the home i understand now i want to avoid.
i think i'm done this entry for now. i'm floundering with how to cleverly find the words to allude to events in my life, keeping them broad and suggestive or just exposing myself with words that define the literal for my days. i don't think i'm ready for either right now.
What i am ready for is to write again in my own row house and know the only way i'm going to do that is on this day four, under the title of a number that has followed me throughout my life, to make a huge step to return to the regular even if i can't ever get to the normal.
When Sevy realizes the pharmaceuticals keeping their bodies young are weened from those deemed to have exhausted their usefulness, he believes he must delve into the purpose of this synthesized society believing it is not much different than the life he lived on earth.
Esther Elizabeth Buck
i'm halfway through my life with the stifled stories stirring. i should have done it earlier, but i am on the
Philadelphia Row is a term used, not only in Philadelphia neighborhoods, but elsewhere to refer to orderly rows of regularized housing.
But there is nothing orderly or regular about any of the goings on in a Philadelphia Row.