Posts Tagged ‘Stephen King’

Sneaky Work

August 15, 2017

It’s Monday.

The alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m.

I bounce out of bed, turn on the lights, run to the loo.

Brush teeth, wash face, wander naked to the kitchen, I sleep in the nude, yes, indeed the first ten minutes of my morning are bare ass, drink a glass of water, take three vitamin supplements–iron, glucosamine chondrotin, Flax seed oil, then I go make my bed.

After that I get dressed, put on my shoes, watch, and pull out the layers I plan on wearing.

Hello.

It’s August in San Francisco.

Best to have at least three layers.

Cardigan, sweatshirt, scooter riding jacket.

I lay them out on the bed and then go do my morning reading and say some prayers and ask for some direction and then.

Breakfast!

Today was oatmeal with banana and figs, cinnamon, nutmeg, raw cocoa and unsweetened coconut/almond milk; 1 hard-boiled egg and an unsweetened almond milk latte.

While said food items are busy boiling, cooking, and frothing, I pack my lunch for work and whatever homework and internship paperwork, texts, and syllabi I need for the day.

Today it was solo supervision, so definitely needed my pink glitter notebook.

Who says grad school has to be all seriousness.

Glitter makes it better.

Trust me.

I also packed my Jungian dream book, even though my brain said, what’s the point?

There’s not a spare minute to do reading today.

But, from experience, this is not true.

Times when I think I am going to have hours of reading, I don’t and days when I think, I couldn’t possibly spare thirty seconds to look at a paragraph, I suddenly have unexpected time.

Life happens.

All the time.

That’s what life does.

But.

I find these weird, sweet, odd pockets of time and that’s when I use Stephen King’s advice.

And if you don’t think reading Stephen King is a highly psychological endeavor you’re not reading his works very well.

Anyway.

He wrote this awesome little book a while back, non-fiction, called “On Writing” and it gives his basic formula for what he does and his routine.

First.

He reads.

A lot.

And not his stuff, but everyone else.

His biggest suggestion and one that I took very much to heart, especially after starting grad school, is, carry a book with you at all times.

You never know when you may get stuck in a line or your appointment gets pushed back, or you’re riding the train or the bus or the subway.

I notice most folks these days are looking at their phones.

I read my homework for school if I have down time.

And like I said, I often have a snatch of it when I least expect it.

Today it happened at supervision.

My supervisor lost his keys and had to run home to get the replacement set.

So, my session was cut a little short but, hey!

I have my Jungian Dream Work class text-book.

Whip it out!

I knocked out another couple of pages.

And very glad for it.

I got another text-book in the mail today and I have it already packed in my travel bag for tomorrow, along with the Jungian book, I doubt very much I’ll actually have time to read the two chapters for the class I still need to kick through and have time to get into the next text I have assigned myself.

But.

Well.

You never know.

I just don’t anyway.

Another thing King recommends is that you write everyday.

Yup.

I do that too.

Before I head out.

And when I get home in the evening.

Sometimes I am still not sure how that all happens.

I do the morning writing in one of my Claire Fontaine notebooks from Paris, or whatever notebook I have handy.  I of course have a preference, but I will write on anything.

Although I hate recycled notebooks, the quality of the paper is ass.

I write three pages long hand.

I write about what I’m doing, the things that happened the day before that I don’t write about in my blog

Oh.

Haha.

There’s a few things that I do not write about here.

That all gets covered and rehashed and processed in the morning writing.

The evening, this, my blog, I am also pretty damn consistent.

I used to be super anal about it and I couldn’t not write every day.

That’s eased up a little in recent years.

Years, I say, I have been writing this blog for so long.

Seven, eight years.

I have over 2,200 blogs posted.

And that’s after two different scrubbing sessions where I probably deleted a couple hundred blogs just to make sure I wasn’t leaving a thumbprint or, yes, I had said something unkind about someone in my life.

Typically a boss.

Occasionally a bad date.

Ooh, man I had some bad date blogs.

Which I stopped doing when a blind date stumbled on a blog I wrote, I’m thinking he probably stalked me a bit, let’s be real, and sent me a text which said, “I read your blog.”

Ack.

I had to delete it and make an amends.

I swallowed that pride, deleted the blog, called him, he answered, and apologized.

That was an uncomfortable conversation.

But.

Better than the alternative.

It still was an awful date, but I had said some pretty not so nice things.

I learned my lesson, words can cut deep and it’s not my business to malign.

I stopped writing anything about other people and really tried from that point forward to keep the focus on myself.

I have plenty of flaws I can poke fun at, I don’t need to point out anyone else’s.

