Saturday, August 30, 2008

Writing quote for 8-30-08

A good writer possesses not only his own spirit but also the spirit of his friends.

--Friedrich Nietzsche

Quote for 8-30-08

Education … has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.

--G. M. Trevelyan

I'm off to the store

Yes, for some coke and some of those things I need for the movie tonight. Have a good one.

if it weren't for the fact I'm so addicted

and the thought of free Cherry Coke didn't thrill me to all Heaven, I'd chuck all those bottle caps I have 'cause that freakin site ( is not easy to navigate.

How the hell do I get my free soda????

(banging head against the monitor)


The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

I'm going tonight to see it for the first time.

Gotta pick up some toilet paper


a squirt gun

a newspaper. . . .

She would be ready for a call at 3 a.m.

someone said of the Republican vp choice, 'cause she'll already be up with her baby!!


Friday, August 29, 2008

Wow! I think McCain just blew it

He picked a woman for his vp???????????????????????????????


This country for all it's talk about equality and stuff does not want a woman running it. I have this theory on how all the systems--the educational system, the legal system, the justice system, the entertainment system, etc -- all bolster the founding ideas of this country WHICH WERE BASED ON THE DESIRES OF WHITE MEN and women don't readily fit into the picture as true co-workers.

She was a beauty queen contestant-- that's what one story had to say about her??? See how trivial that is. Did he think women will vote for a woman just 'cause she's a woman? Hillary supporters will not run to her-- she's pro life, pro guns-- I would think Hillary supporters weren't thinking of the shared vagina as much as the shared values.

Like I said previously, I just like watching from the sidelines. This is truly a historic and interestingly crazy race for the presidency.

Time for me to go pop some more popcorn.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Quote for 8-28-08

Don't be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so.

-- Belva Davis.

Writing quote for 8-28-08

You become a writer because you need to become a writer - nothing else.

-- Grace Paley

I lied

A couple of years ago, I said that I wanted to go back to filmmaking 'cause that was my calling and I made the statement that I could forgo writing to do so, but I know now that I was confused or something because even though I do plan to do films again, I don't know how I could have ever thought I could give up writing.

Did I say it (writing) was just something that I did, that it wasn't what I was?

Well, here's the retraction.

I lied. I am every word I will ever write.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Okay, I'm off to write

Have a great one!

Of course, there's that small matter of acceptance

My story has to make it into the anthology. That's FIRST. Then Ireland.

One small detail I must not overlook, ha!

Back and, yes, not so grouchy

The media headlines make me crazy-- what can I say?

Anyway I'm up and looking for a job and doing some writing. I have a deadline by which it is imperative that I have money coming in from somewhere but that date isn't here yet. So I'm writing.

My daughter who was living on campus moved back with me and she's not going to school this semester 'cause she's transferring to a college in Maine and she's just working and organizing her life to get here there.

My third son who didn't want to go to college last semester is this semester but he too has moved in with me.

Had to give up some space but not the writing room or the craft room which is my light-filled, sunflower-decorated, Boston fern-thriving haven.

The time back has been good. Rain, oh glorious rain. Last night and this morning. The grandson is as gorgeous as ever. First haircut and he's walking (wobbling);-)

I've been notified that a story has made it to the final phase for an anthology which is set to be launched in November and I could be invited-- to Ireland. Now of course the bill would land on me and in a way, it seems so huge-- did I mention that I want to get married in Ireland? Canada is second choice. But I digress--
I would LOVE to go to Ireland. Am afraid to put it to the universe and not so. I wasn't thinking I would meet B.B. King but I thought I could. And there's other instances in my life when the impossible was made possible.

No, I have to believe. Faith the size of a mustard seed.

I AM going to put it to the Universe. If there is a reason for me to be in Ireland, it will happen. Life will, I've witnessed before, conspire to make my wishes come true. And if not, then there's a reason that will be revealed at a later time. If not this, then something better.

So we'll see.

And John McCain wasn't the only POW

so he needs to stop milking that cow.

He is referred to, in some corners, as Songbird McCain.

And there's a reason for that.

"Hillary Democrats" are whiners

and sore losers.

They should learn to take it like a man.

** this is only intended for those who have said they will vote GOP instead of BO. And not that I'm advocating anyone for prez 'cause of religious views, I don't vote.

Okay, only once and that was because I HAD to say "no" to another term of George W.

Monday, August 25, 2008

'cause I can't trust you

to follow a link.

