So, there is this guy who is going around the world with this idea. The idea being that amid the horrors and difficulties many of us face on a daily basis, kindness abounds.
I needed something to watch for like five minutes while I was pretending to rest and be getting over my cold last night. I stumbled on this show on Netflix called The Kindness Diaries.
Leon Logothetics is the man behind this show. An Englishman who went to the right schools, got the right job, and was living the life society sold him. But after he achieved everything he was ‘supposed to’, he found this horrific truth. He wasn’t happy. Actually, he was downright depressed and miserable.
So he did something amazing. He decided to go away. Actually, he decided to walk across America with only five bucks and the generosity of strangers. That experience resulted in a book and a TV show called “Amazing Adventures of a Nobody.”
Since my blog is heavy on the daily ins and outs of the writer’s life; you know, the accolades and the challenges I face as a writer. It only seems apropos I talk about one of the stranger elements of this process. The rejection. I have willingly chosen to follow a career path that leads, more often times than not, to rejection. I wanted to talk about that today, but not just the normal run of the mill rejection, but rejection from a literary agent.
The dream of finding a real live literary agent to gush about has been swirling for a few years now. I dream of the day I’m able to gush wildly across my personal inter web spaces, “I have an agent! I have a downright, honest to God, Literary Agent!”
Today, I just want to have one breathing moment of powerful, lovely, happiness in one place. I am in the need of beauty. Beautiful words, beautiful images, beautiful ideas.
Joy is its own kind of rebellion. – Chuck Wendig
“You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.”
– Maya Angelou
Susan B. Anthony’s place setting from Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party
My hope. My soul. My passion. They are all mixed together in my love of prose and poetry. In literature. In lovely groupings of words. And in language.
As a writer I think about language quite often. How it can be simply functional. “I see a tree. Do you see?”
It can be lyrical. “I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.” John Green Looking for Alaska.
It can be playful. “At least once a fortnight a corps of caterers came down with several hundred feet of canvas and enough colored lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby’s enormous garden.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald.
It can be memorable. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” – A Tale of Two Cities.
And of course language can be moving, “We cross our bridges as we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and the presumption that once our eyes watered.”
—Tom Stoppard, Rosencratz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
And language can be rebellious.
Good lord, language can be a form of rebellion.
This will be fun…
With the dawn of a new…whatever the hell this is about to be, one of the things in danger (on a very long list of things in danger) are the arts. So in the name of creativity and art, here is a list of monikers for the Orange Monster in the Golden Tower. You know, in honor of today’s madness. Some names I’ve heard; other’s I went in search of. I tried to give credit where it was due, if I messed up, please excuse; I’m human.
(In no particular order.)
- Short-fingered Vulgarian – Graydon Carter chief editor for Vanity Fair.
- Orange Anus – Rosie O’Donnell
- Golden Wrecking Ball – Sarah Palin (who was reportedly not trying to be funny)
Jon Stewart offered the following:
- Fuckface Von Clownstick (a forever favorite!)
- Comedy Entrapment
- Unrepentant Narcissistic Asshole
Hope is an interesting thing these days, isn’t it? I am stuck in a harsh wash cycle of hoping things work out and hoping I can fight the good fight for the long haul and hoping things will just somehow ‘work out’ over the next few years. The waxing, waning mess is akin to a gaggle of teenage hormones. Screaming and crying one minute; happy go lucky with a plan of action for their future the next.
The New Year seems like it should be a time of year when people can slow down and take stock. This year, it seems like there is no slowing. The world continues to erode before our eyes and instead of finding a sense of peace, the need to fight and rage is a bag that must be carried over from that bitch of 2016.
But this is 2017. It’s a new year and I aim to treat it as such. Even if it’s for the space of one breath.
I realize it isn’t fruitful to don a complete Pollyanna vibe; by putting blinders on and cross my fingers and just hope things don’t get too bad. But I can’t live a life filled with worry. It does shitty things for my sleep and taking care of myself and my family. So I continue to try for a fine balance.
There are some awesome people out there offering up great ideas on how to cope. I could list them, but honestly, I’m not in the mood for that today. My favorite bit of advice to date, however, comes from Chuck Wendig over at Terribleminds. He suggested as writers, we “write…despite”. No matter what.
It’s simple, elegant, and helpful for my state of mind lately.
However, one thing was business as usual in my little corner of the world. Sunday, January 1, 2017 seemed like a great day to go jump in a lake!
Last year, I braved the cold weather in a bathing suit and joined a handful of folks as crazy as myself as we immersed ourselves in the cold waters of Lucky Peak Lake.
This year, I signed up to take place in the 14th annual, Great Polar Bear Challenge.
I’ve got Santa on my mind. That jolly old elf, a once kindly old man who brought gifts to poor children on a long winter’s night, so many years ago. With time and evolution, he’s changed. Or maybe he hasn’t changed, maybe it’s us.
As a kid, I remember my overactive imagination, as I snuggled under my covers too excited to try and sleep. Every Christmas Eve I would lie awake as long as I could. Convinced, at some point I heard the jingle of sleigh bells on the roof, the stomp of a hoof perhaps. The happily whispered “Ho Ho Ho” as he drove out of sight.
I awoke up on this icy, snowy December morning, tripped to my stove-top espresso maker and made my coffee of choice. Bleary eyed a part of me shuffles through the house to open all the blinds and let the morning in. Then I find myself once again at the stove, finishing the dance that has become second nature when it comes to making myself a morning cappuccino.
Gas fireplace lit, settled finally on the sofa with my laptop, I check email and then the news.
And since that first Tuesday in November, it seems like every time I check the news, the continuation of the shit storm brought on by in the incompetence of the orange monster in the golden tower, knows no bounds.
And I, like many, sit in the comfort of my home and scream “Are you Fucking kidding me?!”
And it’s getting old, isn’t it?
And Christmas is coming.
And I went out last night and saw an amazing musical put on by a local theater that I didn’t even know was here in my little corner of the world (Bad Nicole!).
And I have relatives coming for the Holidays.
And I’m still angry as hell.
And I’m trying to find a balance between living my life and not accepting the bullshit in these uncertain times. Continue reading
Attempt number six is finished my friends. I wrote 51,557 words in a month for National Novel Writing Month. (The challenge being to write 50,000 words in a month which is roughly 1,667 words a day. But when you skip an entire week that number of words a day goes up dramatically. I digress.)
It was a different year this time around. I’m not going to lie, the election effected me so vehemently I played with the idea of giving up writing. I couldn’t bring myself to write anything for about a week. Okay, that’s not entirely true either. I wrote long meanderings about how I was feeling and how I was going to fight. I wrote letters to most of my representatives. And I did write three few short stories. But the writing of this book, this thing that was supposed to be a story for two characters from a previous book…their joy was stolen a bit.
However, that confusion and anger and fear ended up working for good in the story line. Once I committed to finishing this goal I set before myself, it was nice to find solace in a different world for a few moments each day.
So again, I’ve proven to myself what I’m about. Reconnected with my voice and the writer within. And wrote a damn book in a month.