So.

That’s the writing routine for the day.

The rest of today looked like work, cooking for the family, doing the baby’s laundry, lots of bouncing around with the baby–he’s teething horribly–playing race cars with the oldest boy and letting the little lady watch Frozen, since she wasn’t feeling well.

I was supposed to go to my internship today and see a client.

But.

She cancelled.

So.

After work I zoomed to the grocery store and picked up some staples and then zipped over the hill to 7th and Irving and hit up the spot, got right with God and got home.

Garbage, recycling, compost out to the curb as a favor to the landlady who is traveling, check the mail, another text-book from school!

I know, it’s exciting, right?

Reviewed my calendar, personal, work, and internship, printed off some forms–I have a new client consult at the internship tomorrow, and ate some dinner.

Checked e-mails, popped over to my “Track My Hours” my BBS (Behavioral Board of Science) approved MFT hours tracker, and added in my hour of supervision from the morning.

And um.

That’s the day.

Not exactly exciting.

But really full.

Hell I even snuck in a trip to the bank and the post office to return a package in between supervision and work, and a run to Walgreens for some more school supplies–two packs of my favorite pens and a new pink folder.

Because.

Pink.

It’s a lot.

But.

It’s a gift.

This life, my life, getting to be this person who is busy and of service, getting to learn how to be a better therapist, advocating for my self-care, taking time to do my own writing, eating well, being kind, just living.

Life is going to happen and I can choose to look at it as a grind.

Or.

Fuck.

I can say, look at my amazing life!

I live in San Francisco for fuck sake.

I have such a bounty of gratitude for what I have.

It awes me every day.

I am.

Yes.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Really.

I am.

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All Grown Up and Shit

March 31, 2015

Not sure if what I am writing is even going to make it out into the world as a blog.

It may.

It may not.

I am actually a bit incredulous that I am actually utilizing my computer after the epic fail of trying fruitlessly Saturday to fix the problem.

There was no fixing.

And I resigned myself to the fact that the time had come for me to hang up the towel on my lovely little laptop, it has seen me through so much–multiple trips to Burning Man, Paris and back, London, Rome, Oakland, ha–I was loath to let her go.

But it was not working and I don’t know how long it will work tonight.

I feel like I am pinching myself to even be in my blog.

I couldn’t get into my Facebook, which is probably a blessing.

Nor into my Gmail account, which is an annoyance, but I can access both via my phone.

A dear friend told me Saturday as I was freaking out about how I had fucked up my computer and I didn’t know what to do and the damn thing is vintage, obsolete, won’t support the newest platform for browsing, so Safari won’t load and bah!

She talked me off the ledge and said maybe I needed a weekend away from the computer.

What?!

No.

Yes.

NOOOOO!

Yes.

Yes.

YES!

Oh, this is good.

I mean, the weekend is over and I am online and I did just do some big girl stuff, because, as I said, I don’t know if this blog will post, but man I miss writing them, the only thing I really missed over the weekend was the not posting, the rest of the internet trolling I was able to let go of.

Instead I read a lot.

I mean a lot.

I finished the Stephen King novel that I had been trekking through, he’s lost a little of his bite for me, but it was still a decent read and then on Sunday I picked up Althea and Oliver, a novel, a first novel at that, by Cristina Moracho, and read the whole thing.

The WHOLE thing.

I cannot remember the last time I read a book cover to cover in one day.

364 pages.

Not bad.

Not bad at all.

The book was great and I got loads of sunshine and I was reminded that it was ok to be sad.

I hate to admit it.

But I have been sad over the weekend.

I miss the ex and that took me a little by surprise.

I think I miss the being with someone.

I liked being a couple.

It’s not an experience I have had much of over the last ten years and I was feeling a little lonely hearts club.

“You are so noticed,” he said to me on the phone as I spelled out my woes, “and make sure you call and let me know when you are feeling sad about >>>>>> there’s probably something underneath it.”

There usually is.

I told someone this weekend after listening to her share a pretty indepth inventory that one of my greatest fears is that I am fat and ugly and will be alone for always.

I mean.

In a nutshell.

That’s the fear.

She looked a goggle at me.

“You are so not!”

Thank you doll.

I know that, but fear, like faith, is a belief in something that is not there.

It is not logical and it doesn’t make sense.

Most of the time I choose to ignore it or walk through it.

I was in fear about the laptop.

I can’t afford to replace it!

My head hollered at me.

What am I going to do!?

Um.

Self.

You know that online savings account that you have?

Yeah, the one that is titled “MacBook Savings,” yeah, that one?

