Friday, March 26, 2010

Essay on Why I Write (Personal) Short Version

At the end of last year, I entered another contest on 'Why I Write', as usual I So I decided that since it doesn't seem to be publishable, I'll share my story here on my blog. To those of you that read it on TNBW, it's the Short Version.

To those that aren't on TNBW, my writing workshop site, this is why I write. It's not a sweet story but it's my story. Remember, this was a long time ago. I'm much happier now.

My mother’s a bitch.

Although, I suppose that term isn't really correct. My online therapist suspects she suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder but what does he know? He treats psych patients in a chat room at a dollar ninety-nine a minute. In a roundabout way, though, my mother is why I started writing.

One of my earliest memories is being a little kid and my mother accusing me of not brushing my hair. Somehow, we ended up on the floor, nubby carpet rubbing the back of my bare calves while she held a giant pair of sewing scissors up to my face, an inch from my eyes. The finger grips were calico, a swirl of black and orange.

If you want to be ugly, I'll make you ugly.

She grabbed a handful of my hair, her knee pressed into my chest and the scissors flashed open. I kicked out, tried to wiggle away. My nails dug into her muscled arms. Tears and snot flowed down my face in great sticky drips. I couldn't breathe. She yanked my hair. I shoved at her knee, needing it to move. I mouthed the words ‘no' over and over.

You don't tell me what to do, you little bitch.

I bit her.

She jerked away and I ran up the hallway, a dark tunnel of cheap wood paneling. I opened the door to my room, slammed it shut behind me, turned the lock. I burrowed into the closet, past trash bags of summer clothes and old purses, and waited in a far corner for her to come and kill me.

She howled at the door, "Let me in or you'll be sorry. I‘ll make you sorry."

The door shook under the pounding of her fists but it held. It held. I shivered.

Then, the bedroom door swung open with a rusty squeak. I whimpered, biting my lip bloody. Hands reached for me, grabbed at my ankles, my sleeve. I think I screamed. She'd come to get me.

Only it wasn‘t her, it was my older sister. Sis managed to take me home with her but the incessant calls, the threats, became too much for her. She brought me home three days later. My belly hurt.

My mother waited in the kitchen. She smiled like I'd been at summer camp and wrapped her arms around me, tight. She hugged me forever. My arms stayed limp at my sides.

Tell me you love me. You're my baby, my favorite. Tell me you love me. Tell me you'll never leave me again. Tell me.

I'll never leave you. No matter where I am, I'll never be able to get you out of my head.

I started writing to escape.

First, I wrote a diary but she read all my papers so I converted my ideas into poetry. Eventually, I branched into fiction even though I know I'm not a natural writer. I don't have a gift for quaint turns of phrase or stunning prose but I do have a love for the craft. Writing lets me make everything beautiful.

And I wanted the world to be beautiful for once.

Instead of a vent for my pain, my writing is an avenue for the best of me. I write romance. I love a happy ending. But I can write horror as well. I've been intimate with darkness and as much as I crave sweetness, I know most of us have pain lurking beneath our bright smiles. You can't ignore pain but you can shape it into something useful.

My bad days now are the days I can’t write. I need the words. They keep the silent dreams away. They make it possible for me to function as a real person, a kind person. I need to be kind. I need to make my pain useful.

But writing can't just be therapy. Writing needs to ripen ideas so they can fall from the vine, ready to be crushed into something better. It needs to be an act of creation, not destruction.

That creation is what saves me. And no matter how much I wish I could shrug off the past like some old snake skin, I just can’t. Instead I deal with it the only way I can, I put it on paper. In some strange way, I guess I have to thank my mother for my writing. She isolated me from everyone so I turned inward and ‘inward’ is a fascinating place full of strange roads.

She gave me the suffering I turned into art.

I still don't think I can be grateful though.

The woman's a bitch.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Is Moob a Word?

Is moob a word?

Yes, I know it's not in the dictionary, I checked. It's not even in the Urban Dictionary which is just sad. I may have to make a Wiki entry to satisfy myself about the word 'moob'.

I ask if moob is a word because, among my friends, most of us know what a moob is. Those people that don't know what a moob is, can usually figure it out from the usage.

What is a moob?

Function: noun

1) defined as the fleshy protuberances that resemble breasts on a male person. A slang word for breast is boob. So a moob is a man boob.

2) defined as a useless fleshy male who has no higher purpose.

Sentence: Bill's moobs jiggled as he mowed the lawn.

Sentence: The big moob just sits in his recliner and scratches himself.

Now, I'm not judging moob men. If I were a man, I'd probably have moobs. One never knows what hormonal imbalance, tragic genetic pre-disposition, or life style choice will cause moobs. It is no one's fault.

