Month: December 2013

¡A Tu Salud!

Français : Adèle of Champagne

Français : Adèle of Champagne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy New Year, Fringelings!

I was looking for an appropriate quote to inspire me for the coming year–or at least inspire me for a New Year’s post, and I found this:

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”–Theodore Roosevelt

I think that’s what I did over the course of 2013.  Not a banner year, but hell, those don’t really exist for those of us on the fringe, do they?  Still, not a bad year.  Bad moments, scary moments, disappointments?  Oh yes, plenty of those.  But also some lovely moments, and I find myself further along on the path of acceptance, a là Theodore Roosevelt.  I did what I could with what I had, where I was.

I wrote.  I wrote and I wrote and I wrote.  I wrote a few new short stories, two of which I’m pleased with.  I held my breath and closed my eyes and posted one of my stories for all to see here on Mrs Fringe.  I finished a WIP, Wanna Bees.  I edited, I revised.  I wrote a query letter for it, and did some half-hearted querying of it.   It’s a light, romancey magical realism/urban fantasyish piece.  I participated in a twitter pitch contest with it.  Lesson learned, twitter pitching is not for me.  And then I stopped querying it.  Another lesson learned.   I want to be that light hearted, romancey love conquers all woman who believes I can and will have it all.  But I’m not.  I’m a quirky old gal who will do anything for the people I love, adores each of my children so much it makes my heart ache, prone to the blues when I don’t get enough sunlight, with a tendency to think too much while wondering why, how can it be, and what if.

I want to write what (I think, I hope) I’m best at.  So I put Wanna Bees to the side, and began a new WIP:  Astonishing.  I wish I had the magical combination of freedom, discipline, and a decent night’s sleep every night to produce a reasonable word count every single day.  But I don’t.  I’m more than 3/4 of the way through the first draft, and at the moment, I’m stuck.  Pondering, as my friend Buzzie says.  I swing between thinking I’ve really got something here and being convinced this is the suckiest suckage I’ve ever committed to paper (or keyboard) and I’m completely delusional to think any agent will ever be interested, let alone a publisher willing to put money towards it.  Literary fiction, for God’s sake–something a good number of people don’t believe is a real thing, and assume anything categorized as such is code for pretentious, bloated, navel gazing prose.  Still, I haven’t given up, and don’t plan to.  A few people I respect and value who’ve seen excerpts have been very encouraging.  They like it. Ask if it’s finished–because they want to read the rest.  Completely cool, and completely terrifying.

I kept blogging,  through times when necessity dictated more sporadic posts, I doubted anyone was reading, doubted whether any of my words should be out in cyberspace.  Through Mrs Fringe I raged, I railed, I giggled.  I’m glad I did, I’m glad you’re here, and have no plans to stop blathering any time soon.  I made and deepened several friendships through blogging and through the writer’s forum.

All three of my kiddos are doing well.  Moments of breath holding, nerves, fear, yup.  But no out and out medical crises this year for them or Husband, woot!!

I will never be happy living hand to mouth in a cramped apartment, will never stop dreaming of a beach house, will never be blasé when faced with a mountain of medical bills, will never stop wishing I could do more and be more for my kids, will never stop wishing I could be more productive with the hours in my day, will never stop questioning the worth of myself and my words without the validation of a dollar;  will keep dreaming of a dishwasher, a yard and garden, my own washer and dryer, a pert nose and perky boobs.  But somehow in the year 2013, I did what I could, with what I had, where I am.

I hope to say the same in 2014, and I wish the same for all of you; my followers, my Fringelings, my friends.

Flags around the rink at Rockefeller Center, 2013

Flags around the rink at Rockefeller Center, 2013

Your Call Cannot be Completed as Dialed

Phones are dead.

Phones are dead. (Photo credit: nicadlr)

Between Husband and I, we have spent oh, I don’t know…4000 hours on the phone and in the store over the past few days, trying to clear up our cell phone account.  I think I mentioned in my last post, but maybe not, someone somehow used our account to purchase 4 new iPhones and add 6 lines to our account.  Oh, the joys of technology, it makes life so much easier, doesn’t it?

