i push through the door with my hand flat. only it isn’t the door, it’s the window, and my arm goes right through it and immediately starts to bleed. i’m thirteen, and full of energy, but in a repressed sort of way. misdirected energy – like every other thirteen year old – and loads of angst. i live in a dumpy house with a poor family and a father who drinks too much. the days are warm but full of dense, smoggy air that makes it hard to enjoy perpetual sunshine.
my sister is busy teasing me. she doesn’t need a reason; do they ever? this time she is teasing me because i sort of have a boyfriend, and he called to talk nervously on the phone with me. he’s cute, and shy, but i don’t know why he’s my boyfriend. we don’t know each other except from one class in junior high. why did he even get a crush on me? my confusion makes me curious to understand the situation, so i tell him yes i’ll ‘go with him’.
but not now. i already said yes a week ago, and this is just a phone call that my sister interrupts to pick on me and call my boyfriend ‘Snookums’. (his last name is Snook) (but this is way before Snookie came around, so don’t get that confused)
i’m a bit embarrassed on the phone.
a. i don’t want him to know that i kind of like him, and i also don’t want him to know that i’m very apathetic about the whole thing at the same time. i actually have more of a crush on his best friend than i do on him; the other one just took too long.
b. i don’t usually have boys call me up. my sister is the one who has all the experience with the other sex. she has make out sessions all the time, and i’m just a goofy, crooked toothed tomboy. i’m surprised by the attention but don’t want to come off like an idiot.
i could punch my sister right now for making me nervous and awkward on the phone, but i kind of want to hug her. she never really pays any attention to me. she is cool and i’m just the little sister. a nobody. too shy to make any real friends, too hyper for most standard people that actually walk with their feet touching the ground, and too crazy for people outside of the drama club. i’m almost a full blown embarrassment for her i’m sure. but today she is bothering to talk to me, as though i might have something to offer in exchange.
so i’m happy, as i set the phone down and chase my sister outside. she tries to slam the door on me, but i’m quicker than she remembers, and catch the window with my palm.
which of course shatters the window and sends shards of glass in every direction. now that i’m breathing hard and giggling, i will have to concentrate on avoiding the glass all over everywhere, since i’m barefoot as usual. it IS California, shoes are not required. my father will make us pay for the window with our allowance, but it’s a good investment. no window would mean burglars coming in to steal my important Hello Kitty sticker collection, so i gladly shell over the funds. my sister probably talks her way out of her half of the window. she’s like that. and she can’t possibly know she will leave me with a small scar on my hand to remind me of this precious sibling interaction; where as usual, i come away bloody or broken and she comes out of the whole thing unscathed. that’s to be expected.
and while my boyfriend is completely confused about the whole situation, he is still on the phone. too bad for him i enjoyed the chase with my sister more than his conversation.
so i was going to put up a blog about how irritating it is to have awesomely great ideas when you are in the shower and can’t write these ideas down. and i wrote a little blog, knowing full well that i’d done a similar blog to this a while back.
“well,” i said to myself, “i’ll just link to that previous blog, in case anyone wants to read the originaller version”. (did you like that word?)
but then, after reading the FIRST blog, i’m like, “huh. that one is waaay better than this one today”.
so then, CRAP – outwitted and outwritten by my own former self! damn, i hate showing myself up with myself!
said link to silly post https://accidentalhappiness.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/dictaphonehead/
tonight my soul has been pricked.
for years i have avoided the whole “writing business” business. i’ve written loads of poetry, several kid’s books, and started a great many other works that i have not yet finished. but the process of trying to pitch myself is somewhat overwhelming, and i give up before i begin.
i think it’s the daunting pressure of greatness hovering over my ego that does me in. i worry that i won’t be taken seriously. that my work will not be good enough. i worry that i am not great.
