The Laugh

happy vintage illustration batman excited

There is a man in my building, I’ll call him Mike. That is not his name, but it will do for this story. He is a short man, round in size. Actually, he’s shaped more like an egg than a basketball–but that’s not what sets him apart from the rest of those living in my urban paradise.

His hair is black, naturally straight as a spade–but he perms it. It’s his ‘thing.’ Once again–not that defining factor (even thought it probably should be.)

What sets Mike apart from the rest of my block is his laugh. He has the laugh of a 1970’s villain’s sidekick. You know the character. He’s the guy who accidentally takes a rake to the chest because he wasn’t paying attention and stepped on the handle as he ran away from the hero of the story. When I hear the piercing sound of his punctuated howl, I nearly always pause for Luther to say, “Warriors, come out to play-i-ay!” even though I’m not in the subway and no where close to New York City.

Testing 1, 2, 3 the warriors can you dig it movie 1970s

Once, a long time ago when I first moved into my apartment, Mike wanted to be my friend. He would joke with me, and I would smile and look interested–rarely did I know what he was talking about. He’s about eleven shy of a dozen… I would like to make it clear, this wasn’t some sort of hiccup due to language barrier, Mike is just an odd man. Plus, my poker face stinks.

Now, Mike doesn’t acknowledge me at all. Not even a nod or a simple hello. It was after this courtyard dismissal I became privy to the laugh (that is normally mixed with techno and tighty whities.) He’s in a class all his own, and with our non-existent relationship–I have no way to record this chuckle. None that are legal anyway.

Alas, dear friends. What am I do do? As a writer I NEED to record it! I need to post the track on here!! I need to add it to my current WIP, or at least something I write in my life.

All of Mike needs to be in a book. All five-foot-five-inches of him, with his ovoid shaped frame, and even he jet black spiral perm. I see him perched on the edge of his antique folding tattered lawn chair, seated behind his Audi (it’s a mystery how he upgraded from a white battered gremlin to this luxury hatchback–but that’s a whole other post), with the car’s stereo speaker blaring, as he listens to his earbuds.

Mike is a character that belongs in a book–and not cackling under my bedroom window for many reasons. Most of which would keep me sane. The only reason I don’t slam my music and turn on my own music is that laugh you may never hear…

[This is how I find characters for my stories. Some fit in perfect, others I dissect and keep the part I’ve grown to love (or loath). Mike is a very real person. Almost too real. My theory as to why he’s in my life is it keeps me from being to serious all the time. Life is too short not to find a hyena laugh hilarious.]

 

The continuous road of writing…

I’ve now been sending queries for 25 days. I know this because one agent I emailed sent an auto-reply telling me after 30 days–it wasn’t me, it’s him or her.

Why is sending queries like getting dumped? Besides the obvious rejection. But seriously, that is what all auto-rejections feel like. And here I am–in my teens again, getting the, ‘It’s not you. It’s me,’ speech from some catholic school boy whose name I can’t remember.

The only difference is I’m not sixteen any more and I’ve matured enough to believe that the sender is correct. You can’t please everyone now can you? And why would you want to for that matter?

As the query wheels roll I’ve taken the time to look at what else I have in my writing armory. There is full history fiction novel, a half novel that still has potential not to suck a ton, and then the long queue of new ideas burning holes in my brain.

[They keep me up at night. Does this happen to you?]

Most ideas I let sit for a while. If they vanish I know I was right to wait. How great of a concept could it have been I can’t even remember it existed? Then there are the others… Over a dozen random characters in my head poking my frontal lobe just to see if I’m paying attention.

My brain needs a receptionist.

On top of that I have one other problem: two of these stories are promises–one is a first draft (a very, extremely, oh god help me! first draft,) that was a promise to a friend and the other is for my son.

