Seeing you

Jun. 3rd, 2012 11:58 pm
my_window_seat: (Default)
Hell with it.

All things change, all things pass away.

Like the moon trapped in gauze, smothered and suffused in an pale amber aura of light -
girl backlit before her mirror, searching in reflection for
her face
The one she can't define; can't keep in focus long enough to fit into -
to be -

I saw you.
Sat under you, out on the porch.

Talking with a friend; coming down off the cliff by stepping outside myself for just those few moments.

Hey, how are you?
Tell me about the new job.
Yeah, I'm having a meltdown. 
It's okay - let me catch my breath -

Now tell me everything.
Give me a chance to listen.

=============================

A few hours later, the moon has stepped aside.
Edging toward the wings; escaping from the filtered follow-spot.

I saw you there.

I see you.



Sometimes seeing is more important than being seen


my_window_seat: (Default)
He said to me, after all that happened just a while ago, that I was "just using him to fill a hole in my life."

It's getting clearer and clearer to me that that is more true than I understood - than I wanted to understand.

I think it would be dishonest to say that this is ever something that will be completely eradicated. 
I will always have interior spaces that exert their own gravitational pull. 

I think this is true of most people, whether they are conscious of it or not. 


I also think some of us have narrower margins between these spaces. 
Interior landscapes scarred with more funnels in the sand than swaths of uninterrupted beach. 

We think more, crave more, strive for more -
and feel the loss of the unattainable more. 
With higher understanding comes the potential for greater disappointment.

I said to him then, "I am full of holes."



 

[livejournal.com profile] vigoro09 once said - "If you are a planet, I am a universe."

I want to see things, not entirely in terms of the former, but with relation to the latter.  It's not possible for me to be nothing but a lack of things, nothing but holes, anymore than I can be made entirely as one thing, even something as densely populated and various as a planet.

My self-concept longs for that identification - of the universal - and yet is unwilling to accept it.


And yet I still want this:

I want to be made of everything, and nothing.

I am an Asteroid - isolated fist of matter, punching through atmospheres, cratering landscapes.

I am Comet - ice heart hurtling through solar wind, a dirty darkness propelled by the expansion of its interior; unreflective, scarring the sky with every passage


I want to be a Star - the grasp and burning rage of plasma that communicates itself through time and distance to transmute as unbodied and night-visible; death translated into light

I want to be Nebulae - absorbing, reflecting, creating light - recombining net positives and negatives - the dust fabric from which stars are sewn.



I want to be a Quasar - The brightest light powered by the darkest center.  Living at the greatest distance.  Radiating loose definitions .  I want to know that I can stop devouring soon.  I want to know that soon, I can burn clear of this; soon be born into


a Galaxy.
Spiraled center surrounded by the still bodies of planets, each self-contained and separate;
an archipelago inside an estuary.



I am made up of so much of which I understand so little.
Everything and nothing.

In all things in between.

 

my_window_seat: (Default)
(Embedding has been disabled for these videos, but you can click on the links to go directly to the clips on YouTube)

Just watched Stephen Sondheim's Company for the first time tonight - the 1996 production taped live in The Donmar Warehouse.

It's a surprisingly dark show, compared with Sondheim's other work - dark in a very different way from Sweeney Todd altogether.  Written  in the late 60's and first produced in 1969, Company was written as a musical that tied together 7 one-acts about a series of married couples and their one single friend, Bobby.  It's one of the very first non-linear musicals ever written, a structure that suits the subject matter very well.  As a reflection of the time at which it was written, it features the shifting attitudes about relationships and, as Sondheim himself points out in an interview, the dissolution of marriage as an inviolate institution, and growing fear of commitment in society.