But is moob a word?

I can use it in casual conversation and be understood by 50% of people I meet. Probably about the same amount that will know what ubiquitous means. Ubiquitous is in the dictionary, by the way.

When does a word become a word?

Ain't now shows up in the dictionary but none of my language friends are bouncing that one around at lunch. It's like a swear word for grammar instructors. They probably scream 'ain't' when they wreck their cars instead of 'damn'.

I can hear it now.

"Ain't, ain't ,ain't I wrecked the car." ...LOL.

So how does moob become a word?

I'm not sure but I'm starting a viral campaign to get the moobs in charge of the dictionary to add this word in.

Will you accept moob into your lexicon?

Pretty please?

You mission this week (if you choose to accept it) is to use the word 'moob' in general conversation. If the word moob offends you or if you lead an all female life, then pick another almost word.

Oh, and list your other almost words and definitions in the comments. I'd love to know what words you are using in your life that aren't in the dictionary.

One last thing before I go....MOOB.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Writing Rejections--staying Positive

I am completely and utterly behind on my blog reading. I will catch up, eventually. You've probably wondered what I've been up to. Well I'm up to about five foot four inches but I still have hope that I will get taller.

It's good to have a dream, right?

Anyway, today's post is about rejection. No, not a romantic rejection but one on your writing. In my workshop group today, they announced the winners of one of writing contest. Alas, I did not win. This was probably due to the fact that I did not enter. I meant to enter but I got busy and didn't.

Someone was wondering at the fairness of the contest, the fairness of the judges etc... And I have no problem with them questioning the system. Questions are how you get answers even if those answers taste like moldy cheese.

But the truth is, as a writer, you will get rejected. Repeatedly. Last year alone, I had 48, yes 48, separate rejections of my poetry and short stories. There are days when I wonder if I'm wasting my time. There are days when I think I'm the suckiest writer on the Earth.

Yet on some level, I know that's not true. I'm not the best writer in the world. I've read that person's book and I cannot write they way they do. That's okay. I write like me and not them. Which is good because I'd look silly wearing their underwear and living their life.

Each day I work at my writing, I become a better writer. I don't stink like sweaty feet in the jungle but I won't win the Nobel Prize in Literature either. I'm learning to be accept that.

I'm okay with being rejected because it means I put myself out there. I didn't give up even when I really, really wanted to.

Writing is one of those professions where being rejected is part of the job. You will get rejected, shredded, criticized, and edited. But you'll also inspire, titillate, interest, educate, and entertain a hundred others. Writing is not a win or lose proposition but rather a win AND lose proposition.

No one writes perfectly when evaluated by a critic. And every writer, my dear, has critics. A critic is your worst enemy and best friend. A critic will tell you when you have run-on sentences, don't have a good story arc, or if your rhymes are purile. A good critic will also tell you when your imagery is inspired, your words touching, and your meter is lyrical.

A good critic sees you writing in all it's glorious excellence and flaws.

Rejection is how you learn as a writer.

If you can't stand to lose then don't be a writer or a professional sports player, you'll just end up miserable.

And who likes that? Not me.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My new great niece

Today, I got yet another great niece, Hailee Paige. She was born just before 1pm Eastern Standard Time. She weighed 9 pounds, 2 ounces and was 21 inches long.

Her big brother, Carter, got to hold her (see top picture).

She is my niece, Brittany, and her husband's second child.

She expects birthday gifts next year so remember the


Monday, March 8, 2010

Secondhand Fat (Opinion)

I read this idiotic article by Reuters about how there should be an 18% 'sin' tax on pizza and soda because these items make people fat.

While I think this article is idiotic because there are so many things that cause people to be fat that singling out these two food items will do nothing but create money for the government.

What I truly found offensive were the comments below the article. I'm overweight. A few years ago I worked really hard, made myself miserable and lost 98 pounds. I finally decided it wasn't worth the work. I gained part of that weight back. I'm okay with it.

I am tired of people calling me names because I'm overweight. I have perfect sugar levels, extremely low cholesterol, and normal blood pressure. I wonder at those who sneer at my weight are at least that healthy?

I do have some back pain but I had it when I was thin as well. And all the exercise aggravated it. It hasn't bothered me since I cut back on the exercise. So should I exercise more and embrace the pain?

And I'm offended so many people think I should be taxed by my weight. Or the bigger idiots who think I should pay more for my health care. I'm not sickly. I'm fat. My heart is good, I'm not diabetic.

I have allergies. I doubt losing forty pounds will cure that.

People don't get secondhand fat so why don't you go away and leave me alone. I'm not hurting you.