  • blogger
  • suggested I read this essay that he wrote and now I'm suggesting you do the same:

    Why I Do Not Write

    I started my education late. This means (if it means anything at all) that my reading and writing days began late in my life. I tried hard to play “catch up” with other students who, as my college professor told me when I decided to be an English major, “had been reading and writing all of their lives.” And to a large extent it was true. I had classmates who read Milton’s Paradise Lost by the time they were in fifth grade. Another classmate in graduate school wrote a short story every single day as an exercise. Amazing, I thought to myself. These testimonies never ceased to both surprise me and depress me. Even now, eight years after graduating from one of the top English graduate programs in the nation, I still ask myself the same question: What makes me worthy of being called a “literary person?” Am I a writer?

    I wrote the five sub-title sentences today, as I was in the process of writing a segment of what I will now begin to describe as a “novel.” The word itself lends itself to so much pretentiousness that I am embarrassed to use it. The story I am writing has been “boiling” over in my head for a few years now. I have written sketches of things and tossed them aside over the years. The confidence to call one’s self a writer was one I never possessed. I don’t think that I possess it today; even after spending countless hours in the last few days hammering what I am arrogantly calling a “novel.” Now, only eight pages from finishing every blank page on this notebook I have to wonder. Has this been time well-spent?

    Perhaps people who read this might think this is really a case of low self-esteem. But it isn’t so. It’s more like frustration. If you don’t believe me, try this one on for size. Several years ago, the number one book in the “New York Times” bestseller list was Dennis Rodman’s As Bad as I Wanna Be. The book was, as the title implies, a defiant declaration of attitude. “If I want to be a writer, I’ll be a writer… and don’t you forget it,” it seemed to say. And so in the flash of a wink, Dennis Rodman, known for his basketball records, his on and off-court antics became what so many “wanna-be” writers (if I may use the colloquialism) covet: a bestselling author. Again, it may sound like I am just bitching. But it’s really more than that. Perhaps jealousy, you say? Well, not that exactly. It has more to do with the actual title of “writer.” Who gets to fill their mouth with self-pride when they say, “I am a writer!”

    Everyone is a writer nowadays. Visit any major mega bookstore today and you’ll be surprise at the amount of “bargain” books piled up (always at the entrance) waiting for attention. The Little Book of Zen Sayings, How to Live Correctly, the list goes on and on. It amazes me that behind every single one of these books there are people, the writers. There are so many of them that I can’t even begin to compare myself to a real author. They seem to command respect and tribute from us “posers.” Or do they?

    I can’t really make a generalization here but it might be safe to say that most bestsellers today are not about emotional losses or unfulfilled dreams. Murder, thrills, mystery, and frills claim most of the spots on the bestsellers list week after week. Most readers in America want to be scared for their money, or challenged to figure out a murder mystery. They want the escapism that (on the average) $24.95 can buy. And make it last too. No bestseller mystery or thriller can claim a spot of success if it is under 200 pages. Success of this type is fast, filled with glitz and potential financial gain. But there is another side to the writing craft; the side that wants to print stories of deep emotional scars, of loss and romantic desperation. I am not sure America wants to read that. There seems to be no money in that. Or else, for every hundred Stephen Kings, Dan Browns or J.K. Rowlings there can only be one Toni Morrison, Paul Auster, or Ellen Gilchrist.

    When can I call myself a writer? It’s not about the dollar signs, at least not yet; or the high-level agent contracts. It’s really more about the title “writer.” An acquaintance of mine, a published author of science fiction novels, tells me that I am a writer. “If you write,” I remember her saying, “you are a writer.” While the sentiment is well-intended, it does little to quench my agony. Who is a writer? One who writes? Is it really that simple? Shouldn’t one know a bit more about life to declare one’s self a writer? Sure, I could keep a journal, or research literary theory and write academic papers. Those people are writers—they write! But I am talking about imaginative writers who by the power of their own will and mental strength create worlds of fiction as real as the empirical one we live in. That is precisely what my acquaintance does. Even though I don’t read science fiction, I consider the genre one of the most demanding in fiction writing. The whole purpose of science fiction is to make the fantastical real, the unbelievable as real as water and fire.

    I don’t consider myself a writer but rather an escape artist. That’s what I do when I am writing, really. This so-called novel I am writing helps me escape the world I worked so hard to make for myself. The world is not bad, that’s not the point. The nature of human beings is progressive, and, invariably, once our lives slow down, our minds take off to invent a fiction larger than ourselves. We survive through this escapism. Right now I am trying to survive, if not for me, then for the sake of a character in a story I myself have constructed out of mud. Let me not forget that the story is also about a woman whom not only do I “kill” early on, but also “prostitute” her memory to the same man who has “stalked” her for the better part of two years. Again, what makes me believe I can fashion a world out of my imagination and make it so real as to shake the foundations of emotions and life? There might be giants among us, but “gods?” I hardly think so.

