Wishing Someone Dead

Ok, this title seems a little hyperbolic.  I’m not literally sitting here wishing anyone would die.  Sure, there are plenty of people I feel like the world would be better without, but like Gandalf says : “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends”

If I could snap my fingers and kills someone would I?  I like to think I wouldn’t, but having never had that power I don’t know.  Also, I can’t snap my fingers, it is a skill that has long eluded me. I stick to clapping.   

If I’m not talking about wishing someone would die what am I prattling on about?  I guess it’s all about possible communication. Simply put when someone is dead you can’t communicate with them,  and therefore over time, you stop wanting to communicate with the deceased. Unless you are goth as fuck.

This past weekend is when this thought occurred to me.  I saw a neat country craft sort of art at a donut shop in Dillard GA.  It was a set of angel wings made out of the fabric my mother used to use to crochet rag rugs.  It made me think of her for a second and then I ate some donuts. Yes, if my mother was alive and knew how to use texts I would have sent her a picture,  but she isn’t alive, there is no number to send a text, there is no reality in which she might respond to the text. This means that when I see something my mother would have liked I have the thought “Mom would like this” and that is where the internal conversation ends.  No moral quandary or longing, no emo feels.

There are plenty of people who are alive who I don’t think of ever,  about 7 billion because I never met them. There are people who used to be in my life who I am super glad to never speak to again, so they aren’t a problem.  But then there are people who I shouldn’t interact with and yet I see something, think about them and want to.

This past weekend, as before stated I was in Dillard GA.  Of course, I went to the Dillard house (twice, yes, that was too much) this was a favorite restaurant of my ex-husband.  I wanted to text him a picture. Later that same day I went to a gas station to get a drink and bought a “Surge” soda and I wanted to text him and say “TANTRUM!”  as a reference to a favorite TV show we share. I played a card game that I think he would have loved. I went to a show where a performer I know he likes was playing and if we were friends I would have recorded the song and sent it to him.  But we are not friends. It was a messy divorce, and all of the shared experiences and fond memories don’t change that.

I sent him a text here or there the last few months,  about books or movies and I offered to hang out a few times.  I did this to keep things friendly until I moved but also to see if maybe we could create so sort of friendship going forward because I miss having him in my life.  I used to miss my mother, but I don’t anymore. Not even a little, it’s been 10 years since she died. I think of her fondly and not so fondly. She was funny, sometimes kind and sometimes abusive.   I loved her very much, but I don’t love her anymore, loving someone or something I can’t ever interact with would be cruel to myself, it would be damaging.

These last few months our interactions have been polite.  I told myself that once I moved out of the house we shared that I would stop trying to be friends.  I can’t be expending emotional labor on someone who doesn’t want me around. This is all totally logical,  but how do I stop wanted to talk to him?

The reality of death + time took away wanting to talk to my mother.  It just happened on it’s own. Death makes you deal with shit and move on. 

How do I convince my heart that someone is dead when my mind knows they are alive? I have tried pretending that me moving put him in a place where I can’t speak to him, and as a result, I have been putting off important legal and financial things I need to do involving him because this is such a confusing time. I need to talk to my ex about the car title he is supposed to give me,  about how to get the car tag, about him removing me from a bank account we shared, about taking him off my phone plan. These things have to happen, they are in my planner, they have time limits. But how do I talk to someone I love about business without inquiring to how he has been, without telling him cool things that are going on in my life?   How do I treat him like a stranger I need to do business with and then after the business is done, how do I kill him in my heart?

How do you turn someone you love into a ghost?  

Edit:  I wrote this last night during the “writing” period of my day, to be posted today.  However today during the “high-value tasks” time I emailed him about my car tag and title, to which he replied with threats to sue me because of something else.  There really is no future in which he wants to be a positive part of my life, is there?

Moving as a metaphor for birth

Now that I’ve emoted about what I’m leaving behind, it’s time to think about what I am going towards and what I’m taking with me.

I have loved my home so much that I was super sad when I realized that leaving this house was my only option.  I couldn’t stay in Stone Mountain, it was too close to a few bad memories and I wanted a bit of a fresh start, but I wanted to stay near.  I tried to find places in Decatur and Tucker, but there were just too expensive.

I finally found a nice place that meets my needs (1 story, can have 5 cats, cute as god damn button and nice yard)  in Marietta, but I was feeling a little worried. Marietta is so far away from all my favorite places! I have friends up there, but some of them I’m not very connected to anymore.  What if there isn’t anything fun to do? What if it’s super boring? What if there aren’t any good restaurants? What if my neighbors are mean? As I was working myself into a tizzy of dread I remembered a parable I’m very fond of:  

“A traveler came upon an old farmer hoeing in his field beside the road. Eager to rest his feet, the wanderer hailed the countryman, who seemed happy enough to straighten his back and talk for a moment.

