Pen caps and [soy] ice cream sandwiches…

 

Chart 'o Writing stuff

 

…or even better, “The nearly uninteresting life of an aspiring author.” But let’s be honest – that title is a bit to contemptuous even for my liking.

So, you’re an aspiring writer. You woke up one morning (or afternoon, or evening – I won’t presume to know your sleeping schedule or lack there of) and you decided you want to write. No! You decided you want to be an author! Ah, yes! The glory of the written word. The world will now know every secretly hidden gem you have held so closely to your chest it burns a light so bright it can be seen for miles and miles.

You sit down at your computer (because while paper is fun, typewriters are antiquated – lets face it – the world is digital) and you pour out your soul. There are laughs!!! There are tears… There are epic moments!…!…!

You type the words “The End” and nod proudly at the blinking cursor (as you compulsively save the manuscript 100x) – you, my friend, are D-O-N-E! Boom!

 

BRING ON THE LITERARY AGENTS!

BRING ON THE 3 BOOK DEAL PUBLISHING CONTRACTS!!

AND BRING ON THE SWEET MOVIE FRANCHISE DEAL!!!

(Everyone wants a movie deal these days. It’s insane. I mean, if you want a movie deal so badly why not just write a movie script? Just an observation…)

But alas, that is not the truth of the writers journey. It is a myth brought on by a combo of believing everything you see in movies and just plain lies. So I would like to give you a list of truths. And why do I want to give you this list? To be honest I don’t want you to quit.

I’ve been writing for eons. In the past year alone I’ve written two books and I am currently working on a new one.

Are these books published? No.

Do I have an agent? Not yet.

Will I self-publish? Probably not.

Will I keep writing? Yes.

YOUR TRUTHS ABOUT WRITING:

  1. If by this point you haven’t heard the Stephen King writing quote on how to become a better writer, here it is: “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.” I know, he has several other quotes – people LOVE the kill all your darlings one – but this  is my personal favorite. Writing is hard work. There is no book out there that just popped out of someone’s brain polished and ready to be published. (If you don’t believe me pick up the On the Road: Original Scroll and prepare yourself for utter boredom.) 
  2. Your “1st” Draft. This is one of those things that boggles my mind. It is called a “1st” draft – the title alone would imply there are more than one of them. As stated above – writing is hard work. Can you do it? Yes. Will you? That’s up to you. Go, hide, write your first draft. Look at it like the bones of a skeleton and when you go back add all the meaty parts that make it a body. Don’t be afraid of this. DON’T assume someone else out there will do it for you. It’s your book. It’s your job. YOURS and yours alone.
  3. Thomas Edison said “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” So it writing.
  4. That Literary Agent you love and want to rep you – well they may or they may not – but you’ll never know unless you send off your query letter. So SEND OFF YOUR QUERY LETTER! Do it! Right now. Stop with the excuses.
  5. There will always be something else. There will always be your day job. You will always be tired. Your children will take up your time. Your friends will be in the way. You will need to wash your laundry (Please wash your laundry. And guys, wash the sheets.) THERE IS NO GOOD TIME TO START WRITINGS. I will say it again: THERE IS NO GOOD TIME TO START WRITING! So you may as well start right now.
  6. People keep telling you to write what you know – which is fine. I mean, for me that means I will write stories about being a yoga teacher stay at home mom who is vegan. NEW YORK TIME BEST SELLERS LIST, I’M COMING FOR YA! (not). Back to #1 – read and write about things that inspire you. You love The Game of Thrones and want to write the next epic fantasy novel! Go read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith. Why? Because the characters are amazing and you can use what you learn there it give a different perspective in your warring world. Want to be the next YA Fiction God/ess? Read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert A. Hienlein – because his use of dialect is a game changer. Expand your horizons and don’t be afraid to thing about thing you may not know. We live in the information age. Google it. Look up someone who has the info you want and email them, give them a call, ask questions. If you’re a woman and want to know how a man would react to a certain situation – ask them. Ask questions. Watch documentaries. Get the hell outside your comfort zone.
  7. Okay – so you already know all of that stuff, now what. The biggest thing about being an aspiring writer is not giving up on yourself. Yes, you’re going to receive rejection letters. Some will be the fun, “It’s not you, it’s me” break up style letters that leave you feeling empty and raw. This is where the ice cream sandwiches come into play. Don’t give up, but take a second to treat yourself and tell yourself it’s okay, because let’s face it. You’ve tired and that’s a lot more than some have done.
  8. This is my final one – pen caps. On this journey you will meet an assortment of people. You’ll meet the ones who tell you to keep going and you’ll meet the ones that tell you to quit. Take the pen cap and shove it up their nose (metaphorically of course). Believe in yourself. Be open to criticism, use it to make yourself a better writer. We all have hang-ups. ALL OF US.

Writing is hard, but it’s worth it. Don’t be afraid of hard work, and don’t try to cut corners. But most of all, don’t give up on yourself. If you want to write and become an author – the only thing standing between you and that goal is yourself. Get out of your own way and go write.

