It’s the Little Things


It is the small things, the kind words, the e-mail, the acknowledgements, that show me I am on the right track.

“I want what you have,” she said to me on the phone.

Thank you.

I am doing alright.

Yes, yes I am.

I got a sweet e-mail from Sunshine Jones tonight as well.  I was not expecting it and the title alone made me want to jump up and down, pee my pants, and then, inexplicably, for a brief moment, delete the message without reading it.

The re: “While You Were Sleeping Royalties”.

I had to look at all my other e-mails first.

I had to take a deep breath and remember that he had told me that no one was getting rich off this song.  I do not doubt that. It is not a top 40 Katy Perry type of song.

But it is my song and they are my words.

Sunshine gave me the heads up that he included me as author of the words.

I am a songwriter.

I am published.

I might, maybe, somewhere down the line in another universe, perhaps, collect a few royalties.

How lovely.

It is little and small and yet positive and bright, like the smell of a tangerine being peeled, it filled me up.  Another quiet nudge, another affirmation, yes, Carmen, you are an artist.

You may be a struggling artist, you may not have it all right now, you may have to go through some ups and downs and you may feel like you are in free fall, but the Universe is watching and you have a lap belt on.

I worked on my book today.  I had some more thoughts about my short story collection.  I went to French class, where I proudly turned in my collage, to slowly watch in horror as everyone else turned in brightly colored maps of the countries bordering France.

Ah, motherfucker.

Oh well, I turned in something.  And it was nice to get out the scissors and the paste and cut up some magazines, I have always loved doing them, I started in high school, and am still doing them now.

They are a solace.

I also, actually this is a cue I took from Sunshine when I was about to travel to Paris my last trip here, he said, get a notebook, something you will write in every day and carry it around with you and get a glue stick.

I did.

I still have it.

I proudly showed it off to my friends when I was working with an Artist Way group.

I do it now.

I have filled one journal, a Christian Lacroix journal with soft, creamy paper, that Tanya gave to me, with my first month in Paris, Metro tickets, photos, scraps of things, postcards.

I have another journal started and already, two things in it.  One which reminds me every time I open it to write; write no matter what, I am a sentimental creature, and sometimes all I need is the handwriting of another to seal itself to my heart and spur me forward.

It is the address from the package I received.

The other is the top cover to the floor plan from the Musee Carnvalet.

There will be many other things in there.

Just like there will be many more words here.

So many words.

I also have to tell you I am an utter thief and a one-armed bandit, “his name was one-armed Tony, because he only had one arm.”

I laughed so loud, then I fished my moleskin out of my bag and took it.  Mine now.

A friend saw me do that same thing tonight, he came up to me, “I saw that, I saw you writing something down, one day I’m gonna read that in a book, aren’t I?”

Yes, yes, sir, you just may.

It was so apt.

“The monkey is off my back, but the carnival is still in town.”

And I have a front row seat for that circus.

Front row.

I know, however, that despite the magic and the glitter, oh, by the way you can take the girl out of San Francisco, but you apparently cannot leave the glitter there.  I go out shamelessly with it.  I told my room-mate today, I am done trying to blend, I don’t blend.

I am myself no matter where I go.

Like it or lump it.

I know that it is a circus and god damn, I want to see it.  I want to be a part of it.  I want to stand on the wooden plank and holler and stamp and dance my little sloppy soft shoe shuffle and pound on the bench and pirouette and sing, slightly off-key, and maybe for a few royalties please, and say



Yes, I am willing to be here and go out into the cold and shiver a little and ache, well, as it stands, a lot, but hey, I am alive, aren’t I?

Gloriously alive.

Alive to see the Champs Elysees lit up like the greatest most stupendous carnival on earth.  Alive to run up the steps of the Metro with my faded Converse on, those are my feet carrying me forth, bursting into the bright cold air laced with chocolate eclair hot buttered croissant air and burning chestnuts.

It’s Christmas in Paris.

How fucking bad can it be?

Christmas Doll

Christmas Doll

Golden Dragon

Golden Dragon












Champs Elysees

Champs Elysees







Life is a bright bowl of lights to regard, to walk through, to feel.

I am alive.

In Paris.




Now, go listen to While You Were Sleeping on the BMI site 100 times.

Or if you choose go here and donate a few Euro to the cause.

My paypal account–

1 mille bisoux pour vous!

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