“What sort of people live in the next town?” asked the stranger.

“What were the people like where you’ve come from?” replied the farmer, answering the question with another question.

“They were a bad lot. Troublemakers all, and lazy too. The most selfish people in the world, and not one of them to be trusted. I’m happy to be leaving the scoundrels.”

“Is that so?” replied the old farmer. “Well, I’m afraid that you’ll find the same sort in the next town.

Disappointed, the traveler trudged on his way, and the farmer returned to his work.

Sometime later another stranger, coming from the same direction, hailed the farmer, and they stopped to talk. “What sort of people live in the next town?” he asked.

“What were the people like where you’ve come from?” replied the farmer once again.

“They were the best people in the world. Hard working, honest, and friendly. I’m sorry to be leaving them.”

“Fear not,” said the farmer. “You’ll find the same sort in the next town.””

I think the moral of this story is that you have whatever you take with you.  

This makes me think of someone I know who moved recently.  This woman moves a lot, every 5 years or so. She comes to a place with the hope that it will be better than the last place, but it never is.  At first, she is excited and tries to make friends and get involved in local culture. She does make friends, she has parties, she has fun. But pretty soon that changes.  She starts fighting with her new friends who are all “crazy”, “manipulative” “passive-aggressive” and “dramatic”. She begins to end friendships with the toxic people. She starts becoming worried that the toxic people are poisoning her other relationships and starts to feel paranoid that people are talking about her, plotting against her.   Soon, a few years into moving she starts being afraid to go to cultural events because she might see some of those ex-friends who are plotting against her. She stops going out, she stops having fun. After that, she begins to fantasize about moving. She thinks that will fix the problem, she needs a new place, new friends, new experiences and this time, this new place will be different from the last.  She will finally find a place with sane, kind, honest and reasonable folks. But she never does, because that place doesn’t exist for her.

I think about my time in the Stone Mountain/Decatur area and it’s been good.  I have friends I’ve made here that have been my friends for 10 to 12 years. The place I lived before this was Macon, from which I have friendships that have been going strong for over 20 years!  One of my old LARPing buddies just spent the night with me the week before my move. I talk to several of them weekly or more. Before that, I lived in Perry. I still have a few friends from there,  friendships lasting over 30 years. So, I know in Marietta I will make friends, and that these friendships will be satisfying and long-lasting.

Stone Mountain/Decatur has amazing food.  I just went to a new place, “The White Bull” for my birthday, which was fabulous.  Sadly “Cakes and Ale” just closed, which was amazing. And there is “Iberian Pig” and “Savage Pizza”, “Java Monkey” and “Butter and Cream”,  “Chris’s Pizza” and “Top Spice” over in Toco Hills. “Golden Buddha” and “Nicola’s” near Emory. I’m not even going to list off all the great places in East Atlanta and l5p.   In Macon, I had a favorite Chinese place, and “Mikato” for the best hibachi, there was an awesome Indian place near my college and some great places at the mall. In Perr,y I mostly ate my mother’s cooking, which was literally award winning.  So, I’m pretty sure Marietta will have amazing food.

Yeah, I’m going to a new place and entering a new phase of my life, and that is scary.  But I’m betting it’s probably going to be just as much fun as living in Stone Mountain was.  I’m closer to my massage guy who has been helping me get my injured leg working again. The new house has a mostly flat yard so I can start some limited gardening again.  The house is smaller and in much better condition than my old place. There are already so many things I love about it. The area is great too! I’m less than 2 miles from a Barnes and Noble, Ulta, Target, Lowe’s and Home Depot.   I’m less than 6 miles from whole foods and the mall. I’m a 5 minute or less drive from at least 20 restaurants. The sidewalk in front of my house is new and in great repair, which given that the sidewalk in DeKalb county literally broke my leg this is a big deal,  I can start safely going for walks again!

I’ve already started making this new place my home.  I’ve painted several rooms and since I officially finished my move two days ago I can really start unpacking, decorating and hosting events.   My new house and town are going to be as amazing as my last one, just different. My cats even like it! 

I didn’t want to move,  it was painful and scary,  I cried and screamed entering this new world.  But now I’m looking around my new life and feeling pretty good.

Moving as a metaphor for Death

I feel like I’m dying, but not in a bad way exactly.  Not in the way I was last year for about 6 months. That was wanting to die but not dying.   That was intense pain, physically and mentally. That was longing for something horrible to end.  

