Five Minute Friday: Write

Welcome to med school! Today’s class will focus on the dissection of cadavers.

Except they’re not dead yet.

That’s exactly what it feels like to have you peering into my brain case every week. This is exactly what the open heart surgery sans anesthesia is likefor me. This is what writing is. Me, writhing around on the floor. Probably crying. Maybe laughing. And you get to see this.

This is probably why more people aren’t writers. Or, at least, not the kind that I am.

Yes, slice me open with any dull knife. These veins? Why, yes, They most certainly do bleed. All. Over. The. Floor.

Don’t worry, though. You don’t have to clean any of this up. And what’s even better is that is happens again and again. Rather like an episode of The Walking Dead, only without the special effects makeup.

I think I’m still too attractive to make a good zombie. Then again…

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Five Minute FridayI’m joining the flash mob of writers over at LisaJo Baker’s place, which you can find here (for today’s offering), or by clicking on the picture to the right (for the general gist). The basic idea is that you spend five minutes of writing like your hair’s on fire, generally unedited (I correct typos, WAY too OCD not to do that), on a prompt that she provides on Thursday just after ten p.m. via a tweet. Interested? Write something. Link up. Love on.

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Also: See the post BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! for details on why you won’t be able to read this blog starting next Monday.

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BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

goldfish jumping out of the water Its been in the works for a couple of weeks now, but there’s no point in holding back.

I’m changing the blog to a professional site!

I actually registered my domain name, and am working with the software, and it’s a HUGE investment in time. This is definitely MUCH more complicated than I ever would have imagined. I didn’t want to keep everyone in the dark for the MONTHS it might take me to get everything just where I want it to be in my perfect-blog-world. It’s just going to take time, and I ask you for your patience. You might show up and things will look the same, or they’ll be lime green, and I’ll be busily trying to figure out how to change the background color.

What this means for you, dear reader:

If you’re a reader who subscribes to my posts via email, this probably means nothing. WordPress assures me that they will transfer your subscription over to the new site (http://aftertheecstasythelaundry.com) with, allegedly, no action on your part. This will happen next Monday, 10 February 2014. I am making every attempt to post an article that very day, so you can see for yourself what happens. I’ll be watching too!

If you’re a reader who subscribes to my blog through the “Follow” button on the top of the WordPress site, this means that you will have to subscribe “for real.” Please, do this now. Go to the sidebar, where it says “Email subscription,” and do that. Otherwise, I’m pretty sure you won’t be seeing any updates. This change will begin next Monday, 10 February 2014. I’m posting that day, so you can see for yourself. If you don’t see a post here, this is exactly why. If you don’t make this change before Monday, you’ll be out of the loop all together. I’m expecting that I’ll lose some people. I hope it’s not too many. Please, subscribe.

For all my readers: I am really hoping to make this work. I’ve made an investment in real cash money to be able to take this blog to the next level. I hope and pray you’ll accompany me. I’ve relished your comments, and I’ve grown to expect them. I don’t want to lose you now.

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2013: An Ecstatic Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,800 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Frustration Rising

This is about where I am right now. I’m still learning how to manage this blog from a computer that is not my own. I’ve given up on about sixteen different posts, because I couldn’t get them to do what I want.

  • The layout is wrong (because I can’t use the program I want to make it right, which ran from my laptop).
  • I can’t find the picture I want (because it was stored on my laptop).
  • I had started with a different approach (but, again, it was on my laptop).

I’m starting, no, continuing to be frustrated. I’m annoyed. I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m a lot of things.

I just want my computer back. Barring that, I just want a computer that is MINE.

Shut up!

Shut Your Beak

I’m not her any more. I’m not.

I used to be her…

the one who blogged about being in a tar pit;
the one who wrote about how I was mad at God;
the one who got angry at my messy, sad excuse for a life;
the one who questioned if anyone was reading what I wrote,  let alone actually cared about it…or her;
the one who did a little of this and did a little of that and wrote when she felt like it;
the one who mostly ranted that she wasn’t getting her own way.

But I’m not her any more. I’m me. Oh, she is still in there somewhere, yammering from a mental trunk that  “This isn’t funny any more!” as she cries to be let back out.

But I’m driving the car now and I’m just going to keep her in there until she passes out from the lack of oxygen.

I’m not feeding her any more.
I’m not listening to her any more.
I’m not living with her any more.
I’m killing her off.

Why?

I’m not like that any more.

I’m no longer satisfied with the depressed life.
I’m no longer satisfied with the sad excuses, the lame, lackluster-ness.
I’m not letting her back out and she can’t make me. She can’t make me. She can’t make me.

I’m quitting that. All that.

That kind of melancholy.
That depression drama where a hangnail is enough to unhinge me.
That unrelenting gloom where even Wednesday Addams might be looking for the nearest exit.