    Perhaps Jorge Luis Borges was right. His vision of the writing process concealed in it not arrogance, but a general consensus that “what is good belongs to no one.” I have written quite a bit in the last few days, even with a bit more discipline than I ever did before. I hope, regardless of how the “novel” (it does sound pretentious, doesn’t it?) works out, that the habit of writing is now for me a permanent one. I’d hate to think that this notebook is coming to an end; this is the penultimate page. I am afraid of how the next one will go. How fast or how slow will I write? How many issues/stories would I put on it before I decide on a specific one? I think that was primarily the problem with the notebook that is now closing its last few open spaces to my pen. Perhaps I will continue to write. The anger is beginning to subside now. It is not difficult to compartmentalize these feelings and translate them into the fictions I wish my life had been in reality. It is an agreement we make with ourselves. Once the years have passed by and our grandest hopes have also gone with the days, we tell ourselves, “It is okay, I can make this; I can harness this emotion into a story to validate not only my reasoning but my most intimate fears.” We do it everyday. It is inherent in us. We struggle to make a bad situation better, to survive from one day to the next in a job we hate, in a marriage that is not working out, or counting our luck for the lump that turned out to be benign.

    And that is what writers do, and I cannot. They are able to recall the original emotion that made the experience lovely, desirable, hateful, terrible or great and end up creating a fiction that takes its place; they fulfill the demands of their amazing hearts with the ease of a scalding knife cutting through butter. This is the moment when “the mirror of fiction” gets turned around and the original equation (that fiction must mirror life) is reversed, and fiction seems—at least for a time—more real than any real-life experience. A literary friend of mine calls this escapism, and I can’t say I disagree with her assessment. We seek something that will make it less painful to look at our own lives; a selective-judgment point of reference that allows us to say “see, that happens to other people too!”

    We live in a fiction we craft ourselves to escape the pain of real life. Most times it needs not to be written down. We embrace Jay Gatsby’s mastery of reinvention because we are never at peace with our lot. Our “Americanism” does not allow us to accept the defeat gracefully. We turn our back on reality and embrace a fiction of our own making. And who could blame us? In the age of “reality” television, each of us deserves a bit of personal fiction.

    Writing fiction is like putting all your emotional eggs in the proverbial basket. If I were to be cruel about it I would say that writing fiction is a fiction itself. I have no idea what the numbers are today, but who isn’t writing a novel today to try and be the next Dan Brown? Fly around in your own private jet (as in a fiction of sorts), land in your own airport next to your mansion, etc. I live with the reality that writing fiction is just a pain in the ass—plain and simple. That is why I hate it so much. Writing fiction helps me escape to a world where things are fashioned at my will, but what writing “giveth with one hand, it taketh away with the other.” The time I spend writing a story that I might not even finish is really time boiling over the painful reality of lost loves, betrayals, defeats, victories (real or imagined) moves, changes of heart and so on. Should I continue writing? If time is an issue, then I could just read what others write; or better yet, master the Six Suites for Cello Solo by J.S. Bach. On the other hand, should I yield to this feeling of wanting to create these worlds, these characters? How egotistical would that be? Do I really have anything important to say to the world about my deep emotions? There is no answer. And now there is no more space. I just reached the last line of the last page of this notebook. If the answer were to come right now I would have to start a new notebook. And do I really want that? Yes, I believe I do.

    Writing quote for 8-25-08

    The young fiction writer--you--carries a burden of sorts. You are lugging something around that seems to be part of your being, or as we would say now, is "hard wired" into you, so much so that you have become its container, but the only way to express it--almost literally, to bring it out--is to write it. What "it" is, in this case, is a piling up of selves, of beings, and of stories that are being experienced from the inside. What is it like to be you, to be me? You can't answer that question by answering it discursively. You can only answer it by telling a story. That's not therapy. You're not sick. You're just a certain kind of human being. It's exaclty like the necessity the musician has in humming a tune or playing a piano, or the necessity an artist has in doodling and sketching and drawing and painting. It's almost involuntary. Something needs to get out: Not expressed but extruded. As the composer Camille Saint-Saens remarked, "I write music the way an apple tree produces apples."

    --Charles Baxter from Letters to a Fiction Writer

    Thought for 8-25-08

    Many of the world's finest Oriental rugs come from little villages in the Middle East. Each rug is hand-produced by a crew of men and boys under the direction of a master weaver. Since ordinarily they work from the underside of the rug-to-be, it frequently happens that a weaver absent-mindedly makes a mistake and introduces a color that is not accoringg to the pattern.