Now, something IS ending.  Something that was often good and often bad.  I’m leaving behind a place that has been my home for 12 years.  I’m leaving behind a place where I was happy, content and safe for about 10 years, living with the person I loved most in the world, excited to see him every day, excited to be building a life together. Then it was a place where I felt trapped and like a piece of worthless trash for about 1 year, broken and lacking any sort of reasonable self-esteem.  Then I tried to be as detached as possible for the final year. Reminding myself daily “this isn’t your home, you don’t like this place, don’t do anything to make this place feel like home, this place is horrible, you want to leave” as I figured out how I would be able to move forward. It wasn’t, in reality, that bad, and I didn’t want to leave. I don’t want to leave now,  but I don’t want to stay either. I was successful in making this no longer feel like home.

This is a decaying box that I sleep in, that I have been keeping my stuff in.  This house isn’t dying for me, it’s dead. It’s a corpse I need to finish removing the good parts from and then walk away and let it corrode out of my sight.  Once I finish moving my things I never want to see this house again. I never want to be in this subdivision. I never again want to drive down very misnamed Allgood road, where I broke my leg.  I would like to have the area I never see again be bigger, but I have friends who live off the next road over.

As I leave the person who lived here is dying.  She dies as I finish deciding what to keep and what to take to the thrift store or throw away.  She dies as I pick which plants to take and which to leave. She dies as I try to get excited about my new home, my new life.  

I thought I would live here for a long time.  I thought I would be married to my husband for the rest of my life.  The people who moved into this house were happy, excited and in love.  The woman who made these scrapbook pages about moving into this house was proud and hopeful.  For 10 years my top identity label was “girlfriend” and then “wife”. My top priority was my partner.  I thought of myself as part of a “we”. I liked having one person who was the center of my world, who I planned with, who I went on adventures with.  It took me about 9 months after my ex left me to really accept that he wasn’t going to change his mind and come back. I really thought that once he realized that he missed me, missed us he would come back.  I know, that’s pretty sad that it took that long, but I just wanted my best friend, adventure buddy, confidant, decision maker, support guy, cooking partner, tv nerd, book club, stand-up comedy audience, biggest fan,  gardening friend, role model, hiking partner, biggest crush, cosplay partner, lover and so much more back. I was so lonely, having lost my “best” everything. Even though we were poly, I had somehow made him my primary in every aspect.   Now I have made a promise to myself to diversify. No one will ever be the “one” for me again. I haven’t worked on collecting new people for all these roles as much as I should have so I’m still really lonely and there are things that I don’t do anymore because I don’t want to do them alone.  I will never have a traditional “partner” again. Yeah, I’ll have a boyfriend/girlfriend/gendernonbinaryfriend, or several. But never again that “I married my best friend” bullshit. Because when that person fucking abandons you for someone better, you will have neither a mate or a best friend.  

Kitty, the wife, is dead.  

I’m giving away the books I never read on childbirth.  I bought these when my ex-husband and I were still talking about having kids, but we put it off because we didn’t have the money, we had this or that important thing coming up, I wanted to lose weight first, etc. And also, because I felt like he was too angry and I was too incompetent.  To be honest, up until today, when I put these things in a donation box a little tiny part of me still felt like I might be a mother someday, but that person is staying here. The person who is moving is a divorced 39 year old woman with PCOS.  I will never experience pregnancy, giving birth or breastfeeding. I will never raise a child.

Kitty, the mother, is dead.  

The person who moved into this house had a job, was a hard worker, made a decent of money, had just finished college, was an exercise buff, was ambitious and pretty darn good at lots of things.  But she lacked the confidence that she could be alone. She had always leaned on someone emotionally, also felt like she needed someone to approve all her decisions. Over time I lost most of my competence.   I stopped having a job, I gave up control of all my finances, I thought I couldn’t drive, I didn’t leave the house alone. I depended on others to make all my decisions. It’s not that I didn’t do anything. I was still a hard worker, around the house and gardens.  But I lacked all agency. I didn’t do anything without approval. I was so afraid to be in charge of my own life.

Now I have a job again, turns out I am super good at managing my own money, I’m not great at the food/exercise parts yet, because of my injury, but I’m getting there.  I make all my own phone calls, go to appointments alone, drive places by myself. I have a vast number of skills, which has always been true, but now I’m confident about using them without permission and managing my own life.  As Glinda said “You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.”

Kitty, the incompetent, is dead.  