We thought we cleared it up the day before Christmas.  Then we thought we cleared it up the day after Christmas.  Then we were certain we cleared it up yesterday.  Our contract is up, Man Child and I are due for upgrades.  Perfect timing, because the week between Christmas and New Year’s is when the cell phone stores push the sales.  Yay!  This was the first time in years that my cell phone didn’t completely die before Christmas in the time frame when our contract was up.  Because no, I will not replace my phone until and unless  I’m due for an upgrade.  The full retail prices on these things are ridiculous, I don’t care if I spend 8 months with the phone held together by duct tape.

Man Child and I went into the store yesterday, ready to get new phones and downgrade our plan.  We’ve been paying a ludicrous monthly bill for what we use.  Woo hoo, I’m psyched, I’m finally going to get the phone I’ve been wanting for years, at the price I’m willing to pay.  Which, for the record, is free.  (Once I get my rebate.) It isn’t the most current model, but groovy enough for me.   Only we couldn’t, because the cell phone carrier is now on the case, making sure no fraud occurs.  Isn’t there an expression about that, something about a barn door, free milk, escaped horse, something?

An open door

An open door (Photo credit: Juha Riissanen)

Even though the extra lines and charges had been removed from our account, as far as the carrier was concerned, we already re-upped our plan and got new phones.  I couldn’t take care of it in the store, because the account is under Husband’s name.  Grrrrr.  Fine.  We leave, Husband calls and spends another 3 hours on the phone with the carrier this morning to clear it all up and make sure I’m an authorized something or other to make decisions and handle problems.  For the record, Husband doesn’t even use this carrier anymore, because of their exorbitant prices and previous bullshit over the years.  Man Child and I still use them/the plan, along with Mother-in-Law. M-i-L because it’s easier for her, Man Child because they have the best signal at and near his school, and me because they have the best overall coverage in the country, and there have been several times already when we’re out of town and Husband’s phone doesn’t work but mine does.  One of us has to have a working phone all the time.  Two kiddos away at school, another one with medical needs, someone has to be reachable, no?

So, Man Child and I went back to the store this morning.  Picked out our phones–again–go through a thing with the salesman.  He was pleasant, but of course, trying to make the best sale he could.  I get it, this is how he pays his bills.  But no, I’m sure we can and are going to downgrade our plan, and no, $350 worth of protection plans aren’t worth two free cases.  Really.  I’m sure.  M-i-L doesn’t need or want a smart phone.  I need a lower phone bill each month.  OK, we establish what info we need transferred from our old phones to the new ones, and the salesman begins to process the order.  But wait!

A stopped press

A stopped press (Photo credit: slambo_42)

First, I get a phone call on my cell from the fraud department requesting permission to process the order because our account is now flagged.  Thumbs up.  Surprise!  Order still can’t go through.  There’s a mysterious something pending on our account.  A mysterious something we didn’t authorize or pay for.  Ummm, get rid of it?  The salesman, who started out so smooth and friendly when I first met him on Saturday afternoon, is now growling into the phone with whatever department is supposed to take care of this, stabbing the digit keys with his index finger as he dials.  Again.  and Again.  Apparently, they’re just as quick to disconnect calls from store employees as they are customers.  Seems to me if you’re a phone company you should be able to transfer a call without disconnecting it, but perhaps I set the bar too high.

While he’s on hold, I try to convince him he should give us free phone cases for our troubles, while he looks me straight in the eye and explains it doesn’t work that way, how it isn’t really our loss or trouble, it’s the phone company who took this huge hit, so there’s no reason to expect any courtesy/compensation.  Really?  This is my fault that someone, somewhere, didn’t make an effort to confirm it was truly Husband making these HUGE purchases and changes to our account; an account we’ve had with them for ten years now–for phones they charge hundreds of dollars for, that cost them about 10 cents to make?  No reason for a major phone carrier to extend courtesies despite the fact we’ve now wasted many, many hours on this?  Heh.

At this point, I’m losing it.  This is too much like shopping, and I’m starting to look and feel like a 9 year old with a serious case of ADHD who didn’t take her meds.  I should be home.  Sleeping.  Playing with Flower Child.  Writing.  Reading.  Listening to Nerd Child tell me about his most recent research on something serious and intense that I don’t understand but love hearing his passion.  Anything but standing in the middle of this fucking store getting absolutely nowhere.

