So many story ideas to put to paper yet so much procrastination to do…
The Convo (aka my attempt to write a dialogue only story)
“Good Lord, Lena. Are you doing that choreography again? Aren’t you supposed to be doing school work?”
“Well, Stacey if you must know, although it’s none of your business, dancing to Lady Gaga helps me think.”
“Oh, it helps you think?”
“Umm, yeah. That’s what I said.
“Last week you said dancing to Britney helped you think.”
“See, that just proves you never listen to me. Britney helps me analyze word problems, Gaga helps me think, Beyonce is my barometer for detecting injustice, and Rihanna helps me decipher my Archeology homework.”
“You know you have issues, right?
“So when you go out partying every weekend, you’re just gearing up for a week’s worth of school work?”
“See now you feel me.”
“That’s because listening to your B.S. helps me with all of my psychology papers.”
“Well then I will be expecting a thank you on the front page of your first book.”
“And you can also be the test subject for my first book. I’m on the quest to find the cure for procrastination, and I think you have a severe case of it my friend.”
“One person sees procrastination and another sees a young woman who knows when her mind works best.”
“So your mind works best two hours before you have something due?”
“Exactly. Why is that so hard to comprehend?”
“You just keep doing your thing, and I’ll quietly observe. Don’t worry, girly. We’re going to cure you one day!”
“You can take your so-called cure for me and shove in a place I won’t name because my Mom raised me as a good Christian girl.”
“Ok, party-girl. Well, I’m going to go watch I Love Lucy on TV Land because Fred and Ethel help me remember to the periodic table.
“Mock all you want, but don’t turn green with envy when I graduate Summa Kum Laude.”
“More like Summa Kum Karma Karma Karma Chameleon. I heard Boy George helps with Calculus.”
“You’re so funny. You should write for Jay Leno.”
“Love you too, L.”
Feminisim and Jane Eyre
I consider myself a feminist. Everyone should consider themselves feminists. If you don’t believe that women should be considered equal in all aspects of life, then I think there’s something wrong with you. There are arguments against equality because men and women are different. Well, of course we’re different. I don’t know of any men who can carry life in them for 9 months and magically have milk sprout from their chest afterwards. Different doesn’t mean that you have to treat one sex as weaker than the other. However, sometimes I have moments where I wonder if I’m a bad feminist. Case in point, I visit the site Jezebel.com a lot. The site has a lot of posts about advertising that is sexist. Sometimes I agree and get angry at the blatant sexism. Other times I’m left scratching my head and wondering what the big deal is. I’m not one to think every time a woman is on TV in little to no clothing; she’s is being victimized and objectified. I think that’s doing feminism a disservice.
Feminism is giving women choices and not judging anyone for whichever choice they make. A woman can focus on career or focus on family or both. A woman can chose to be happily single the rest of her days or she can marry at 18 and start having babies immediately. She can do all of the above, none of the above, or a combination of everything. A woman can choose to dress like an extra on Little House on the Prairie or in a mini skirt and crop top (well maybe you shouldn’t wear that to an office job or a PTA meeting), jeans, a sweatshirt and tennis shoes, or a million other combinations. Anyway, my point is there shouldn’t be one set of rules that a feminist should adhere to. As long as you believe in the equality of women you’re good.
I love strong female characters. In my book reading, story writing, and TV/movie watching, I always gravitate towards strong female characters. One of my favorite books is A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. One of my favorite TV shows is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And one of my favorite movies is Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Young Adult lit is my guilty pleasure. I read the Hunger Games trilogy over the summer in about a week and a half because the books were so addictive. I loved that the protagonist was a strong young woman, but she also had a vulnerable side. She was a great role model for teenage girls unlike the characters in the Twilight series. I’m still upset that the author made Bella so weak. That’s a subject for another post though because I could go on forever with my complaints about that series (Sparkling vampires? Really? You jump off a cliff into the ocean just so your brain can conjure up the voice of your ex-boyfriend scolding you? Really?) Anyway, I would love to write great fiction to showcases a multitude of women. Some strong and some weak. Some happy and some sad. Just like in the real world.
In my Women in Literature class we read Jane Eyre. I’m loved the book and loved the character of Jane. Her strength is inspiring. None of her hardships made her give up in life. Instead her experiences made her stronger. I find it wonderful and amazing that Charlotte Bronte wrote such a strong female lead in the 19th century when women didn’t have many rights. She was way before her time and it’s a shame that she died so young.
Bronte probably had many more great novels and great female characters in her brain that we will never have the pleasure of getting to know. Based on what I’ve read of her own, the story of Jane Eyre closely mirrored her own in many ways. She didn’t grow up an orphan like Jane, but she did attend a horrible boarding school similar to the one in the book. And she also fell in love with an older man like Mr. Rochester. This has me thinking of some of my life experience I can transform and embellish into a good story.
