Hello, Writing, My Old Friend

I have missed writing. A lot. It was something I have turned to time and time again because I have this need to emote every thought and the written word is my medium of choice. In the past it has been acting or “singing” (it’s in quotes because whether I can carry a tune is debatable) but writing has always been a constant. Ever since I was a little kid I have wanted to be a writer. And to be a “writer” one has to write, so why have I been so lazy about it?

I am in a constant battle with myself over whether my anti-depressants are necessary or not. While at times they seem mandatory, there are others where it feels like in the end all they do is turn me into a zombie. I have no emotion and the things I tend to feel passion for or about dissipates and I am left with apathy. I hate it. But I have read that it is the “emotional rollercoaster” that those who suffer from depression or bipolar disorder like. They like the crazy manic mood swings that typically accompany the disorders. And I may just be another statistic in that regards.

One of the biggest reasons I hate taking my meds is that I will literally be in the midst of writing, because it has called upon me, and for whatever reason the action hasn’t held my attention or I lose interest the in the thing that was ushering me to the task. So I inevitably hit “save as draft” and it sits in my blog forever unpublished because it’s unfinished. I hate that with every fiber of my being, because in my mind and in my heart I feel like this medication is taking away my personality and my voice.

However, the dark reality is that at times I need them. My emotions become to overpowering that I end up making irrational choices that from a distance are totally out of character and detrimental to my health. So it is that fear which keeps me tied to this prescription.

This never-ending battle has grown in fervor recently because of a particular episode of the “Well Red” podcast. It is episode 15 if you’re interested, which discusses the idea of dreams and dealing with the reality of achieving them. Everything they said I agreed with, which happens quite frequently with me and audio show. At one time I may not have, as I was an artistic dreamer that didn’t see the forest for the trees. Everything was possible as long as I “believed.” My husband comes along and straps blocks to my balloon. Now, that sounds harsh, and it is, but I needed it. He pushed me to think about what I wanted realistically and to not be the “head in the clouds” kind of person. At one time I resented him for it but now I love him more because of his ability to be honest with me. He wasn’t saying I couldn’t do it, he was just giving me a healthy dose of the reality that it may not happen and if it doesn’t to not be destroyed because of that “failure.” (I don’t want to use failure in this instance, but until my mind comes up with another more appropriate one it will have to stay.)

If you haven’t had the pleasure of listening to that podcast, do yourself a favor and do it now. These gents are super intelligent and such advocates for the gay community. I couldn’t love them more than I do, without knowing them personally. I’ve been binge listening to the whole series thus far and have only come across 1 episode I didn’t like and that was because the person they were interviewing reminded me of a toxic individual I removed from my life. Other than that… they’re hilarious and I could listen to them all day, and have.

Listening to Trae’s story about holding a job during the day and doing stand-up at night, with kids, has reminded me that it is possible to try. Success, however, is all about luck and timing. And that won’t happen if I don’t keep at it or even make an attempt. And this show has reignited that spark in me.

Writing has taken a backseat lately because of my pills, as previously mentioned, but also because of my obligation to complete my appraisal courses and working to get my AA in journalism from my local college. Something had to give and it was writing blogs or working on my novel. But… as of last Monday I have completed my appraisal courses and can now get my license.

It’s funny, the first thought I had after passing my course (other than immense relief and the want to break down crying) was that I can finally get back to working on my novel. And I mean, immediately after. I was walking away from the testing center when it came rushing to my mind.

It warms my heart to know that no matter how much time passes or what obligations get in the way, the thing I return to time and again is writing. If only I could figure out this pill situation…

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Attempting to be Unexpected.

Well look at that, I made it to day two.  Give it a couple more days and I’ll peter out.  I always do.  I think it’s because I become so concerned with my writing style and technique.  Basically I think it’s shit.  And I let that negativity bounce around in my brain until every part of it is now dented or bruised.  Ultimately forcing myself to give up because I’m believing that voice.

Strangely I don’t feel that way yet.  I’m oddly calm and somewhat positive.  Again, just a fluke.  I’ll beat myself into submission and give up, claiming I’m shit.

(That’s the way to go about it, Josh, with sarcasm and negativitiy! Good Job.)

Year of Writing Prompts by Brian A. Klems & Zachary Petit
January 2nd
High Stakes Holidays
“That’s not a New Year’s Resolution.  That’s a death wish.” Use this as a first line and run with it!

“So, basically,” Anthony said, stuffing another crème puff into his mouth, “I’m going to just say fuck it and gain as much weight as I can.  I call it my ‘Don’t fear what you’ll gain in a year.'”

