A Rip Van Winkle moment

After a nearly three-year hiatus, it’s time I get back on my writing horse and ride.
My life has changed so much since my last post. I participated in another slam poetry competition, performing what I thought was the funniest poem I have written so far and was greeted with an entire auditorium of crickets. I didn’t advance.
A professor I really looked up to took 45 minutes out of his day to tell me I was a horrible fiction writer and advised me to abandon my dream of being a novelist or even writing short stories. I took my heavily marked copy of the story I had been more proud of than anything I’d ever written and retreated to the world I knew — news.
I graduated on Cinco de Mayo 2012 and started working at the Times, a weekly newspaper in rural Waitsburg. We had an entire edition about harvest.
And now I’m back, choking down the sour remains of my pride as I pry my way back into a world I thought I had lost access to. Dusting off a blog I once thought would be the ultimate seed of my creativity and the outlet of all my (exciting? compelling? cat-centric?) thoughts.
Fiction.
So I’m making some of my non-fiction goals public to help me stick to them. After some recent inspiration from a writer who turned her life around and now has *gasp!* several published books(!) I have decided it’s time I get things sorted out.
-I will absolutely post more than twice a month on this blog. Even if I’m just pasting old work to be heckled.
-I’m going to start running again. I keep starting, going for a week reasonably consistently and then getting burned out. I need to stop doing that.
-Most importantly, I’m going to finish my most recent work-in-progress – my romance novel.

Don’t you dare judge me. Romance novels are great for writing. The market is huge so there isn’t a ton of pressure to have the most eloquent and articulate piece AND I can stop pretending it’s going to be the next great American novel. It’s a romance novel. We already know how it ends so I can just write it and stop worrying about literary merit.

Also, I’ve assembled a brief stand-up comedy routine which totally kills when I tell it to the cats. The boyfriend thinks it’s entertaining too and has added a few lines. Okay, he’s added the funniest lines but the delivery is what matters. So if anyone knows of any places with open mic nights that would dig a super awkward stand-up routine that almost exclusively revolves around toilet humor, let me know.

I’m going back to my wine now.

I’ll leave you with this picture I took of a salad we made at some point a while ago. I was going to pick an unfortunately close shot of a muffin because, let’s face it, everyone loves muffins, but instead I went with the salad because of the whole exciting life-changing revelation thing. Yeah.
Probably also had some dressing

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Slam for Social Justice

I didn’t get around to writing a story based on a picture. Surprise, surprise, par for the course.

BUT

I do have some pretty exciting news (at least I’m excited about it). Two weeks ago (ish) my poetry class had a big slam poetry day where we all wrote and performed poems. I was really nervous but had a lot of fun with my very first slam performance. At the end of class, our professor handed out a flier he found in a coffee shop for the Feminist Alliance’s “Slam for Social Justice” reading on November 5th. I stared at the flier for almost a week wanting to submit my poem, which conveniently has a ‘fight the power’ type of undertone. Thursday, still staying home from class because I felt like absolute and utter crap, I decided it was time to submit.

I waited in agonizing turmoil for three whole days and today, got a response. The group liked my work and invited me to perform at the event. I got the e-mail at work so I had to keep my excitement to a reasonable level, but I still was pretty worked up.

Sooooo…. If you’re in the Moscow, Idaho area on Friday November 5th (I don’t remember the time, I think it’s at 5 p.m.) you should come listen to my poem! Or at least come have a drink with me afterwards. I’ll probably be riding some serious adrenaline for a few hours after the show.

Just in case you can’t make it, this is the poem I will be reading. It was inspired by Gregory Corso’s “Marriage.” DISCLAIMER: there is one instance of profanity and sexual suggestion. You have been warned.

    Fences

    The best picket fences are painted, stark right
    the color of the world after staring at the sun for too long.
    They are tall
    And they are sharp, each pointed top gleaming in the smiling sunlight
    dripping in suppressed emotion and blue sky.
    Perched on top of each post, balancing on dainty feet,
    are the mothers of every boyfriend past, present, and, oh god please don’t say future.