Tales From the Pen of a Marty Stu
Excerpt from the desk of Gerald Jenkins – The Seduction of Bella Swan:
She was in the woods all alone. Tears were running down her face as she thought about both her loves being dead and gone. Her beautiful Edward was killed by some chick named Buffy. Her precious Jacob took a silver bullet in the heart trying to protect her. “Whyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!” she screamed into the night, “Why did you take the only men I ever loved in my life!”
“Don’t cry, beautiful lady.” Bella turned sharply at the sound of the deep, masculine voice. She eyed the stranger nervously. He stood 6’5 and was solid muscle from head to toe. He had long, wavy blond hair that fell to his shoulders like David Lee Roth in his heyday. She was immediately turned on, but tried to hide it. She couldn’t be this turned on after losing the loves of her life just a few days ago.
“Who are you?” she asked the handsomely mysterious stranger.
“It’s not about who I am,” he said with his aggressively masculine yet tender voice. “It’s about who you are. You are Bella Swan. And I’ve come for you.”
Bella was uneasy about him knowing her, but when she watched his wavy, blonde hair blow in the wind she felt her nether regions stir. “How do you know who I am?”
“Oh dear, sweet Bella,” he said with his assertively masculine voice. “I’m a man of many wonders and many skills.” He ran his large tender masculine hand tenderly yet masculinely down her cheek. “I’ve known you through many eternities. Edward and Jacob weren’t the men for you. If they were they wouldn’t have died and left you all alone. I am Claudius. And you are to be my lady,” he whisper lovingly yet masculinely into her ear.
Bella wanted to be skeptical of this stranger and reject his claims, but she couldn’t. There was just something about him that she was drawn too. He was just so handsome in his leather vest with no shirt. His bulging pecs and prominent six pack were on full display. His leather pants and black, scuffed boots just made the whole look come together. He looked like a rock star, but better. He was way more masculine. She knew in her heart and soul that they were meant to be, but she couldn’t let him know. She’s been hurt so much since moving to this little town. She was afraid.
“Don’t be afraid, Bella.”
“How did you know I was afraid?”
“I told you my sweet lady, I know it all. It was prophesized.”
“How do I know if you’re telling the truth? Edward said we were meant to be too?”
“Edward was a fraud and a liar, sweet Bella. Besides why would you want a man that sparkles or a man that turns into an animal when you get have this.” Claudius flexed his strong arm muscles for her. Bella couldn’t help, but laugh with glee. “Come with me my Bella,” Claudius said with masculine integrity. “I will show you the world and convince you that we are soul mates.” Bella took his hand and nodded.
They walked off into the sunset…..
To Be Continued
Non Existent Music Talent
I wrote a post of one of my twitter accounts (Yes I have two twitter accounts. Ah, the age of social media) that said, “Why of why did the Lord give me such a strong passion for music, but no musical talent.” That tweet came when I was the midst of a marathon of a band that I love more than words can express, The Dead Weather. It’s the perfect band for me because ½ of the band is comprised of members of two of my other favorite band: Jack White of that little band The White Stripes and Alison Mosshart of The Kills. My love for The White Stripes and The Kills is massive and I think The Dead Weather is eclipsing both of those loves. They have this dark, haunting dirty blues sound that just appeals to my musical soul. I’ve heard people say that they don’t like dark music because it’s bad for their spirit. I have the opposite effect. Something about the darkness appeals to my soul. It’s not in a dark, I want to start worshiping Satan sort of way. It gets me pumped up and ready to go. Now, if I listened to some Christian or some Gospel music, I’m bored as bored can be and my spirit is cursing me for having the audacity to listen to such music.
So, as I was listening to The Dead Weather, I was in awe at how Alison Mosshart is the perfect rock goddess. She has everything that a goddess of rock needs: the voice, the musicality, the stage presence, and the effortlessly chic wardrobe. As I watched videos of her on Youtube I began to curse my non-existent music ability. I wish I could get on that stage and command it like Ms. Mosshart. If you see her interviews off the stage, she’s the nicest, sweetest person you could meet. But on the stage she more than lives up to her nickname, Baby Ruthless.
So I started daydreaming about myself becoming a Baby Ruthless. I’m nice and sweet in my daily life like Alison. So what’s stopping me for getting out stage and going crazy? Oh yeah, I have no music talent. You would think that with the way I love music I could at least play the maracas or the cowbell. But no. Zilch. Nothing. I do have an acoustic guitar that I tried to teach myself to play, but it didn’t catch.