Yeah.  It definitely has its funny moments ("Not Getting Married" being one of my favorites, and an Olympian test of any performer's comic timing and ability to sing without a break or breath for UNGODLY lengths of time), but even though it's billed as such, in my opinion it's really not by any stretch a musical "comedy".  The show as a unit revolves around Bobby, the unmarried friend, and his clinical perspective of the clockwork of his friends' relationships.  And as a single person myself, I've seen a lot of the things that Bobby sees - the frightening aspects of a relationship - when two people are combined so closely that they sometimes turn on each other and try to strip away their own reflections - the misunderstandings based on a view of another person held so tightly and without distance that disallow the recognition of growth or change - the caustic combination of familiarity and longevity that can sometimes lead to loathing -

And Bobby resists.  All his friends, feeling the need to justify their own positions, try to persuade him, fix him up with partners, convince him that what he needs is to find the same kind of companionship that he sees tearing them apart -

And at the same time, he feels the same pressure that they've succumbed to.  This would be where the show does show some of its own age, as it reflects a societal imperative toward coupling that isn't as much a part of the current collective conscious - but that will always, to some degree, remain true.

And between these two urges - to deny or to acquiesce - the final number of Act I is Bobby's both cynical and naive idea of the 'perfect' relationship - a sandblasted perspective of a relationship so free of expectations it hardly seems to have sufficient skeletal supports to remain upright  - "Marry Me A Little"

The softest kind of pressure never relents though, does it?

There must be something to it, musn't there?  Beyond the biological imperative.  The social insistences.  If marriage is an institution so conclusively proven to be a hit-or-miss proposition, such an iffy bet, a social experiment so rarely destined for success -

Still, it must succeed often enough for it to continue.
Right?

And beyond the stinging blows that are so often landed in what is supposed to be the softest of partnerships, the exchange of words so sharp they leave very real scars -

There has to be a reason that people keep doing it.
Clinging together, despite the need to sometimes claw each other apart.

The need to find something beyond the self to live for.

The central device behind the show is a surprise birthday party arranged by the couples for Bobby, and their one desire for him, their friend, is that he make a wish.  In the first act, through the wonders of stage magic (read: the birthday cake prop complete with relighting birthday candles that must have necessitated keeping the Fire Marshall's phone number on speed dial throughout the show), Bobby first protests that he doesn't have a wish to make - and then he discovers that he, in fact, can't blow the candles out at all.

And in the second act, the idea emerges, just barely recognizable, that even with all the flaws of this over-idealized state - there are, indeed reasons just under the surface.  That yes, the ideal is an illusion - but the idea of - wanting - still has its place.

It's not perfect.  Nothing ever is.

The idea of knowing someone completely is an illusion.
Wanting to is not.

Viewing another person always as a flawless artifact, an unchanging and unmarred archetype, is impossible.
Seeing them at their worst, with their jagged edges and unfilled needs and unhealable wounds -  and wanting them anyway -  is not.

Musicals beg for resolution.  We want to see our characters go on a journey.  We want to care about what happens to them, and to do that, we have to see them grow.  Or at least show the signs of wanting the same for themselves.

At the end of the show, after a night of heavy drinking, Bobby examines all the evidence.  After all that he's seen - the wounding and comforting, the distancing and reunion, he asks himself what about all of it could possibly be worth all of this -

"What do you get?"

He asks himself, and then he answers.

At the end of the show, Bobby is finally able to blow out his candles.  To finally have, and admit to making a wish.  Bobby closes the show by wanting what we all must want, in order to survive - the idea of Being Alive.

Some would argue that wanting a relationship in order to feel complete is just as much an illusion as the ideal of The Perfect Marriage.   These days, most would.  This again is where this show survives as a snapshot of another era - one that no longer espouses a spouse as the magic token for completion, but that still recognizes the desire for a sense of completion found only in union with another person.

That's not the fashion these days. 

And while it's fair to say that having a healthy self-esteem, being able to be content in solitude, not needing a relationship to fend off lonliness - these are all valid and in fact signs that our society has progressed beyond a model that views every single person as somehow incomplete.

But there must be something to it, mustn't there?
The idea that we still need - to want.
Something outside ourselves.