“That’s not a New Year’s resolution, Tone,” Becka said, “That’s a death wish. Do you realize how unhealthy that is.  Well,” she paused, craning her head back and blinking furiously,”or do you mean you’ll eat whatever you want, but mainly vegetables.  Or is it an atkins thing?”

Tony shook his head, while devouring another puff in one bite.

“No.  This isn’t a weightloss journey, beck.  This is I’m going to eat whatever the fuck I want whenever the fuck I want to.  Screw diets and working out.  That’s for the birds.  I’m just going to live my life and eat whatever I want.”

Becka stared slack jawed.

Tony popped his eyebrows and smiled. “Jealous.”

“No. No I’m not. You’re tying to kill yourself.”

“Why does everyone always say that.  I’m not killing myself.  I would be if I was intentionally trying to get fat.  That would mean I was bed ridden and could never leave the house or have to work…”

“No! Tony, don’t you go there! I see those wheels spinning.  Just take it back to eating whatever you want.  But to intention-”

“Are you kidding! I wouldn’t have to work! I could stay at home and play my xbox all day.” Tony looked off into the middle distance. A grin played about his lips.

In his moment of distracted contemplation Becka hurriedly seized her moment.  She shoved her hand into her coach bag and produced a pair of fuzzy handcuffs hich she proceeded to lock around Tony’s wrist and her dining room chair.

The people packed into her apartment carried on without a second glance.

“What the hell,” Tony said, “Beck, where did you get these?”

“Tony, I’m doing this for your own good.”

Tony opened his mouth to speak but when becka promptly turned to a pair of muscly gentlemen standing in her kitchen he didn’t respond. They exchanged a few words as becka pointed over her shoulder. The two men laughed and walked around her and strutted over to Tony.  He watched confused as the men picked up the chair and carried him with it down the hall and into the spare room.

“Sleep tight, bud,” one of them said.

They left the room, shutting the door behind them.

Little did they know that Becka had tricked them and Tony into a scheme she had concocted on the fly.  For the next three weeks she kept her friend hostage in her spare room.  She would visit nightly to feed him and bathe any exposed skin.

“Becka, you’re insane, let me go.”

She pressed herfinger to his lips.

“I’m crazy? You’re the one who wanted to get fat on purpose.  I am saving you from yourself. ”

“Please! Somebody help me!” Tony screamed.

Becka grabbed the ballgag and put it back into his mouth.

“Naughty, naughty,” She said. “Remember we talked about that.”

Tony groaned behind the red rubber gag.

It wasn’t until the next day that Tony knew what he had to do.

Becka entered the room backwards, carrying a tray of sour dough bread and vegetable soup.

“I made it myself!”

With nimble fingers she removed the ball and prepared to spoon feed him, even though he had a free hand.

“Beck, I have finally realized the error of my ways.”

Sitting up straight she lowered the spoon back to the bowl.  Her blue doe eyes fixed with his.

“What is it darling?”

“It is obvious that you care so much for me.  I want you to marry me and care for me this way always.”

“What?”

“Yes. I must have you.”

Becka frowned and put the tray on the floor to the side of her chair.  With liquid motions she pulled the key from her pocket and unlocked Tony from his restraints.

“I’d rather you get fat.”

A Year Long Challenge. Maybe.

Back in July Writer’s Digest (my hooker of choice) offered a special on a couple e-books. One of which was a book that offered a different writing prompt for every day of a full calendar year.  I wanted to start immediately, but seeing as how the book began on January 1st I thought I’d wait until that time to begin.  Especially since the prompts grew more difficult with each passing day.

Like most things I say “I’ll remember this for later.” I very nearly forgot. It wasn’t until Writer’s Digest sent me another dirty tease about that book which reminded me of it’s existence on my computer.  So, if all of my other resolutions fail I wish for this one to at least go.  I think I can write everyday and post it on here.  (Can’t I?)

The first prompt of Year of Writing Prompts (by Brian A Klems and Zachary Petit) is very fitting for the first of January.

“January 1. Your Resolutions. What are your New Year’s resoltuions? Take one and create a fictional story surrounding it.”

Like countless thousands, I have made at least one resolution.  Though being the lazy overachiever I am I have made a list of 6 different things I would like to accomplish in the new year. Whether I actually achieve them is an entirely different story.  One of my favorite quotes is from the movie Forest Gump which perfectly sums up my feelings about resolutions and a new year.  The scene is of Forest,Captain Dan, and the two hookery girls in a bar watching the ball drop in time square.  One of them with big doughy eyes watches and says in a whisper “I love new years. Everybody gets a second chance.” And if I am given a second chance I’m going to at least mildly attempt it with gusto.

