Showing posts from February, 2015

More Lust!

My second story is available.

Moved to Tears

I went to a dinner party tonight, and my host greeted me by saying that I looked great. He noticed I'd lost some weight, and that was polite and flattering. He served me the drink of my choice and talked to me about the sauce he'd spent days cooking and the saffron his friends had brought him, smuggled and mislabeled, from Iran. He showed me around his house, including an office I absolutely loved--it was lined with shelves full of books I had read or wanted to read.

And he moved me to tears by giving me his Modern Library copy of The Philosophy of Spinoza, whom he described as "the rare Catholic atheist," because he thought I would find it interesting.

The first time he met me, I was in a short, tight, knit dress, fuck-me boots, and porn star eyeliner, and we were both drinking heavily, but he remembered more of my smart-assed half-philosophical bullshit than I remember saying. And tonight, with a used book that he said he probably hadn't written in too much, he…

Becoming a Writer (or Not)

Him: What do you do?
Me: I write.
Him: Wow, you're a writer?
Me: No, I write. Thanks to a few clicks on Amazon, I can even say I'm published, but am I a writer?

If you use the cheerleader definition, I write, so I'm a writer. Even when I want to quit, I still find myself composing in my head, so it has become a part of me. I know that my writing is better than average. I also realize that I could really use a skilled editor to tell me where to tighten and where to flesh out. I have three works-in-progress that could eventually be traditionally publishable novels, and I have four short stories and a memoir that are suitable for ebooks. All of them have more literary merit than some of the crap that you can buy.

But for most people, the real question is whether I can declare myself a paid professional writer. I used to joke that my goal for writing was to earn $17.34, the amount of my summer electric bill, so that I would be a writer by Stephen King's definition of bein…

Son of a Bitch

Of course, I uploaded the story and then found half a dozen typos. And something's goofy and I can't upload a corrected version right now. 

A Momentous Day

Appropriately, the contractors were banging away upstairs and the kids were screaming and fighting with each other when I uploaded my first short story to Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing program.

It should be available within 12 hours, and I hope a little sooner, so that it can be said to be published on the same day as the release of the crappy 50 Shades of Grey movie. I consider it counterpoint.

So now Phase 3, profit?

Fear of Rising

Barbara Ehrenreich wrote a book called Fear of Falling, in which she describes the American middle class and its psychological peculiarities, which she argues stem from anxiety about dropping down into the lower class.

I was born into a family transitioning out of the working class, then I was educated beyond my caste. Now 40, I'm fairly sure that I'll never quite feel at ease here in the upper middle class. Case in point, we're having our master bathroom remodeled, and it freaks me out.

First, I lived in rented apartments until I was 28, so remodeling was never a thing I experienced. You got what you got when you picked the apartment, and that was it. If something broke, you called the landlord. End of story. And because it was never an option, I never gave thought to tile choices, cabinet doors, metal fixture finishes, accent trim, any of that. The most I ever imagined changing was paint color. It's not that I am indifferent to these elements. I hate the bathroom as …

Fits and Starts

The first 15% of a creative project, any project, is exhilarating. The next 65% can be solidly satisfying. The final With knitting, I call it the "This Damn Sweater Stage," when I stop knitting to measure the piece over and over again, as if remeasuring will magically make the infernal thing as long as it needs to be.

This should be a year for finishing things, including the dozens of incomplete knitting projects carefully packed in plastic boxes and at least some part of the three unfinished novels and four short stories that are carefully saved in folders and backed up in the cloud.