There must be something to it - the willingness to sacrifice some personal freedoms in service of something that can offer it's own rewards in their place. 

To reach something like a pinnacle of attainment, there has to be a focus on something just out of reach.
There has to be a desire for something just beyond.
Something a little impossible.
And somehow still necessary.

There must be something to it, mustn't there?






my_window_seat: (Default)
It's been raining for hours. That steady thrumming on the roof and lisping slap of drops in pooled water, the infrequent sussuration of cars sloughing over streaming asphalt - I know these sounds, but they aren't familiar, here.

And the sky - at 4am it's dulled some now, but there's still that lavender glow, like a flashlight under a pillowcase. The refraction of city lights shot through water and trapped under a thick flannel of cloud cover.

A long time ago, I was in an alien city, far away from home and everyone I felt safe with. I didn't know how to feel, who to trust, least of all myself. The only thought that seemed clear in my mind is one that comes back to me from time to time, like right now. It was the middle of the day and the sky was clear and blue and nothing like right now, nothing at all like this moment and at the same time exactly like this moment -

The sky is empty, and it feels like an echo.
my_window_seat: (Default)
Around the clock she spins,
decorating seconds;
a fly in the amber of hours

eyes whorled like seashells button
a mouthless face

In one hand, song
on every rock, a book
a categoried country
mapped in slippage

lids flicker
wings tasting flight
my_window_seat: (Default)
So, yeah - I'm working on an adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest for my Playwriting for Youth class. Also, I'm planning on using an even more pruned-down version of the final product for the summer session at the community center - assuming it still happens. There's some debate on that matter, but - whatever.

Anywho, haven't got terribly far yet, but if you're bored - have a look -


============================================

Comments, thoughts, suggestions?
my_window_seat: (Mask)
Sometimes fiction is the only escape.



Skin


If you want to avoid thinking about something, staying up all night isn’t the way. Stay up long enough, and you just find yourself coming out the other end, the ass-end of night, into a day not different enough from the day before to assuage any ache you wanted to leave behind. It’s not clean, this kind of sunrise. There’s nothing refreshing or invigorating about it. It’s a day strained through the sharp edges of the one you were trying to back away from. It leaks in, like yellowed seepage filling in a toothless mouth. The color of dead urine, this kind of sunrise is.

I’m so tired. I ought to try to sleep. It’s been a long day. Series of days. One long day stretched over a skeleton of sleepless nights. Too many mornings seen from reverse.

We used to spend whole nights talking on the phone. For years we played with the idea of being in love. Just dancing on the edges of it. We’d fallen for each other in person, once, a long time ago. Such a short time, and so long ago. It didn’t work out. Things often don’t. Since then, there’s just been this cautious ballet, a sidling back and forth along the edges. Until I fell again.

The plane ride was surreal. I felt like an exhibit being moved from a hushed gallery into a storage container filled with other strange relics. It made me wonder—do paintings talk to each other? When the museum closes for the night, there must be whispers. It felt like all the people cramped in that stuffy cabin were really just representations, scraps of paint-smeared cloth that had torn themselves away from their frames, like me, and were taking themselves out for a strange trip. Even the two children wheezing and moaning to their mother two rows behind—their voices, throaty and phlegm-distorted, were the hoarse scratchings of make-believe. They must have been background figures in a playground landscape. Not fully realized in their painting. Maybe that’s why they were so upset—no one would ever see them clearly.

It was a short flight. No checked luggage, so I was able to get out of the airport before it was too late. I’m about to collapse. I can feel that. So little desire left to keep pushing myself forward. I want to sleep.

The chatter of the keys as they fall on the concrete step almost sounds like a—nevermind. Pick them up. Insert the metal teeth, grind clockwise, stick, then shift—

I drop my shoulder and the bag slides away as if escaping. But with a sigh. Reluctant. The strap hisses down my sleeve before tangling briefly in my fingers and then it drops. The fabric muffles the thud on the wood floor. So heavy. So much lighter, now that I no longer have to carry it.

