Archive | May 2004

I think that once we actually move and settle in I will have a renewed spirit in the writing department. I’ve been thinking about me and my big issue with completion. That’s been my biggest problem, coming up with these great ideas all over the place and getting some work done on it and then once I lose some of that fire I set it aside never to be looked at again. Oh sure, I can finish a short story, but only when I’m almost certain it will sell or someone has specifically asked me for it. It’s like I’m only motivated to finish something when I know it will be accepted, when it’s not such a big chance that my work will be battered once I send it out into the world. So, I use my incompletetion as a coat of armor, Hmmm. Interesting. As long as I keep the work scribbled in notebooks, in a file on my PC only to be seen by me, it’s safe, it’s still the brilliant work I “think” it is. It can’t be judged by others.

I completed a full length project once. A fiction novel that I wasn’t particularly proud of because it was so mainstream and so “fad.” At the time I was working on it, I was telling myself it was just to make a little money to fund the project I really wanted to work on, but I still couldn’t shake the guilt of knowing that I was putting out something that I didn’t even want to be associated with. Long story short, a small publishing house picked it up, slept on it for about a year and I found out by accident that they were no longer publishing mainstream fiction and had “lost” my manuscript, contract and contact info. I don’t know why I feel the need to talk about it now. I’ve mostly been avoiding it since it happened. In a way it was a relief, some sort of divine intervention. I was free to do the work I really wanted to do, but still it was a dissappointment, a rejection, and who loves rejection, ya know? But alas it was a learning experience, the whole process of writing the novel. I learned a lot about structure, characterization, etc. if nothing else. I was a part of a magnificent novel writing group at the time and had some great entries that I really need to get my hands on and save somewhere.

So, I’m sure that whole ordeal has something to do with it too. I don’t want to throw myself into something else that may ultimately fail. What I need to work on is not worrying about the outcome and just doing it because it’s what I love. Yeah.

I chatted with an old friend late last night and it felt great. I sent her some adorable pics of my children. I don’t do that often enough.

Maybe more later.

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So many ideas and not enough time. We are in the process of moving, which means me gathering all the trash I can and clearing it out so that we don’t wind up taking it all with us. Among all the clutter are little pieces of paper, post-its, envelopes with notes scribbled on them for books, stories, poems. I keep telling myself I’m going to grab all these things and transcribe and file them on the PC so that I can just get all my writing organized but it never gets done. I mean, I’ve had so many great ideas that I’m just sitting here sleeping on because I don’t have the time/energy to focus on and complete it.

A little update, I did wind up feeling better after that day, then I felt bad/mad again but it wasn’t as bad and now I’m all better. Way to be strong.

So, Susie Bright offcially has my manuscript. I was beginning to wonder if I had remembered to include my email address so I apparently I did. I just missed the deadline for the 2005 addition which is okay becuase I thought it was long gone when I mailed my sumission in anyway. So, I’m really not sweating it. It would be great to be accepted of course, but she gave me the option of sending in more stuff since this official deadline isn’t until March next year. I think I’ll send in “The Art of Exposure” and maybe somehting else that winds up in print between now and then. Can I just say that I love being a writer?

Brace yourself because this is a rarity. It’s not often that I give in to my feelings of absolute misery and self doubt and just general sadness, but today I just want to cry – and I hate to fucking cry.

This is the last day of the first week of my working full time. It started out okay, the kids handled the babysitter’s pretty well and it was sort of nice just being with myself (sort of) during the day and having an hour for lunch to do what ever. But now for some reason it’s just really occuring how dead end this job is and how overqualified I am and how pissed I am that they stuck me in this position instead of the other that they said I was qualified for and that I tested very well for. I’m sure they have/had their reasons, but still. Now I have to stay in this position for a year before I can apply for another (better) one. A whole freaking year of this.

But oh! What am I saying? I’m a writer, right? This is just somehting to get me (us) over the hump, right? Until I get my big break right? Right. This should actually motivate me to move my ass in the writing department and do more submitting and work on another full length project so that I can get out of this 9-5 hell. There. Now I don’t have to go to the bathroom and cry.

I found the poem on the web at http://www.english.upenn.edu/~hbeavers/281/knight-ancestry.html

The Idea of Ancestry

Eldridge Knight

Taped to the wall of my cell are 47 pictures: 47 black

faces: my father, mother, grandmothers ( 1 dead), grand

fathers (both dead), brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts,

cousins; 1st & 2nd), nieces, and nephews. They stare

across the space at me sprawling on my bunk. I know

their dark eyes, they know mine. I know their style,

they know mine. I am all of them, they are all of me;

they are farmers, I am a thief, I am me, they are thee.

I have at one time or another been in love with my mother,

1 grandmother, 2 sisters, 2 aunts (1 went to the asylum),

and 5 cousins. I am now in love with a 7 yr old niece

(she sends me letters written in large block print, and

her picture is the only one that smiles at me).

I have the same name as 1 grandfather, 3 cousins, 3 nephews,

and 1 uncle. The uncle disappeared when he was 15, just took

off and caught a freight (they say). He’s discussed each year

when the family has a reunion, he causes uneasiness in

the clan, he is an empty space. My father’s mother, who is 93

and who keeps the Family Bible with everybody’s birth dates

(and death dates) in it, always mentions him. There is no

place in her Bible for “whereabouts unknown.”

