Daily Prompt:Flawed

Alright, I’ll bite. ‘Cause I’m a sucker for self-analysis.

My worst flaw is that I care too much, work too hard, and give too much of myself for others. No, really.

(And that earns a gigantic snort of derision. Please, drop the tomatoes. I’ll try to be honest now.)

In an effort to answer this prompt with something resembling the truth, allow me to share with you a recent conversation I had with Jon. This transpired after a bantering session in the car. Later that night, after the bantering ended with both of us being mildly amused and the conversation dropping, the night toned down into one of those nights where I’m on the computer and Jon is hobby-ing it up with the paints downstairs. After reading for awhile, something he said in the car takes a hold of my brain. I start picking over it and analyzing it and getting incredibly angry that he would say such a thing. How he said it is gone. The context in which he said it is gone. All that’s left is anger that he said it at all.

So I traipse downstairs, grab the tobacco, and bring it back upstairs, knowing that he will be up eventually to take it back. That’s right, ladies and gents. This lady went agro, and then she went passive aggressive agro, and then she fumed for another half hour while waiting impatiently for her loving, wonderful boyfriend to fall into her trap. And when he did, here’s what happened:

Agro Grilfriend: Why would you say something like that?

Jon: What?

Agro Girlfriend: Seriously, who the fuck says that shit?

Jon: What the…

Agro Girlfriend: (Using my, ‘This is what you should be saying’ voice) Oh, I’m sorry Wendy, I didn’t realize I hurt your feelings.

Jon: Um… Can I have the tobacco?

Agro Girlfriend: I mean, that is a seriously fucked up thing to say! I know you were joking, but please, just acknowledge that was going a bit far?

Jon: Anything else you want to script out for me tonight?

Agro Girlfriend: I just wish you cared about my feelings, damn it!

Jon goes back downstairs, shaking his head, wondering when his sane girlfriend will come back to replace the paranoid nutso currently sitting in his bedroom.

So my worst flaw is the fact that I literally go insane with paranoia, hatred, and fear at inexplicably random moments.

I honestly don’t know what else there is to say about that. That I’m working on it? It took me so long to realize that I did it at all, and even longer to realize that I am rarely, if ever, justified in these moments of rage. On the whole, I’ve got other flaws, and I’ve got good qualities, too (somewhere). But this one flaw has caused inordinate amounts of damage in my life, and despite recognizing it’s here, it not only continues to cause damage when I indulge in it, but the damaging effects of past outbursts are still rippling throughout most of my relationships.

And the rage is all tangled up with the way I felt upon reading this prompt. I read it, and a loud voice really, really wants to say…

My worst flaw is that I care too much, work too hard, and give too much of myself for others!

I want flaws that aren’t really flaws. Or flaws that make me quirky instead of frightening. But my flaws are exactly the opposite of that. I want too much to be seen as someone who is selfless; it’s its own form of selfishness. I want too much to be seen as completely reasonable; it’s its own form of madness.

Anyway. That’s a bunch of gibberish. My biggest flaw is that I’m always right and nobody can stand it. xD

//

//

23k words is nothing to shake a stick at

23,878

I know I said in an earlier post that I was determined to finish NaNo this year. The truth is, I gave up with that story about the 7th of November. Very early. I exchanged NaNo in exchange for my own personal project.

Every morning, since October 29th, I have woken up and followed this routine:

I crawl over Jon, still asleep, in bed, and get dressed. As I am waking up, Hera bounces around the room, all wide-eyed, energetic husky, whoa-bearing (it’s the term we give to her throwing up her paws past her ears and slamming them into the ground – the most adorable thing I have ever seen a dog do) up a storm. I move with deliberate calmness, because it drives her crazy.

Opening the door, she bolts down the stairs with the energy of a seven-year-old on Christmas morning. I am a few minutes behind her, as I have morning-bathroom type stuffs to take care. After I’m brushed and smell a little bit better, I follow Hera down stairs where she’s waiting at the back door. She’ll stand tall and scratch along the door knob, as this is the way we’ve trained her to tell us she needs to go outside. I tell her to chill. She sits, wagging her tail, staring impatiently at the portal between her and her favorite place in the world. I open the door and rarely manage to avoid being knocked in the legs as she bounds outside.

So I set about making coffee while she enjoys herself in the yard. When the coffee is done, I pour myself a mug and whistle for Hera to come back inside. Then I head back upstairs, open Microsoft word, and write for as long as I am able to pay attention to the screen.