Man Child goes out and gets us coffee.  While the salesman on the phone is dealing with the vortex of the fraud department, we chat with another salesman who had helped me the last time I got a phone, over two years ago.  Seems like a genuinely friendly young man, we chat about New York and life while pretending the other salesman isn’t about to have a stroke on the phone with fraud and my head isn’t about to explode from this ridiculous level of bullshit.  I take the opportunity to do some shameless self promotion and plug Mrs Fringe, Man Child goes out and brings back breakfast.  Our salesman, still on the phone.

We’re now back home, with one very costly migraine, but no new cell phones.  Why?  Because now the fraud department is being extra cautious, and even though I was added as an authorized user/decision maker/bill payer this morning, they decided I can’t exercise my glorious power of handing over my debit card, with my name, and my identification, without Husband either there in person or on one of the cell phones from this plan.  Husband is at work.  With his cell phone, which is not one of the ones from this overpriced quagmire of a cell phone company.

Thirty minutes.  I’m willing to give thirty more minutes to this tomorrow, before I tell this company and their fraud department to kiss my rapidly spreading middle aged butt (not the individual store or salesmen, because they were quite nice and did what they could from their end) and go buy a phone elsewhere, with a month to month contract.  In case of emergency, send smoke signals.

Can You Hear Me Now?

Can You Hear Me Now? (Photo credit: jeffsmallwood)


All the World is Waiting For You

Here we are, post Christmas and pre New Years and I have a confession to make.  I had a fabulous Christmas.

Here I am, just like Wonder Woman.  Except for the boobs.

Here I am, just like Wonder Woman. Except for the boobs.

Excuse the pj’s.  See those fingerless glove thingies?  They’re warm, and fabulous, and I loooooove them.  Actually, when it comes to the stuff of gifts, I kind of racked up this year.  I feel embarrassed by my good fortune.  Everything I received was something I’ve wanted for a long time, or would have wanted if I thought of it, and I’ve got a goofy grin looking at the boxes and bits of wrapping that still litter the living room.  Fringelings and Husband, also happy.

As you can tell, I'm not one of those who obsesses about the placement of each ornament.

As you can tell, I’m not one of those who obsesses about the placement of each ornament.

As I get older, I’m getting better about letting go of things that don’t matter.  I used to spend way too much time and effort picking just the right tree.  This year we gave Nerd Child money and sent him to the corner to pick one.  He is not one to obsess over these things.  Guess what?  It was absolutely fine.  Decorated and hung with our old familiar lovelies, it was more than fine, it was a perfectly Fringe-y Christmas.  Ornaments from places we’ve visited, different times in our lives, gifts from friends and family.

A handblown ornament I loved was knocked off by one of the beasts.  Smashed.  I wish it hadn’t, but it’s ok.  Here I am, proof of emotional maturity.  We won’t mention the huge meltdown I had when I didn’t see my cake stand when I woke up in the morning.  Guess I’m a work in progress, after all.  Turns out Man Child put it away in a place I didn’t think of, to protect it from Big Senile Dog, since he doesn’t seem to realize rules still apply, old or not.

She's another favorite.  That's the bonus of choosing smaller trees, I only hang favorites.  :)

She’s another favorite. That’s the bonus of choosing smaller trees, I only hang favorites. 🙂

During the day on Christmas Eve I was able to run over to my friend’s apartment and bring cookies for her and her husband.  These are two of the kindest, smartest, most generous people I’ve ever known.  They gave me a lovely gift, but having them in my life is a gift unto itself.

Normally, I make a big breakfast/brunch on Christmas Day (mostly prepped the night before), and we spend the bulk of the day in our pj’s chilling, playing with new stuffs, and an open door for whatever friends and family would like to drop by.  Big Senile Dog and Little Incredibly Dumb Dog plant themselves next to the table, just waiting for something, anything, to be left unattended.

She scored a tissue, he's holding out for bacon.

She scored a tissue, he’s holding out for bacon.

This year Man Child did all the breakfast prep on Christmas Eve.  Good thing, because I hurt my back and just could.not.stand. for any more kitchen prep.  Would have turned into a throwback to the Christmas mornings when I was pregnant and on bed rest–Christmas bagels.   After the opening of the gifts, 8 gazillion cups of coffee, and breakfast, we took our time and then went to have dinner with Mr and Mrs Smitholini and their crew.