I prided myself on being something of a manic pixie dream girl.  My goal was to always be joyful, to make other people feel loved, happy, at ease.  The person who lived in the house thought it was her job to make everyone smile and diffuse every tense situation. I used humor to try to never let those around me feel negative emotions.  I was the perpetual clown. I loved that about myself, and I really thought this was my best trait and an irreplaceable talent. One of my friend’s told me my husband might leave me, that his new girlfriend was angling for it months before he actually did.  And I replied, “no, he can’t leave me, I make him laugh”. I thought my humor and joyful demeanor was what made me indisposable. I thought my jokes were so good other people “needed” them. I guess I thought I was some sort of giggle drug that the people around me were addicted to, believing everyone wanted to mainline some straight kitty brand happy juice into their veins. Yes, now I get that this was egotistical. No person, no talent is irreplaceable. Also, I understand that I am both not as funny and entertaining as I thought I was, and that joy isn’t actually something people value as much as I thought. The guy I’m dating now doesn’t find me funny, he never laughs at my jokes. I have learned that there is no reason to try to make everyone laugh or to always be “on” in social situations.  Also, I’m pretty bitter and my humor is darker anyway.

Kitty, happy giggle machine, is dead.  

I’m not just leaving behind a house in a few weeks.  I’m leaving behind the concept of “home” that I tried to cling to for so long.  I’m leaving behind a person I used to be. I can’t say the new me is better or worse.  I don’t know yet. I don’t know what my future holds, but at least I know what the past keeps.

Knowing You Can’t Fail

I’m not doing a blog post every day now, but I still want to keep up with the time I spend writing and what I’m up working on.   

6/1 – Today I editing a Short story for “Tales from the Crust” a pizza-themed horror collection. Worked 2 hours and 32 minutes   

6/11 – Wow, I didn’t mean to take that much of a break!  A few days sure, but not 10! I started a training class at work last week which has cut into my time. I’ve also been working on some important personal projects.  This past weekend was Fringe Festival, one of my favorite events, which kept me from doing any writing but did inspire me. I love personal monologue style plays. I should do something like that someday.  

I have a submission deadline in a few days and I’m not sure what I want to send  This publisher requires that all pieces have QUILTBAG+ content. I have a lot of unpublished stories which fit that requirement. However, I always want to write something new for every call.  I know this is because it’s the writing I really enjoy. If I were to write something new I could put off all the hard, boring and self-esteem hurting stuff. If I use a piece I already have then I go straight into looking through my stories, reading old stuff, editing, finding someone else to read/edit, and maybe the hardest part, actually submitting. All that stuff sound totally “ick!”.  

I know that writing a new story is a bad idea when I only have 4 days until the deadline. Also, it just makes more sense to submit things that are already done.  I have too many unpublished stories, that represent maybe hundreds of hours of work. Work that no one else has read. I write because I enjoy writing of course, but also because I want other people to enjoy reading it.  

After checking in “finished stories” I think I have two contenders.  One is dieselpunk and the other is horror. This place doesn’t want reprints and the horror one was sort of published before, so I think the dieselpunk one will be the most likely choice.  I’ll read it tomorrow and see how I feel. I’m not sure how overt they want the QUILTBAG aspects to be. How important they want that aspect to be to the story. In most of my stories with queer characters, their queerness isn’t the driving force of the story.  They are people who just happen to be queer, much as being straight or cis isn’t core plot points in any of my other stories. I assume all my characters are bi and somewhere on a gender spectrum because I’m bi and somewhere on a gender spectrum. In fact, I just assume that about everyone unless you specifically tell me otherwise.  

I started reading “The Artist’s Way” today,  but I’m not sure I will be able to do this. The way the writer speaks reminds me a lot of the schizophrenic people in my family. Constantly referencing God or “Creator” is something I associate with harmful, abusive people.  Talking about how successful and amazing you are and then tacking on “but the real thanks goes to God” just turns my stomach. I find that having absolute faith in either a deity or yourself is very off-putting to me. I am willing to admit that not being totally certain of my greatness has held me back,  sure. I don’t think I’m anything special. There was a time when I did, but then I worked really hard to distance myself from the deluded members of my family. Now with a firmer grasp on reality, I can see my weaknesses.

If I thought I was some amazing gift to humanity, given by God him/herself to enlighten the world would I be a successful writer?  Is ego the key to creating good art? Do you have to believe you can’t fail in order to succeed?  

Total writing time 1 hour 16 minutes.

Writer’s Boot Camp Day 30!

Yay!!!!  I did it!!!  I wrote every day for 30 days.  

The inspirational final entry of the “Writer’s Boot Camp” is about taking every opportunity to write that you can and to not wait for the perfect moment.  I agree with this, I spent a long time looking for this perfect moment when my house was clean and I could sit out in my beautifully landscaped garden sipping tea and writing the next great American novel.  Now I’m ok sitting in my dirty office during breaks from my day job writing the next mediocre short story

She also feels that you should want to write more than anything in the world.  That when you are out with friends you should be thinking about how you wish you were writing when you are at a parade or watching TV or doing anything you should be thinking about how you would rather be writing. This I disagree with.  I try to live in the moment, when I’m eating cheese dip it should be because I want to be eating cheese dip. When I’m walking on a lovely beach at night it will be because I want to walk on a lovely beach at night. Yes, there are times when I’m doing social things when I think “I wish I was writing” and when that happens if possible I should leave.  But I don’t think I should have to pick between writing and being alive, then again a lot of the greatest writer’s did, so I might be wrong.