It had been so many years since I’d seen her. Other than in a few photographs. But photographs are so like paintings. Just representations. No substance. She should have seemed so much more –real, in person. She was just a cut-out, though. A painted refugee, out for a quick shopping trip, a break from the frame best suited for her.

As I backed away from her, she became beautiful again. That’s the way it is with paintings, the impressionistic kind. You have to be far enough away from them to see them properly. Up close, they’re nothing more than specks and streaks of color. They have to be seen from a distance to appear united. To have the form you need from them.

She didn’t see me. She saw what I had in the bag. What I’d draped over myself, just for this meeting. This chance encounter I’d so carefully orchestrated. The bump, the jostling, the murmured apology before drawing away.

I’m glad she didn’t recognize me. I knew that once I fell in love with her, again, I was falling alone. I know that if she’d seen me as I really am, there would have been the flicker of recognition—and then she’d have had to back away from me, trying to reassemble an image that no longer existed. She would have backed away from the precipice, and miles below, I would have seen her face, a courteous mask, as clearly as ever. And I would have had to live with that image in my freefall, forever.

I don’t have to carry it anymore, this deflated sack of tissue. It’s so heavy. I need sleep. Even resting on the floor, I’m so tired.

I’ll hang it up tomorrow. When I’m rested. The wrinkles will hardly even show, once it’s had a chance to sort itself out.

If she’d looked into the eyes peering out from the borrowed skin, she might have seen me. I was too careful to let that happen. I completed our last turn before she did, so I will never have to see her walk away.
my_window_seat: (To Much of the Stupid)
Don't have time for a real entry but:

Yahoo: still FUBAR'ed

Second Oral Presentation for Spanish: in 1 hour, and it's too long, and I'm probably going to bore the shit out of my classmates. Oh fucking well.

Lit Mag: One of my classmates told me that he'd submitted a short story - and then, before I was smart enough to tell him NOT TO TELL ME which one he submitted, he DID - and I then had to prevaricate and basically say I'd just skimmed recent submissions, blah blah - because I didn't want to have to tell him that I'm going to thumbs-down that particular submission. Ethical dilemma - if I were a sole editor for a literary mag, I know I'd struggle with the desire to communicate one-on-one with people who submit, in an attempt to give them solid, if opinion-biased feedback - meaning, I'd never get anything done. But I'd like to be able to tell this guy, look - writing about death is a tricky thing to do, especially if it's a personal story. Now, I don't know if this is a piece of fiction or what, but it didn't read like one - it read like one of these personal tales of woe about someone witnessing the horrors of a prolonged death of a patient in a nursing home. And hey, sorry guy - but just because it means something to YOU doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to mean something to an AUDIENCE - unless you've written it in a way that it ilustrates something particularly unique about the human condition, or if it's written in an original and compelling way. I am particularly sensitive to reading something that makes me feel as though I'm being emotionally manipulated - you'd better have a good reason to tug on my heart strings in order to get the desired reaction from me. I'm going to go back and read the piece again, and try to do so with equanimity - but at first glance, there wasn't anything in it that made me want to give a goddamn shit about the story. Old lady dies - yeah, guess what? Not exactly a newsflash.

As an interesting aside to the above - on rereading one of the short stories that *I* submitted, I'm also prepared to give *it* the thumbs-down. Because I like the concept, but reading it in contrast with other submissions, I realize that it just isn't up to the standards that I have for the magazine. It does a few neat tricks, but overall, it's just not that strong. Will be interesting to see what the rest of the staff says - because I'm not going to tell them that it's *my* submission (the names are stripped when they're sent to us). One of the other editors made a bit of a to-do at the meeting about wanting us to *know* her submissions, because *she* doesn't want to hear the kinds of cruel things we can say about stuff - me, I'd rather get the honest truth. However, I might *not* get this - because one of the other editors just sent out an e-mail to the group saying that, while the names on the submissions don't appear on the Word documents on the screen, when *printed out* - they're showing up on the pages. So, everyone may now know which submissions are mine, and I might not get the kind of unbiased critical feedback I was hoping for.