You have enough.

“It’s hard to part with it, isn’t it?” My friend soothed me on the phone.

It is!

I don’t know why.

I just paid rent.

I just bought nice groceries for the week.

I have a job.

I have clothes on my back and a way to get to work and back.

My phone bill is paid.

My student loan is paid.

And.

I have money in a savings account for a new laptop because I knew this one was going to bite the bullet soon (nothing like having the guys at the Genius Bar at the Apple store chuckle and call your laptop an antique to give one the idea that it is time to upgrade) and shell out the dough.

So.

I put on my big girl pants and I transferred the savings account money into my checking account.

I still have some money in my savings account too.

Which I will have to re-title.

Since I did it!

I pulled the trigger and I bought a new MacBook Air.

The 13″.

I asked my employers today about theirs and marvelled at how light they were, the dad has a MacBook Air and the mom has a MacBook.

Both the same size, but the Air was much lighter and the dad sold me with the battery has a longer life than the MacBook.

Done.

I also chatted with an Apple service center person and made sure I got the educational discount.

Which, you know, since I’m going to graduate school, pinch me, I actually qualify for.

With the savings I got from the discount I turned around and really acted like a grown up and bought the three-year AppleCare warranty.

My total cost with tax $1234.05.

I transferred $1200.00 from my savings account to my checking account yesterday.

I will receive my new MacBook Air in the mail, free delivery, thank you Apple, on April 2nd.

I don’t know if this dear old dinosaur of a computer will make it through tomorrow and the next day, fingers crossed, but if it doesn’t, I’ll be back properly by April 2nd.

All grown up and shit.

Grown ups swear.

Shut up.

To Thine Own Self

January 19, 2015

Be true.

That’s what it says on the metal coin I was handed this evening.

I like that.

I spent a lot of time doing that today in small ways.

I slept in.

I ate my favorite breakfast.

I read some things and said some things and asked for another 24 hours of sobriety.

I meditated.

Outside, in the sun, fourteen minutes.

I had set the timer for twenty minutes, but a neighbor started having a very loud argument with someone on the phone about how she was going to “fuck them up” and that sort of disrupted the meditation.

However, it was really nice to sit, to be still, to let the feelings come.

I had more feelings today than I did yesterday.

I was so busy yesterday being busy that not too many of them managed to sneak in.  I did, however, realize they were there, although I tried to keep a cap on the lid.

I am not very good at suppressing my emotions though, they tend to flow over and that’s alright, they are allowed.

I received some very sweet messages, texts, phone calls, and e-mails regarding my relationship status returning to single this morning and that sort of brought on the waterworks for a moment, but then passed.

Which, fyi, I am grateful did not get blasted all over Face Book.  I remember quite well the last time I was in a relationship and then turned it back to single and everybody in the entire world chimed in.

There was not a peep when I went back to single.

Just maybe a few sad squawks in my heart.

I deleted the photos, took him off my news feed, and deleted our text message history.

Which in the moment was easy and now, well, now I wish I had read them one last time.  There were some extraordinary messages he sent me that I wouldn’t have minded perusing another minute or two.

But that just prolongs it, I know that it does, so it was best.

I have to delete the messages on Face Book as well, but for whatever reason seem unable to do so.  Although I was able to remove him from my instant message feed and to not look at his page at all.

I have to stay away and let the feelings run their course.

I also got to be true to myself by taking out my scooter, starting her up, and going for a ride to the Castro where I had a meeting with someone near and dear to me for an hour and a half.

We’re not suppose to meet that long, but he made me talk, and talk I did, and acknowledge that I was walled up and tight and did not want to open up.

I knew I would be crying at some point today, that’s what I do, so I wore no eyeliner, but I had some mascara on and despite it being waterproof it still flaked off onto the tops of my cheeks.

I got to be present and sit and talk it out and then do some reading and talk some more and let myself get talked into staying in the Castro–I had parked my scooter next to Most Holy Redeemer and knew I needed to stay put.

Really.

It was the best thing a heterosexual girl going through a break up could do.

I was safe, I knew I  could just wander around and look at pretty things in pretty stores and window shop and eventually I got a book at Books Inc and then sat in a coffee shop with a big cup of tea and read for a few hours.

I cannot remember the last time I did that.

I kicked through a good portion of the newish Stephen King novel, “Doctor Sleep.”

I love me some Stephen King.

I also bought my best friend in Wisconsin a Valentines Day card.

We exchange those and I saw one that reminded me of her and then I got walloped with emotion.

Valentines Day.

No.

No.

No.