I bet you are asking “What’s next for our emotionally broken yet perky heroine?”  

  • Today I’m going to submit a short story and start on another one, that is actually due tomorrow. So yes, I going to try to write, edit and submit a story in 1 day.  This is almost certainly going to fail, but I figure “what the fuck?” might as well try.
  • I’m going to pick one or more of these books to work on. This sort of framework has been really good for me.  Some of these are such that it’s possible to do two at a time. I will write about it some, probably not every day
  • I’m going to keep submitting, trying to submit to as many of the markets I find as possible.
  • As soon as I know what my permanent work schedule is (Job 1) I’m going to come up with a writing schedule and try my hardest to stick to it.
  • I’m going to sign up for at least 2 writers workshops and networking event in the next 12 months.  
  • I’m going to finish content editing my novel,  find at least two beta readers to read it, hire an editor once I have enough money saved and I’m going to get it published.  I’ll start with trying to find a traditional publisher, but I’ll probably get bored and self-publish.

I’m feeling good about what I’ve done the past month.  I feel proud, which isn’t something I often feel anymore.  The mean voices in my head are trying to tell me this is a small thing, a silly thing and that I didn’t really accomplish anything, but fuck that.  It’s ok to feel proud. I’ve spent too much time with people who make it their goal to make others feel small and stupid.  I’m certainly not going to do that to myself!  I’m going to keep doing things that make me feel the way I do today, and I’m going to keep surrounding myself with people who encourage each other and appreciate their friend’s success.    

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Wow.  Today I have been a super writing Beast!!!  I have edited a story, had a friend read and edit it, had another friend read it and then did a final look at it before formatting and submitting. I have also written 4880 words (not counting this blog post or changes made when editing).  

Total writing time 4 hours and 56 minutes!

Writer’s Boot Camp Day 29

I’m starting on this a little late today because I had physical therapy and then an amazing massage at Massage Geeks, and then pie. Now I’m home and going to do this before anything else.

Today I’m looking back at the past month and answering some questions.  

Were you able to make improvements to your writing routine?   

Hmmmm….I would have to say no. I don’t have a routine, part of this time I was off work for a few weeks, part of it I was starting a new position with my company.  Somedays I started writing at around 10 a.m, other days I was scrambling at around 10 p.m. Having a steady writing schedule would be super useful for me, but with my job up in the air the way it was that just wasn’t possible.  I still don’t know what my permanent schedule is going to be, so I can’t really plan anything out now. If I was rich and didn’t have to work then this would be a lot easier. As my friend, Lori says “Just be Rich” (inside joke about a bumper sticker)

Were you able to resist feeling guilt and uncertainty about your goal when other weren’t supportive?  

Yes and No.  Sometimes I did, but other times I felt really bad about the time I was spending do this that and how it is probably all a big waste of time.  I felt like I should have been paying attention to people or packing for my upcoming move. 

Do you want to re-evaluate your schedule?  

Yes, I would love to, if I had one. As soon as I know my work schedule I’ll figure something out.  

Which elements of your Boot Camp routine will you take forward with you?

Hopefully working on writing every day.  Even it if is just for 30 minutes a day that adds up to something in the long run.  Maybe blogging about the process like once a week.  

How far did you get with your WIP?

Well, I wrote a brand new short story,  got a good start on two others, wrote two poems start to finish and submitted them, started another poem, edited a previously written story and wrote 28 blog posts.  I am pretty amazing and I feel proud. 

What is your plan for the next month?  

I made a submission tracker last week with 12 projects I want to submit to.  I’ve only completed one so far, I intend to do most of the others, as many as I can.  I also plan to start another book on writing craft. I have about 10 to choose from. I’ll pick one tomorrow.  I’m not going to blog about it every day, but I should do at least once a week. I think having the blog has helped keep me focused.  I going to see if I can figure out how to get followers for my blog, so I can get feedback. 

Writer’s Boot Camp recommends that I write and publish a little book, 4th-grade style,  binding it myself and doing my own cover. That is actually a fun idea. I don’t have time to do this right now since I have a deadline tomorrow, but I’m putting it on my to-do list.   I think I’ll do this maybe as a fundraiser for getting my novel edited or something like that.  I still have my first ever “book” in that format! (No way I’m going to read that, but I’ll put up a picture of the cover). 

Time to read over my submission for tomorrow again and make a few more edits.  