It’s been a long time since we were all together.  And by all, I mean the five of us and the seven of them, plus Mrs S’s brother.  Why yes, Mrs Smitholini and I were both quite, ummm, fertile in our younger years.  Our kids spent a lot of time together growing up.  We used to trick or treat together every year, when the Smitholinis lived in one of the outer boroughs, and I have a photo of the crew on their front steps, in costume, for about 10 years straight.  Every year there was at least one more.  At this point the age range is from 12 up to 22.  Most not really kids anymore, all with their own lives and schedules, and a rarity to have all in one place for the day.

I hope everyone had some peace and laughter during their holiday, whichever holiday you celebrate.  A moment where you felt love, kindness, and general silliness.

So yes, it was a beautiful day, peace and laughter and thankfulness.  I would appreciate it regardless, but we had a particularly stressful few days beforehand.  There was a glitch with our health insurance that is about 1/2 an inch from complete disaster for us, and then discovered someone hacked into our cell phone account and added 6!! lines and purchased 4 iPhones on our account.  Life, keeping it real.

I woke up early today and spent an hour and a half scrubbing the stove of the blackened, greasy remnants of the past weeks’ cooking and baking frenzy.  I should be working on Astonishing right now, but I’m a little stuck.  Again.  I hoped the fumes of bleach and Easy Off would trigger some ideas.  No such luck.  I’m thinking about New Years, goals for 2014, but not quite ready to write them down.

Not exactly Wonder Woman.  Not a wonder, not changing the world, no satin tights.  But all in all, not a bad close to 2013.

Wonder Woman Covers

Wonder Woman Covers (Photo credit: jooleeah_stahkey)

Merry Holidays!

I thought I would write a heartfelt post for the holidays.  Maybe not heartfelt, maybe humorous.  Clever.  Witty.

Alas, I’ve been busy doing the real life thing, but I did want to pop on and wish everyone Happy Holidays from Fringeland.


Here, I’ll share dinner, and some of the 8 gazillion cookies Man Child and I made.

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Too Tired for Words

So I’ll post photos instead.  A long day today, lots of running around starting to get ready for the holidays (yes, I’m behind–big surprise).  Man Child came with me and we met Flower Child’s class at the annual trip to the ice skating rink,  spent time checking out the fabulous artisan booths set up at Columbus Circle, and then waiting for Nerd Child’s bus to arrive.  And waiting.  Lots of standing and waiting.

A friend made a comment the other day, how pretty the city must be with snow.  Mmmm, for about a minute.  So, the first batch of photos are from this past weekend in New England, the second batch around the city today.  Check ’em out, and post your thoughts on snow in the city.

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It’s now been 2 days since I worked on Astonishing, my back is crying, and I still haven’t bought a Christmas tree.  But I’ve got all 3 of my chickadees home for the holidays, and Man Child is making dinner tonight.  This is a fine moment.

Rubbish Wars

[Garbage carts protected by police during a st...

[Garbage carts protected by police during a strike, New York City] (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

Life in an apartment building has its own rules mores entertainment.

If you’re unfamiliar, each floor has its own little garbage room (used to be the incinerator room until incinerators were banned), with a closed chute behind a door.  Some, like in my current building, have an actual little room, with shelves for recycle items, others just have a door concealing the chute.  Shove your garbage bag down the chute where it drops to the bottom, compacted into huge garbage bags that are then brought outside by building staff for the sanitation workers–who, by the way, work a physically demanding, thankless yet SO important job, spend their days being honked and cursed at by the same people who left their old entertainment unit on the street to be lifted, broken up, and taken away.  Like magic, except it isn’t.

In any case, back to the garbage room.  Sometimes they get a bit messy.  Or even dirty.  Something drops, an elderly person can’t muscle their bag into the minuscule chute, someone *gasp* puts a bottle on the shelf that’s supposed to be for paper recycle, the recycle piles up because the porters are busy outside with snow removal/salting the sidewalks so no one busts a hip…yanno, atrocities like that.  At this time of year in my building there’s a serious backdraft in the chute itself, so every time you open the little door  bits of detritus fly out and scratch your eyes.  Sometimes a few pieces of whatever from someone else’s floor/garbage even escape and flutter to the floor of your garbage room.  Can you imagine?  What is this world coming to?

