Writer’s Boot Camp Day 19

I’m just getting started at 9:20 pm.   I was out shopping and spending time with friends, and then the handle on my front door broke and I had to fix that.  I just finished getting everything set up for starting work tomorrow, which is all super confusing.   I told them I had doctor’s appointment’s and asked if I could start on Tuesday, but no one replied.   I am taking a 2$ an hour pay cut and I don’t actually have any idea at all what my new position entails.  My writing is going to suffer because of going back to work.  I know in a day or two I’ll be happy to be working again,  but right now it feels like one more thing in the way of me ever doing something important. I guess it’s just end of vacation crankiness along with the illusion that anything anyone does is actually important.   

Here is a picture of a cute cupcake I made for my friend last night, for his birthday.  

I’m not feeling at all inspired to write tonight.  My tummy hurts and I feel sad. Not sad about any specific thing, just sad.  Sad to be going back to work, sad that I feel stressed and busy, sad that I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow that I might get in trouble for going to,  sad that my diet isn’t going great. I’m prone to feeling sad, especially after spending a lot of time being social. This weekend has been a whole lot of face time with a whole lot of people.  

It’s odd.  I’m fucking delightful.  Everyone says so, They say I’m funny, smart and nice. I’m often told that I’m entertaining to be around, a “people person” or the “life of the party”. But I’m not. I might look like a super fun cute, awesome person, but keeping that up as many hours as I did this weekend has a cost. I’m emotionally exhausted right now. I have so much fun with people at the moment, but afterwards, I just want to curl up in a ball and cry.  It’s like I burn out all my joy and leave myself empty and charred.

Which conveniently leads into the topic of today’s advice, “join your comrades”.   It’s all about the benefit of working with other people on projects or just having a support who are doing something similar to myself.  I’m supposed to join a writer’s group on meetup or maybe sign up for some workshops. I’m going to post on facebook and see if any of my friends want to get together for a weekly or even monthly writer’s event.  

A community is very helpful to stay motivated and accountable.  We are social animals regardless of how much my brain chemicals and tummy disagree with that right now.   I need a pack, a tribe. When I have worked with other writers in the past I’ve done better work in less time than I do when working alone.   For me, it’s about not wanting to disappoint anyone or hold back other people by being lazy. 

Having something like that again could be helpful to my work ethic and help me be a better writer.  I could learn from others who are more experienced or who have done things I haven’t.  Maybe if I join a writing group I could learn more about getting an agent, or writing successful queries. I could learn better networking skills and get tips on good books to read or workshops to go to.

I’m going to try to work on speculative poetry, but I feel like the only poem that I could write currently would be something like

Beige

Bland, so bland.  

almond, eggshell, off-white, linen

76 degrees

Toast is meant to stand alone, fuck your avocado hipster bullshit

cream, ivory, oatmeal, taupe

easy listening

the only thing you should hear is Yanni

Bone, cotton, alabaster, porcelain

Unsweet iced tea please,

Thank you

 

Hey, that was decent poetry.  Boring, yet topical.

I finished the first draft of a poem, “Calling Ahead” for submission later this week.  Posted on Facebook about starting a writer’s meetup.  

Total writing time today is 1 hour and 27 minutes 

Writer’s Boot Camp day 7

Today’s theme was freestyle writing,  which I think should be writing whatever comes into your head, but there was a questionnaire to fill out.  I honestly didn’t understand having a structured free writing exercise. I did it, but it just annoyed me.   So I’ll just do my own as this blog post.star

I’ve written something every day for a week!  Yay! At first, I feel proud of that, then I feel silly for feeling proud.  I always feel silly when I have pride in my accomplishments.

I feel both happy that I have managed a week, but also annoyed and guilty that I haven’t done more,  I always feel like I should do more no matter how much I do in most areas of life. I constantly feel like I’m failing at everything.   Things that I see as optional, like writing, I normally choose not to do at all, because either way, I’ll feel like a lazy loser. It’s hard to not get down on myself when I have the honest yet unhelpful thoughts like

  1. You have spent hours this week writing,  editing and doing blog posts, but ultimately this time is wasted because it isn’t commodified.  You could have spent this time in a money making task.
  2. You spent hours writing and all you have to show for it are some blog posts that no one will read or comment on and a few pages of a short story that you don’t have plans to submit to anyplace
  3. You worked hard this week,  and if you kept it up you might accomplish something someday,  but you are almost 40 and you only have a few published short stories and one novella length piece that you refuse to edit,  if you had been more disciplined you could have been a writer, but now it is probably too late. Give up.
  4. You are not good enough, never good enough. Not a good enough writer,  not a good enough career person, not rich enough, not smart enough. This is why eventually everyone leaves if you were worth more people wouldn’t leave.