I am unashamed of my past, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let her run my present or my future.

So, sad lady in the trunk, whining that you’re feeling a bit faint from dehydration and begging me to please not drive so fast because you’re hitting your head and it hurts so bad.

Shut the fuck up.

I’ve had enough of you.

I’m going to be happy now.

What was I thinking?

It was Friday evening, the 5th of July. Frustrated by a house that was a little too humid and clothes that were a little too sticky, I decided to go for a walk down to Boswell Book Company and the adjoining Starbucks and see if I couldn’t get some writing done there. I had high hopes. Surely a change of venue would jump-start my pen.

I load up my purse with a pen and notepad, and the magazine I’m currently reading, Taproot. The great writing in it had inspired me already, and just in case I couldn’t get anything written, there was no reason I couldn’t just sit and read. I walked due east and ordered a Cool Lime Refresher. I get out my pen and just sit. Here’s what happens.

***

StarbucksSitting here at the Starbucks on the corner of Downer and Webster. This may not be the most pretentious place on a street full of pretentious little shops, but it’s close. The weather’s nice enough that hardly anyone is here, and with three baristas, there’s literally one for every two patrons. I wonder what type of manager made this scheduling decision? I also wonder what makes the staff here think there’s nothing to do, despite the lack of patrons? But I’m not here to do a review.

I’m here to write. Or so I thought. The music is just loud enough to be distracting and the lack of customers makes every whir and grind, every tap and clatter wincingly loud. I know I’m being unfair. It’s a coffee shop, not my home office. But the house seemed stifling this afternoon; too humid to be comfortable. There are outdoor tables, also mostly empty, that I could go sit at. But, somehow, noticing the regular passage of cars, I know it won’t be any better.

There’s a man at a long table in front of me. From my perch on a high stool by a wall, I can easily watch him studying. His pencils and highlighters threaten to roll off the edge, though he’s careful to keep them corralled by his cell phone and wallet. Several sets of loose papers make up the outbuildings of this intellectual ranch. Another man is at the counter overlooking the street. He, too, is elbow deep in the tools of academia.Boswell 1

For the life of me, I don’t know how they do it. I certainly can’t. I pick up my drink and head back to the bookstore.

There’s a thousand reasons why I can’t write in a bookstore. Maybe ten thousand, or even more. They call out to me from the shelves, from the tables, from the racks. Cover art or only spines, it doesn’t matter. Moleskine black books and pads of artsy-fartsy Post-It notes. Pens, stationery, bookmarks, tote bags. An old man chuckles over greeting cards while two women compare notes on short story writers. The in-store stereo plays jazz and the low moans from a subdued saxophone and the subtle buzz of brushes on a snare tickle my eardrums just enough.

There are no tables here, and I’m forced to balance my notebook on my lap. The scuffed leather sofas are empty, and except for the one I’m sitting in, all the cloth chairs are too. You’d think it would be easy to write in an atmosphere so congenial to the written word, but it’s not.

I pick up my things yet again, and go outdoors. I guess I’ll just head back to the house.

***

Marybelle AptsHeading West down Bellevue I passed Henry’s. Already noisy, though it was still light out, one table of elderly German-speaking men were laughing uproariously over some joke and nearly spilling their pilsners in the process of back-slapping each other. They were viewed disdainfully by a nearby table of young women who were clearly pondering whether to move to a different area.

I continued to the next block where a large, multi-apartment home sported three young man lounging on a balcony. Their music was loud enough that I’m sure the other residents had neither need nor ability to play their own stereos. It’s a good thing I was walking, because there was no way I could get any writing done in that environment.

Just before crossing Maryland, I noticed a young couple kissing on the stoop of the Marybelle apartments. I can’t remember the last time I was that oblivious to anything but…uh…the matter at hand. Or at lips, as the case may be.

Stopping at Maryland for a police cruiser, sirens screaming, I wondered what on earth could be the matter. Despite its being a Friday night, the streets were oddly empty. Everyone is probably at Summerfest, I remembered.

I continued back to the house, and while I unlocked the door, I laughed to myself. It was a beautiful night. I had the house to myself and I could put the air conditioning on if I wanted to. Maybe I’d play around on the internet.

I don’t know what made me think I’d get any writing done.

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary Movie Poster David Niven Mitzi Gaynor

Seems like just yesterday…

Five years ago today, I started writing this blog. It’s both hard and easy to believe. Some entries have flowed from my pen like water. Others, less so. I’d like to have more of the former, but who wouldn’t. Instead, I’m going to just plug away and have more entries. Period.

I’d like to thank you, my readers. Your comments and positive thoughts have really helped. More than I thought.

Let’s hear it for another five years! Huzzah!

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