I want to shut myself in a box under my bed.
I need help.
I want to shut myself in a box under my bed.
I need help.
Considering the ever-growing laundry list of reasons for my brain to leak out of my ears into red-swirled gray puddles, it’s a wonder I can get up in the morning, let alone write.
Whenever my life feels like a tangle of tight yarn twined around my fingers, I can’t seem to untangle the knots in my stories either.
Cut this scene. Put it back three pages earlier. Tweak the dialogue. Edit four lines. Consolidate this loan. Make that payment. Come to work early.
In the end I needed that scene where it was to emphasize who the main character used to be. And coming in an hour and a half early zombifies me with sleeplessness. Continue reading
My Grandpa is only 11 years older than my mother.
My Grandma is the most killinest dame this side of the Rockies (and when she lived in California, she was the killinest dame on that side of the Rockies). Back in the 70s, after she broke up with the drummer to Earth, Wind, & Fire, she sashayed her 31-year-old mother-of-three French-Cherokee hips over to this groovy, skinny, 19-year-old brother with a comb sticking out of his afro.
Like I’ve said before, not only am I a white Puerto Rican mixed kid, I’m a ginger-haired, green-eyed Puerto Rican. So in elementary school, it was hard enough to consider me an honest child when I said I was black and Puerto Rican.
Let’s just say it didn’t click that Grandpa was my mom’s stepfather until I was 9.
Anyway, my Grandpa is the source of many a tale in our family, particularly the story of the Damn Shoes.
My mother is an intense woman. She’s immaculate. She’s a cop. She used to be in the intelligence branch of the military.
Grandpa thinks it’s hilarious to screw with her head.
So, when she’s out at work and I’m just playing around like a good 5-year-old child, he comes up to me and says, “Your shoes got some dirt on them!”
And I say, “Uh huh.”
So he says, “When your mama comes back, tell her to buy you some damn shoes.”
I look up at him and say, “Grandpa, that’s a bad word.”
And he says, “Well, when I’m watering the yard, don’t you always like to go to the curb and stop the water with your shoes?” I nod, “Well, they’re dam shoes. They dam up the water.”
And I laugh and agree.
At 7:30 at night, my mother comes home. And I stand in the foyer excited. She smiles, finally seeing her child after a long day at work.
And I say, loud and proud:
Mama, I want some DAMN SHOES!
Without missing a beat, my mother hollered, “VERN!” Her Italian half-breed nostrils flaring, leaving me confused, bare toes wriggling in the foyer.
Rule number one on this blog: no personal life.
As John Dufresne says, it’s the lie that tells the truth. Fiction itself is personal. The writer bleeds through no matter how fantastic the characters or plot become.
But right now, I feel like it’s important to tell the truth. Just the truth.
I’ve been dreading logging back into my blog. I’m the type of person who can’t take personal mistakes easily. I can’t apologize easily, not because I don’t think I’m wrong, but because I feel like I’ve messed everything up so much that I can’t undo what I did wrong.
I felt this way about this blog.
I got so caught up with everything from a pay cut to a family member just barely surviving cancer that I let this fall to the wayside. I don’t know how many weeks it’s been since I last posted. I lost confidence, as I’ve heard many writers do. The more I thought about how I hadn’t posted, the more I felt like I didn’t have it in me to write.
Now, just because I’m saying these things doesn’t mean I’m going to let this blog become a diary for all the overly emotional nonsense that might happen in my life. I simply realized that if I’m blogging about writing, then I need to blog about the fact that I sometimes just can’t write every day like I want to, and that even though I love writing, it’s some times difficult because I put so much into my work.
Don’t get me wrong, I write more than the average person, even more than most writers I know, but when I lose that flow, that ritualistic desire to keep writing every night from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., and see what else is going to come out of my fingers and onto the page, it’s almost painful to start up again.
My mother, who also writes, had a professor who told her “I don’t like to write. I like to have written.”
That is exactly it, to be honest. To walk away from something you know you poured your heart into, even if it is an imperfect scene that will probably be cut from the second or third draft of the story. It’s beyond satisfying. It’s like you threaded a little galaxy together with scratches of ink, or data in a computer.
I suppose that is what makes it all worth while, and why I keep coming back.
I’m quiet about being brony. Between My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Adventure Time, I have to go with Adventure Time (it has much more heart). But while the Adventure Time fanbase is very strong, the strength of the MLP fanbase and the lengths with which bronies take creative license is what sets them apart.
Part of my quietness is that I’m not big on fanfiction, be it the fan-favorite Fallout: Equestria, the tear-jerker My Little Dashie, or the infamous grimdarks Cupcakes and Sweet Apple Massacre. But fan music, that’s different.
Songs like Rainbow Factory gives me goosebumps.
As much as I don’t like writing about my life, I think it’s important to address an aspect of my life that affects my writing.
I have a 40-hours-a-week, real job. I’ve had it for 6 weeks now (for the sake of this discussion, which will have many numbers, I’m going to break my personal preference of writing out numbers). My job is awesome and I’m extremely grateful for it considering the state of things in this country, but I realize why Americans are the way they are.
Dissatisfied, disconnected from loved ones, disorganized. It’s because we end up so busy. Continue reading