I don’t want to think about Valentines Day.

Argh.

And then a quiet voice, a still voice, the voice of reason, was like, sweet child, stop.  Get in the moment, you’re in a bookstore, one of your favorite places to be, enjoy it.

So I did.

I walked around and browsed and smelled the good smell of new books and I got the card and the new novel and left feeling quite happy about getting back into a book.

It made me realize that there were a few things that fell away when I got involved in this relationship.

First, the blogging, then the reading, then my voice, then I got small.

“You sort of disappeared,” my friend texted me last night.

“You got so quiet,” another observed.

“You were mute,” he said to me across the table, “and then you weren’t.”

And then I wasn’t.

Things happened exactly how they are supposed to and I won’t stop being grateful for that.

But I did have some other feelings come up.

Anger.

That surprised me.

I realized I was mad, that I had wanted the ex to work harder at the relationship, that I, oh.

There it is.

I.

I want.

I need.

Do it my way.

Nope.

I got to bring it right back to me and see where I was in the wrong, where I wasn’t vocal about some things, and where I get to have a voice in my next relationship.

There will be another.

I am getting back on the horse.

“What I noticed with __________ and also with _________ (the man I dated a few times before hooking up with my ex) is that although you approached them, they ran with it really fast, I mean, really fast.”

Yup.

I need to slow the roll.

I do have the disease of faster, faster, more, more; but it has to be tempered and slowed down.

So.

Coffee dates.

And walking dates and lunch dates and getting to know the person and keeping my autonomy and being me and being fabulous.

That was the other thing that was nice about being in the Castro today, feeling fabulous, yes subdued, but still fabulous, in my red lipstick and curly pony tails and red leather vintage letter man’s jacket.

“I know you from somewhere,” she said to me as she was walking out of the gated entrance to a walk up on Castro Street.  “Are you a drag queen?”

No.

But I play one on tv.

I might be too much for the average boy.

But I am just perfect for me.

To thine own self be true.

Indeed.

Reader Alert

March 5, 2013

I was recently asked to contribute to a blog, yet to be named, but I believe the domain has been secured, about being a woman of a certain age.

40.

Now as most of you know I am not shy about my name, my age, my sex, or lack there of, not getting any at the moment, although I suspect that may change soon, or the amount of money in my bank account–not a fucking lot.

I am however, loathe to re-post things that are not to my blog “fresh”.

That being said the woman who asked me to submit also indicated she would like to link to my blog and that I should go ahead and put up the post.

I do not know that much about this whole deal, blog etiquette, etc.

However, I am going to do just that, but in good faith I feel that I still owe a true post on the day, important things happened today, here in Paris.

Thus, I am going to put up the post, “Living the Dream” after I put this up, my sort of disclaimer, you could say, so if you want to skip, well, you can.  Although, of course you are invited to read it.

The reason I am not putting this forth as its own fresh blog post is that I have covered the content of the blog already.  I have expressed my position numerous times here about the trials and tribulations, the acne and the grey hair, the tattoos and the glitter, quite adequately of being this woman, this age, and what this all means or does not mean in the scheme of things.

I will say that though the material is not new ground, it is a “new” blog.

I did not recycle something that I already wrote.  I did not cobble together something from a blog I already wrote or cut and paste it together.  I wrote it and re-wrote and edited it as a stand alone piece.

Speaking of posting something I already wrote, I have had it suggested to me that not only do I begin the process of doing follow-up e-mails about Baby Girl, it was recommend that I start posting it on my blog again.

I posted it once a couple of years ago.

It is the same and it is also different.

It is fleshed out in areas I needed to flesh out and it was cut in a lot of places that needed to have cuts made to it.  I am debating the idea of putting it back out as well as I now have a few more followers and not everyone who is currently subscribed to this blog would have  known of the book.

I am not sure how to make it the best reader friendly format.

I could put up full chapters once a week?

Perhaps that would be something.

I could do that at the end of the week, perhaps on Sundays, post up a chapter.

I would not use it as an excuse to shirk the work of doing my current blog either.

I would post it up as its own piece, then continue with the work of doing my daily writing.

I am also putting it out to the Universe that I need an “ideal reader”.

I am using Stephen King’s words.

I finished the memoir “On Writing” yesterday.

The suggestions are still sinking in.

I was a little hesitant at first when I was doing the reading, his style and my style are different and I don’t write fiction.

Liar.

I do write fiction.

I have written short stories for a while now.

Not a plethora.

But enough.

Enough to know that his suggestions are entirely applicable to that writing.

