Strange morning for me.  I set in Panera with my coffee, my breakfast consumed, and I’ve got the song El Paso on repeat because–well, just because.  I have my reasons, and in a few I’ll change it to something else.  Something that will give me just enough time to do this post and hit the road, for I have some travelin’ ahead of me this morning.

This afternoon I get back into the routine.  I’ve had a few distractions this week, but it’s all legit, and you need a distraction now and then just to break things up.  But once you get too far away from what you should do, then you get distance, and that distance can lead to break up, and once you’re made that break it’s tough to take it back into yourself.

I’ve been there more than a few times.  Why?  Doubt.  Always the goddamn doubt.  you question if what you do is worth while, if what you’re attempting is going to be another “All in vain” operation that lead nowhere.  Nothing usual there:  that’s the majority of our lives, it seems.  You question everything, and doubt often comes into play when the questions fly.

To paraphrase a famous quote doubt is the creativity killer.  You doubt, and your creativity takes a hit–but you can’t allow that, for the creativity must flow.  It must keep moving forward, even if it’s stumbling about much like a young Keith Richards after many hours of Jack Daniel’s and heroin–or as he used to call it, “I’m awake, right?”

I have this little itty bitty part that I need to complete for my NaNo Novel research, and I’m sort of dragging on that.  Some of that I blame on AMC, for this damn Breaking Bad marathon is dragging me away.  And I would have stayed up until three in the morning to watch Gus and two others get rung up on the Heisenberg Hit-o-Meter, but it was midnight, I’d been up since four-thirty, and like I say, I gotta drive today.

There is a line in El Paso that goes, “My love is stronger than my fear of death.”  Writing should be that way:  one’s love of writing should be stronger than their fear of failure.  You are going to fail, and fail mighty, before something comes of your endeavor.  I know it sounds like BS, but there’s much truth in this.  I failed over the summer.  I wrote a novel, I did my best to get it published, to get the word out, to make certain it was clean and good–and a whole lot of nothing came.  Oh, sure, there were sales, but you always hope for sales, and those never materialized.

I shouldn’t call it a failure, however.  It’s the third thing I’ve published, and I learned from the experience.  I have the information filed away and on-hand for the next time I publish.

If you learn from your experiences, it’s not a failure.  Never.

Now I gotta road to catch . . .


Now Leaving the Darkness

This is a strange day in history.  On this day Pope Innocent VIII started the biggest witch hunt in history in Europe; Columbus ended up in Haiti; Jefferson Davis was elected to the US Senate, and eventually went on to bigger and, um, better things; The Great London Smog of 1952 started and eventually killed 12,000 people; Sukarno expelled all Dutch people from Indonesia.

Fritz Lang and Walt Disney were born, and if only those two could have done a film together.  Werner Heiesbenberg was also born, thus being able to lend his name to great meth chemists everywhere.  Finally we have Strom Thurmond, who always seemed to find ways to elevate racism to a new level.

Something else happened.  One year ago I set off on an interview for a job, an odyssey that wasn’t nearly the same as one that had taken place ten years before, but eventually ended up in tears all the same.

This eventually became known as the Trip to the Undisclosed Location, and my experience at The Hole.  I wrote about this many times, and for those who have followed this blog, you know that it was a period of darkness for me.  There was some fantastic enlightenment, yes, and a bit of writing, but for the most part I hated the experience with a fervor few can imagine.

Notice I’m using the past tense when saying, “Experience.”  That’s because, for a while now–about two months–the Undisclosed Location ceased to be my reality.

It was really a very simple matter.  I was told my position was being eliminated, and as such I could pack up my shit and leave.  There was no shock there; things had happening throughout the summer, with people leaving in a hurry, either on their own, or . . . not.  In one case, we had someone in our group send out an email late on a Tuesday night saying the coming Friday was going to be her last day, then after Friday was set up to be the day she’d meet with people to hand over projects, she called in sick.  All this without telling anyone where she was going.