Shock of the Hour

Shock of the Hour (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s the thing about living in an apartment building, living in a densely populated city.  You have to be polite.  Accepting.  Tolerant.  Don’t let your kids run screaming up and down the halls, it’s just rude.  Don’t jump up and down and bang on the walls.  People live over you, under you, on either side.  Don’t behave as if the hallway is your front yard.  It isn’t.  No matter how considerate your neighbors may be, there are still things you have to suck up and deal with.  Some of your neighbors will be musicians, singers.  You’re going to hear them practicing.  This could be nice, could be a time when you aren’t feeling well and wish you could nap, could be absolutely awful yowling that makes you wish for the music of a cat in heat, it’s life.  Sometimes you’re going to smell cooking that makes you wonder what the fuck are they eating in there?  Sometimes you’re going to hear the screeching of a cat in heat, or a dog barking.  Other people’s children.  The competition of three tvs on different channels in different languages blaring because they’re all in the apartments of senior citizens with fading hearing who don’t like their hearing aids.  The stench of what has to be the worst skunk weed in the world.  The annoying yapping of someone saying a long, protracted goodbye to their guest, or catching up with another neighbor right outside your front door–Bonus points when that makes your dogs nervous and they start barking so said neighbor can now complain about your barking beasts.  All of these things are life in the big city.

But then, one neighbor, two neighbors, well, they forget it’s life in the city.  And start thinking they’re in the suburbs, president of the homeowners association, ready to take a ruler and measure everyone’s grass.  So they leave a note on the door of the garbage room, “Dear Neighbors, let’s keep this floor clean.  There was a piece of paper on the floor inside the garbage room this morning .  Clean up after yourself.”  Then someone else chimes in, adding to the original note, “I agree!”

Now the  porters have to stop and scrape tape carefully off the door from where the note was hung, so a round of complaints about scratched paint doesn’t begin.  This is a large building, there’s always something that needs to be done, fixed, or cleaned, and the guys that work here do a pretty good job.  Next day, a new note, handwriting getting shakier, you can feel the moral outrage building,  “There are LEAVES on the floor, clean up your garbage!” Hmmm, maybe someone’s kids aren’t coming to visit for Christmas.  Those leaves could be from something thrown out on this floor, or they could be from an entirely different floor, blown out of the chute when the door was opened.  Next day, there’s soil on the floor of the garbage room, and yet another note.  At this point, I’m guessing the soil was spilled purposely.  The whole thing is incredibly obnoxious.  Maybe soil thrower’s kids ARE coming home for Christmas, and now they have to entertain grandchildren.  Who knows?

Another day, another very small whatever on the floor of the garbage room.  Maybe something fell off the recycle shelf, since the building employees have been doing outside work to deal with the snow and ice.  Another note, red pen this time–I guess now the note leaver means business, less passive, more aggressive.  And they stapled the found trash to the top of the note.  Which means they picked it up and brought it into their home, found a stapler and a red pen to complete their self assigned mission.  Someone else jotted a message in response.

Raffle tickets, symbol of moral turpitude everywhere.

Raffle tickets, symbol of moral turpitude everywhere.

If I get involved, I’m going to get a rectangle of astroturf and put a white picket fence around it for the shared hallway side of my front door.  The dogs will likely pee on the turf, but hey I’d be beautifying our floor, right?




Motel (Photo credit: Thomas Hawk)

I want to be home.  On my comfy couch.  Drinking a cafè con leche and web surfing.

Instead, I’m sitting in a motel lobby somewhere in Massachusetts, drinking piss water that came out of the coffee pot, and inhaling fumes from the vinegar they just used to wash the floor.

The plan for the weekend:  road trip, pick up Man Child, see Nerd Child perform in a school production of Comedy of Errors, go home.  It all went well until the going home part.

I want to say first in all seriousness, Husband is the best driver I’ve ever known.  I’ve driven with him in all kinds of conditions, he’s always in control, never gets nervous behind the wheel.  Never say never.  After 8000 years of being together, I’ve now seen him nervous.  Last night the snow was coming down so hard, straight at the windshield, no lights on the road, no plows, no salt trucks.   After leaving Nerd Child’s school, we drove for over two hours.  It went from well, this is annoying to breath holding, to oh shit this is downright disorienting very quickly.  Got about 40 miles.

C’mon, New England, would it kill you to tell a few of the plows we saw driving to actually, yanno, put the shovel part down and plow?

