Thursday, December 3, 2009

I know I'm getting serious...

...because I bought writer food tonight.

And for me, "writer food" is always really kind of bizarre. or, at the very least, the combination of said items is bizarre.

Blueberry juice.

Watermelon juice.


Fudge Stripes cookies.

Microwaveable sweet potatoes.

A honkin' slab of carrot cake.

Fondue cheese.

Yeah, I'm a weirdo.

But it's a good thing, because if I were normal, I'd kind of be a really sucky writer. ;)

Monday, November 30, 2009

A little step in the right direction.

So on Friday, I met an author--an
actual published author--who has offered to send my finished book to her agent.

After I pretty much picked myself up off the floor after hearing that, I decided I'd really better get crackin' on this whole writing thing. I wanted motivation, and now I have motivation.

Stay tuned...

Monday, November 9, 2009

I always said...

...that someday, an album--one that I'd listened to before, but had never really felt anything for--would hit me. I didn't know when, but I knew that it would.

Tonight is that "when."

There's a song on there that reminds me of Riley, of things that he will be thinking and doing toward the end of the book.

There are a couple songs there that remind me of Sasha.

All of these songs are gorgeous, just fucking gorgeous.

I wish it hadn't taken me so long to discover the absolute freakin' majesty of this album...regardless, I'm glad I finally did discover it.

Right here, right now, with a writing blitz ahead of me in the next few days, this album feels like the absolute perfect companion.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I've been off on a few...

Sometimes, in trying to find out who you are, or who your character is, you must first find out what you and she are not.

There is a characteristic that my main character and I have in common, and I now know a few things that she and I are not. Which means I'm just a few steps closer to finding out exactly what we are. (And for the record, those "are nots"? I'm glad for them. Really, really glad.)

My writing starts again, full-force, at the beginning of November...

Onward and upward!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

In awe.

I met my muse the other night.

The person whose writing has inspired countless brainstorms, manic episodes, epiphanies, and story fragments.

He shook my hand. Signed an autograph. Smiled at me. Waved at me.

And I told him "thank you."

It was the most sincere and true thing I could have told him.

And I owe him a fucking lot of thanks.

Hopefully this will be the creative kick in the ass that I need to get goin' again with this story...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The difference:

Sometimes it's hard to separate myself from the protagonist (of sorts) of the story. But I've finally figured out one major, major difference...or, at least, something in me has changed so that there is one major, major difference.

Sasha sees his ghost everywhere--in parallel subway cars rolling by, in the people pacing by her on the busy streets--a glimpse of blond hair here, green jacket there...

But me--I'm thrilled to be in a place with so much space, so many people, that I will likely never find him there again, and where there is always something pretty (British accent here, tousled spiky hair there) to distract me from looking too hard.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Fuck normal.

There's been a lot of talk in the news lately about David Carradine, an actor who died last week. See, it seems like his death is linked to what is viewed as sexually deviant behavior. Maybe it was auto-erotic asphyxiation. Maybe it was foul play that happened to involve the actor being tied up. It seems to have involved bondage. It possibly involved some masochistic tendencies.

It involved a lot of things that many people don't view as normal.

I say, fuck normal.

Now Carradine's exes are talking to the press. Giving details about his sexually deviant behavior that they noticed while they were with him. I hate the word "deviant." It has a bad connotation. And you know what? If your so-called "deviant" actions are always safe, sane, and consensual, then I don't think there's anything bad about these sorts of actions.

These desires do exist in some people. Some people will never know these desires at all, and others will know nothing but them. Some people are wired to have a very innate understanding of BDSM and other similarly "deviant" attitudes and activities. And I firmly believe that those people cannot help that. It's kind of like being gay. Do you know any gay people who chose to be gay? I don't. It's just the way they are. And when something's hard-wired so deeply in a person, I don't think it can be changed even if that person would dearly love to change it.

Part of the message I'm sending in the book is that there are people out there who have darker desires. And often, they look just like any random, normal person you'd see walking down the street. They don't have to be wearing fishnets or spiked collars like you might expect them to be wearing. Sometimes they're the people who look the most normal. Or they're the people on the fringe of the crowd, watching everyone else, observing how to play normal. Because they know that if they appear to the outside world as being anything but normal, they'll be labeled. Judged. Looked down upon. Laughed at.

These desires aren't wrong. They may not be for everyone, but they are. Not. WRONG.

And if you do have these desires, remember: safe, sane, and consensual. Sometimes these sorts of activities include risk. Trust. Immobilization. Etc. Don't play with anyone you don't trust, and don't allow yourself to be in a situation alone where you have no means of escape if you have some sort of accident. Be smart about how you play.

I find it sad that this actor's last moments were spent in a freakin' closet, of all places. My main character, Sasha, can relate. For so much of her life, she tried to shove her own desires into a closet, lock the door, and jump into bed with some annoyingly normal man...the whole time, she was just learning how to be a better fake, and she was becoming more and more tempted by what was behind that door...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Thoughts on tonight's Lost episode.