Meh. Not really a big deal. Honestly, I know what my gifts are - they're really in helping other people find *their* gifts, and helping them hone their own craft. When it really comes down to it - I'm more a reader than a writer.

Bother. More thoughts on the subject; no time. Must feed cats and practice presentation - then come home and keep bashing my head against that goddamn Marx paper.

So. Fucking. Tired.
my_window_seat: (Yuskavage's Girl)
A scrap of thought I had nowhere else to put.

=================================================

If I had two cents for every time I seen a ghost, I'd have an awful lot of –

What? You never seen a ghost?

Of course you have. You see them every day.

You just didn’t know because, well –

The woman in the apartment two doors over. She’s a ghost. She used to be a beauty pageant queen. It was so long ago, back when that kind of thing actually mattered. It still matters to her. She doesn’t know how to live in a world that doesn’t give her roses wrapped up in a crinkly foil bunch and her clothes have never felt right without a shiny ribbon sash to go on top. So she left this world behind for the one where she feels she belongs. The only thing left here now is a ghost.

Your boss – he’s a ghost. He hasn’t stopped thinking about playing soccer in college. He wasn’t as good as he wanted to be, but he’s sure he could have been better if he’d really tried. He’s a good boss. A little absent-minded sometimes. He doesn’t always remember to put up the next week’s schedule on time until you remind him, but it’s only because he’s not really here. He’s toeing a ball in the air, jutting out his forehead to meet it with a snap of the neck – what you see in that suit, it’s really just a ghost.

The woman who drives the bus on Tuesdays and Thursdays – yes, she’s another one. She has a lift in her right shoe, the one she presses the gas pedal with. When she goes home at night, she takes off her uniform and sits down on the bed before she rolls down her socks. That right foot isn’t pretty to look at. She doesn’t look at it. She rolls the socks down without looking and tosses them into the laundry basket a few feet away. She never looks at her feet. She looks as far away from them as she can. She’s always looking very far away. That’s something that ghosts do.

Every librarian is a ghost. It’s the rules.

The man you gave change to this morning. The man with the orangey-brown coat just big enough to fit over the sweatshirt on top of the flannel shirt that went over the Knicks t-shit that you never seen – no, he’s not a ghost.

He can see things. That’s why he’s not a ghost.

That’s why he looked right past the two dollars in the hand you stretched out, and looked you in the eyes this morning. He noticed you the way no one really does, as you go from school to work to the grocery store to the library to pick up books, to the movies once or twice a week, the video store some other times. The days of the week are as indistinct as you are, until you hand me enough for a cup of coffee one morning and –

What? You okay, lady?

You look like you just seen a -
my_window_seat: (Default)
How - interesting.

Just did a recon on my hard drive and found the beginning of a short story I never got around to finishing. Not surprising, considering the number of things I've started and never finished. I even have a vague idea of what I wanted to do with it. Something like rewrite a little bit of my own history, I guess. From a different perspective; another brain in another body leading an edited life, seen from an outside POV.

I don't know.

Maybe someday.

I don't know why, but the file was called "Preparation." For what, I don't know either.

If I ever finish it, I'll dedicate it to [livejournal.com profile] elegantdreams, because of the post that made me think of it.

I wish I knew exactly where it went, and how it was supposed to end. )
my_window_seat: (Default)
Started a short story last night. Maybe about a third of the way through; it may be more of a longish-short by the time it's done.

Assuming I finish it.

Which is a rather sizable assumption.

Am at that weird point where I know pretty well where I want it to go, even how I want it to end - although I wouldn't be surprised to see it go somewhere else entirely at some point, which would be just fine, as long as it works -

But this is the point where the 'crap, this is actually work!' feeling comes in.