I came here to write about it because seeing the problem on the computer screen helps me make decisions. I suppose that is another cure of being a writer–the transition from brain to page. My hazel green eyes need to rest firmly on the blackness of the text in order for my brain to calm down and make a decision. It also allows me to distract myself–because while I’m busying myself filling out beat sheets, typing up character breakdowns, and deciding where to put a big chunk of my energy for the next four weeks, I’m able to hold onto the notion that I won’t be sad on June 16th when I don’t hear from that agent…

Querying is such a roller coaster! (which is an amazing place to pick up emotional traits for the characters I write about. Damn it. Writing is like the song that never ends. It just keeps going and going and going and going…)

 

Day 5 – I’m alive!! (maybe)

I’m on day five. (It’s day five! I’m alive!!) Ha! Bad humor is mucha diversion!

So, moving on… This week–the week I decided to make this jump into life preservation, self discovery, truth, honesty, yoga, and writing–has been a royal pain in the ass.

I’m not kidding. Not even a little.

From insomnia, to sickness, to soreness, to the fact I bit my tongue SO HARD talking isn’t an option–it’s been a roller coaster ride. And by roller coaster ride, I mean I feel like I’ve been rolled up in a pile of snow and pushed down the side of a hill.

Have I mentioned it’s down right chilly in L.A.?! It’s hard for me to remember the days when I thought forty-degrees was warm. Evidently, back in the day, I was dealing with the side-effects of hypothermia. (Kidding. I lived in Cleveland. All you do in Cleveland when it’s cold is drink. I never would have noticed I had hypothermia.)

SO! Back to coming alive on day five.

I have no lessons for you, right now I’m still trying to hold on and not let myself quit. Maybe there’s a lesson in there… the whole, “quitters never win, winners never quit,” spiel. But… there has been an excellent battle of faith happening.

Not that I’m a religious person, because I’m not.  And I don’t care if you are–I’m not a fan of judging. I am, however, a fan of people following their heart and gut. For me, that has led me to a non-secular path.

Maybe you’re thinking, how can one question their faith, if they don’t worship in the traditional sense? Let me tell you, it’s simple. I just wake up and do it.

Lately I’ve been having this, “What if I’m wrong?!” argument dancing in my head. What if all this time and energy I’ve put into my personal (and maybe a little warped) belief system is a waste of time because it’s just a pile of nothingness?

Thoughts pop into my head that, two years ago, I wouldn’t have questions, but now… I can’t stop questioning them.

I question everything. Why this? Why that?

Then the doubt creeps in… what if I’m wrong?

Okay, here’s and example: What if I’m putting all this time and energy into writing, when–at the end of the day–I’m just not that good.

I don’t want to believe this, because I love writing so much–but how do you know?? [insert Whitney Houston song here]

And the most ridiculous part of this internal struggle/constant argument? The one thing I use as an example is one of the few things I won’t quit. I just can’t. Maybe I should have chosen my new desire to distance myself (physically) from humankind? That may have been a better example, but that ship sailed… and I’m left with my previous example.

As I’m sitting here writing this, now I’m thinking, “Is this a mid-life crisis? am I old enough to have a mid-life crisis? Don’t have to be in my 50s and 60s to have a mid-life crisis? WHEN IS MID-LIFE?!!”

It must be what it is, right? Because I don’t know where it’s all coming from. No, I may not always be the most over confident person, but I can hold my own when need be. And right now I can’t find the root of all this squabbling in my brain, and I fear that until I do it’s going to be months and months of me changing the lyrics of “Who Will I Know,” to fit my life…

BLURG!

I guess I’ll just keep “being alive” and also a little “confused” all the time.

This is what happens when you take time for yourself… you start to analyze things in order to make decisions to better yourself.

I just hope that, when I’m done, I am a better person, and not just the crazy woman on the internet who wishes there was a “jazz hands” icon on wordpress, so she can convey sarcasm with hand gestures other than the middle finger…

What will day six hold?!! What rhymes with six? (besides dicks.)

Now I have to go… ten pages left on this edit, so I’ll be back tomorrow!!! Hopefully with a better song to get stuck in your head…

edit/machine

There are so many catch phrases or one liners out there. The same words regurgitated repeatedly until they lose their meaning.

I find I use all of them. All.