Some mornings I only write, ‘God I can’t think of anything to write!’ Some mornings I complain about the previous day, about being poor, or, originally enough, not having anything to write. There are lists of gratitude and lists of dreams, and even the occasional poem or piece of flash fiction.

Every morning.

This is the most consistently I have ever written. And somehow, in the midst of all of that, letting go of NaNo, which often has me completely sick of writing by December 1, doesn’t feel like a failure. I simply don’t care. I have established my own patterns. For the sake of framing my accomplishment under the terms of NaNo, the figure above is the amount that I wrote between November 1st and November 30th. But that’s 23 thousand words with no artificial deadline. It’s 23 thousand words I wrote with my own will-power, and through my own intention to become, truly, a writer.

I plan to continue this pattern until December 31st, at which point, I will commence with a two to three month activity called the floating half-hour, in which I pick a random half-hour period every day and write during that period. It sounds much more difficult than my morning routine, but after building the muscles that this routine has been working out, I believe I will be capable of challenging my muse, of practicing creativity, and of actively coming closer every day to my true and ultimate goal.

(To be a writer… obviously. xD)

That’s all for today.

Jeebus. It’s been a minute.

My last post was at the end of August. Just in case you weren’t aware (I’d like to hide under a rock too, it’s so freaking cold), it is now nearly November. Which means NaNoWriMo.

I have access to the internet for a minute. By way of explanation (to myself, as I feel I’ve probably lost whatever stragglers were reading my blog, way back when), I’ve been Most Decidedly Not Blogging because of moving, and starting school, and being broke, and moving some more, and keeping up with school, and still being broke, and dealing with midterms, and moving again (it’s been rough), and being a little bit less broke (YAY!).

Anyway, as I mentioned before, NaNo is pretty much upon us, and, as I have every year since 2006, I fully intend to write a 50,000 word novel by November 30th. Since I’ve already posted ad¬†nausea¬†about trying and failing and trying and failing and trying again (ever hopeful!), I don’t feel like waxing poetical about the things NaNo makes me feel. xD Suffice it to say I am going to win this year, damn it, and wrap up a cohesive plot to boot.

Here is my Brief, Kind of Inaccurate (But It Works Hey What The Hell) synopsis:

Cory Smart is on a witch hunt. Two years ago, he dropped everything – job, school, even his family and friends – to search for a witch he just knows is hanging out somewhere in the midwest. She’ll be young, and smart, and beautiful. Nobody will know where she came from and no one will question her presence. When he finds her, he’ll know.

And find her he has, or so he thinks, in a quaint little Minnesota town just south of nowhere. But convincing her that she’s the witch he’s looking for is going to take more effort than he thought.

Also, for some reason, I’m calling it South of Nowhere.

It may be yet another minute before I’m blogging actual topics and whatnot. But soon, my pretties, I will track down Time Warner and I will have All The Interwebz.

Until then,

Peace.

Why should I care?

So I must admit, after two weeks, eight posts, and far too much time obsessively checking my stats page finding cool blogs to read, I still don’t really know what I’m doing here. I’ve written some about programming, and books, and religion, and I-don’t-even-remember what else. Oh, and I wrote a short story that needs about six revisions in order to be what I actually envisioned it being when I first hit ‘Publish Post’ on the damn thing.

I don’t think a single one of my blog posts carries a consistent voice or tone from the previous one. I’m still scrambling to find a way to tie it all together, as was clearly my intention two weeks ago. At least, that’s what I can safely assume given the title I came up with.

The question that keeps bouncing around in my head like… I don’t know, a three year old on a sugar rush… is a question that my boyfriend often uses when he looks at my writing and can’t quite figure out how to tell me what it’s missing. Why should I care about this? It’s not bad, he says. It’s well-written, he says. You clearly are trying to say something. The most common reaction I get to my writing, from teachers, peers, my boyfriend, even my mom, is… this is good but it’s missing something.

Some draw, some appeal, some pivotal piece that, if it clicked into place, would create the bridge between what I’m trying to say and why you, my audience, should care about what I’m trying to say. Now, I journal a lot outside of this blog. I know what I want to share with you. But I’m unskilled in the art of implementation. I started this blog because I wanted to find my missing piece, the thing that draws together all of the marvelous things my scatterbrained self wants to tell you, show you, ask you, share with you.

A lot of this stems from a desire for the grandeur I felt the first time it really hit me that my mom is a published author. The first time I held her book in my hands, or the first time I flipped through an anthology and found her essay, with her name right there and an About the Author section that I recognized as a very simplified version of my own home life (also, way too much information about my mom’s teenage years). Holy shit, I thought, or felt, my mom is a bad ass! I loved to read. I loved to write. Why couldn’t I share that writing, too?

