Hey, What Do You Want Me to Do?


Ask the Universe, God, what ever you want to call it, and see what happens.


I shall.


I did.

Now I just wait for the results and keep doing what I know how to do with the information I have in front of me.

The information in front of me says keep writing kiddo, so that is something I keep doing.

I was going to go for long walk today, but it was down pouring.  Not drizzling, not misting, down pouring, and I did not want to put on my boots and take a long walk.

I have an awkward confession to make.

I bought a pair of boots my first week here in Paris, nice boots, not crazy nice, but nice.  And they are too small.

I hate that I did this.


I thought when I was trying them on, they are too small, you really should not buy them, but the words of my room-mate rang in my head, cold, rain, cold, rain, and having had one day of walking around in soaked Converse, I listened to the fear instead of the intuition.

I bought the boots.

I hate the boots.

They squish my toes.

They hurt.

I have weird little bruises on the side of my toes and a callous that is tender to touch.

I have done this before, went with the fear of not being able to find what I need, settle for something that will do in a pinch, then, I am pinched.


Another lesson for me.

I even looked into re-selling them.  Where?  How?  No idea.

I googled and craigslist and nada.

Oh well.

I may again mash my feet into them and they are leather, so they will likely stretch.  I am sure there is a Youtube somewhere on how to stretch leather.  There is, but I don’t have a freezer big enough for the task, I have to research further.

I digress.

It was too rainy to walk the walk I wanted to do and also I wanted to put some time in on the book, so I took a mini walk, mini, mini, and went to Odette & Aime.

I finished the chapter I started yesterday.

I got half way through the next chapter.

I got overwhelmed.

It is emotional stuff looking back.  Looking at the events.

“What is your book about,” she asked me tonight on the phone.

“It is a memoir,” I replied.  It could be construed as a little awkward to tell a prospective employer that it is a story about my crack cocaine usage, sex, loss, homelessness, abuse, and running away from home.

Nobody wants to think of their prospective nanny as a crack head.

Even a retired one.

Bad enough I have tattoos.

There was an awkward pause, “it’s about my life when I was younger and some of the challenges I faced,” I finished.

“Oh, sounds lovely, would you be available to interview in the next week?”  She asked.

Yes.  We nailed down a date, the 29th, in between the gigs I am doing for the new folks in the 7th Arrondissement.  I have a part-time gig on the 27th, the 28th, 31st, and the 3rd of January.

The book is almost done.

I have one and a half chapters left to edit.

The end is hard and not hard.


I have to use a strong editing hand on these last few chapters.  I believe at some point either in the 2nd or 3rd draft that I did, I embellished.

It was not a lot.

It was not exactly lying.

Or so I thought.

I was just making the story stronger.

I realized going back in that it did nothing for the story. I was explaining and not showing.  I was telling not painting the picture.

I went and cut.

The chapters are stronger for it.  I also added some, but it was painting, it was imagery, it was showing and not telling.

The book is almost done.

As I look back at what my life was, where I was, and what I was doing, I am amazed to be where I am now.

The chapter that I got into was scary and violent.  The man I was with was scary and violent.  To be editing a chapter in a cafe in Paris about a time in my life when I was young, living out of a hotel room in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, working at a gas station and trying to not get murdered by the boyfriend.

Is surreal.

To say the least.

I got overwhelmed.

I had to stop.

I was not at my hour and twelve minutes on my timer.  But I had edited far faster than I had realized.

I breathed.

I am not there, I am here, at Odette & Aime.

That day that I ran out the door, fleeing for my life, with a canvas bag with one change of clothes and no money, a hair brush and a half-pack of cigarettes, is no more.

I could not have expressed to that young girl that it would be all ok.

One day you will be in Paris writing a story about your life.

She was too busy crying and sticking out her thumb, hitchhiking for the first time is really scary.

So, I put away the book.

I finished the coffee.

I used the W.C.

I pulled out my John Fowles book and I read for the rest of the time that I had set aside to work on the book.

Which, I am finally acknowledging is important to the writing.  I know that I have always known that, it is important to read, but I am finally letting myself enjoy it again.

Reading was what I thought of as a sneaky escape.

Now, I see that it is another way to see things, to accumulate experiences and to also enrich my writing.

I need to be influenced.

Sometimes I just need a reprieve from what I am doing and a book is a good way to do that.  I really do think that it is time I get Stephen King’s “On Writing”.

I have had just enough snippets from it to be tantalized and just enough people suggest it to me that I feel like it is a good idea.

That and perhaps a writers group as well.

Who knows, I put the carriage ahead of the horse.

I am still trying to figure it out, here, even now, even as I type.

I forget, it is not exactly up to me.

It is.

But it is not.

So, hey, God, what do you want me to do?

Make it obvious, please.


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