Work Wednesday!

Today is my last “free day” because I am (finally) employed! I start Monday but tomorrow is going to be spent preparing for SMO Comicon on Friday and (obviously) Friday will be for the Comicon itself. I won’t go into the details but the position I got is as a content writer and I’m going to start training on Monday! I can’t wait, I can’t wait, I can’t wait! This is going to be super exciting for me because it presents the opportunity to learn about non-fiction writing and how to better organize my ideas. I really hope this job is going to help me become more articulate and that I’ll do well there. Fingers crossed!ImageIn the meantime, however, I can’t seem to sit still. So I decided that I’m going to try and make this day as fun/challenging as possible. My health has also improved significantly since I slept for 10 hours last night (I got up at 7 today but made myself go back to sleep and I don’t have colds anymore–my voice still sounds raspy but meh, not complaining since my voice is pretty high anyway) so I am ready to do this!!!!!

I am dedicating this day to the Facebook Art Challenge that was going around yesterday. Basically, it promises the first 10 people who comment on your post that you will make a piece of art (a poem, a painting, a drawing, a photograph, whatever) by the end of this year (2014). But because I am bad at turning people down, I decided to give the first 15 people who commented work. So far 13 have commented and I’m already working on the first bit of work. I figure even if this day turns out “badly” and I only get one piece of work out, that’s still one work more than nothing. So yay!

My plan is to create a small work of fiction and an illustration to go with that because I have been wanting to work on my illustration skills as well. Each work will have to be able to stand on its own while a) having something to do with that person and b) having something to do with my affiliation with that person. I’ve begun cataloging items and memories with the people who commented and this is really riling me up. Here’s to hoping I get a lot done today!

Watttttt

So, I decided that as a first step into being shameless about my work and getting myself out there, I would make a WattPad account. 🙂 I think that it’s a pretty good platform for literature, so yeah. 😀 I will definitely link new work there here so that those of you who are interested can read. I have two thingamabobs uploaded on there, so far: Apartment Stories (a 7-piece aggregation of work, old and new) + The Chlorine Atom Girl.

Click here to follow, if you’d like!

Good News, Overstimulation and Draft Wrestling

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I haven’t been on this blog in a while because Christmas break has taken over my life! I don’t know why we even pretend like the holidays are going to be relaxing when we all know that it’s going to be a flurry of crazy, anyway. 🙂 (I mean that in the best way, though–I’ve been having a pretty awesome break, so far.)

1. Three of my stories are being published in two different zines! I can’t say which yet because the issues haven’t come out, but I’m so excited and so happy–I’m a very shy person (even if it doesn’t show because I usually combat that shyness with being real talkative/bubbly) and it took a lot of mental preparation (along with the actual writing, of course) to send the work in. Two works of small fiction and one long story are being put out so yayyyyy for acceptance! 😀 I will link to those once they come out.

2. I’ve been spending most of my time writing and re-writing a couple of drafts I’m working on. So, far I hate most of it. But that’s alright. I feel like being your own antagonist is kind of a pre-req of coming out with stuff that isn’t shit, anyway. Here’s a bit from a draft that’s got me in a chokehold:

If you cut me open you must know that the kitchen knife won’t slice through flesh to reveal scribbled text or a note that says anything coherent, instead all you will find is anatomy: spine, sternum, cage, clavicle, cranium. You should know that there is no way for you to take the things that remain inside—that there is nothing there to take but blood and gut and bone—and that I cannot say the things I mean because in my throat there are no sentences, only strings: larynx, pharynx, vestibule.

3. So many things have been happening to me. And the problem with me is that I can’t ever be productive when I’m overwhelmed because I’m unable to form coherent thoughts. Or rather, all my coherent thoughts are tainted by my excitement or anxiety (really the same thing, as far as I’m concerned). So shit drafts will have to do until I am able to calm down. I think I’ll read–that always helps. My life always seems to go in alternate phases of reading and writing, curiosity and worry.