I also noticed yesterday and today when I have been doing my blogging that I have used some of the tools he outlined already.  I have a great deal of the tools already in my kit that he was writing about and that made me feel pretty darn good, I brushed off a few here in the last day or two and am quite satisfied with the results.

Despite not doing the majority of my writing with a fictional slant, the suggestions apply.

I also was given permission to be a writer.

I have been giving myself permission again and again and again, for years now, and yet I still can use the outside validation.

Something about how he wrote “I give you permission to be a writer” made me tear up.

It just echoed the feeling in my chest that I am on the correct path.

The money the fame the success are all nice he said.  And I believe him.  I do not have any of those things, yet.  He also said that he would do it anyway, without the money, the success, the fame, he would do it anyway.

So will I.

I will take the suggestions and permit myself a little more fiction in my life.

I will work on the next short story and I will let myself move forward with the novel I am writing, although it scares the living hell out of me.

Jesus.

I just finished my memoir and I am writing a novel?

Then again I have heard it from more than one person that sometimes you don’t get your first book published, it may not ever get out there, but the lessons learned from writing it and trying to get it out there are invaluable.  And that you will get the second book published.

I believe that.

So I believe I will continue to give myself permission to be a writer, to take the time tomorrow to not only do my morning pages and my afternoon query (now follow-up e-mails to be included in the process of the day), and my evening blog, but also to pursue this new side of my writing.

As well as submitting my smaller pieces.

I need to start building a platform of published pieces besides my blog.

To this end I will be submitting a poem or short story tomorrow too.

I ask again, Universe, I need a reader.

Some one to bounce all this off as I proceed forward.  I have an idea and I do write with this person in mind at the moment, until further notice I will use that to motivate the moving of words and re-moving.

The editing.

The re-writing.

This is the “plan” who knows how it will actually go, but this is what I am proposing.

For the rest of the month I work on implementing King’s tools into my toolbox and I write new fiction, I work on the novel and I show up for it just like I did for my memoir.

Then over Easter weekend I will go out to the country, I have a gig house sitting/dog sitting for a friend, where I will be alone, quiet and to myself, I will read the two manuscripts my room-mate brought back and start the second draft process.

That’s the idea.

Query, submit, write, read.

Repeat.

I Can See You’re a Writer

February 28, 2013

She said, my new acquaintance, as we walked toward the Metro, Champs-Elysees Clemenceau, smiling at me.

I cocked my head and stopped mid-description, also taking personal note to come back to this particular Metro stop, there was some statuary I wanted to get a closer look at.

“You’re a storyteller, and I find myself wanting to listen, you have a way with words,” she concluded.

“Words with way, you have,” Steve Martin said.

Love me some Steve Martin.

We tumbled down the steps to the train station, I stopped right before the gates to dig through my purse to locate my wallet with my upgraded Navigo in it.

Another month in Paris.

Another month of Metro travel.

I get off on zooming through the gates, banging my wallet down on the scanner, listening to the bright beep that says, yes, you, yes, are allowed between these hallowed gates to ride the fabled Paris Metro trains, welcome.

The time saved on not having to buy tickets or stare in confusion at the signs or having to pester the train agents.

I have probably already saved a days time here in Paris just on the expediency upon which I move through the Metro.  I have even gone so far as to realize which cars I should get on to be at the right tunnel to make my connection or my exit.

Thereby avoiding the gaggle of Japanese tourists with their clatter of heavy paper bags, glossed and embossed with logos of high-end French finery, the occasional Gap or H&M plastic bag wrapped loosely in their grips, as they stand blocking the flow of foot traffic in front of the exit signs on the platform.

“Do you have a Navigo?”  She asked.

“Yup,” I replied, “upgraded for March and ready to go, just have to dig it out.”

“Zones 1 & 2?” She queried further.

I nodded my head.

“Excellent, on the weekends you can go beyond the periphery without charge, you are going to come out to my place in the country, I live in Fontainebleau.” She said as I finally located my wallet and swung it onto the scanner, which lit up with green arrows and a trill of payment, the gates open and I slid by.

Just like that, a weekend in the country.

This is what happens when you start talking books with someone.

This is what happens when I speak my truth, I get invited to country homes in France?

What the hell?

I am going to start speaking my truth all over the place.

I have writers honesty on my mind.

I have begun reading Stephen Kings “On Writing.”

No, that’s not correct, I am three-quarters finished with it.  I started reading it last night on the Metro.  I got in about thirty or forty pages.  Today I kicked through another hundred twenty pages.

I will be done with it tomorrow.

I am happy to report that I am already doing a lot, almost everything, that he is suggesting.