not everyone is going to be great. i know that is not the whole of the writing world. but i feel i have a story for someone, somewhere, that will move them to tears, or quicken them to action, or spur them into a new way of being. i feel i have something magical for someone, some magic boost of energy or hidden weapon they need, and i worry that i will fail to shine the light in the right direction. my world – inside my mind – is full of mystery, magic, shimmering life, and impossible realities, and i worry that there is no way i can possibly translate what my experience is to another through a measly work of fiction. words fail me, and i cannot always paint the picture i wish to share.
but then i remember. not everyone is great. not every writer is brilliant. but the STORY may still be brilliant. with all my short comings, insecurities and procrastinating tendencies, i am just a tool the story uses to make itself known to the world. and so i tell myself:
less ego…more writing.
wow. this totally inspired me and made me want to connect more to the blogging community. LOVED IT!
i haven’t gotten much done today. today i was supposed to work on editing a chapter or two of my book, and pretty much the only thing i’ve accomplished so far today is taking a shower. oh, and playing on facebook.
i’m part of a DID group on facebook, and it’s supportive, interesting, and also … weird.
today i was reading posts from people struggling with their condition, and some of them had altars (other personalities) writing, and talking in this weird child talk. spelling all wonky, words and phrases making no sense, and i’m thinking “Jesus, you people are crazy”. but as i read along in the thread, i had to sort of wake myself up. because this is me. they are talking about the things i go through and struggle with, and despite the fact that it does – in fact – sound completely crazy, it happens to also be reality. it sounds so bizarre that people have little four year olds in their bodies, which always reminds me of the commercial for weight loss when i was a kid: “inside every fat person there’s a skinny person dying to get out”. creepy.
but it’s real. i have a little one in there that will only growl at people, and someone who can’t stand up well and would rather just continually collapse to the floor, and certainly several that shouldn’t be operating machinery at work, let alone drive a car. and Christ, then there’s trying to go to sleep at night…
“good night John Boy” “good night Tiger” “good night Scritchy”
“good night Nellie” “good night Rocky” “Jesus, would you people go to bed already?”
Today we will be discussing something that is commonly known as “Creative License”.
First off, I must confess that I haven’t yet read the controversial book “A Million Little Pieces” by Stephen Frey.
Although I do admit that I love both the title and the cover art. What I know of the book is this: Frey got into a heap big trouble for claiming to have done things that I guess he didn’t do. I believe he was outed on Oprah and his previously huge bestseller suddenly became a questionable piece of fiction. Potentially.
I too am a writer. I too take creative license here and there. Some things just sit better phonetically or dramatically. For instance:
I really do have annoyingly loud construction workers outside my window at this very moment, tearing my street to bits and making me crazy with their early morning antics. However, in a previous post I claim that they start their work at 7:30 in the morning. It may really be more like 8, or 8:15. But you know, I was really irritated, and it FELT like 7:30 in the morning. So that’s what came out. I think most people can understand this stretch of the information.
And then there’s my thing with coffee.
Any writer out there should be addicted to coffee. You know, you watch the movies, or the old Alfred Hitchcock shows and it seems that writers, coffee and cigarettes all go merrily hand in hand. And, being a writer type, I love coffee. Although the coffee I drink is usually mochafied, half coffee half hot chocolate. But I dearly love the smell of coffee, both the grounds in the package and the cup wafting its flavor through my olfactory glands. I love the flavor and the warmth and the snuggliness of it.
But really, if I get out my honesty meter, I don’t drink it that often. Coca~Cola is my true addiction, and black tea. Lipton’s. I drink like a pitcher a day. I need the antioxidants as well as the caffeine. So while I’m not actually lying about liking coffee and seriously needing a cup on a regular basis, it’s more often a can of Coke on my table next to my laptop.
But that just doesn’t sound the same. When I’m writing a poem about a rainy day, and the melancholy mood I’m in because it’s cool and overcast and fall (which it’s not, because it’s 80 and summertime here) coffee goes along with the mood and feel of the poem. Coke just doesn’t fit the emotional landscape as well.
So I have this ethical delimma. Or question, really, cause I’m not losing any sleep over this. I like being able to dramatize a situation, and express an anecdote in a slightly exaggerated manner. This is what makes any good writer good; they tell a story. But what exactly is the line between exaggerating, or emphasizing the fantastical elements of a story or situation, and Stephen Freying?