And it's also the point where I always find myself asking, why is it that I can read and read and read and be able to point directly at something in someone else's work and say with confidence, 'that is what works' or 'that is what's keeping this from working,' and in both cases I can usually tell what makes it successful or what needs to be done to make it so - but I look at what I'm doing, and that confidence isn't there. The same tools I can use to help someone else improve their craft - that I've used to help other people get published, even - don't seem to work when I try to turn them to my own projects.

Which is a whiney way of saying I'm afraid to do what I want to do, because I don't want to suck at it.

Or something.

I don't know.

It's work, and my attitude towards work changes all the time. I'm a hard worker, and I'm also a lazy goddamn bastard.

And anything I do that means something, really means something to me - it's harder to do, because what if I put everything I have into it, and the end-product isn't good? I put myself into that - and it really blows. What does that make me, then?

I like doing sculpture, because I don't think much about it while I'm doing it. It's motion and movement and the feel of the materials and sometimes - ooooh, look at that - that's kinda cool! - is the end result. I don't have the same expectations. It's more about doing it than what it ends up like.

Or maybe I'm lying to myself about all of this.

It would be nice to be able to finish this story. Just to be able to do it.

We'll see what happens.
my_window_seat: (Default)
Contribution to Warren Ellis's project,
"The Strange Machine" -
an online conglomeration of contributions from his readers.

The Assignment:
Produce either a 200-word piece of prose, or a photo or photo-manip, or a drawing, or a painting, or a fucking whatever so long as it fits on a LiveJournal entry. The theme is FUTURITY. The future. Our future, your future, someone else's future. A thousand years from now, ten minutes from now.

=====================================


When you think about the future, you don’t imagine it the way it really unfolds.

Folds.

Think about that.

Think about things that are unfolded, like dirty laundry in a basket.

Wrinkled.

Think about that.

Like the body that you wear now, the one you climbed into one morning, in too much of a hurry to think about what you were putting on, and what you couldn’t climb out of at the end of the day. Sagging, not just around the knees, but under the chin as well. Stained, like those puddled smears beneath your eyes that no amount of sleep erases.

You sleep a lot now.

Don’t think about that.

Think about going downstairs.

Think about what you remembered the future being like, which is something you really never thought much about, and so it surprised you.

Think about surprises.

Like the surprise you have waiting for you, that you planned so carefully, down to the room, the rope, the chair.

Think about the future.

The future is what you make of it.

The future is now.

It’s just five minutes from now.

It’s just a heartbeat away.

Just five minutes.

Three minutes...

I think I’ll go downstairs now.




=====================================


P.S. Nikki, I do not have a basement. Repeat - I do not have a basement. This was just a writing exercise, dig?



my_window_seat: (Moi)
Jesus.

It's been almost two years to the day. Tomorrow to be exact, but it's strange in its own way that I happened to think of it just now. Two years tomorrow since I came home from work, opened up the mailbox, found a letter from my grandmother.

Or rather, a brief note, and a newspaper clipping.

It's been a decade and more since Stewart and I first met. Less two years from that since we split up. Just two years now since he went to that big rehearsal hall in the sky.

And about 1 year since I had - a visit, I guess you could call it.

When I came home tonight I lit some incense, and it was that, among other things, that brought him to mind. Nag Champa. It always smells like - home, to me. Smells can conjure up such specific memories and images. Especially when they are so strongly associated with a time, a place, a person.

Found a - well, I guess it's a little long to call a scrap, but anyway, another memory from the archives. From just about a year ago, give or take a week.

You always have to wonder, don't you?

I do, anyway.

A Season, A Memory, A Ghost, and a Goodbye )
my_window_seat: (Default)
Sweet Jaysus.

Hello again, World.