Today is very much a give up day.  I so badly don’t want to do this, it feels like a stupid, vain, pointless waste of time.  And I feel like a pointless waste of space.

20180508_143934I guess I should mention that today would have been my 8th wedding anniversary, to explain why abandonment is on my mind.   The one person who promised to love me forever stopped loving me. The person I respected and loved most in the world betrayed me.  The person I thought I would spend the rest of my life with, who promised to never leave me, left. It’s been over a year since he left me for another woman, who clearly has more worth than I do.  It has been a few months since we were officially divorced.20180508_144007_HDR

Yes, these pictures of from our wedding scrapbook.  Yes, I have kept it, and will continue to do so.  I put dozens of hours of work into the wedding and then into the scrapbook.  It is a fucking working of art that I’m proud of even if that marriage was a failure.

I want to be over this so badly,  and some days I am. And then other days I miss him so much I ache.  I want to send him cute pictures of my cats, that used to be his babies, that he loved so much until he didn’t.  I want to tell him about things I’m doing, places I’ve been going, my goals and plans. I want to ask him about his life and be a part of it.  However, every day the urge to reach out to him trends a little less, I now go weeks without communicating with him sometimes. But then he texts me about something,  or I end up sending him a cute cat picture and we start talking, and while we are chatting for a few moments I feel like I have my best friend back in my life. A few days ago we had a conversation about “Noir” by Chris Moore, one of our favorite authors,  we talked about the Avengers, he laughs at the funny things I say, and it feels good in the moment, and I know it shouldn’t. I want to text him now, but today of all days I will not.

I’m moving soon and once I do I guess that will change.  Once I leave this house, this part of town there will be nothing else connecting us. We have common acquaintances, but no common friends anymore. He doesn’t talk to my nieces or nephews anymore. There will be no logical reason to speak to him. Any chance of us repairing any part of our relationship will evaporate. This makes me sad, because after everything I still care for him, and still wish we could be friends.  But that isn’t a thing that can actually happen. He is someone I used to know, he is part of my past and has no place in my future, the present is brackish, because I’m still in between two states.

I should write a poem!!!!   I haven’t done that in a while, freestyle is the perfect time to for that.  

Brackish

Adrift, out to sea for ages,  hot sun beats down, skin burned, crystal crusted.

Thirsty

wanting is everything

Begging, prays unheard

Wish, need

floating in a sea of salt tears

Too dry to cry, nothing left

Thirsty

A swallow eases the pain, for a time.

A tiny taste, face upturned to fresh, fleeting rain

Moments of joy, relief

Sun beats down, skin burned and crystal crusted

Adrift

Thirsty

Begging

Praying

Lost at sea

Something in the distance, a mirage

it must be

Land a dream,  stability a fantasy

Wave tossed,  powerless to the currents

Belonging to the tides, forced to go with the flow

Solid mirage?

Is that land?

Dropping down flat to the boards

hands in stinging water

pushing against the waves

Clinging to you saved me, my only solid state

Holding me back now, too slow

Abandon ship

One last push towards survival

The water is changing, becoming less salty

Soothing burns, cool

Swimming upstream

If I don’t drown in brackish water than soon I’ll drink

As much as I want

Hands, no longer flat in prayer, empty, begging

But full, of infinite water.

For now, I swim against the current.  

 

 

Today’s work log

Timer was at 1 hour 42 minutes when I realized I was I’m super thirsty and needed a drink!  🙂 Paused for a few minute break.

Time at 2 hours and 3 minutes when I finished editing and adding pictures.

I worked on “Eat the Rich” my WIP fiction piece until the timer said 2 hours and 19 minutes.   Not bad!  I think this is the longest I’ve worked since I started “Writer’s Boot Camp”

 

 

Reopened

Time doesn’t heal all wounds

it Closes them over, hides the blood and bone under crisscross scars,

it Fades badges of honor, camouflaged in soft sagging, aging skin.

