Monthly Archives: July 2015

What is Happening?!

No, but seriously, 5 things happening right now:

1. I am taking part in NYC Midnight’s 2015 Flash Fiction Challenge 2015. Starting Friday, I’ll be given several challenges with an item, a location and a genre/theme/mood. I will then write stories of 1000 words in length. Fun? Hell yeah! Difficult? Probably!

2. I went to Confluence this past weekend. I haven’t been to a sci-fi/fantasy/literary conference in my town in a long while. It was a blast.

3. Still slowly fighting my way out of boxes. That’s a thing.

4. I bought a Sleep Number bed. I recommend it for all writers who want to a) sleep really well, b) write sitting in bed, and c) love being comfy. That last one isn’t just for writers, I know.

5. I miss having a flow to my writing. Everything has been feeling very disjointed since the move. I want desperately to have some semblance of habit back. I know that each day is a step forward, but it’s been really hard. I’ve started using the Pomodoro Technique to get back to being productive, but it’s taking more time than I’d like.

How are you?

Self Dare [An Anthem]

There are a lot of days when you will wake up and say,
“I think I’m really awesome, and I’ll love myself today.”

But there are just as many nights when you’re lying on your back,
Determined you’re a waste of space and a super-duper sad sack.

These are the times when you have to make a list
Of all the things your inner critic overlooked and missed.

Like how good your hair looks when you blow it dry,
Or how easy it is to bake a cake, like you don’t even have to try.
Then there’s your awesome penmanship, the way you write your name,
Or your collection of books or trinkets – no two are the same!
How about the way your dog looks when you get home from work?
Or how when you meow at her, your cat’s ears always perk?
Don’t forget all the kudos and compliments people give you,
Refer back to them frequently — see, there are more than a few.

You are really awesome, you deserve your own love and care.
Take it out of your day right now. Come on, that’s a dare!

Burn That Shit

Let this be highlighted in my will
Underlined three times
Copied, faxed, emailed,
Downloaded into the brain robots:

BURN THAT SHIT.

You will find boxes with notes, torn out pages from journals,
Unkind words
Because writers do that: they put down unkind words–
It’s better than putting down the people they love
And you will find print-outs of conversations
Snippets that won’t make sense
And you’ll assume the worst because see above
And there may be some porn
Not much
And ramblings, confessions, heart monitor readings,
Phone numbers of people you don’t know
Secrets of those you do

BURN THAT SHIT.

You will in the recesses of drawers find manuscripts,
Drawings, illustrations, bubble beings,
And you will think that surely, surely this was meant for the world
And when they do your make-up as you get ready for the talk-show
You will believe I said this in a moment of weakness,
Of personal crisis, of doubt and dismay and that if I were there
One foot in the Pet Semetary and the other at your door I’d say,
Thank God for you, you knew me so much better
Than I ever knew myself, bless you, you saint,
You made every wretched word worth writing!

BURN THAT SHIT.

I won’t say it again.
Hear me now from a place of full heart and health and joy
And from behind a smile that is more honest than childhood
And as sane as sunshine
I’m begging you.

BURN THAT SHIT.

We’re Back!

I missed you! How are you?

So things never go quite how you imagine they will. Even in the best situations. Such was the case with moving, and it wasn’t even a dramatic move. Looking at a map, it would be, like, two fingers tips. Nothing. But we are still reeling, still struggling to get back to whatever normal is.

Here are 5 things I learned from the move that I think is relevant to you, you not-moving people, you. Unless you are moving, in which case I send you lots of good vibes.

1. There’s no way to be too organized, and if you’re not organized at all, the only thing you need is a box to get started. You know those papers are important, and you should keep track of them. If you don’t have time to put together some elaborate color-coded system, at least keep them all in one single box. Not three. Not four and a shelf. Not four, a shelf and a folder.

2. Sometimes, there won’t be help there. You may have to improvise. Take the number of people who have said they will help you with something and divide it by two. Assume that’s how many people are coming. Make sure you have a separate plan of attack so you’re not left stranded.

3. Hoard small victories. Some days, the best you can hope for is a spot of floor and a cleared off space on the couch. Nothing wrong with that. Take pride in that even if you are surrounded by a box fortress.

4. You can always get back to where you were with small steps. I have a list of things I like to at least touch on every day – crafts, writing, spirituality and reading for pleasure, to name a few. I have had neither the time nor space is start new art projects, so I’ve had to be content with doodles, photos and “easy” art. Every little bit helps.

5. Take care of yourself. It may be hard, but make sure you’re eating, drinking plenty of fluids, and taking some time for yourself to recharge. It’s easy to say, “I will do that after I finish this big task,” but if you crash and burn, you won’t get anything done at all!

What life lessons have you taken from big changes?

How to Have a Day Job/House/Life/Everything in 3 Lessons

Hi. Hello. Yes, yes, we’re here. We’re alive. We are in THE HOUSE. I’m sorry you all were left under radio silence for a while. Getting the technologies to coexist in the titanium dome that is obviously hiding in the attic has proven difficult.

How are you?

Owning a house – I almost wrote possessing, but that didn’t exactly feel right – is unlike anything I could have thought it to be. The first time something went wrong, I stormed up to my husband and asked, “We should call them back and tell them that we didn’t sign up for this shit!”

“Tell who what?”

“Everyone! Everyone else should fix this! I don’t want to fix this! Do you?”

And that was when my husband walked away. Not really, but he told me that there was no one to fix it. We had to fix it. Or call a plumber, electrician, carpenter, or handyman to fix it while we pay them. And I knew that. I just didn’t want to.

Lesson 1: There’s no one to place blame on, or ask to take up the burden. You only have yourself to rely on.

We were scrambling with the last of the detritus and flim-flam of our old residence. We had just barely gotten everything out the last day, in the last hour. Suddenly, faced with the closed, locked door, I started choking.

“Are you okay?”

“This is it,” I said. “This is it. Like…it’s happening right now.”

He headed down the stairs, and slowly I followed. There was no last big hurrah, no ridiculous Polaroid. Nothing. Except the ting of a key at the bottom of the mailbox and salty, stingy tears from the driver’s seat.

Lesson 2: Make the memories while the thing is happening. They will hold on longer than last hurrahs.

I’m sitting in the eating nook adjacent to the kitchen. It has been cleared of most boxes, and I can look out over the table to the rats that are playing in the cage against the window. I can watch as little birds eat the neighbor’s wild grapes.

In the corner of my eye is a black and white animal. Despite our keeping the gate closed to the back yard, the checkered Maine Coon is utterly undeterred. It pauses momentarily, giving the metal obstruction barely more than a measured look, before squeezing under it. It doesn’t even run. It saunters to the next gate and is gone.

Lesson 3: Life is full of wonder. Just wait. You’ll see.