I also despise the fact that sometimes you meet people who you feel can see through you–not that they can, but that you feel like they can. That always unnerves me. Nervousness is contagious and I feel like it sucks ever more if the other person is feeling nervous too but them feeling that way makes you clam up and so all that happens is analysis paralysis when you could just be making a new friend if one of you wasn’t so chicken about being rejected or looking stupid. But well. I don’t know. Part of me feels like while the elation of being accepted might make the risk of putting yourself out there socially and being rejected worth it, the chances of that happening aren’t very high so, yeah. I need to learn to be more calculating, in that aspect. And maybe this is just me being bull-headed but I’m still on the fence about whether or not I regret trying.

Chasing Paper, Getting Nowhere

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It was only the other day that I realized this is the last time (probably) I’m going to be able to rely on the university library for entertainment. But I suppose that’s just one of the things you give up in order to be “done with school”. While I’m still mostly excited to be getting on with my life, part of me still feels nostalgic about school. Oddly enough, I don’t think it’s the people I’ll miss–because I’m sure I’ll still see them. I think I’ll be missing certain places the most, despite the fact that a lot of these places are places that have already changed anyway: the grassy gazebo area with stone tables and large trees, the amphitheater at night, the library.

To be honest, I’ve never borrowed more than three books at a time because I just can’t seem to be punctual re: the return date(s). But I decided to take a risk and binge on all the Donald Barthelme books they had out, plus a couple of books I’ve been wanting to read for a long time.

These titles include 40 Stories, Not-Knowing, The Teachings of Don B.* and Unspeakable Practices, Unnatural Acts all by Donald Barthelme, Negotiating With the Dead: A Writer on Writing by Margaret Atwood and Light In August by William Faulkner. I’m pretty deadset on finishing all of these before their due date(s) (December 13th) because a lot of these are pretty rare and I’m not sure I’ll get the chance to read them again if I don’t.