Memories grow fuzzy as you rest on laurels, feeling proud of survival.

Time makes you Forget,

how to cope with the pain

how to endure.

You are Soft. Weak. Pathetic.

Back in the trenches your mind would explode under onslaught of bullets and bombs

Awwww….

you Weep alone, your delicate little feelings hurt by words.  Words? Really?

You should have stayed in Fighting form you know?

A siren wails….

You know what’s coming

Running out of time….

you hear the engines of then sneaking up on now….

Squealing, Screaming….

Sticks and Stones WILL break your bones.

I’ll give you something to Cry about.

The Big Question

Let’s not bother with that mystic, metaphysical bullshit. I’m not searching for some deep meaning here.
I know the meaning of life, at least mine.

Two little words

I WANT
The last flame in a bed of orange coals and black ash
Cracked, dusty ground, once a fertile field
The ocean reaching towards the pale, beautiful moon only to be pushed away, again and again and again.

Do you feel constant thirst?
Hunger?
Desire?
When you are alone, do you breathe out the words in a tiny whisper “I want…” never finishing the sentence, because all you are is the wanting?

Do you collect distraction?
Of course you do, I don’t know why I even asked.

I WANT
To be satiated
To be at peace
To be average

Nature or nurture?
Do we want because we are, and wanting is what compels us to spread over the earth dropping our spores every place they might grow? Is there a critical mass that will push us out and away, to distant galaxies, currently free of our fungus?

Is there someone to blame? Did Mr. Rogers tell me I was special one too many times? Did I watch too much TV, see too many ads? Was I bullied too much? Was I told how broken I am one too many times by people who were better than me, people who had more?
More money
more love
more beauty
more fulfillment
more sanity
less calamity
less longing
less crazy
less hunger
less empty

I WANT
to write these words and make sense
to know that you feel the same
to know exactly what the fuck it is that I want
your approval
your love
your life
your experiences
your friends, your family, your favorite food, your nice clothes, your perfect smile, your easy realistic laugh, your calm, your fucking silence, your complacent existence, your closed eyes, your blissful ignorance, your safe delusions

I WANT
to stop wanting
to be complete
to win
to be finished
to sleep
to die

Selfish


Pulled in so many directions, chained to ideas and people.

Drawn and quartered, falling to pieces.  Bloody meat in the sand.

With these shackles, what do you know of freedom?

Can you paint me a picture with your hands bound?  Can sing me a song with your Bluetooth attached?

Who do you belong to?  Not yourself; please don’t lie.   You are a slave to an idea that is not your own.

You work your job with no love and no passion.  You go everyday and wish you felt proud.  You don’t, but you do.

You read your New Age inspiration; you dream yourRockyMountaindreams.

Then you see a trust-fund baby holding up a stupid sign.

“This is your life” is says, and you cringe.  You want to stop reading.  You want to find truth in this whitebread, neo-hippy crap.

You want to be one of those thin pretty girls, who are so happy with their $100 a week yoga habit and their raw food diet.   You want to talk to them, but they don’t even know you are there.  You want to be so rich that it is ok to be poor.

“If you don’t like something change it.”

You look at your life, and start counting all the things you would change.  And then all the money it would cost, and all the hours it would take.  You sell your life by the hour.  You sell your inspiration at a bargain rate.

“If you don’t like your job, quit it.”

And eat what?  And live where?  Who will help you when you are hurt and hungry?  Who will be there when you are strung out and alone?

“Open mind, passion, travel.”  Painful words, hurtful words.  Unless you are a bird.

“Life is short.”

Shorter for me than you; hours wasted in a box.  Those who are imprisoned always seem to deserve it to those who are free.

“So go out there and start creating, live your dreams and share you passion.”

You steal a few minutes from your master’s clock, and you create.  You squeeze your dry old soul, looking for a single drop of life, so you can give it away.   There is no pleasure in your passion, no joy in creation.  Only release.  Only anger, only hate.  Only the giving.

Don’t.  It is better to keep your creations to yourself, to look at them in solitude and know that you burned.  To remember that you were.   Hide them in darkness; view them by the light of single candle.     No wants them anyway, but if chance allows your words to be read the unthinkable could happen.  Someone, somewhere could find meaning in your art.  Or pleasure in your song.  Or joy in your creation.  And if that happens, you lose your soul as well.