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I edited “Cinder” again, and I think it’s a good as it’s going to get.  I sent it to my friend Adriane to check for grammar and spelling and all that stuff.  I guess there isn’t much more I can do tonight unless I want to start on another story.  I sort of want to start on another story, but I think I have to do other things too right?  

Total writing time today is 1 hour 27 minutes

Writer’s Boot Camp Day 28

I’m so close to done!  I really can’t believe I’ve gotten this far.  My self-esteem has been so bad for the last few years, my goals have all seemed stupid.  It’s hard for me to imagine being successful at anything. I hope doing something like this gets me back into the habit of feeling like the sort of person who can accomplish things, who is successful.  Yes, I know this project doesn’t have much worth to anyone other than me, but maybe it will help me feel like I am worth something again. That I am worth enough that my dreams and goals do matter, that it’s ok to put time and effort into things for me.  

The topic today is “When it’s Dark and You’re Alone”,  and it’s about pushing through and doing the thing when there isn’t anyone to cheer you on when no one else cares. A lot of times you will be doing something that feels super important to you, and you try to share that with your friends, family or lovers and no one cares.  Like they might say a few words of encouragement, but really, they have their own shit going on. I have one friend, Issa, who has really been great, checking in on me, asking how it’s going. She seems to care about me doing this project.  My boyfriend has also been supportive, but other than that most people don’t care. And while that sort of sucks it’s also ok. It really is, because doing the things I need to do to be a successful writer are the sorts of things that require being alone, working alone.  In this series of blog posts I’ve tried to make it a spectator sport but generally speaking it isn’t. No one wants to watch you practice writing.

I have to do this not because it matters to you, but because it matters to me.  I also have to do this on the days when it doesn’t even matter to me. This project has been a little challenging because there are days when I don’t want to write. But knowing I had to finish the goal has made it much, much easier for me to make myself do it even on the days when I feel like a giant, worthless moron who has no place trying to do anything requiring the use of my brain meats.   How will I keep doing this in a few days when I don’t have the goal to complete? How will I do the writing without the blog posts and the illusion that someone else is following along and cheering me on?

I don’t know.  I really don’t know how I’m going to keep writing every day after this.  I guess I’ll try to come up with another game, another goal. There is a sequel to “Writer’s Boot Camp” but maybe I should do another book or challenge before that.  I would rather not do a long blog post every day after this, because that takes up a lot of my daily writing time, sometimes as much as half.

Speaking of daily writing time,  I have an old story to polish up and submit.  I should get to work on that.

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I read and edited the story, which isn’t bad!  It had some clumsy points, too many instances of “too”, “many” and “so”. I think it is a good choice for this submission call.  I’m going to read and edit it once more before sending it to someone else to look over.  

Total writing time today (so far) 1 hour and 38 minutes.

Writer’s Boot Camp Day 27

Today’s topic is “resistance from other people”.  The author talks about how people don’t like change,  how our friends and family might want to be supportive, but they will actually push back against anything that messes up the stability of their lives.  They are super happy you are working on something that is important to you, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of you being the person they are used to you being.  

This isn’t actually a problem for me currently.  My parents are dead. I don’t have children. Aside from a few holidays my nieces and nephews don’t “expect” me to be around.  I have a lot of friends, but not a lot of steady dates with them. I don’t have a yoga class or weekly coffee date sort of thing with anyone.  I generally hang out with a few friends over the weekend and go to a few parties. So far writing hasn’t really gotten in the way of my social life much.  I was too busy to host ritual last month, so I guess a few people noticed that.

I know that the time I’m spending on my writing has had an affect on my boyfriend.  I’ve had to write during times when he was visiting me, or I’ve had to write while he was driving us to some events. But mostly I work on things when he isn’t around, we have about 3 night a week that we spend together and I can work around them without too much trouble.  

I live alone, so no one notices and is hurt if I don’t do the domestic things.  No one notices if I stay up really late or work at odd hours. No one cares if I eat, or when.  

When I was married my husband was both great for my writing and horrible for it.  He was awesome in that he is an avid reader of the sorts of things I write and therefore able to give good feedback.  He is great at spelling and grammars, so was a super helpful editor. There have been days this past month when I have missed him so much.  I felt like he “got” my writing and when I wrote something he was proud of me and excited to read it. I think he liked the idea of being married to a writer, too.  I’ve had to stop myself from talking to him about my work and emailing him stuff, especially a poem I finished recently that he would have loved. Divorce is hard, even though he has been gone over a year in some ways I am just not used to him not being here.  No one likes my writing as much as he did. Other people in my life care that I’m doing something important to me, they care that I’m accomplishing my goals, but no one actually cares about my stories like he did.