Today was the first day in a week that I left the house other than to go to the studio to pick up yet more work. Last night was an all-nighter in a desperate attempt to clear the decks of everything I brought home so that I can go in tomorrow, drop all this shit off and beg for more. More, dear god, more, because finances are such that I am bleakly reminded of how fortunate it is that I have a good stock of food in the cupboards. I am so fucking sick of working so hard just to keep my head momentarily above water.

School. That's the crunchy carrot just 21 days away. Unfortunately, the financial aid for same is 51 days away. That first month is going to be a bitch-kitty in extremis. If the top of my head doesn't explode in the next 51 days, before I get that sweet, sweet check in my grubby little paws, there will be a deity that deserves a full-on blood sacrifice.

Last night did offer some amusement value, aside from the frenzy of brushes and paints. My best friend - the one in South Africa, damn her husband - entered a timed writing contest. 24 hours to write a story, with a topic they handed out at the start of the countdown, 950 words max. So every couple hours I get a frantic signal from Messenger and she shoots me a draft, and we go back and forth with suggested edits and stuff. Fun. Especially so through the limitations of Messenger. Note to self: there must be some kind of real-time editing interface available on the Internet, and it would be a good idea to find it one of these days.

The only problem is that I now have this insatiable craving to write something myself. It's like an itch in an unreachable place. I don't have a specific topic or particular thing in mind - I just want to write, so bad I can nearly taste it. It's driving me fucking nuts. Especially since, write now, even the few minutes I'm taking right now to update my journal are making me feel guilty - I still have a hundred tiles left to try to finish tonight, and every second counts. But - but - but -

Christ. But it feels so good just to have that feeling again. To want to write again. Even if right this moment isn't the time - even if I don't have the luxury of having the time to scratch the itch -

Still, I think I can feel why I've been in what's felt like the mental Sahara for so long now. I think it's because I've been so cut off from the world for such a long time. Thinking about what it is that really grabs me when I read something that's really good - I think, for me at least, it has to do with the eyes that I can look through when reading. The best writers seem to - see so much. They're taking me someplace that I'm not. They're showing me something I wouldn't be able to see if they weren't there building that place out of the sticks and stones of noun, adjective, word. And even if that particular place and time aren't 'real' in the sense that they'replaces I can actually go to myself, they're put together by someone who has a heightened ability to observe and report back. Even if it's just a place on the inside of their eyelids, they have the tools and grasp of craft to etch the same pictures in my head, too.

Some writers can do this without ever leaving their houses. Me, I'm thinking I'm not one of those kind of writers. I'm thinking I needs to get my sorry ass back out into the world again. I need to restock my mental 8mm with images from the outside again.

And I'm going to have to start from Ground Zero. All over again. I feel like I've forgotten everything I ever knew about being able to write. Whatever I may have known to begin with, as little as that may have been.

School. Maybe I'm just blowing sunshine up my ass, but I think it's what I've been needing for a very, very long time. And I need it now, in the worst - in the best - kind of way.

It sucks that I won't be able to take anything like a really good writing class at all, at least not for another year. Nothing like that at the Voc-Tech. This year is just going to be a bunch of undergrad pre-req crap, and really just getting myself back into the concept of being a student again, after a 16 years hiatus.

And the crowing irony - I'm going back with the same goal in mind as the one that I started with so many years ago. Teaching, secondary level; English, with an emphasis on Theatre, Literature - and Writing.

The difference is that now, I'm doing it for myself. Not to please relatives by doing something more 'realistic' than theatre. I'm doing it because it's what I want to do. I'm doing it because I've had a chance to see how 'unrealistic'it would be for me, personally, to be doing anything else. I'm doing it because I don't want to be another one of the walking zombies I've seen so many of in every kind of office in every kind of industry in every kid of city in every kind of state.

I'm doing it because it's what I need to be doing. Even if it took me this long to realize it, maybe it never would have felt like the right thing, if I hadn't had a chance to see the alternatives.