 

    She’s asking if I’ve been baptized,
    have I said all of my hail mary’s today?
    She’s asking me a question half in Yiddish,
    is this Kosher?
    She’s asking about my studies,
    do I have homework?
    Yes ma’am, of course I enjoyed mass.
    Yes ma’am, the synagogue is beautiful.
    Yes ma’am, I’m a straight-A student.
    Yes ma’am, of course I’ll be attending your service, with your son, every Sunday until the day we die.
    I’ll even wear a cardigan and a skirt.
     
    Then one day I’ll buy a right dress to match your right picket fence.
    I’ll wear it down the aisle in front of hundreds of friends and family members.
    I will look really damn hot for such a conservatively dressed girl.
    I’ll go home and tie a polka-dot apron around my waist,
    and I won’t take it off until the cooking is all done – apron, dress, slip
    Don’t worry, I’ll only fuck your son for procreational purposes
    We’ll have a son of our own but,
    I’ll be like her
    Uptight and maybe a little… tense
    And I’ll take a spot
    right next to them
    Poised on my tiny feet
    on top of the very best picket fence.

Photo story

Busy? Around midterms? Never.

So I’m going to keep it short and sweet but I decided I have a new game for myself to try out and I think everyone should join me. It’s like this, you take a picture and then write something (probably flash fiction) about the picture. You can play the game in one of two ways. You can take a picture (or find a random one) and write a short little story about it (fiction or not) OR you can post/e-mail a picture for me and I’ll write a story with it.

I really want to violate the privacy of strangers so I’m going to attempt to get pictures of people I don’t know and write something either involving them or about them. Or maybe they were dreaming all along. I’ve been feeling the need to get creative with my prompts because I feel like I’m exhausting my regular styles in all of my classes. I think this will be just the odd little prompt to get me going. I hope to have my first one up by the end of the week.

On a random side note, if you’re going to be in the Moscow, Id area on Nov. 5 (I think) you should come to the slam poetry reading. It’s a feminist thing but there is a chance I’ll be reading there. I just have to grow a pair and get it done. I’ll let you know if my piece is accepted and you can come cheer me on. Or throw things. Your call.

Sleep poetry and other stuff

Yesterday was international coffee day. I am obliged to make the standard joke here. I like my men like I like my coffee; sweetened, with bitter undertones and easy to disguise alcohol in.

I started doing this thing I call ‘Sleep Poetry.’ It was inspired by my sudden realization that I’m a terrible fiction writer (according to a few random sources). See, what happened was after a peer review of a story I was particularly fond of, I overheard a peer talking some serious smack about my piece. I called him on it and he said he was just trying to tell his friend how cool it is that I try so hard to write even though I’m not a creative writing major.

I AM a creative writing major.

When I told him, he looked pretty embarrassed and apologized but I was still pretty butthurt about the whole situation. A few days after I recovered, a professor came up to me and told me my writing was immature and the dialogue was really weak (I’m paraphrasing that first part. It took him almost two whole minutes to get that point across). Another professor called a scene I did for her class “very English 101” because it was so uncreative.

Thus, I’m clinging to the handful of poems my professors have liked and the whole “prosetry” (prose poetry) thing because apparently that’s my strong point.

Enter ‘Sleep Poetry.’ Basically all of the poems my professors have liked best are ones I would describe as “full of teenage angst.” Fine by me, I can get angsty all they want if it means a pat on the head by the editor of Blood Orange Review. I realized I’m the most angsty when I’m sleepy and irrational. Ta-da! Instant poetry. I just leave a notebook by my bed and dwell on situations in my life, other people’s lives or fictional character’s lives and BAM! I’m on the fast track to a pushcart! Right? Maybe. Here’s my first poem. I’m pretty sure the backslashes were supposed to be line breaks but… it’s anybody’s guess. I was half asleep.

    So many words bubble to my lips like acid vomit/ stinging, stuck in my chest, in my throat/ words I want to say but don’t want you to hear/ feel the way they rise/ choking me with their weight/ acid thoughts on my acid tongue/ weighed down with you

Are you full of angst yet? I sure am.