II

Each Fall the graves of my grandfathers call me, the brown

hills and red gullies of Mississippi send out their electric

messages, galvanizing my genes. Last yr/like a salmon quitting

the cold ocean-leaping and bucking up his birthstream/I

hitchhiked my way from L.A. with 16 caps in my pocket and a

monkey on my back, and I almost kicked it with the kinfolks.

I walked barefoot in my grandmother’s backyard/l smelled the old

land and the woods/I sipped cornwhiskey from fruit jars with the men/

I flirted with the women/l had a ball till the caps ran out

and my habit came down. That night I looked at my grandmother

and split/my guts were screaming for junk/but I was almost

contented/I had almost caught up with me.

The next day in Memphis I cracked a croaker’s crib for a fix.

This yr there is a gray stone wall damming my stream, and when

the falling leaves stir my genes, I pace my cell or flop on my bunk

and stare at 47 black faces across the space. I am all of them,

they are all of me, I am me, they are thee, and I have no sons

to float in the space between.

I came here with the intent on blogging about something that I’m thinking better of right now. I just don’t know how I can speak about it without seeming, I don’t know, vain or something. I guess I’ll just go about it this way. I love writing. I’ve always loved writing. I’ve always loved my writing, but in some cases – well, lots – I’ve looked back on things I wrote thinking, yuck! That’s even happened once I started getting published. I actually questioned why the editor accepted the story. At first I thought it was just that I was being overly critically of myself, like how I over analyze and over edit a story once it’s been accepted and the editor asks for changes. I end up critiquing the story so much that I don’t even like it anymore and want to just trash it. But I’m digressing big time. What I really want to say, or ask, is: Is what we write/read all about perception? What makes bad writing? Is it bad even if people like it, lots of people? Are those who think it’s bad just wrong or it’s not their taste?

Okay so I read a story this morning, well, started reading because I couldn’t even force myself through it, that I thought was sooooo bad. I mean, I know there’s an audience for everything, even cheesy writing but this particular story was written by a sort of well known person and I actually could not believe this piece came from this person. Then again, it could have been written earlier in that person’s career. It was amateurish, the plot was cliche, the dialogue was unrealistic, I mean just bad, bad, bad. It seemed to go against all the rules of good writing. I’m just gonna stop right there because, like I said, perception, right? and someone out there could be saying the exact same thing about some of my stuff. Hell, I’ve even said it about my stuff. So, okay. See, now I feel bad saying that. As a writer myself, who am I to criticize other people’s craft?

Onto other things, I’m listening to a CD this morning, Meshell Ndegeocello’s “Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape.” Damn good. I can’t believe I slept on this for a whole year. I’m a big fan of hers and I always run out to get her new stuff. I did the same with this one but listened to it once and decided it was too political and put it away. Then a year later I picked it up again and listened to it all the way through and I’ve been listening to it constantly for a year now. It’s political, yes, bot so good and thought provoking. I just finished listening to one of the spoken word pieces, a sort of blend of poems by different poets, my favorite of which is “The Idea of Ancestry.” If I can find it on the net I will post it here. It’s just great.

Until later.

A great start to my day was receiving an acceptance in my email. The editor had first sent an email asking if the submitted story was original or previously published and I answered and shortly after she informed me she wante dto include it in her anthology. It’s the spanking story I was working on a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t expecting any word this soon so I didn’t have a chance to freak out about whether or not it would get accepted, so this is great!

Also, I’ve been thinking more on the serial thing, coming up with character scenarios and such and the more I think about it, the more I think my serial is trying to turn itself into a novel. Knock on wood, but, I think I may finally have the idea for a strong erotic novel. I’ll keep working on it and we shall see. Until next time…

So, I suppose I’m up again. I make this assumption because today I had the strangest idea to write a serial – erotic fiction of course. It isn’t the first time I’ve considered it, and hubby just recently suggested it, but I was knocking around on the web and saw this web site that does subscriptions for serials and I thought, hey, I should try this! But of course, if you know me, you know that I try a lot of things and rarely do I finish long projects, even when I have the best intentions (and I always do).

The one I’m thinking of doing is derived from a favored short story of mine, “Burn.” It was published in Swing! and I haven’t received my contributor’s copies yet or my check but I do know it’s in print. I received persmission from the editor a litle while ago to reprint it and anyway, this wouldn’t be so much a reprint as an extension of the story.

I’ve been working on it the last hour or so and I’ve really got a flow going. I think I can pull off stretching it into a full length project but for now I’m just going to write and see where it all takes me.

I was going to pop back in last night and talk a little about fetishes. Well, not really talk about it but beam a little because I think I’ve begun my first fetish story. It was totally unintentional. I was playing around with something lighthearted for “Skin” figuring I needed a nice, girlfriend/boyfriend comfortable sex story. No third parties or other emotional complications. Just some good old fashioned early in the morning no friills sex. I soon realized, though, that it wasn’t just a run of the mill comfortable sex story. This woman had a fetish. I admit I’m a little um, dumb (for lack of a better word) when it comes to fetish stories. I’ve yet to read one from beginning to end, but from my understanding – or assumption- is that there’s only so many places you can go with it. Person has a fondness for a thing, color, item, etc. Person gets hot and horny when exposed to it. I mean, there have been anthologies devoted to it and I always thought, man, how do you compile a fetish anthology and not run the risk of redundancy? But now I see. Fetishes can be found anywhere. It was sitting right there in my story and since the main character was/is somewhat autobiographical, I guess I discovered a hidden fetish of my own. Neat!