So You Wanna Write? Part 1: Let’s Be Real

Andrew & Sarabeth

hate-writing At the time of this writing the only difference between you and me is that I have one published book under my belt. That may sound like a world of difference to you, but it’s really not. All that means is that I’ve written more pages than you on one conclusive story, followed some advice by attending a local writer’s group, met a local guy who publishes books, sent him my manuscript, and he sent me a contract.

That’s the birth of The Man in the Box.

Here’s how it didn’t work. I didn’t send my completed manuscript to five agents, and I didn’t get ten phone calls the next day begging me to become their client (instead, I got over 300 rejections).

The local news didn’t call me when I tweeted, “Book one: Done” (I didn’t have a Twitter account, yet).

Fox News, CNN, NBC, ABC – none of them…

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Blue As Blue Gets.

I have reached the point in the search for Malaysian airliner news cycle where it is starting to make me even more depressed than I normally am. If you have been reading my blog, you already know that yours truly is not a happy go lucky character. Far from it! Being a very depressed individual, it is easy to absorb depressing information because it is not making one feel worse than one already is. Not any more! Since the beginning, I have been listening to the daily reports about the search and about the relatives of the people on flight MH370. This morning BBC News Service decided to interview a young woman who was moving to Malaysia from Beijing with her father. Her father was on the ill-fated airliner coming back to Beijing to finalise the moving arrangements. And I just could not take it any more and switched the station. Surprisingly enough for yours truly, I have attained the point of misery saturation. The good news is that before my meltdown last August listening to more and more MH370 news coverage would not have affected me. Not being able to absorb additional misery speaks to the fact that yours truly is getting better and – dare I say it? – happier.

Avoiding additional informational input is a good way to insulate self from misery. However, when that is not enough and you feel the blues deep in your soul, listening to Warren Haynes’ song “Soulshine” usually gives my soul a lift and leaves me feeling a bit more hopeful than before. So, enjoy!

 

The Crosses We Bear.

Sometimes being a thoughtful person just plain sucks. Remembering dates is a good thing in a relationship but when that relationship ends those same memories become a burden.

A year ago today was my first date with my ex. She has been on my mind again quite a lot lately. I have moved on but I am still a long way away from getting over her. In fact, those pesky memories have played a rather cruel trick on me a couple of weeks ago.

In the meantime, between the missing Malaysian airliner and the fun in Ukraine, I am not sure it is worth it to get out of bed in the morning. No, wait… I still have to work for a living. Damn the reality!

to my gramps.

Kind words from someone who understands that true love is unconditional and even those whose actions we may dispise may still be those we love.

gypsies & sinners.

Hi, Grandpa.

I love you. I miss you. My heart aches to see how you’ve been laid waste in the media by our own family. Everyone talks about you as if you’re already in the grave; I know your heart is still beating & I hope you live up to your stubborn legacy & live for a long while yet.

To the whole world you were only ever the face of an evil entity. But of course to me you were always my Gramps. My kind, sweet, adoring Gramps. I miss you so much. I wish the sisters & I could meet you & Granny for another shake party up in your room (we’ll even bring your favorite strawberry one from McDonald’s).

I’m sorry for every second we’ve been apart this last year and four months. I’m sorry I didn’t appreciate you more when you were mine. I’m sorry our…

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Steamrolled.

For better or worse, mostly for worse, I have always been driven by my past. I let it define me and, worse yet, I let it define my future. It was a major part of my psyche to the point of obsession.

Recently, that stopped being the case. One hopes. I went to see a show by a local and successful musician that I have not seen around for some time. After the show, I decided to chat up a young lady and mentioned seeing that musician at a festival back in 2006. The young lady informed me that back in 2006 she was in kindergarten. Nothing to make one feel old quite like that. Though normally I am not at all bothered by age differences in one direction nor the other, somehow that conversation made me feel a little creepy. To clear my mental palate, I decided to chat with the aforementioned lady musician. Not a specialist by any means, I believe I flirted. Oh, my. And she did not freak out and ran away. Oh, myyy! It did not go further than that but it did provide a valuable realisation: it serves no purpose being obsessed by the past and letting it decide one’s future because it had passed and the future is full of possibilities that are yet to happen. It is a good aim. Reality, however, can be quite different.

As I mentioned in the previous post, as my friend and I were on the way to his family’s house in the mountains (the view from the living room is beyond spectacular), I was deeply touched by Nick Lowe’s new song.

“Lately when I go steal a kiss
I feel you pulling away
I know something is amiss
But what it is, you won’t say.”
– Nick Lowe, “Sensitive Man”

It is funny how certain sounds, and especially music, get so tightly interwoven with our memories. Hearing those words reminded me of the last couple of weeks of my relationship with the ex. But it was not the memories of that that rolled over me with all of the inevitability of a steamroller but rather the memories of the climbing Road trip we have taken in the happier times. The sense memory of driving back home at night, listening to music, finding her hand in the dark and bringing it to my lips, her tender caress of my hair, it all was so incredibly vivid and powerful! Where did that come from all of the sudden? Why did the past spring forth with  the strength of the volcanic magma just when it seemed to have been rendered dormant?

Reality of dealing with one’s past is a complicated affair at the best of times. As much as the right away may be evident, the unconscious’ refusal to cooperate will keep on rearing its ugly head with the force of a multi-ton metal cylinder.

La Famiglia

As I am sitting in the living room of my friend’s family’s country house, three generations milling about, it occurs to me that not only the children no longer repulse me but that I am also not against the idea of having any myself. I am also very relaxed. That could also be post-hike wine.
The point is that I am witnessing something that is mystifying to yours truly: a happy, unbroken, non-disfunctional large family. How do those happen? How do I get one of those? In my case, the only way to make it happen is to start my own. I really thought my ex was *the* chance for that to come together. On the drive here my friend and I were listening to an episode of the WTF podcast. Nick Lowe was being interviewed by Marc Maron. Towards the end of the interview, Nick Lowe sung his new track which sparked a flashback to a trip I took with the ex. I could literally feel her fingers on my face.
If nothing else, all this is pushing me to get better so that I too could have a chance at the “happy ever after”.