Snowstorm outside Casper, WY

Snowstorm outside Casper, WY (Photo credit: adventurejournalist)

So yes indeed, we had to find a place to crash.  I’m thankful we were able to without any hassles once we were able to get off the highway.  I am sitting with Man Child beside me, which is lovely.   Nerd Child was fabulous onstage.  And Flower Child is going to be very happy when she wakes up and sees it’s only snowing lightly now.  It was scaaaary last night.

I spoke to Fatigue about an hour ago.  He told me the snow has turned to rain in the city.  I’m wondering if the motel has a shovel we can borrow to dig our car out.  And where the nearest Starbucks is.  Trust me, if you were drinking the swill I’m drinking right now you’d be crying for a Starbucks too.

Life, Blogging, and Nelson Mandela

The Pen and Sword

The Pen and Sword (Photo credit: DavidR_

Mrs Fringe is not a blog about blogging.  It is not a blog about writing.  It is not a blog that tells readers how to save the world, raise perfect children, or make the perfect soufflé.  Really, it isn’t, check out the “About” page, I claim no expertise and never have.

I touched on this in July, but I’m a little mushy today, so I’m going to write about it again.  I began blogging to have a space to be honest and in the hopes of getting myself back into a regular writing schedule–without undue or unrealistic pressure.  In navel gazing mode while I grocery shopped this morning, I realized I have achieved these goals, and hope to continue to do so for a long time.  The blog isn’t huge, I don’t earn a dollar from it, no agents have sent me sekrit coded messages promising me contracts, but I feel pretty darned good about it.

I get upset by things.  I probably shouldn’t because I’m a grown-up and a realist but I do, because I’m a human being with a vivid imagination.  Like the complaints going around the building and the neighborhood again, about the local homeless shelters.  It’s absolutely true, these buildings, programs, and the people who utilize them are far from ideal neighbors.  They need more staffing, support, mental health and drug treatment services.  Many of the residents of my building and immediate neighborhood are older people who marched for equal rights, civil rights, against war and nukes and in support of love and peace.  Hell, half of them comprised the Occupy Wall Street gatherings.  So how come they’re banding together now to close down the local halfway houses, block the homeless shelters?   All these years, all this awareness, and still, too few are willing to acknowledge the homeless as more than a nuisance.  Definitely not to acknowledge these are human beings, only wanting to hurry up and call them someoneelse’sproblem.

Those pesky homeless guys, the woman staggering down the street?  This wasn’t their dream.  But this is their neighborhood, and for many it has been since long before Rudy Giuliani cracked down on “quality of life” crimes, Disney took over Broadway and Times Square, and small business owners were squeezed out in favor of 8 gazillion chain drug stores.  I’m not glossing over the-way-it-used-to-be; the dirt, the crack vials and shared needles, the squeegee guys hammering on car windows when the bridge and tunnel crowd was trying to get home, the Girls! Girls! Girls! you had to walk through to get to the library.

Description unavailable

Description unavailable (Photo credit: Runs With Scissors)

Yeah, it was dirty, sometimes it was scary.  Rents were always crazy here, I remember hearing about 8 girls sharing a 5th floor walk up when I was a kid 40,000 years ago.  Now the rents have shot from crazy to obscene.  The real estate bubble didn’t actually burst here, just sagged a bit.  Firm as ever now.

How can it be that I read posts the other day from more than one privileged young American toting the value of sweat shops as opportunities for poor kids?

So where is the compassion?  How does someone reconcile “not in my backyard” liberalism with the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the death of Nelson Mandela?  I’ve read many, many lovely quotes from Mandela over the last 18 hours.  Read many heart warming tributes about what incredible contributions he made to our world.  95% of those tributes include qualifiers, “he wasn’t perfect.”  No shit.  He was a human being.  An incredibly strong, impassioned, brave, fallible human being.  But it seems we shouldn’t be human.  Not if we’re living on the streets, not if we’re fighting for social justice, not if we’re regular old gals.

I’m the first to admit, I’m not that brave.  Or that motivated.  Or that strong or that smart.  I am not a revolutionary, don’t feel John Lennon’s “Imagine” is my personal anthem.