    When this occurs, the master weaver, instead of having the work pulled out to correct the color sequence, will find some way to incorporate the mistake harmoniously into the overall patern.

    It is a useful object lesson, for we all can learn to take unexpected difficulties and mistakes and weave them advantageiously into the greater pattern of our lives. There is an inherent good in most difficulties.

    -- Norman Vincent Peale

    Monday, August 18, 2008

    From the "oooooh, this pisses me off" files

    Simon & Schuster gave Foxy Brown $75,000 and Lil' Kim $40,000 to write books that they never delivered. Brown's book was due in 2006 and Lil' Kim's was due in 2004. Both rap stars are being sued.

    Okay, first I'm pissed 'cause "REAL WRITERS" could use those kind of advances, but I'm also confused and befuddled. Both of them were just in prison -- did they not have time to write????

    heh, heh. . . I'm just saying. . .

    Friday, August 15, 2008

    Writing quote for 8-15-08

    Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself.

    --Truman Capote

    Quote for 8-15-08

    Do not seek to bring things to pass in accordance with your wishes, but wish for them as they are, and you will find them.



    Going to hang out. . . after I clean my house, do the laundry, do the grocery shopping, pay the cell phone bills, get some things ready for Goodwill to pick up. . .

    Thursday, August 14, 2008

    Always a bridesmaid

    My micro "What You Should Have Done" made the short list for the Binnacle Ultra-Short contest (last year, my micro "Sometimes" made the short list) but no cigar when it came to winning.


    And yes that meant no money for


    Even Greyhound has gotten ridiculous with its prices and restrictions on baggage. Did not go to Jackson, Mississippi to do a group book signing, although I'm hoping to meet up with the group in Sept and Oct for some Mississippi signings and one in Mobile, Alabama.

    Anyway Life didn't take me to Jackson 'cause I had to meet these people who were from Jackson, MS and in Nashville visiting first 'cause they're going to help me when I do get there.

    And why do I need to be in Jackson? That's where the Freedom Riders ended up and that civil rights icon that I told you about last year moved from Nashville to Jackson to further orchestrate things. She disagreed with MLK about continuing the Freedom Rides, a fascinating woman. Last year when Fisk University gave me her email, I wrote and introduced myself. I wasn't sure what I wanted exactly from her, but it's getting clearer. I think it's time to write another email.

    And I found out about a book called "Breach of Peace" which chronicles the arrest of the Freedom Riders. Not all of the riders were black, there was one man, from Germany, who took part because he said he didn't want to be a good German who turned his head or something to that effect.

    Anyway, I've got stuff I've got to start sorting out-- I'm excited how it all seems to be coming together into something, heh heh.

    The plan was. . .

    to work like crazy so I could buy a car and pay for my youngest children to take driving lessons and to buy me some time so I can write 'cause I've only written three stories this year and all were flash, two were micros and I really need to get back to my writing. Need to. Yes, I need to. I sooooooo want to.

    But I've digressed.

    That was the plan, however, the oral surgeon had to take out four teeth instead of two so the amount of money I had to pay was more than I was expecting to. The jobs I had lined up in Nashville fell through, though I found two others, but they didn't pay like the two I'd been working on. Then my son said he'd take driver's ed in school and I thought I might get a reprieve, but then he changed his mind as soon as his sister (who took classes first) got her permit. Okay then. No reprieve, just pull out that bank card. I arrive back only slightly better (financially) than when I left.

    But that's supposed to be. This summer I was brought face-to-face with some hard places within myself, in regards to two things: money and men.

    Things I would rather just keep hiding from, thank you, but *that* was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo not the case.

    Still I know what I need to do in regards to both and a car is still in the works.

    Monday, August 11, 2008

    Quote for 8-11-08

    Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.

    --Mason Cooley

    Writing quote for 8-11-08

    "When it comes to creating characters, I'm a cunning and repentant thief. I steal all kinds of qualities, quirks, and language from people I know and from total strangers. . . "

    --Maria de los Santos


    Got to get packed 'cause I'm out of Tennessee early tomorrow morning. It'll take a day & 1/2 to get back to NM. I'll elaborate later but this summer was NOTHING like I'd hope it'd be but it was *interesting,* yeah, that's what'll we call it . . . and not just for me-- there was Manny so being Manny, Ludacris so being Ludacris and nobody loving the (cough, cough) home run king. Well, boo-f**king-hoo for Mr. Bonds.

    Sunday, August 10, 2008

    Quote for 8-10-08

    We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.


    Sunday, August 03, 2008

    I've got so much to tell you

    Hopefully I can get that done this week.

    So how are you?