Month: March 2013

There’s a Frog in My Keyboard

English: head of waterfrog (Rana esculenta) Fr...

English: head of waterfrog (Rana esculenta) Français : tête de grenouille verte (Rana esculenta) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An unfortunate state of affairs, because the letter “f” on my laptop sticks.  About a third of the time when I hit it nothing appears, another third I remember to come down extra hard, and I get three fffs in a row.  But I digress.

You know what I mean, when you don’t have actual laryngitis, but what comes out when you open your mouth is not reliable.

I’m taking a day off from the WIP today, because I’m not sure what my next scene is.  Rather than stare at the cursor and sob, I decided to take a break.  At first thought, the problem is I need a bridge chapter or so to get where I’m headed, in terms of plot and character growth.  I’m also at a point in the work where as I’ve added subtext and subplot, the shape of the whole beast is called into question.  I can keep it on the same light track I’ve been on, or I can take it deeper, shifting the style and tone.   As I engage in this self indulgent pondering, I’m realizing there’s something horribly familiar to this line of thought.  (Let’s be honest, Mrs Fringe excels at self-indulgent exercises.)  Prior manuscripts?  Sure, there are always points where you have to step back and think about what makes the most sense before pushing forward.

The familiarity breeding contempt, having me wonder if the whole damned thing sucks and should be scrapped?  It’s the feeling that I’m on a similar page in life.  Coming up on a plot twist, and just not sure how to write it, or even what it should be, but I know something has to happen.

Contemplation #1

Contemplation #1 (Photo credit: Ed Yourdon)

This morning I was on the elevator with a kid whose hair looked like a cross between Don King and Gerald,

Hey Arnold!

Hey Arnold! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

the best friend with the impossibly high “fade” from Hey Arnold.  Man Child was about four years old when he fell in love with that show, and tried desperately to explain to the gal at Supercuts that he wanted that haircut, while I tried desperately to explain to him that his hair was a different texture, and could never be sculpted into a cylindrical afro that defied gravity.

If you aren’t familiar with it, Hey Arnold was an animated series that ran on Nickelodeon for 6? 8? years, beginning in the mid to late ’90’s.  It was a great show, with fully fleshed out characters, both kids and adults, real problems, and real heart demonstrating life for members of the fringe in a big (fictitious) city.

I began the day thinking I’d like to hide from the WIP and read. Bury myself in my favorite books until I was saturated in Updike, spiked with Joyce Carol Oates, crying Magaret Atwood and bleeding Stephen King.  But maybe not, maybe I should turn on the tv and find some Hey Arnold reruns to remember who I am and the pitch of my voice, as a woman on the fringe trying not to let go.

Did You Make Your Bed Today?

my messy busy bed

my messy busy bed (Photo credit: pequeña esquimal)

 

I didn’t.  In fact, I never do–other than when I change the sheets.  To be honest, my bed doesn’t look like the photo above, there’s plenty of room for me.

 

But what makes someone feel the need to make their bed every day?  Serious question.  When I wake up and leave the room, that’s it.  I usually don’t go in there again until…bedtime.   So why would I make the bed?

 

Flower Child loves to make her bed.  She does a great job straightening the blankets, arranging pillows, and sculpting still life portraits out of her stuffies.  I can’t help but wonder what makes someone find that a necessary part of daily chores, or even appealing.  Wanting the house to be clean, I understand.  Keeping the house neat and organized, also understood.  I wish I had enough room to be neat and organized, it feels good to walk into a space that’s calm and not overcrowded.  But I have never found it to make me feel better or worse to have the bed made.  It isn’t embarrassing to me if someone comes over, because I don’t entertain in my bedroom.  If someone is over, and does have a reason to come into my room, well, it’s my bed.  Is sleeping considered something embarrassing we’re supposed to pretend we don’t do?

 

You know all those “you’ll sees” and “you’ll understand whens” you heard from your mother when you were growing up?  Some of them, I knew I would never see, or understand.  I am a totally different personality than my mother was.  Other things, like being compelled to make the bed each morning, I kept waiting for them to kick in.  Never happened.

 

New bed

New bed (Photo credit: – Annetta -)

My unmade bed and I are very happy.

Last night when I walked the beasts it was freezing. The wind gusts were so strong, when I walked towards the corner to throw the poop bag away, the public trash can was actually lifted and flipped upside down by the wind.  Weird, scary, and kind of cool.

This morning before the traffic got heavier, I heard birds.  Not pigeons, birds.  Spring is coming!

 

And You Will Bow Before Me

Sculpture by Ernemann Sander: Badende in front...

Sculpture by Ernemann Sander: Badende in front of Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My plan/goal/resolution for 2013 was to write and submit.  I’m writing.  Submitting, not so much.  Ok, not at all.  I think my idea was to have at least one submission out each month.  No, I’m not going to look back and check, just in case I was even more delusional than one a month. At first I thought, “I have plenty of time, January has 31 days!”

Then I didn’t think about it at all.  In the last week, I remembered.  Well, no problem.  Yanno, in that writing is easy kind of way.  I’ll make up for lost time, and send out five submissions this month.  The strangest thing happened, though.  The more I began researching where I should send my stories, the more I had other, fabulous ideas that needed to be written down right now. And the more I thought of revisions that had to be made, on stories I haven’t looked at in forever, right now.  And of course, the more I needed to check in on Facebook, right now.  Hard to believe I’ve yet to decide what to submit where.

Submit. Submission.  Submissive.  Submerge. Not loving these words.

dark water

dark water (Photo credit: rafa2010)

I know all about submission, I read Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty series.  I even read the Story of O–and what a surprise that was, found by my 15 year old self in the poetry section of a used book store.  But what else would I call it?  An offering?  I don’t know about you, but that still brings the sacrificial lamb to my mind.

But still, I’m going to do it.  Why?  Because I write, and that’s what people who write, do.  We write, revise, delete, bang our heads into the wall, write some more, edit some more, and then submit.  It’s funny, the stages you go through as a writer.  Not everyone goes through the same ones, or in the same order, but I’ve spoken with a lot of writers in my forty thousand years.  Female, male, self taught, MFAs, published or unpublished, the variations of this theme are all sewn with the same thread.  As a child you write, and show your work to everyone.  Then you begin to hoard it.  No one understands me. Absolutely true, no one understands what you don’t share.  Then you begin to share again, with those you think will understand your golden thoughts.  And then someone doesn’t, or points out the flaws, and it’s crushing. (This stage may now be extinct, the current and more recent generations have the internet, allowing them to learn everyone has to go through this, and someone taking time to point out flaws and errors is a good thing).  Then you write again and dream about being a writ-ah.  Or a huge commercial success.  And you write more and truly begin to learn about editing, revising, rewriting, sharing your work, being critiqued, and the publishing business. And you begin to submit.  Some of us stall out and go through these stages several times.

Writing, pursuing publication, it’s a weird thing.  You have to have complete and total faith in yourself and your work, but at the same time you have to be open to critique, open to learning more, improving craft, understand that rejection of that work is part of the process.  Pride but not hubris.

Will I get five submissions out by the end of this month?  Maybe.  But I will send my work out.  It will be on submission, not me.

Though there may have to be some floggings.

English: A woman flogging a submissive man on ...

English: A woman flogging a submissive man on a bed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)