It's not going to be easy. It's going to be something that I know I'll still question nearly every day, the way I question whether I can actually pull this off. I don't have the mental flexibility or retention that I used to have. I'm more sensitive to the pressures of time and deadlines and especially the nuances of social interaction than I used to be. It just feels like an enormous burden just to be alive sometimes now. I know what it's like to try and fail, and it's sometimes much easier to just say, fuck it. Nevermind. It's not worth trying.

Except, in the same way, it's not. It's actually harder to give in to not trying, because I know what the vaccuum of having nothing to look forward to, nothing to strive for, feels like.

It feels like exactly what it is. A whole lot of nothing.

And I want a lot more than a whole lot of nothing now.

I have an itch, and I want to dig my fingernails back into it. I want to leave some gorgeous, bloody tracks in the back of life before I leave it, kicking and screaming all the way.

I wonder how that will sound to a prospective School Board in an interview.

Let us bow our heads and say a silent prayer for the educational system that I am on my way to entering, and all the inquisitive, nubile minds that will one day be under my instruction.

Oh, dear... Think of the children...
my_window_seat: (Default)

Dear Ms. M----,
Thanks for submitting your work to Lullaby Hearse. Unfortunately it wasn’t accepted for issue #5. Because of increased volume on mail and email submissions, I’m unable to answer each sub personally, though after years of poetry submissions I understand how terrible that rejection feels in the mail. Often stories and poems are close matches in theme and subject but we feel that the details and storyline of the piece could be elaborated. If you are curious about our market it would be useful to order a sample issue from shocklines.com or projectpulp.com, as the work we seek is unusual in its use of language, imagery, and dark themes.

Regards,

Sarah Ruth Jacobs


That must be some kind of new record - two rejections for the same piece in the same week.

I impress even myself.
my_window_seat: (Default)
Dear Ms. Jacobs:

Attached please find a fiction submission for your your review for Lullaby Hearse Magazine. The title of the piece is "You Get What You Pay For", it is 1,364 words, and most likely falls under the category of dark psychological fiction.

A brief description of the piece:
"Sometimes the difference between fantasy and reality can be measured by a 3-drink minimum + tips. Where do you draw the line? Maybe right here, in the sand of the Center Ring. Sometimes, even the truth can't run from footlights and a follow-spot."

Thank you for your time in considering this piece, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
My Name


(sigh) "They never learn - you can't teach a Sneetch..."

Well.

Apr. 11th, 2004 03:29 pm
my_window_seat: (Default)
Okay.

That was quick.

Hello, and thank you for your recent submission to NFG Magazine.

Although your submission had merit, our editors felt it was not suitable at this time. This is not a rejection of the artist or the artist's creation, so we encourage you to submit more of your work in the future.

If you're inclined to rework a submission you've previously sent through, and would like to give us the opportunity to have another read, please allow yourself and the editorial staff a minimum of 30 days before you resubmit.

Whenever possible, the editorial collective makes suggestions or comments about the submission. The comments are below, or can be seen online when you log in.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
You Get What You Pay For:

2004.04.11 Glen Chapman (Rejected after initial review)
Thanks for the story, unfortunately it didn't quite stand out from the pack as much as we would like

As such we will have to pass on this one


Well, at least it was over quickly.

'Ray for efficiency.
my_window_seat: (Default)
One of the editors is reading my piece. Already. Glad to know I'm not the only person working over the holiday weekend. The fact that I can review the progress of my submission, as it happens, is really kind of bizarre, but neat. Out of the 1,141 stories that this particular editor has reviewed, he's rejected 838 and accepted 303. Sounds like he's got high standards. I like that.

The way this mag works, as I understand it, is that if it makes it past the initial slushpile, it gets reviewed by the whole staff, and they vote on it, and make remarks as they go. It can either be accepted or rejected outright, or they can send it back to the author for rewrites, whereupon the author can accept or reject the opportunity to resubmit it. Interesting. I think I picked a good place to put in an initial submission - if all goes well, I either get accepted, or I get at least some very valuable feedback.

How very cool.

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