You don't have to sleep with me, eat what I eat, or share in my calories. I'm sick to DEATH of the so-called obesity epidemic. The truth is I don't care. I've so many other things that are important to me that my weight isn't even on the top ten list.

It seems that my weight is all that people care about. It doesn't matter than I'm a good person. It doesn't matter that I rescue abandoned animals. It doesn't matter that I'm a really good writer. It doesn't matter that I was a Big Sister in the Big Sister program.

It doesn't matter that I'm an excellent friend.

All that seems to matter is that I'm fat.

I hate that who I am doesn't matter to anyone. All that matters is what I weigh. Because I'm fat, I have to be ten times better just be considered okay. Because I'm fat, I'll always be labeled as lazy. Because I'm fat, I'll always be labeled as romantically unwanted.

But just because I'm fat doesn't make me any less of a person.

And if this country tries to tax me for being fat, I swear I'll pack up and move somewhere else. I should be judged on WHO I am and not what I WEIGH.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Plum Crazy, the never ending novel

I finally posted Chapter 10 of Plum Crazy on my workshop site. When I finish this book, I promise never to start a new one. I am not a novel writing girl, I've learned this the hard way.

I am not a long distance writer. Short stories and poetry are my forte.

But I've committed now and I will finish even if it kills me and it may.

I love writing but I don't have the patience for a long drawn out project. I like finishing and moving onto something else. I guess I have writer's ADD. But if I hadn't tried it, I'd have always wondered if I could.

And that's what Plum is to me. Plum Crazy is going to prove to me that I can finish a project. It may not be the best novel in the world but it is going to be a finished one.

I've tried setting schedules and I just break them. I get paralyzed by reviews. But if no one reads, I get frustrated by the lack of feedback.

I'm nuts.

Anyway, this my novel update.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Texture and Food Issues

I suppose you remember that I have food issues.

The truth is I'm food A lot of my food issues have to do with texture. Just like your average two-year old (or so I'm told), if the texture of my food isn't correct then I can't eat it.

What constitutes a texture issue?

LOL...the answer to that question is longer than Steven Tyler's tongue. If you don't know who Steven Tyler is then you probably didn't grow up in the USA, or are Amish, or need to go to bed so you can go to school in the morning. But to keep you in the loop, imagine that an anteater had a child with a large mouth bullfrog. Put that child into a pair of skinny spandex pants, tag on a shaggy wig and a play some rock music with a driving beat. You have just know created your own Steven Tyler, rock star.

Now Steven actually could sing and I liked the band, but even his fans admit he has a freakily large mouth and tongue. Well, except for that guy from Kiss who can lick his shoes while standing but that's just odd.

Any way back to food, I have texture issues.

I don't eat pasta. I don't eat noodles of any kind. I usually don't eat at Italian resturants for some reason. Noodles feel likes boiled skin. Yet on your tongue, it's smooth, slick, and gummy. Awful. Like eating something that had been pre-chewed, reformed, and fed back to me. I am not a baby bird, no regurge food needed.

I don't eat rice. Nope, no rice. It's like legless grubs crawling around in your mouth. I've tried to eat them steamed, backed, flavored, scented. I just don't like rice. I have on rare occasions after a half a bottle of Nyquil, I can finish two to three spoonfuls of rice pudding. I usually spit it back up later but I can swallow, I don't enjoy it. Do you think this is why I'm single? Dunno.

I don't eat pudding. Honestly, why would anyone eat pudding? Flavored snot. And Tapioca is chunky, flavored snot. Double yuck.

Yogurt. Never, never, never. And if you hate the word never, how about I hope the heck the answer is no. Not only am I lactose intolerant, I refuse to eat any product that has to sour before you eat it. Plus, people hide fruit in it. Gross. I'd rather eat puddding.

Meat that is juicy. If you poke it with your fork and it spurts like a juice box, it's not done so put it back in the oven. And under cooked meat is pinkish, rubbery, and it doesn't need to be chewed. Much like a seal, you just bark and swallow it whole. Not for me.

Boiled veggies. Do I need to explain this? Limp, lukewarm, dead veggies. It's like you smuggled broccoli in your pants and forgot and put them in the washer and dryer. Disgusting.

There are thousand of other things I don't eat because of the texture including jello, flan, custard, jelly/jam, anything with loaf in the title, shredded meat.

Yet, I'm not a bad dinner guest. I'm great at hiding food under food and I'm really happy with a pack of plain saltines and a bottle of water. See no cooking? So why do you bitch when I don't want to come to dinner? I mean, you think you'd appreciate the night away from the stove. It's not your cooking. Well it is your cooking but it's everyone else's too.

I'm not a food person.

I'm a fat food hater.