Dear Stranger

ImageI don’t know you that well but I get the feeling that I could if I tried hard enough to sit here and talk about something although I’m hesistant to bring up the weather because then I would have to pick a place to put us in like a restaurant or a cafe and it’s from places that circumstances always seem to arise and grab you by the neck like an invisible noose you’ve walked into or fine print you haven’t read on a contract that says you must be a person of value to me or to whoever it is that I turned out to be after years of watching me puke into the gutter or holding my hand through the telephone which I will on occasion leave on the bookshelf while you are explaining something I’m not interested in as I leave the room to finish off a bottle of wine just quickly enough to return as you punctuate your sentence and ask me for a response which I provide either begrudgingly or too generously so that you are always either angry with me or suspect that I am not listening because I am drunk and you know how I get when I drink too much so you do not ever bring it up but instead you get back at me when I am sad over something you know I think is important so I will ask you what the hell you want from me anyway and you will not validate that statement with a reply but will be consumed with guilt because you were actually listening and know that I am hurt from the expression on my face which you have seen one too many times and I will know that it’s eating you up inside to see me this way so I will try and squeeze a tear out from the corner of my eye and you will hate me for it but you don’t yell you hold me close and instead say that you’ll buy me a drink and I will get drunk and let slip that I left the receiver on the bookshelf that time you were talking about Star Wars and you’ll say that it was Star Trek and how could I and I will say how could you keep going on and on about something you knew I wasn’t really into anyway and you’ll say didn’t I say that I liked that stuff when we first met and I will forget what I said when we met and you will be offended and I will be mad at you for crying so well and with so much feeling so I will call myself a cold-hearted bitch and hug you and tell you that you know that I have a bad memory even if I remember that the first time I met you I thought you were kind of odd-looking and that you were wearing jeans with white thread hems which I still find tacky but you don’t do anymore because you know what I think what about white hems and that haircut and the way that you wink when you think you’re saying something smart which I’m still fooled by now that we still don’t know each other and everything you say still seems intelligent and everything you’ve done still seems like something I suddenly want to try just so that we can have something in common and so we can keep talking in non-places like the internet or the telephone which I keep by the sofa I’ve been sleeping on in case you call which you always do always five minutes after you say you will and I think that your nonchalance is challenging and your candor with things like keeping promises is exciting only to eventually find out that in truth you have been sitting by your telephone for five of the longest minutes of your life agonizing over when to call me only in the future when I have spent enough time with you I will know this and I will think those five minutes are a waste of time and every time the phone rings I will think you’re pathetic because who has the time to sit around all night and agonize over calling someone and I will be struggling with ways to not pick up and not offend you and hang up quickly to catch my favourite show which starts at nine and also make sure you do not come over to surprise me and bring me flowers just because which really means just to make sure that I was home and so I will say I was doing the laundry is all and the machine was on and it was loud and so I didn’t hear the phone and wow are those flowers for me you didn’t have to which I will mean because right now one of the many non-things I like about you is that you don’t buy me flowers because you are so comfortable in your own skin and so admirable and I don’t want you to know that I watch the movies we talk about as we’re talking about them just so I can know what you’re talking about and that I’ve searched for your name online because while I say that I am spontaneous the truth is that I am terrified of strangers and would like it better if I knew what I was getting into like dipping a toe into a lake before doing what I will do anyway which is plunge into the water and allow myself to be soaked even if I hate the cold and don’t particularly like swimming and it only takes me seven minutes to take a bath everyday so what’s the point of spending a whole day submerged in water and watching my skin get wrinkly which is what you say you want to do for the rest of your life to see me get wrinkly in the mirror next to you which I have to say back although I think you would look very odd wrinkly because you have a pronounced Adam’s apple which will eventually be covered with fat but which I like at the moment because I don’t see you a lot and have only begun to take note of certain details about the way you are shaped although at this point I am assuming that it will be you who will fall in love with me because you are the one who likes to order whenever we meet up in the flesh and spend a few hours filling awkward silences with funny jokes that are only funny because we’re both  intoxicated and are either too awake thanks to one-too-many cups of coffee or are teetering on the edge of sobriety as a result of having drank too much gin too quickly like we will probably do on every occasion that permits it like our friends’ birthdays weddings funerals and you will find it endearing at first and I will feign clumsiness when drunk so that we can do romantic things or put ourselves in romantic situations like having to sleep in the same bed or run out in the rain while I’m wearing a sheer dress so you can feel me up in a taxi cab which you will pretend not to have done and I will pretend to both not have liked and not have noticed so that you will know that I get that way when I’m inebriated and we will spend more time together so that we can hop into cabs only this time I will not pass out or pretend to so that I can know what it is that I am dying to know which is how your mouth tastes which is all I think of when you’re saying something smart to me over the phone when you call five minutes past when you say you will which is the time that I count on you to call anyway which takes the piss out of the whole thing as we get to know each other because you say you will call at nine at night and call at nine-o-five which annoys me because I like watching something on TV at nine and you interrupt it with your stories that I’ve heard before and one day we will be sitting at some non-place and eating some food we don’t remember and you will be talking about a book I no longer like and telling me how you think it describes us and how funny it is that we’ve come so far and I will nod and laugh and talk about time and say it’s crazy that it’s been years when really I mean it’s crazy that it’s been years and still we’re together because truth be told I don’t think we like each other that much anymore because you still think that I like it when you call me angel in bed and I still call you a dirty little motherfucker even if I know you’re close to your mom and you don’t like the image of a mother fucker in general you’re not so bad and I think most of the time hey that’s a lot of years to be with someone you met absolutely randomly but then I think about the coincidences that our common friends have brought up like that we went to the same pre-nursery and that we were both at the 2008 concert of our favourite band and that actually we met at a party once in 2003 but I was shy and I will think that fate has never seemed so unromantic as well as that you probably didn’t notice me because back then I looked like shit and you were lusting over someone else whose husband died last week and whose wake we went to even if we didn’t recognize the body and only knew him from the photo of him from when he was in high school that they hung on the door in which he was smiling really wide with a bit of green stuck in his teeth which happens to you often which is why I never prepare lunch for you that has veggies in it which you’re grateful for because you think my obsession with what I eat is absurd since we all end up in the same place anyway and I secretly hope that your non-veggie eating gets you in the end so I will be right just like I was right not to talk to you anymore so that you stay a stranger and so that you can be someone whose mouth I can think about tasting on days when I have the bathtub to myself without feeling guilt, or anything
[As seen in EM Zine Issue 2, September 2013]

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