Used to be I was a drone bee, like all the other drone bees. I would wake up at the ungodly hour of 6:00 in the morning, get ready, go to work, bustle about with whatever I was supposed to be doing -half asleep because I hadn’t had enough coffee – and spend the entire day doing what everyone else was doing, which was thinking about all the things we COULD be doing instead of working, like playing video games, or going to the movies, sleeping in, having sex, or spending some money at the local mall. I told you, this was some time ago…I don’t really go to the mall that often anymore. Unless I need some cute earrings from Claire’s, or something sassy from Hot Topic. Shut up; yes I HAVE seen that South Park episode and it’s hilarious. I still shop at Hot Topic.
Today makes me glad I finally gave up working the normal work-a-day business hours to go rogue. It’s raining steadily right now at twelve noon. I went for my walk, as the rain poured down on me, and breathed in the smell of toast that permeated the air. Lunch time, I guess. I still hadn’t had breakfast. I had a chance to see a baby muskrat running through someone’s yard. I got to hear the morning church bells, which always remind me of Switzerland. I made myself a cup of coffee, wishing I had my secret ingredient to make it Russian style, and sat myself down to write out a little blog. Perhaps I could squeeze in some work on my Twilight Zone project, if time allows.
Back in the day I wouldn’t have the chance to do all this. Back in the day, I would be collating paperwork right now, or ordering up lunch for some executives, or wondering why my boss’ deposit slip never seemed to match the till. (hint: weed growing in the back yard, which I didn’t find out about for a long while) Back in the day I would have missed this glorious morning of green grass, mama Robins and soggy britches. I would already be indoors, wanting to get out, waiting to be released from work so I could have an evening walk full of traffic and cars honking and people driving home hungry for dinner and drunks that started getting happy quite a while before the appointed hour.
So it’s a good thing I finally happened to start taking jobs that allowed me to go into work at 3:00, or 5:00 even. And it’s a good thing I finally discovered I was a writer. And also, not much of a morning person.
what i don’t get is the recording button. where the hell is the recording button? i need a damn dictaphone for my computer! this happens to me, i don’t know how many times a week (sorry, the calculator option in my brain’s computer has never been correctly calibrated): i’m in the shower, and come up with a great paragraph for my book. a PARAGRAPH mind you, in the shower. when i’m all naked, and sudsy, and rubbing my hands all over my luscious skin and distractingly plump bosoms and … oh sorry, wrong blog. so i have this awesome paragraph in my mind, and i run to my room to jot it all down, and by the time i sit down wet and still naked and luscious, and get out a pen and paper, well damn! it’s gone! it was this brilliant piece to my book! just vanished!
then this happens to me when i’m driving. who cares where i’m headed, it’s more of the same thing. great idea. great lines. great blog. but then it’s gone by the time i get near a writing instrument.
what happens here? all of the words are right there, coming out of me…flowing out of me like a stream of brilliance. and then i try to capture it and my brain gives me the “i’m sorry, this does not compute” message. or the creepy 2001 message in a deadpan voice, “i’m sorry, dave, i really can’t help you, dave”. but i’m like “HAL, you dumb controlling creepy computer, my name isn’t dave!” (although i could date a dave, i suppose, and then if i married him i would be MRS. dave, but i don’t think HAL actually ever says MRS. dave)
if only i could find the manual for my brain. i’m sure it must have some feature like a DVR, and i can work those fine. i’d just like to be able to hit the back button a couple of times and replay these fabulous stories and blogs and masterfully crafted chapters and revolutionary literary pieces that would surely win me some prize or honor, and i would stand and give a modest speech about how i thought up the whole book in the shower. but maybe that’s mike myers’ thing, making scripts for movies in the bathtub, so i don’t want to rain on his parade. nobody likes a copy cat.
so i guess i either need a dictaphone, a better memory drive in my memory drive, or maybe a personal assistant who doesn’t mind co-ed showers and who also happens to have waterproof ink pens.