My Resolutions:

1 – Finish my book.
2 – Get in shape.  I’m 58 lbs overweight.
3 – Read at least 12 books.
4 – Get spiritually settled.
5 – Start a family.
6 – Pay off my credit cards.

Derek and Moira stood nervously in the exam room.  Despite having told her numerous times to sit Moira had refused.  So instead he wrapped his wife in his embrace.  He pressed his cheek to hers and hum a tune of his own creation.  It was one of the things she loved most about him.  The gentle melody soothed her nerves and she could focus on more important things like fertility and being pregnant.

This was round number six in their battle with her failing uterus.  In one of there attempts she thought she had a knock out but it came in with a sucker punch and knocked all the wind from her gut.  The two had been devastated and spent nearly a year recuperating.

“Do you think he’s taking so long because it’s good news?” she asked.  She kept her eyes shut and focused on Derek and herself, blocking the rest of the world out.  In her mind she and he stood in the vast expanse of the galaxy among stars and moons.

Derek stopped humming and hugged her tighter.

“It will be what it will be.” he said.

Luckily her eyes were shut and him not looking cause he would have been offended at her eye roll.  It was the best he coud offer at such a time.  He was just as clueless as her and she knew that.

They had prepared in the car before they dare enter the office.  And prior to that they had spent all night talking it through.  The final conclusion then was if this didn’t work they would have to adopt.  Derek had made such a beautiful altruistic case.

“There are so many other kids in this world desperate for a family.  Why would we deny them a loving home?”

She had hated him for his sense of logic. Even a tiny bit jealous.  She had always assumed he felt the same as her when it came to the question “biological or not?” How could they be close to a child that wasn’t made up of the two of them? It was an absolutely selfish thought.  She knew that.  But with all her knowledge she couldn’t change the pressing fear and guilt weighing in her chest.

Please, God, she prayed for the billionth time.

With a click of the door the doctor swooped into the exam room.  He instinctively looked at the table before peering around the door, momentarily perplexed.

“Good afternoon,” he said.

The two stepped from the other’s embrace and stood, only inches apart, with their hands clasped together. Derek like the gentleman that he was offered his hand to the doctor. The white coat clad physician took it and gave it a firm shake.  Already his confidence and cool demeanor had Moira hopeful.  Of the times before, she had known the answer before they had spoken a word.

“So we got back the test and I have some bad news and some good news.”

Moira’s heart froze in her chest.   Derek tightened his grip around her hand.  They could do this, it said.

“The good news is that you are definitely pregnant,” he said then looked down.

“You know what, Dr. Stewart, You can stop there.  Unless the bad news is that it would somehow harm my wife I don’t think we should know. At this point, no matter how the baby is, we will love it all the more.  Because it’s ours.”

MOira looked at her husband, studying his square features and stubbled complexion.

“Okay.” The doctor said.

Derek met his wife’s gaze and smiled.

“Because it’s ours,” she said.

My Cheeks are Burning

I said it a prior post, but for some reason since my trip from London (listen to me, “since” it’s been 4 days) I’ve felt very different.  I don’t know what it is, but I want my life to be different.  I in particular want to be someone else.

When I sit down to define exactly what that is I come up with only a couple items.  For one, I want to be thinner.  Although, the way I’ve been eating the past few days you wouldn’t know that.  I don’t understand the root of my sudden ravenousness, but regardless it needs to stop.  The second is, I want to be published.  This one in particular isn’t as cut and dry.  It takes preparation and planning.  It takes fucking dedication, which as of late hasn’t really been me.  I will find every excuse in the book not to sit down and write.  My reasons get worse when I read my novel and see how much work it needs.  But, even as I say that I don’t even know if that’s a true statement.  For all I know I am building it up in my head to be worse than it is, thus giving me a reason not to do it.  “There is just so much to do.”

I recently purchased Amy Poehler’s novel “Yes Please” in audiobook and have been listening to it.  Just in the preface her words spoke to me like none others I have ever read or heard before.  She talked about how difficult writing is and equated the process to pregnancy.  Her words were much more eloquent whereas mine are not.

I need to stop making excuses.  The only way the thing is going to get done is if I do it.  I just need to write a little bit everyday and before I know it, it’ll be finished.

I want to be a different person.  I want to change everything about me.  I want to burst into flame and arise from the ashes anew.  I can feel my cheeks flushing.

Every journey… small step… you know the drill

It’s been three days since I first stated that I would begin working on a chapter at a time on my lunch break, and already I have completed my revisions of chapter one.  Now, that’s not anything amazing because prior to this assignment I had edited the shit out of it.  This is just another once over. 