However, Rachel Federman is correct about the resistance from a spouse too.  When I was really into writing, like doing NANO or writing for Dryden our relationship would get strained.   He would notice if I didn’t clean enough during the day, he would get annoyed if I didn’t want to take the time to make dinner with him or do things together in the evening.  He didn’t understand the emotional strain of writing. I remember one of our worst fights was when I got rejected for a story I was sure I was going to be accepted for. I cried and he tried to make me feel better. When I wouldn’t just feel better, when I kept being sad he got really mad.  He didn’t understand why it was such a big deal or why his attempt at comforting me didn’t fix it.   I didn’t write much for a while after that.

So, anyway, today’s topic isn’t really a problem for me.  Which is a good thing for my writing, because being alone is probably the best way to get things done.  But is bad for me in other ways. I feel jealous of people who have happy marriages or close families. I often feel very isolated and I don’t feel like I have many people interested in reading my stories and giving me constructive feedback.

I’m working today (Full-time day job), so I’m working on the blog post during my lunch break.  I’ll have to do the other writing after work. Today I’m going to do some research on the next place I’m scheduled to submit to, decide if I can edit something I already have or if I need to write something new.  Then I’ll get to work on that.

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Looking through my super fancy writing planner I found 4 stories that would be a good possible fit for this call.  Two of them are finished but need editing and 2 aren’t finished. I have 3 days to get something ready and sent, so I don’t have time to write a new piece.  

I’m going to pick one and try to clean it up tomorrow.  If anyone wants to be a reader I will always appreciate it.  

Total writing time 1 hour and 7 minutes.

Writer’s Boot Camp Day 26

Yesterday was a busy and fun-filled as I said it would be.  I went to a fan convention, had dinner with my niece and made it to the last few hours of my friend’s Luau.  There are lots of Luau’s this time of year, more going on today! 

The theme of day 26 is  “LIving the Questions”. The author mentioned Rainer Maria Rilke.  I searched the mighty google and found the passage she is talking about.  

“I want to beg you, as much as I can, dear sir, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” -Rainer Maria Rilke

Rilke was a Bohemian poet who wrote from around 1900 to his death in 1926.  I’ve never read any of his work, but now it’s on the list. This quote very beautifully expresses my concepts of Future Kitty.  I am always aware that out there in the future is a different me unless of course, I die soon. I spend a lot of time thinking about that future me and being angry that I’m not her, and that becoming her seems impossible.   I have tons on questions I ask myself all the time, questions that can’t be answered now, they can only be answered in the future.

The author put in the proverb “The obstacle is the path” about writing.  Today I wish I could just type up everything she says on day 26 because it resonated so much.  Instead I’ll try to sum it up into my own words. I want to be a writer, so I write to figure out if I can be.  The biggest challenge to writing is writing. The thing I’m most often thinking about when I am writing is writing.  

When you are having writer’s block the best thing to do, the thing you most want to do, is write about it.  When I haven’t written for a while I have a tendency to go to facebook and write about how I haven’t been writing.  When I am writing I have a lot of anxiety about writing. Am I working on the right projects? Am I writing well? Will anyone ever read it?

The obstacle is the path.  The thing standing between you and your goal is every tiny step you have to take to reach the end.  A tree that might have fallen across the path is an obstacle, but so is the flat ground, so are the paved parts, so is the bubbling little stream.  The whole path is the obstacle. I guess if the path leads to something, maybe a moderately successful novel, then each step of the path is filled with the anxiety and weight of the goal.  At any point you can turn back of course, you can give up on the goal and thereby give up that anxiety.  Which is tempting. 

The author says that “writing makes us anxious”  and that when you do it you have to be ok with that.  Sometimes while doing these posts I feel like there is someone wrong with me because of how much self-doubt I have, how sad I feel that no one reads my posts, how much I must really suck.  I feel like other writers can’t possibly feel this way.  That the great ones must have always known they would be great. I worry that my insecurity is proof that I will always fail. 

I feel bad when my writing gets in the way of other people.  Yesterday I left the house for MomoCon way later than I wanted because I needed to write,  today I know my boyfriend wants to go out and do stuff but he has to wait until I finish writing if he wants to do stuff with me.  

Rachel Federman (the author of Writer’s Boot Camp)  goes on to talk about what blocked her from writing and it is exactly the same as me.  Like, this could be me she is writing about. I am a people pleaser, I want people, friends or strangers to be happy with me.  I want to always show up for my friend’s shows or parties, I want to always buy something when I go into a shop. I want to always leave a big tip.  I want to do you a favor, the bigger the favor and the more it hurts me the better!  I am like a machine, where you put in a praise/appreciation coin and I will do whatever you want. I want to help you clean your house, I want to bake you cookies, help you move, plan your party, listen to you talk about your problems.  I want to sacrifice and have people appreciate me, need me and never abandon me.