This is what I suspected when it was recommended to me by two people I hold in regard.

I did a number of google searches and the excerpts from the book as well as the continued literary acclaim had me convinced that I needed to read it.

I am a Stephen King fan.

I proudly admit that right here, right now.

I have been a King fan since the first book of his I picked up.

It.

I was too young to read it and you could not have stopped me from reading it anyhow.

I was too young to read a lot of things that I managed to get my hands on.

Dead Ringers, anyone?

Nothing about twin brother sadist gynecologists says fit for a ten-year old.

Ok, maybe I was eleven.

I know I was not twelve, the summer of my thirteenth year, I got my period.

I had read Dead Ringers the summer before.

I also read some Erica Jong too, before my mom caught onto the fact that her eldest daughter was pilfering books off her nightstand.

I read everything Stephen King had written that was in the library at DeForest High School.

I found the Bachman books, I found myself later identifying with the main character from the Long Walk in the book and reference it in my own book, Baby Girl.

My favorite high school history teacher, who was not abashed to admit he had actually voted for Nixon, would give me the tsk-tsk shake of his head whenever he saw that I was reading another King book.

“Ms. Martines, Mister King again?”  He would drift down the aisles looking at the presidents and posters of people of importance lining the classroom, “isn’t it time you read something else?”

I tried to hoodwink him when I found Talisman, a King/Peter Straub collaboration.

He was not fooled.

One day I trembled with anticipation waiting for my teacher to walk by.

I had finished all the Stephen King in the library and was now reading “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

“What trash are you reading today, Ms. Martines,” he asked lifting the title page off the desk with his wood pointer.

I have never seen eyebrows rise so high.

“Well,” he said, drawing out the word, “I must say I am pleasantly surprised, keep up the good work.”  He smiled at me and I roasted in his warm approval.

I still went off and read everything Stephen King I could find when given the chance, and in the horror genre add to that list all the Peter Straub and Dean Koontz I could get my hands on.  Koontz was an easy catch on, he was right next to King in the stacks.

I once said if I were to go to get a doctorate in English Literature or a Masters, I would do my final thesis on his oeuvre.

Hands down, no question.

If anyone has influenced my writing more, I probably could not tell you.

I read a lot.

A lot.

All part of being a writer.

I got my approval today, I have been allowing in more and more of it in my quest to become a better writer.  Reading is part of being a great writer.

Let me rephrase, a good writer.

I don’t know that I will be a great writer.

But I do know I will be a good writer.

I do it already for the sheer pleasure of it.  I moved across the world to sit at a folding table covered in green cloth with a bamboo stick mat on it with my computer and notebooks and pens to do it.

I sit on a folding chair in Paris.

I finally gave myself permission and you are not taking it away from me.

I am going to be a good writer.

I am.

I have a tool chest full of tools and I am practising every day.

Every day.

Making it One Gig at a Time

February 4, 2013

I had my first of the long baby sitting shifts today.

I actually got done 45 minutes early, which was a relief, even though I ended up hitting the Metro commute traffic twice in one day.

There was commuter traffic on the trains this morning, but mostly coming in from the Periphery, not so much heading out.

I got up at 6 am

I did the deal.

I wrote my three pages long hand.

I ate a good breakfast and had two cups of coffee before scooting out the door.

It was still dark when I left this morning and it was dark upon my return.

I soon must to be in bed as well.

I am not fond of the hours, but I am fond of the fact that I just put 100 Euro towards February rent, which was due four days ago.  My roommate knows that the money is coming, I expect my tax return any moment now.  But it is still really nice to just fork it over, in good faith.

I bought some groceries and I will get paid for tomorrow and I have another gig starting on Wednesday.

I actually have a really full week.

Twelve hours tomorrow, nine hours on Wednesday, meet up with a friend from San Francisco in the evening–he’s coming in via Thailand and I have not see in him in years it feels like, he’ll be in Paris for a couple of months doing work, it will be good to get a little San Francisco flavor here.  Then meet with a ladybug Thursday morning, do the deal at noon, then off to the suburbs on the other side of town to see Corinne and the new baby.

Friday brings a distinct repeat of Thursday with a different lady and then a meet up at Shakespeare and Company with a new friend who may be interested in starting a writers group.  We were supposed to meet last Friday but her husband had to have an emergency root canal.

That shit scares me.

I have nice teeth.

I would like to keep them.

Small aside, really what is the deal with dental floss and why isn’t there any in the store?  I found one, ONE, container of dental floss in the toothpaste aisle.  Flossing, Frenchies, it is important, especially with all the coffee and cigarettes and red wine being imbibed.