 

Beyond

windingroad-romeo66

Beyond

there is a life

beyond these walls

a world

a song

a light, so bright

it will blind us all

with one glace

but we hide

in the darkness

of mundane

hoping for change

wishing for it

but never wanting to

break the smallest sweat

there is a life beyond this one

& it waits in the city

& it waits in the pastures

& it waits in the gutter

on the side of the road

choices – all of them

even the ones

we pretend we never

had to make

they cry out in the night

and in the day

all hours

if only we would

stop & listen

out there

& it is not defined

by the shadow we

refuse to release

or the melodies that

illuminate favorite moments

it is pure

it is true

it is the person you forgot

you were always meant

to be

harmoniously, you

in all the glitter

and gold

there is

peace

There is a life

beyond this one

waiting, patiently

like you never knew

someone could wait

because it wants you

it wants you there

so let go of the anchors

& swim into

the abyss

always remember

that every moment is life

when you are grateful

you are free

Time Stop

Image

the rocket blasts off

in my living room

while I sit waiting

for time

misuse & mismeasured

it slips past me

as I grapple

with air

hindsight hovers

in my mind

mocking me

with how I could

have done everything

-yet didn’t-

& here I am…

 

a train barrels past

& a snail flies by

everything strewn across

the floor

heavy sighs

little voice

-time is subjective-

yet it weights on me

like a cinder block

pushing me down into 

the depths of life

drowning in a sea

of possibilities

that will look more

promising – behind me

they they ever did – in front

 

more rockets, an action figure

or two zoom by

sinister music – hummed

can only mean

pearl isn’t far off

& he jumps on me

little hugs

tiny kisses

& suddenly nothing 

matters in the

world 

Once upon a time… a poem

once-upon-a-time

 

[Once upon a time

is over played

we shouldn't say it

or use it

ever

yet still...]

 

Once upon a time

there was a girl

who thought

too much

she was sure

sometimes

but the doubt

over turned

the truth

so she hide

in the recesses

of her imaginary world

inside her head

shadows

choked the light

ominous music

misheard comments

 

lies

hate…

loathing…

 

fear

Fear

FEAR

that if she

did it

“IT”

the big I-T

the scary thing

if she did…

the world would judge

and she would

fall

 

 

Once upon a time

there was a young woman

who moved past

all that

she “helped” anyone

she “helped”everyone

near or far

close enough &out of reach

it distract her

and nothing

changed

shadows morphed

music swelled

voices clamor

growing so LOUD

sleep. never. comes

awake

 

lies

hate…

loathing…

 

fear

Fear

FEAR

It’s better to

not

be seen

ever, ever

never

ever, ever

ever

no

because…

 

Once upon a time

she grew older

a woman, I guess

she conquered it all

except…

for that thing

she refused to notice

feel

      see

               touch

                                    allow near her

until she was tired

unless she was drunk

depressed

alone

 

… alone …

 

the darkness

encompassing

the voices

butchery

she lay dead

because it is

it is..

it

 

the fear…

part of her…

lies…

hate…

loathing…

 

too late.

it is

what it

always was

how do you

change?

how do you

stop?

make it

stop.

Stop..

STOP…

 

Once upon a time

there was me

and I had to admit

to myself

what was wrong

and I had to

move out of the

shadows

stop listening to

the voices

and look myself

SQUARE

in the face.

 

I had to say:

 

SHUT UP!

 

Because the voice

is my own

and the shadows

I created

and the fear

is unfounded

UNFOUNDED

mendaciously

created by weakness

failure to see

me

as

me

 

and then I

realize

that

once upon a time

hasn’t even begun

…yet…

 

 

 

naked b/c I want too

Picture 257

naked doldrums

as winter winds

strip what’s left

of nothing

& I sit

naked, because

I want to, while

belts of calm

drift around

me, feathery

& light

as the sun sets

& rises & then

sets again

& I sit

naked, because

I want to, as

the world keeps

spinning, because

I can’t stop it

not that I’d

even want to

but it’s nice to

know you have

control

over everything

over nothing

& I stand

naked, because

I want to, before

I walk forward,

alone, & even

further into, everything

alone

we make promises

& we pass them

on to the next

like a proverbial fruitcake

chalked with nuts

& holes

a sanatorium wrapped

in decorative foil

& I stand

naked, because

I want to

carry me forward

please, carry me on

past the shadows

& the dust

into what everything

nothing

should have even

been / is

& join me

naked in front

of the world

accept the doldrums

& the calms

& the crazies

& the storms

that keep the world

spinning

as we pass by

as we pass on

exposed

Beyond – poem

Les Alpilles, a mountain landscape near Saint-Remy by Van Gogh

Beyond

There is a life

beyond these walls

a world

a song

a light, so bright

it will blind us all

with one glace

but we hide

in the darkness

of mundane

hoping for change

wishing for it

but never wanting to

break the smallest sweat

There is a life beyond this one

& it waits in the city

& it waits in the pastures

& it waits in the gutter

on the side of the road

choices – all of them

even the ones

we pretend we never

really had to make

they cry out in the night

and in the day

all hours

if only we would

stop & listen

out there

& it is not defined

by the shadow we

refuse to release

or the melodies that

illuminate favorite moments

it is pure

it is true

it is the person you forgot

you were always meant

to be

harmoniously, you

in all the glitter

and gold

there is

peace

There is a life

beyond this one

waiting, patiently

like you never knew

someone could wait

because it wants you

it wants you there

so let go of the anchors

& swim into

the abyss

Always remember

that every moment is life

when you are grateful

you are free

Hysterical

tumblr_lurce7rMwX1qggdq1

Hysterical

Don’t get pulled under

Don’t fall back

Don’t get tripped up

In the nest laid out

Intended to snag you

Don’t stop moving

Don’t think of any of it

Don’t wait & wait & wait

For whatever told you to wait

            It’s not coming back

& don’t look at me like that

don’t look at anything

don’t breath

            please

because you can’t

            & you won’t

            & I told you so

Because I knew

            & I said it

            & you didn’t listen

You never do

Don’t be surprised

Don’t act like you didn’t know

Don’t be so serious

            We all die in the end

Don’t laugh so much

Don’t cry too often

Don’t get pulled under

            It’s all a mess

Hysteria

Hysterical

Just…

Just don’t