So writing is a thing that happens, sporadically, on and off as I manage to for a little while push back the nagging and persistent sense that I’m a fraud playing at a grown-up game that I’ll never be quite old enough or good enough to really take part in.

Damn the duality, anyway. I can’t have it both ways. I can’t read published fiction with a sense that I can write at least as well as the author, only to stare at a blank screen or lined page with the conviction that I don’t have anything worthwhile to say.

And there’s a story there, right now, simmering in the hindbrain, under the surface, not quite hibernating but rather patiently biding, not quite evolved enough to do more than make occasional ripples that I can see from shore. And I’m not quite confident enough to climb into my coracle and paddle out to see what’s out there. I prowl the perimeter instead, thread my way through tall weeds and mud right there at the edge, at the in-between, not quite safe land and not quite here-be-dragons water, and measure the shape of it without ever really getting a good look at what I’m measuring.

But it’s there, and sometime very soon I’m going to have to dive in and breathe in the water and hope I’ve got gills enough to make it.

Going to try journaling again. I’ve gone back many times and read what I’ve written before and some of it makes me cringe and some of it makes me laugh, but all of it makes me remember, and that’s a necessary thing. My life may not be dreadfully remarkable, but it’s worth remembering, I feel. And I’ve spent the last few years not writing things down, not recording the things that have happened to me. That’s foolish. Foolish.
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Today has a feel to it of remembrance. It’s the turning of the year, the turning of the seasons on the pivot-heel of Halloween: the warm and delightful slide of summer into fall is now the chill, wetter ease of autumn through its decline, inexorably winterbound. I spent Halloween tangled up in a vibrant riot of darkness and bright color, trick-or-treating with my two year old niece. She was fascinated by the entire process, delighted by the spectacle of it, and absolutely fearless in the face of all the pageantry of the macabre. She had a ghost at her side, though, holding her hand and grinning like a loon and helping her up the steps to garishly lit porches where mummies and vampires and zombies waited with bowls of candy to bestow some upon a zebra in exchange for the magic words: trick or treat! Shades of Catrina and Maman Brigitte in my makeup and dress and in the bright purple flower in my hair, and my niece took it all in stride. Aunt Queenie’s a ghost tonight? That’s fine. It’s after bedtime and very dark, and we are out courting danger and darkness and the consequence of this is CANDY, so pseudo-dead relatives are, well, relatively benign. It was blissful to see the holiday again through the eyes of someone who was experiencing it for the first time.

Today is the aftermath of all of that, inevitably greyer and less brilliant, and that’s as it should be. But it does make me melancholy.

Words. Love ‘em. Why don’t we keep more words? English is good at words, keeping hoards and scraps and tidbits of vocabulary gleaned or borrowed or outright stolen from everywhere else.

Just ran across this one, while skimming excerpts of Beowulf in Old English: unbliĆ°e. It’s translated as “joyless”, but I think that it would translate more literally and, I feel, poetically, to “unblithe”.

It tastes good on the tongue. Unblithe, with a soft, drawn out ‘th’ sound to lengthen the word and make it gentler, more intensely sorrowful.

Why didn’t we keep that one, I wonder?

Mad ego: JUSTIFIED. Moar later.

My first professional sale is the very definition of a baby step, but by God, it counts!

The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities:Exhibits, Oddities, Images, and Stories from Top Authors and Artists contains work by a multiplicity of writers and artists, many of whom are very firmly in that circle of professional creators to which I have aspired to belong for as long as I can remember reading.

I’m in there. My name is in that book, printed in black and white between two hard covers, included in the same volume as Tad Williams, China Mieville and Michael Moorcock. And while my miniature contribution is easily overlooked, it’s in there, and it counts.

It feels… proper. Right, as in: correct. It’s where my name is supposed to be.

So sometime in the relatively near future, my name will be a little bigger, a little more prominent, closer to the front. It’ll be included in the list used to draw readers in and promote sales. It will be one that other writers, early in their careers just as I am now, point to and say “holy shit, I’m in a book with her!” It’ll be a name that, when readers see it, translates in their minds to “there are words in there, put together in an order that will draw me in and make me enjoy myself thoroughly for a while”!

I can’t wait.

Mad ego? Probably. Can you blame me? :3

What that up there said. Mostly. A little?

Okay, I’m ready to consider the possibility that maybe at some point in the not-terribly-distant future I might be less incoherently upset with myself.

If– and this is a huge if, mind– I can go the fuck to sleep Jesus I need to sleep.

Dear brain: SHUT UP AND SHUT DOWN FOR THE NIGHT or we will no longer be friends. :|

Why the hell am I so dog-fuckingly stupid? I couldn’t make a decent decision if my life depended on it and I still, still keep deluding myself with the idea that everything is going to be okay, if I can just hold on a little while longer, everything will get sorted out and when the dust has all settled, I’ll come out at least marginally on top.

If there is anything the last couple of years have taught me, it’s that this philosophy is a huge, steaming pile of bullshit. I am a loser and I will always be a fucking loser, and every time I try to get ahead, I will always come in second.

Why the fuck do I bother?

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