Mrs Fringe is, however, my little ragged thread of the world.  A thread for patching, a thread for connecting.  I received a beautiful message this morning from someone who recently found Fringeland.  One of my stories made her happy, she connected with it.  Over the time I’ve been blogging, I’ve been fortunate enough to receive quite a few notes along those lines.   Recently a friend who is also somewhat of a mentor even said that she believes Mrs Fringe has allowed me to hone my voice in my fiction.  Nail it.  Well, she didn’t say nail it, because she’s way more elegant and eloquent than I will ever be, but that was the gist.  I think she’s right, and I wanted to take today’s post to say thank you to everyone who reads, comments, follows, and encourages.

I haven’t written a bestselling novel that opens my nation’s consciousness.  I haven’t ended apartheid or led a nation, I haven’t built a homeless shelter or washed the feet of those who walk the streets without shoes.   I haven’t even occupied Wall Street.  I’m not likely to do any of those things.   I do try to be thought-full, to share a smile with others who are living on the Fringe, offer a voice, and more than anything else,  remember that I’m a human being, and so is everyone else around me.  Thank you for giving me a space to do this, and responses that let me know we do all affect each other.

English: Crystal structure of human DNA polyme...

English: Crystal structure of human DNA polymerase lambda (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wednesday is Self Pity Day!

Red Wine Cheese Plate @ Artisan Wine & Cheese ...

Red Wine Cheese Plate @ Artisan Wine & Cheese Cellars (Photo credit: Lehigh Valley, PA)

Yesterday I had a decent writing day.  1000 words added to Astonishing, 400 probably salvageable.  I intended to have another decent day today.  Derailed.

First, I have to mull.  And think.  And obsess.  I’m debating whether or not to include a seksy time scene in the chapter after this next one, which will influence what and how I write this one.  Make sense?  Obviously, this makes playing online the best use of my time.  Plus, there’s the whole Nerd Child left to go back to school this morning and I’m going to miss him terribly.  Yes, yes, he’ll be back in under three weeks, but still.

I was on the writer’s forum, and there was an interesting discussion thread going.  The OP (original poster) is someone whose posts I always enjoy, sometimes thought provoking and often funny.  A master of self deprecating humor, and hey, I’m a New Yawkah, no one appreciates self deprecating humor as much as we do.  Add in the tortured writer thing, perfection.

I don’t often participate in these serious discussion threads.  Everyone, including me, gets all touchy–or worse, touchy feely–and then I sniffle because someone on the internetz hurt my feelings, sniffling leads to crying, crying leads to a headache.  I now have a fucking migraine roughly the size of Detroit.

English: A bottle of Excedrin's migraine formu...

English: A bottle of Excedrin’s migraine formula. Taken by myself today with a FinePix S700. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The discussion was about luck and how it factors into writing success, prompted by an interview with Alice Cooper having to do with luck and music.  The usual forum thread commenced, some saying yes luck is a factor, others saying no, luck has nothing to do with it, cream rises to the top blahblahblah.

What do “we” want as writers?  Readers, fame, glory, acclaim, money, contracts?  The list can be long when using the royal we, but for individuals it varies.  I’ve been vocal here in Fringeland about my desires, I’d like readers and a dollar.

Why did I post on that thread?  Clearly I haven’t felt shitty enough about myself and my writing this week, and after all it is self-pity day, so I chimed in with a thoughtful and eloquent whine speaking for myself and using supporting details and anecdotes about how I call bullshit on the idea that luck isn’t a factor.  Not the only factor, but certainly a factor.  If you include timing as part of luck, it becomes that much greater.

In my opinion it is both dismissive and disrespectful to state otherwise.

Don’t even think of acknowledging the rest of life, and any responsibilities that may sometimes need to take precedence.  Heh.  If you’re a real writer, you write, read, and submit every single day no matter what.  Screw those kids wanting to eat.  Or needing medical care.  You’re a writer.  But not a writ-ah, because that would be pretentious.

The very next post after mine offered a lovely statement, “getting readers is easy.”  Really?  Well then, perhaps it’s time for Mrs Fringe to pack it in.  Since it’s so easy and all, and I’ve been doing it for a long. fucking. time. at this point I should have thousands of followers for the blog, and gazillions more reading my fiction.  And with all those readers and followers, both agents and editors should be begging me to sign contracts.  Hrrumph.

I want to be clear, I don’t believe all is up to luck, or chance, or the rabbit’s foot I ran over with my banana seat bike.  A factor, though?  Yes.


Crying.. (Photo credit: Anders Ljungberg)