I have stellar, rock star teeth in comparison to a lot of the folks I see.

Even on the television today I noticed that.

What is it with a certain economic status, the couch is shite, the flooring scary, there is not any wall decorations pantings or posters hanging on the walls, but my God, there is a state of the art, huge, flat screen television with cable and dvd player and speakers and God only knows how many remotes.

Poverty equals huge television apparently.

I remember a movie that Spike Lee did that I don’t think got paid much attention and it probably should have, called “Bamboozled,” and one of the scenes shows a bunch of squatters in a tenement in with a miraculous amount of cables and wires and McGyvering of extension cords bundled to a television.

I always think of that, checking out through the television and how strapped to the television the impoverished are.

I have not owned one in about fifteen years.

I do watch some television, I won’t lie, I like to down load stuff, but I cannot remember the last time I watched a commercial all the way through.

The French television stations were interesting as I flipped through, the enumerations of MTV channels, the sports shows, the cooking shows, the fashion show channel.

Now I was down with that.

The Paris Spring runways are happening and it was just beautiful clothes gliding down runways with designer disco music playing in the background.

It was like watching Project Runway with none of the drama.  In fact, it was rather soothing.  I watched for a while, but mostly I just read.

Baby sitting equals getting paid to read while naps are happening.

I finished the David Sedaris book, and I started in on The White Review I had gotten from the boy with the Irish eyes.

Said eyes, I noticed yesterday are not actually blue, but more like a sea glass green.

Stunning.

He loaned me The White Review, a collection of essays, poems, articles, and interviews–with the interview of Will Self that we had discussed last week, and I swapped him the newest Will Self-Umbrella.

I will most likely finish the Review tomorrow and I will get started on the Chuck Pahalniuk I picked up last week.  I think, if I do end up going to Shakespeare and Company Friday I am also going to pick up Irvine Welsh’s Skag and if I can nail down a copy of it, finally, Stephen King’s book On Writing.

What I appreciate reading, and why I am just now getting it I don’t know, but….thank God I am allowing myself the ‘pleasure’ of the work, is Will Self reiterating what I have been hearing more and more of, to be a good writer you have to read.

I just used to think I was copping out, checking out, losing myself in words.

And while there is some, possibly a great deal, of validity in this, there is also just the pure joy I get from reading and I know that when I read a good book, Faulkner’s The Sound and The Fury was a huge inspiration when I was writing the last full length manuscript I wrote.

John Updike’s complete works carried me through the rough draft of Baby Girl.

John Irving’s oeuvre brought me through the rough draft of The Iowa Waltz.

Self used a word I had not seen in print in some time “pernicious”.

I fucking love it.

I love words.

I get off on words.

I have two solid hours tomorrow to get my read on.

Ready for it.

And now I basically have to get ready for bed.

So I can get up and write again.

WWSTKD?

December 25, 2012

Translation?

What would Stephen King do?

I do not know exactly, since I still haven’t gotten the book, however, I have an idea.

He would write.

He would read.

Then he would write some more.

Even on Christmas?

Yes, Virginia, even on Christmas.

So that is exactly what I did.

Now, I did not expect to do this much work on the holiday.  I thought I would be hanging out with Miss Kellie, but her travel plans changed and she hopped over the channel this early afternoon.

We got up, I made oatmeal for the two of us and we had coffees.  We talked a little about last night’s festivities, it already feels far away, and started making plans for the day.

Her plans were foiled when she saw how much the ticket to take the train back to London would be and also that the bus back on the 26th was sold out.  She found a ticket for this afternoon at 3pm and that settled it.

I programmed the direction into my Iphone and off we went.

After leaving her with hugs and much gratitude, it had been such a nice thing to be of service, to show her about, to take her here and there and see the city through fresh eyes, that I was sad to see her go.

That and it was really good to have her in my corner.  Another person who adamantly believes that I am here doing the right thing even though I have no idea what is happening.

Flash back to last Christmas, I certainly had no idea what was happening then either.  I had just started at the bike shop, was house sitting for Robyn and felt lost beyond belief.

Now when I feel lost, it is usually because I actually am.

Kellie expressed admiration for how well I know Paris.

I actually do not know it that well, but I do know a few of the sights and a few of the stops and I know how to get from here to there decently.  I certainly know the lay of the land slightly better than some one who has only been here once and does not speak a lick of French.

That being said, it was also just re-affirming to have some one so pro me, so gung-ho about my experiences, and as she said, she was “rooting for me to stay in Paris.”

I am rooting for me too.

Today I eyed up the bicycle.