I bend over backwards because I want the people I care about to care about me,  to love me. I want you to get so much use and value out of me that you can’t abandon me. I get taken advantage of because I don’t want to be alone. Sadly, even at my best, trying my hardest I’m not worth enough to keep the people I love. 

Back to the point…

There are two reason why I am bad at making time for writing.

 

  1. It causes anxiety.  Writing brings up all these hard emotions, self-doubts and fears.  It turns my gaze inwards and triggers bad memories. It makes me feel like the Hulk: “I don’t get a suit of armor. I’m exposed, like a nerve. It’s a nightmare.”
  2. No one appreciates it.  Not that they should of course,  and that’s the point. I’m not doing it as a favor to anyone.  I’m spending hours a day working hard on something, hurting myself emotionally, feeling stressed, missing out on fun things, letting my house get messy, skipping the gym and I don’t get the satisfaction on knowing I did it for someone I care about.  I don’t get any “thank you”. And that really fucking sucks.

To be a writer one has to value the future over the present and be selfish.  I’m a self-sacrificing, have fun now sort of person. Being a good writer by its necessity means you will be lonely often.  And that, of course, like so many things currently, makes me angry.

Today during my writing time I have to submit one or more poems. But first I think I need a short break.  

It turned into a very long break, I went to diner, a movie and grocery shopping. I was stalling. But I submitted 2 poems, with 6 whole minutes before the deadline!  

Total writing time today 2 hours 23 minutes.

 

Total writing time was

Writer’s Boot Camp Day 25

I need to do this before I leave the house today,  but I went outside to look at something and ended up playing with my peach trees,  which are not supposed to look like this by the way. This is what happens when you don’t do the yearly trimming for 2 years in a row.  I wanted to have the writing all done before 10 a.m. so I could shower and go out to an event, but instead, I’m starting at 10 a.m. I might have to work on this in the car on the way.  

Today’s topic is that you don’t have to quiet the voices.  We all have little voices in our heads telling us things and there is very little we can do to stop that.  Because they are not of course voices they are thoughts, and you certainly don’t want to stop thinking right?  I guess most people think about several things at a time. I am normally thinking about 2 things, but sometimes a many as 4 things at a time.  When I am writing it’s important to focus on one of them, but you can’t turn off the other. No matter how exciting the scene I’m writing I still know my leg hurts. No matter how dramatic my character is being I still know that I have to feed the cats,  or that I need to take something out of the freezer to thaw, or that I need to make a phone call before the doctor’s office closes at 5 p.m. Also, no matter how hard I am trying to write something good I still have inner critics, who say things like “ok, so the story is interesting, but you write like an 8-year-old”  or “No one is ever going to want to read this” or “you are worthless, no one wants you, no one wants your work, you should just die”

Today, for example, I need to focus on poetry but my legs have itchy mosquito bites on them. And Ninja keeps climbing around my desk, so I have to pick her up and put her in my lap, but then I have to keep petting her with one hand or she gets back up on my desk.  And I don’t know what to wear to MomoCon today, there is a Steven Universe photoshoot, so I should probably dress as Peridot, but that will add almost an extra hour to getting ready. And I will be in a heavy wig all day, and I’ll get a headache, and I don’t want a headache.  What time should I leave to get home in time to feed the cats, change and go to event #2? Or should I not do event #2? Should I text one of my friends and see if he wants to go too? Should I take anti-anxiety medication today, there will be lots of people there? Should I submit the poems today or do it tomorrow?  Why am I so bad at poetry? Should I not submit them at all? Is submitting anything just stupid, and wastes people’s time? Will I have time to see Deadpool between all the other stuff, because I really want to see Deadpool. Am I going to have any time to pack this weekend, I need to pack and take some stuff to the storage building?  

So, that is the state of my mind.  I wish I had someone to help me or work with on stuff together, like a partner.  It would help with the focus I think, or maybe not, who knows? I’m feeling really unsure about my work, about submitting these poems.  Yesterday I thought the one was really good and today I think it is shit, and I’m embarrassed to even be thinking about submitting it. I wish I had someone who I could talk to about these feelings.  I’m feeling strangely isolated today, and that always makes me feel a little angry.

Any way, the plan for the rest of my writing time, if I don’t just start crying, is to look at the submission guidelines and get the formatting and all that shit correct.  Then I’m going to read the poem out loud to myself and see how I feel about it and make all the edits.  Then work on the other poem if I get time.

I only had time to do the one, but I think it’s well and truly finished now.  I would like to submit two, but at least I know I have one.  I’m nervous to do that tomorrow.  

Total time today is 1 hour and 45 minutes