Metaphor after metaphor. Line after line. Soliloquy on a page trapped in a vacuum known as the internet; a living thing called a blog.

We all need to have our own live action digital magazines.

Editing lost out the moment we claimed ourselves writers, artists, photographers, and independently published genius. The rooms are so crowded no one can get through–we all suffocated together.

I lost my breath years ago.

…somewhere shy of midnight…

I sit, leaning back in a worn and damaged swivel chair, palms resting on the equally frayed desk. Fingers cramped–because I know better, but still don’t care.

I sit, knees pressed together pulled up into my chest–because I’m sure that’s how Dickens’ did it, too.

I sit. I sit. I sit and I write. I write. I write, because that’s was the advice I received. My feedback. My life line.

And when I’m not sitting I pray my words capture more than the one-liners and worn out metaphors. That they are like, “a light in a sea of darkness.” (see, there’s one now.) And I hope I don’t shrivel up, but secretly I know I won’t.

I haven’t before.

I won’t now.

So I close my ears, squeeze my eyes shut, and tell myself tomorrow will be better. Because it has to be. Because I said so.

And then I write some more.

Delete is the greatest key designed. Backspace is a close sentence. And cntrl X has it’s moments, too. But never around worn out metaphors, and some times when a soliloquy when it runs to long. (and you forgot why you started in the first place.)

The trials of writing a short story… who knew?! (That’s right, everyone did.)

wise-asteroid

 

Look up! It’s a giant rock headed right toward us!!

…or is it?…

That’s how all of this feels – and I mean “life” by “this.” Life feels like a giant rock falling out of the sky aimed directly for my forehead.

Things take longer than planned, even with all the organization I try to put in place and the schedules I create for my writing – life comes in and…

hd-wallpapers-bomb-explosion-wallpaper-mushroom-cloud-1680x1050-wallpaper

So there is a delay, but the story will happen. I WILL have a short story to post on this site, for you to read – if you like (which I hope you will because I’d love that. No pressure… seriously. Thank you either way…)

I have no date – but the plan is before the end of the year. Secretly (not really a secret if I post it online…) I hope it will be ready for everyone to read on Holiday break! It’s the least I can do for lovelies like yourself.

UNTIL THEN! Promise to stay positive and write more posts to keep you writing!!

xx

A

 

1-Up

 

 

cathycracks-704850

It’s all a game, isn’t it… this life we have.

Waking up, running until we drop; taking a moment here and there, wondering how we got this old;

How this became the life we have.

Not that it’s a bad life.

It’s not.

But repetition can agitated even the quietest souls.

I look out the window and see this big old world,

And my heart is still so very young and I want, and I want, and I want,

All the dreams I’ve always wanted.

Let it begin – my mind screams,

Let it all begin, and let the world swirl around my feet,

Lifting my hair, a tornado above my head – a human bullet.

But my feet are firmly planted,

And I keep moving forward, following this stream I chose a while back,

Hoping it is the right one, knowing I should doubt myself less.

Seriously, it’s annoying.

The doubting doubters and the negative thought process.

There’s a band name for you.

Life keeps coming, and moving, and passing by;

And I watch people fade into memory.

Time almost forgotten, save for a few laughs that look more like a movie clip, than my past.

So, this is this life.

The world I now live.

Knowing, it will also pass by, pushing me to the next level of the game.

Life, with it’s beauty and disease – hopes and fears.

Life, with it’s music and it’s words.

Life – and we dance.

Around the stagnation;

Past, and over the potholes;

Under everything else, as we play, and play, and play some more.

Frustration lost in the lyrical movements of time.

Time, that eases the fingers of doubt free.

Freedom that brings the perspective we need to get past ourselves.

We set the traps subconsciously.

Shuffle, ball, change.

Hoping we won’t trip, and if we do, that we will get back up and keep going.

Because that’s what is all is, what it means, what we need to do –

Keep moving

Because death isn’t when we die – we die when we stop playing.

Leaving us to sit in perdition,

With a goose egg, when all we really ever wanted,

Was 1-up.