When Kate and Sawyer were taking a tiny break in the jungle, carrying Little Ben to the Others' side so that Richard Alpert could save him? And they were talking?

I've been there. I've totally fucking been there. There's a scene in the book based on that sort of situation.

I've always identified very strongly with Kate. Like me, she's a badass with a good heart, and she's really not what she seems. Tonight I felt like it was
me in that jungle (and that ain't wishful thinking, wanting to be tramping around in the weeds with Sawyer).

This episode solidified two things I have known for a while but haven't necessarily wanted to admit:

1) That I was wrong: he and I were not supposed to be together, and
2) That as much as I am a Kate, he will always be a Sawyer. To me, at least. My Sawyer.

Which is why, of course, he was able to eventually hurt me so badly.

But that's OK. Parts of this story were borne from that pain. And the story's the most important thing to me right now. No matter how much it hurts sometimes when I write it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thoughts from a train ride.

Took a train to the city today. Brought Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams with me to read. Didn't read a single story or journal excerpt written by Plath yet, but I did read Ted Hughes' introduction. He said some really interesting things about Plath and her writing habits. He felt that parts of her personality really limited her writing skills. He also noted that her biggest story, biggest battle, was the one she was fighting with herself. I can relate.

Stopped at The Strand; picked up a book of H.P. Lovecraft's stories. Ever since I realized that there's a lot of Lovecraftian stuff going on in Lost, I've wanted to read some of his stuff. Plus, I just like reading the work of wildly imaginative, twisted writers. Again, I read the introduction (by Joyce Carol Oates) and didn't make it to any of the actual stories yet. I found out that Lovecraft, too, was limiting and weird, despite being an excellent writer.

It makes me feel a little bit better to read these accounts of the writers' personalities. I feel a little less alone when I see that they were fighting through some of the same things I am. I think some people close to me wonder why I can't just, you know, be normal and write happy stuff. I hold the opinion that the best stories out there are twisted and weird. Who wants to read about anyone ordinary? I don't. And I don't want to write about anyone ordinary, either.

Plath and Lovecraft are two writers that somehow managed to win parts of their internal battles and really churn out some good stuff (despite that some of their internal battles also infringed upon the quality of other works they tried to create). Granted, I don't think either writer was nearly as popular during their lives as they have been posthumously, but hey, at least they got their stuff out there. They've left behind a legacy. They've left behind things that other writers read and try to learn from.

I want to do that, too.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's the little things...

I've been going through a massive coming-of-age phase lately. My Return of Saturn, if you will. And I have a lot of days when I wonder if I'm doing the right thing, if I'm on the right track.

The other day I was in a bookstore--a famous bookstore with new and used books. I was prowling around and happened to find a book by an author I love. Said author's initials are H.R. He hasn't written much, but what he has written has been fantastic, and he has a style of writing that I really liked immediately.

So there I was, and there was this book--his first book, the only one of his books that I haven't read. It was a used hardback book. $6 instead of its original price of $23. Of course I snapped it up.

I got home, puttered around, and finally settled down for bed. I brought the book with me; I couldn't wait to start reading it. I opened the book and noticed something strange--what's that on the title page?

It was an autograph and a personal message. The author's autograph, and a message he wrote to someone named Steve, thanking Steve for his help and support. I turned to the acknowledgments page, and sure enough, there was a Steve listed there. I chuckled. Clearly Steve didn't feel like keeping the book around for sentimental reasons, and somehow the book found its way into my hands. Into the hands of a budding author who has been increasingly John Locke-like (the Lost character, not the philosopher) lately in her search for signs that indicate she's on the right path.

This was a good sign. And a good lesson, too--whenever I get published and sign my books for friends and colleagues, I'm going to make their personal messages distinct enough so that if I ever come across one of those signed copies on a dusty shelf in a used bookstore, I'll know exactly which one of them didn't have enough faith in me as a writer to keep that book around until I became a big enough name to have my autographed book sold for lots of money on eBay. ;)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A few random thoughts.

I'm thinking of changing the location of my story. I want to set it in somewhere that...I'm more familiar with. I think it'll have more authenticity and life that way.

For two weeks, I've been writing this letter to a muse who pissed me off. I think that, when I finally send it, it'll be a sign of overcoming a significant mental block. And then maybe I can get on with what I need to write.

I have a strong feeling that once I start writing this again, I'm gonna go full speed and not stop until I've got a whole first draft. (I hope I'm right.)

A co-worker gave me something today that made me smile. He came back from a trip to India with a tiny carved statue of Ganesh. He told me that this is the deity who oversees obstacles. I thought that was fitting until he told me that he's also the deity of writers. (How have I not heard of Ganesh before?) I think this is one of the most thoughtful gifts I've ever been given. Not just because it's a cool gift, but because it shows that somebody else believes in me, believes I can do this, and wants to see me do this.

Sometimes, just knowing that somebody else has faith in you is enough to kick-start a finicky motivation. I feel grateful.