I took some advice and printed out the entire chapter and began with reading it over and marking my edits.  And though I had my doubts that seeing it on paper would be any different than seeing it on a screen I was proven wrong, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  It’s almost like I have two very different personalities while looking at a screen and looking at a printed document.  While at a computer I am the writer, splashing my thoughts into text and seeing where my images take me.  But looking at it in black and white on a crisp sheet of paper I was Mr. Critique and approached my project with the same attitude I give to anyone who happens to hand me their work and wants notes.  I was harsh but fair all at the same.

After finishing up with my handy pen work (I have to note that it looked like I took a razor blade to my paper and it was bleeding) I spent my lunch entering my changes. The feeling of accomplishment is truly surprising.  I’ve only finished one chapter, but the fact that I stuck to it and achieved my goal is where my pride resides. 

On to chapter two!

Thoughts are buzzards and my brain a carcass

Obsession fuels my every thought.  Any and all action I do comes from the constant nagging at the back of my mind about some topic.  For instance, recently, I have been obsessed on the decision of whether to ditch my iPhone and get the Nokia 1520.  After some repetitive thoughts and madness I have finally concluded that I will move on to the Nokia.  I’ve had the iPhone for so long and I just want a change. 

I used to be a nokia only man.  I had the 3300 back in the day.  You know, the big grey bar thing with the green lit screen?  Yeah, that one.  Fucking loved the thing.  The first time I ever ventured out of the nokia realm was to attempt a go at the Pink Motorolla phone and that lasted about a day before I ditched it altogether.  I may be proud of my gay agenda but I do draw a line.  Plus it didn’t really fit me.  So I returned the phone and back into the arms of my Finish company.  I thought they made a good product.  It wasn’t until the iPhone came along that I dropped nokia and went over to apple.  And I was happy.  Still am as a matter of fact. I don’t see anything wrong with the iPhone.  It does what it’s meant to do. Well.

Besides annoying myself with my own obsessive thoughts I’ve dragged my husband into them also.  He doesn’t quite understand where this obsession stems from, other than the fact that I invested in Microsoft stock and since have been hitching my horse to their wagon; besides that I have come to the conclusion that if I happen to have the Nokia 1520, that comes with office preinstalled, I will have no more excuses to why my novel isn’t finished or even being worked on.  The hubby doesn’t seem to buy it and doesn’t think I’ll use it for that at all.  And he may be right, but then again he may be wrong. 

Speaking of writing, I don’t know if I blogged it here or not (I have so many different sites for expression) but I came up with a new plan of attack for my novel.  Because as I thought of my inactivity and fear I worked backward to see where they stemmed from and discovered it could just be due to the fact that I am overwhelmed with the size of the project.  It’s a huge undertaking.  As of right now my manuscript (untouched of course) stands at a little over 60,000 words.  That’s a lot.  And when I sit to begin editing I think of how huge the document is and panic.  Then I have a nervous breakdown and stop working on it completely.  (No me gusta.)  So I have resolved to work on a single chapter at a time.  I’m not going to worry about what comes after, or what follows in the next 20 chapters.  Oh no.  I am going to work on one at a time to reignite the fire.  And the beauty of my plan is that I have attempted to work on it from the start multiple times and have gotten to the point that the first few chapters are rather smooth going.  (It’ll just be a pain in the later scenes.)

Even though I discovered that brilliant plan it has, of course, languished.  I don’t know what it is but the moment I get home I am EXHAUSTED.  I have next to no motivation (despite my burning desire to be published) and instead watch television or something equally as dumb. So I looked at the problem and attempted to fix it.  My next plan, to benefit the first, is to return to the days of when I spent my lunch hour working on my novel.  I would sit at some corner of the Carl’s Jr. around the corner off my office and perfect my writing.  It was nice to be out of an area that doesn’t offer wi-fi thus decreasing my chances of distractions. Plus, the fast food joint is no real hot-bed of activity so no one goes there.  It works for me and says so much of my personality.  Everyone does the coffee house.  And I find that they’re even more distracting.  The grinding of the coffee, people constantly coming in and out, or the loud conversation.  How anyone writes in a Starbucks or it’s equivalent is beyond me. 

SO! Tomorrow I will be getting up early, to get to work on time, so that I can take a lunch and work on my novel.  I will do this.  I can do this. The only one holding me back is me.   And if that doesn’t work I have my upgrade to the Nokia 1520 to look forward to at the end of April.  And maybe then I’ll stop talking about it and do it.

P.S. how is it that wordpress has an effing blackberry app but not a windows phone app?  I mean… talk about a waste of time… No one uses a blackberry anymore.  Get on it WordPress!