Shockingly Sexy


So much so I had to come home from the cafe and take care of business.

Sometimes you have to take advantage of the fact that your room mate, who is almost always here when that kind of action is wanted, is away.

I was surprised to walk in the door feeling the way I was feeling.

I had left just a few hours before feeling like I was crawling out of my skin.

I can be a stubborn brat and my brain did not want to go and write.

So what you living the dream, my brain demanded, it’s not that fun.

Your dream sucks.

You are not really a writer.

You don’t have any words.

You suck.

It was not quite that loud, or perhaps it is better to say that it was more muted, and subtle, I was not hearing distinct words, the peanut gallery does not enunciate well, but they can get noisy and they are great at sowing discomfort.

I really felt like a raw nerve.

I fled the house and scurried around the block.

I could not go directly to the cafe, even though I flew half way around the world to be a writer in Paris, sitting in a cafe with a book and a bag of pens and a creme.

Even though I feel amazing when I am writing.

I was not feeling amazing.

I felt like I was fleeing.

I can’t outrun myself, although I can exhaust my body walking at times, stomping my feet into bloody stumps.

I did not want to do that either.

You are allowed to go to the cafe.

You are allowed.

Faith versus fear based decisions, come on kiddo, faith, go get you a creme, go sit in Odette and Aime and who cares if you only write a sentence.  Just go.

I hustled around the block and I walked around another corner and I blew down the rue past clots of teenagers snarkily sitting on scooters next to the sidewalk curb and pushing each other around.  I watched a girl trip another young woman who was trying to pass through, and the woman turned around, took out her headphones and tore them all a new asshole in French.

I think they were harassing tourists and boy did they get the tongue lashing.

I slid by grateful it had not been me, I am the hapless tourist.

Although not the uninformed tourist.

I was online today trying to figure out what I was going to do with my day, what sights was I going to see, where was I going to walk, what was I going to take photographs of.

I have done the top ten–Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, Sacre Couer, Notre Dame, Louvre, Centre de Pompidou, the D’Orsay Museum, Les Jardins de Tuilieries, the Luxembourg Jardins, le Jardin des Plantes–and then some, when I think about the churches, museums, neighborhoods, and Metro lines I have transversed.

I had no idea what to do.

Write, a voice whispered.

I pretended not to hear it.

But I knew I was going to write, I knew I was going to write this morning, when I was, well, writing.

Not morning pages though.

Nor my blog.

Not my book either.

Although I just sent off another query. I have not heard back from the agent that requested the entire book yet, it has been eight days, ten, I am losing track.  I figure, three weeks time, then I send another query to the agent regarding the work.

Until that time that I hear from her, I continue submitting to other agencies.  Every agent that I have queried is informed that the manuscript is on multiple submissions.

And as a good friend said you just keep throwing them out there until one sticks to the wall like a piece of spaghetti.

I like the image.

She’s entirely correct too.

I have no idea who is going to pick it up and all I can do is take action and keep going forward.  I am using the Poets and Writers agent data base and I am currently in the Cs of the listings.  I just scroll until I find an agent accepting e-mail query submissions for memoirs.

I go to their website see if my work is a good fit.

If it looks like it is, I do a little research, check out titles the agency has published, and then go craft a query letter to the agency.

It’s a method.

It could be madness.

But it is a method.

I have already tried reaching out to the people who I know in publishing which really is not any one direct.  I have had a few helpful suggestions, but so far I’m still casting the net.

I am getting into the habit and that is good.

I don’t know what actions will get me published, I just know that if I don’t take action, I won’t get published.

Action also has to fall onto the paper and that takes getting my butt into the chair at the cafe.

Which I finally did, despite the rumble from the upstairs brain pan that wanted, really wanted to just go back to the house and crawl under the covers and watch a video, and not blog and not write, and fuck it.

I pushed open the door instead and crossed the threshold.

I sat at my favorite table in the corner of the bar, unloaded my notebooks, book, pens, and peeled off the finger less gloves.

I fussed with the lay out of my notebooks and book, laying them here, I don’t have OCD officer, I swear, excuse me while I straighten your badge, it’s a little off-center.

The coffee came.

I opened my book, David Sedaris–When You Are Engulfed in Flames–and read a page.

I felt too guilty to read.

Reading is a pleasure after I have written, but until I have written, it is me avoiding the writing.

I set the book down on the table, I opened up my little blue Claire Fontaine notebook and made a writer’s entry for today and what I was doing and how I was afraid.

I had a sudden moment of remembering something from Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, that sometimes it took him a full hour to craft a paragraph.  I could write a paragraph.

A paragraph would be good.

I also remembered the part when he gets a spot of unexpected money and takes him self to a cafe out of the rain and the cold and splurges on a creme and drinks it down while it is hot.

Yes, I can do that too, enjoy the coffee while it is hot.

I finished my creme, pushing my spoon around the froth of milk foam that was still clinging to the cup, desert, and then I opened up my new manuscript.

I looked at what I had written and knew the chapter was not complete.  It was missing something.


And then it all just came tumbling out, I wrote page after page, for nearly an hour and I got turned on.


I actually got turned on by writing my own sex scene.

Well, not mine, but the characters.

It is a part of the story and it fit and I won’t call it erotica, it was a sex scene, but I was exhilarated.  I had smashed through the fear and I had written for an hour and the chapter was finished and I felt like a writer.

In need of a lay.

I took care of the call and then made a hot meal.

A cup of tea later and an agency query and there it is.

I have to remember this, and I have to constantly, consistently remind myself that I always feel better after I have written.


Whether it is my blog or my morning pages or now, this new manuscript.

I suppose the only difference is that I have a routine for the morning and a routine for the night and the struggle is to delineate that time for me to now write the next piece, the cloth that I will later fashion into a suit.

I don’t have to conquer Paris.

I don’t have to see it all.

I can just go to the cafe on the corner and remember that I flew around the world to be in that exact spot doing exactly what I did today.

In Paris.

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One Response to “Shockingly Sexy”

  1. Dreaming, drinking coffee, and pretending to write « Write on the World Says:

    […] Shockingly Sexy ( […]

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