The problem with being an amateur writer, (is there a level before amateur?) I’m discovering, is nobody will look at your work without a lens. If I ask Isaac to read what I’ve written, it’s lose-lose for him. He can either say he loves it and I’m let down because he doesn’t offer me suggestions for improvement or point out weaknesses OR he can give me a few things to work on and I’ll be annoyed because he didn’t love it (he’ll at least sugar coat it because he’s a sweetheart). Granted, most situations end up like this when asking for a significant other’s opinion on things. At least I’m honest about it.

Blargh, I really wanted to talk about how the internet is rocking the journalism world and that business is blowing my mind but… it’s not really related and I have to leave for the bus in… two minutes. Whoops.

Post me some sleep poetry! You’ll have fun, I’m (pretty) sure of it.

GPOYW hair edition

Check it out, I’m participating in Gratuitous Picture Of Yourself Wednesday! Last weekend I decided I was tired of having so much hair. It’s great when I actually do something with it, but on the whole I prefer to go no farther than the blow dryer… and even that is a stretch. Thus, my weekend in hairstyles.

Friday night, getting ready to head to the toga party.

Like my toga? It's got a thread count of about 300.

Saturday morning I woke up and felt ambitious. So I searched some salons in the area and couldn’t justify spending more than $20 on a haircut. I’m trying to be frugal here. I found a coupon for $2 off at Supercuts and I’ve had two solid experiences there so I figured I’d give it a go. The lady asked me what I wanted and I told her to spin me away from the mirror and cut away. I’m pretty sure my specifications were “shoulder length-ish” and “I’d like it to kind of make a ponytail.” So she started chopping. We talked about tattoos (she had some cool ones) and those crazy transdermal implant piercings (Caution: if you google this, crank up the safe search. Not really for the faint of heart). When she was finished she gave me a quick style and ta-da! Presto-changeo new hair. My bangs are very Ghost Whisperer-esque. The cut was $11 after coupon and I tipped the lady $3 (because I have NO CLUE what a good tip is for a haircut).

Check out those side-bangs. Jennifer Love Hewitt would be proud.

Saturday evening I picked up a box of haircolor for $4 at WINco. I always love taking a good gamble on box color. Sunday morning I went ahead and busted the box out. Bam. check it out.

Check out that polka-dot towel in the background. So cool...

Makeover grand total: $18. Value rating: SO WORTH IT. I love the new cut, I can just shower, dry it briefly and be done. It’s a beautiful thing. Now I’ve got to try it with curls… It’ll be a fro. So great.

Music monday – dance edition

I always love good dance music. Thus, a brief playlist to make up for all of the Music Mondays I missed.

First, Jamiroquai – Canned Heat with probably one of the coolest/trippiest music videos ever

Next, the best thing to come out of the early 2000s, Junior Senior – Move Your Feet

Another crazy video, Justice – DANCE

And to round it out, don’t judge me… I really like this song. It’s catchy, okay? Lady Gaga – Just Dance

Ta-da! I might add more to this as the evening progresses, but until then, dance your heart out.

More Poetry

So I’m making scones and reading about spoken word poetry (pastries and poetry… good things come in P’s) and it made me remember that I need to get creative more often and post some of my work. A professor told me the other day my writing style was “prose poetry” which I didn’t even know existed but come on, a prose poet? That would be so awesome. Anyway, for your intellectual pleasure (or displeasure, I’m not going to tell you what to think) here the a “prose poem” my professor liked in the first place. I think the assignment was a ten minute free write about how you spend your time or your place of work. Those are synonymous to me so… Yay for work!

    Red ink soaks into every tabloid-sized page, warm out of the over sized printer strewn across a cold metal desk in a grey and white room. The ink sinks through the page every night and wipes from desktop to hands to the white Apple keyboard. It is wiped away absently while I answer the shrill ring of the office phone – the press needs a new file – and by the end of the night coats my pink hands. An endless shuffle of 80’s, 90’s and rap hit music plays through the office interrupted by the crackle and squeal of the police scanner. Pages scratched in red in pass from one desk to another catching and reflecting the glow of florescent lights. A bright flat monitor displays the final product, what all of the red ink changed and replaced. Helpless black text waits in the queue to be cut and reworded again by the heartless red ink.

And now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to go spend the rest of the day excited about the premier of the Big Bang Theory and SUPER bummed I’ll be working so I can’t watch it. Don’t fail me now internets!