I didn’t get upset when I was told to go.  In fact, I didn’t care.  I knew there would be a few hardships, but beyond that I just wanted the hell out of there.  In fact, they let me walk out on my own, which could have been a disaster–but I’m not the sort who would do anything that might lead to jail time.  No place is worth that.  My only regret is that I didn’t take advantage of the fact that as I took the elevator alone, with the HR director standing outside the door watching me leave, I didn’t yell out, “My Anus is Bleeding!” after the doors closed.

The kicker to this all?  One year after I interviewed for The Hole–on a day that had me humming, “Cold and misty morning, I heard a warning born in the air”–I have a new job.  I secured the position yesterday.  It’s a contract position, one that will last a year, which I’m happy about, because it allows me to keep doing what I’m doing with my writing.  I have four or five weeks to go before Harper Voyager gets/doesn’t get back to me, so fingers are still crossed.

But the writing goes on.  Always move forward.  Continue being the best girl I can be.

Oh, one other things happened today:  Flight 19 disappeared.  It’s was fitting tribute to what happened to me, because I feel as if I spent my time in some Bermuda Triangle, and emerged triumphant.

But, really:  no hard feelings to The Undisclosed Location.  I met a few very good people–it’s unfortunate that only one or two of them were my co-workers.  As uninspiring and boring as my last job was, as unfriendly and standoffish as the majority of my co-workers were, I don’t hold any ill-will towards them.  Not at all.

It’s a bright day today.  The weather is warm.

It’s a good day to do something.

I think I’ll write.

Slumber of the Aware

Back to the hole, back to work.  The week lay ahead, and there are plenty of things to do.

But first, lying in bed, in the darkness.  And enjoying it.  Yes, I was.  It was something I was told to do; if I wake up, and it’s dark, and I’m not sleeping, just lay there in bed and relax.  Don’t get up; don’t start making coffee; don’t start writing.

It was one of those half-awake, half-asleep moments I used to have a lot last year, but haven’t had a lot of this year.  2012 has been the year when a lot of things have changed for me, and that was one of them.  I used to love those moments when I’d be in a state of slumber, somewhat aware of what was happening around me, but never certain if what I was seeing and feeling was real, or a dream.

It was like that this morning.  I could sense things happening, I could hear things being said, but I’m not sure if I was thinking it, or dreaming it.

Maybe it was Cassidy speaking to me, since she seems to be with me a lot these days.  Maybe it was my Muse, who is also always with me, even when I don’t see her there next to me.  But whomever it was, the message was the same:

Remember Jim Butcher.

Allow me to explain:

A while back, Jim–whom some of you might recognize as the author of The Dresden Files series–wrote a blog post where he said, “If your dream is to be a writer, and you stop writing, you only have yourself to blame.  Only you can kill your dream.”

Which is right on.  No one else is going to take your dreams away from you.  Not your parents; not your siblings; your significant other; not your friends; not you cat–okay, maybe the cat.  If you throw up your hands and go, “Fuck it, I’m not getting anywhere with this, I’m going to chuck it,” then you have killed what you wanted.  You killed your dreams, and there’s no way you can point fingers at anyone else, because you know what “they” say about pointing fingers . . .

Yesterday I made a comment to someone that I was starting to feel as if I wasn’t getting anywhere, that it seemed like I was doing a hell of a lot of writing, but getting very little in return.  I’m not talking money here:  I’m talking about response.  It was getting me down just a little.

But the person I was speaking to said, “Don’t feel like that.  You’re one of my inspirations.”

Something like that stays with you, and it has, even to this morning.

Giving up is very easy; millions of people do it every day.  Being creative is hard; everyone who’s ever sat down with the intention of creating something, be it a painting, a story, a play, a movie, has found it to be something of a solitary affair.  You work in a vacuum, and never know if your effort is going to produce something that will make you proud, or make you want to put a bag over your head.

But you create because you want to do so.  You want to make something.  You want to live your dreams.

Do it.  Don’t stop.  Push on forward, and keep going.  Because the opposite is also true:  the only one who can keep your dreams alive are you.

Okay, maybe the cat can help . . .