It is still my dream to be a published author by the time I’m twenty-five, but in my world, I’m kind of unsure what that means. I’m publishing blog posts, aren’t I? I’m reading all sorts of blogs and articles about how self-publishing can be a respectable route to take in getting your name out there. So this dream I’ve had that involves a million rejection letters framed on the wall over my desk, is it an accurate picture of the route my dream will take me on? Will I ever experience that day, the day I imagine as starting off like any other day, the day when I pull myself out of bed, pour myself some cereal and check the mail, innocently perusing through the letters – ‘Bill. Bill. Letter from Grandma. Oh, look, another rejection letter, I’ll put that aside and look at it in a second. Reminder from the vet for Herra’s check up.’ – until, finally, I open a letter and read We are pleased to inform you that… ?

Will I ever get to stare at that letter, spoon held halfway between the bowl and my mouth, utterly forgotten as I scramble to feel something, anything, other than shock. And then… a slow welling of excitement, rising like a scream in my chest, like tears to my eyes, like a slow smile to my lips. The letter tells me I’ve found the missing piece at last, and when the reader asked themselves Why should I care? they found an answer, and decided to help me through the process of publication and marketing, the process that leads to the road of holding my book in my hands.

Whether or not the dream will play out like that, or, given the age I live in, take a different road or end up with a final product that’s more digital than physical, I know I have a lot of work to do. This blog is a form of publication, but it’s not my dream, not yet. I haven’t found that piece which will tie together what I want to share with why my readers should care. But in the mean time, I am having a marvelous time reading blogs that inspire, that tickle my fancy and are extraordinarily well-written and well thought out. Two weeks I’ve been here; I have some followers, I’ve entered a contest, and I’ve read some truly incredible stories, thoughts, and insights from people, from complete strangers, whose posts sing with the answer to Why should I care? without me, as a reader, even having to think about it.

Time to pack!

The first ‘writing challenge’ I have participated in since high school. Brought to you by The Daily Post at WordPress.com. I’m going to resist the urge to say what I think of it. The zipper on my mouth is zipped closed and the key has landed in a bottomless pit.

I am a book.

I am a book, and this reader does not seem to love me. You see, it all started a few days ago. I was nestled in my nook between two of my book neighbors. One, a stuffy fellow, whispered mythology through a rugged cloth-bound cover. The other fairly bellowed with all the secrets, rejoicing in ancient wisdom and the possibility of new worlds. As long as these new worlds have cheese, I do not mind too much. In an ordinary fashion, this reader pulled me from the shelf, and my neighbor the wisdom-crier flopped inelegantly to fill space. Good for mythology and wisdom, I thought. Since the day this reader put me there, I felt rather like the yolk of an egg in meringue. Mythology and wisdom have nothing to say to me, a lowly cookbook.

I thought to be carried to the kitchen, my spine cracked open, the soft paunch of my billowing pages pushed flat against the shelf without sides. I thought soon to find myself dusted in flour or powdered sugar. Perhaps I would earn another coffee or jam stain and then be lifted after this reader’s use into the air by my covers, shaken until clean, and placed back somewhere amongst high fantasy (they’re an interesting folk, and they like to talk to me, for sometimes they, too, recognize the importance of food). But, no. Nothing happened in the ordinary fashion, and I was tossed into a box, my front-cover snapping in brief indignation. I was piled on by other books – books who had few words to share, but onslaughts of bright and garish pictures. It became dark.

I am a book, and you are a comic book, new neighbor in darkness. Your heroes and your villains are in no better shape than my recipes to understand how we displeased this reader. Why, can you tell me? Why are we shifting in this dark place that smells of dust and your glossy plastic pages? I have been so proud, always, with my bolted lists, my clarity in direction, to provide this reader with sacred information. She has loved me, used me, broken my spine and dog-eared my pages, underlined my precious text and written with her sloppy hand in the vast openness of my margins.

I was packed away at the bottom of this four-sided shelf and am losing the sense that I am a book. What am I? Maybe if I listen for this reader’s voice, I will understand what has been done to displease her. Why is it I, and not mythology or wisdom, who deserves this treatment, when she seeks my aid so often, and they have been lifted from the home shelf but once or twice each?

I hear this: “Oh, baby, mark that box. It’s the comics and my cookbook – they’re the first thing I want to unpack when we move in.”

It is no use. Her words are not text, and I am bereft of purpose, knocking spines with you, comic neighbor, in this dark, loveless new shelf.