Hello, dear friend, is it time to part?  I do not want to sell my bike, but as rent draws near and I do not know what is next, I am taking what information I have and using it for the time to make decisions.

The thing is, brain, I do not have to make a decision quite yet.

Rent is paid for the rest of the month and let us to not discount miracles.

The miraculous happened last night as I tilted my head to the dome of the chapel and the words of French poured out the speakers hidden high in the cornices and poured over me in a flood of warmth and light.  The crush of bodies about me, the sweet smell of many candles burning in my nose.

Then the walk down the hill.

Lastly, before stepping through the door way to 36 Rue Bellefond, the genuine gratitude to be coming home, home I have one, to a warm bed, a hot cup of tea, and an indoor bathroom.

There had been a drunken row happening outside the Carrefour market last night amidst the three habitues of that corner.  The older man with a patchy white mid-length beard was scrapping with another man I did not recognize.  There was the sound of a bottle smashing on the side-walk.

“Merry Christmas,” I said and scooted inside the threshold with Kellie.

I am so blessed.

I forget that when I am back from the bus station heading by myself on the Metro to another destination.  Watching the stops on the board above as the train pulls in and out of stations until I get to Republique and hop off to find a room to sit in for a minute, a place to have a cup of coffee and a moment’s reprieve from the brain.

Which is wont to sucker punch me when I am not looking.

I will also admit, I was tired.

I went to bed last night at 4 a.m.

I was up editing the photographs I took, posting the blogs, putting up an album onto facecrack.  I did not get much sleep.

I had not gotten much sleep the day before or now that I think on it, the 23rd either.

Having a guest can be a wonderful thing, the company grand, but it can throw ones schedule a bit.

It was almost four p.m. when I got back to the apartment, I had gotten off a Metro stop early and gotten mildly lost.

Hmmm.

I had to laugh, no tourist side kick and I get lost.

Then I got harassed.

Not horribly, but he would not leave me alone and it was annoying.  I heard him whistle at me from about a half block away.  I ignored it, kept walking.  He followed, then began trying to engage with me.

I figured if I just ignored him he would leave off, but nope.  He grabbed my arm.

“Pardon!”  I said, not looking at him and plucking his hand off my arm.

He tried to get argumentative, and I kept walking.

I know it’s Christmas, but hey, fuck off.

He decided I was actually not going to drop trow and bend over for him and left me alone after another few seconds of rapid French hustle.

I crossed the street and he actually wished me a bon soir.

Ha.

Good night indeed.

After I whipped up my late lunch I thought what should I do?

A movie sounded like the ticket.

It’s Christmas, watch a movie.

In other words, check out.

Not to say that isn’t on the list, it very much is.  But to check out at 4:30 in the afternoon felt wrong.  I also had not done my morning pages.

A voice inside my head asked, “what would Stephen King do?”

REALLY?

“Yes, what would Stephen King do?”

I tried to imagine Stephen King on Christmas.  I saw snow and Maine.  A fire-place crackling with logs.  I saw a tree.

Then I saw a desk, a chair, a rug, books, and a computer.  Pens in a pot, notebooks.

Sigh.

Even on Christmas, I bet Stephen King writes.

I will too.

I opened up my journal and I wrote four pages long hand.

I meditated afterwards.

I asked for direction about work, rent, money, what to do next.

I did what I was directed to do next.

I made a cup of tea and I opened up my manuscript and I edited.

Afterward I made another cup of tea.  I sent my mom an e-mail wishing her a Merry Christmas and I sat down on the bed, there is nowhere to sit in this apartment (except the two folding chairs that constitute the dining area) and made a little nest of pillows to prop up on while I read.  Reading is important to my craft as well.  Stephen would probably take a minute, thirty at least, and kick through a few pages of a novel, I will too.

I picked up John Fowles “The Magus” and started reading.

I actually had the distinct desire to get up and go outside and go for a walk.

I stifled it.

It was not a real desire to walk, it was a way to feel bad.  It was to run away from myself, from the reading, from the pro-active action I was taking, and a way to actually isolate and feel lonely.

Darkly romantic, wandering the cold streets of Paris, all shuttered up early with the holiday. No one out on the side walks, no one in the shops, no one but me, lonely, alone, sad, and ready to be harassed by random men wearing cheap cologne.

Nope.

Sit still Martines, and read.

I did.

It was good.

A hot shower later, another few e-mails and a small dinner, I posted to my photography blog–I did take out the camera wee bit today, though not like yesterday, and now this, more writing.

Because that is What Carmen Regina Martines Would Do.

 

 


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