I probably should take lessons one day. Then I will realize I’m a guitar virtuoso. I just needed the right teacher to bring the talent out of me. My teacher will then boast to everyone about how he discovered the next great guitar player. Jack White with get wind of this biggest music story since Elvis on The Ed Sullivan show. He will fly me out to his Third Man Records studio in Nashville, TN. I get there and he begs me to start a new band with him. I hate to see a grown man beg so I tell him to get off of his knees, and lets start rehearsing. He asks me what I want to name our new band. I tell him it should be called The Tam and Jack Show and he tells me it’s the best name ever. I give him a high five and suggest since he always wore red and white in The White Stripes and always wears all black in The Dead Weather, we should wear only animal prints. He bows again to my greatest. I tell him, “Seriously, Jack get off your knees, man”, and we go into the studio to make our masterpiece. Rolling Stone magazine calls us the next Beatles, and our first records sells 1,000,000 in the first week. Just when me and Jack are about to hit the stage to accept our Grammy for album of the year, my alarm goes off and it’s time to start another day at my 9-5. Sigh. It was a nice dream though. Let me go live vicariously through my favorite rockers before I have to go to bed because I have to get up early for work.
I’ve been having problems lately with my writing. I have so many ideas in my head, but I can’t seem to get those ideas on paper. I sit at my computer staring at a blank page. However, when I have a writing assignment for class, I can easily sit, get my ideas together, and write an interesting piece. I’m not sure why that is. It may be a discipline thing. I’m a champion procrastinator. When I have an assignment I know I must do it or face the consequences of a failing grade. I work well under pressure. When I’m just writing for myself, there are no pressures. I have no due dates or deadlines. What I must do is figure out how to motivate myself to write without have a failing grade or a deadline looming above me.
I enjoy writing and would like to forge a career out of this raw talent I have, but I need to force myself to write daily. I have the mindset that the very first thing I write has to be perfect: William Faulkner meets Alice Walker. I have an idea for a novel, but I’ve never gotten more than a character list and one paragraph written, and I’ve rewritten that one paragraph many times. Now I realize I just need to write. It doesn’t matter what my brain tells my fingers to type at first. It’s just important to get the words on paper. I was going to invest in some writing software to help me organize my thoughts and characters, but that may be a waste of money. I’m sure none of my favorite authors needed those types of tools to write, and I probably don’t either.
Stephen King has said that a writer needs to read as much as possible. I already read a lot so I decided I need to start reading genres I normally bypass. I’ve never been a fan of medieval and / or fantasy novels, but for months I’ve been hearing raves about the HBO series, “Game of Thrones.” I found out the show is based on a book series. I’m the type of person that absolutely has to read the book before I watch the movie / TV Show. So I decided one day to buy “The Game of Thrones” book to see what the hype was all about it. It was love at first read. I’m still in the process of reading the series (I’m on book 3 of 6). I can’t believe how much I’m enjoying it. There are times when I have to force myself to put the book down because it’s after midnight and I have to get up early for work the next day. So now I’m thinking I need to venture more out of my comfort zone. I’ve never been a huge fan of science fiction, but maybe there are some books out there willing and waiting for me to fall in love with them.
One genre that I use to read as a teenager, but haven’t picked up a copy in forever, is Romance novels. As a teen I thought the novels were so beautiful and romantic. Then I got older, and the books I read seemed contrived and unrealistic in my eyes. But who knows. Maybe there’s an epic Romance novel waiting to welcome me back with open arms. My goal now is to read and experience as many new things as possible to expand my horizons and become a better writer.
I don’t know if I want to write like Octavia Butler, Stephen King, Zora Neale Hurston, David Sedaris, Margaret Atwood, or Dorothy Parker. They all inspire me. I just need to take that inspiration and find my unique voice.
#30in30 | Get Out of Jail Free Card
There’s never anything good behind a door that knocks at 3:00 am. My insomnia had me up watching the Magic Bullet infomercial, and looking for my credit card. I needed that blender like I needed more debt, but when you haven’t had a good night’s sleep in weeks the rational side of your brain is known to depart to places unknown. The knock made my heart jump. I grabbed the baseball bat I kept behind the couch and tip-toed my way to the door. A quick look in the peep-hole revealed Allison standing there looking anxiously over her shoulder. Now more annoyed than scared I flung open the door.
“Do you know what time it is? Why are you at my front door at 3:00 am in the damn morning?”
“Pack a bag quickly, sis. I have to get out of here now and need you to come with me.” Allison pushed her way into my apartment while still looking over her shoulder.
“What’s going on? Mom ok?”
“Yeah, yeah. She’s alright I guess. Just pack the bag and lets get going. Can’t waste time.”
“Um you just come in and expect me to pack a bag and go with you without any explanation. What the hell’s going on?”
Allison went the window and looked out. “For once in your life, Christine, can you not be so difficult.” I just stared at her without saying anything. She sighed. “Ok, well remember that guy Robert I’ve been seeing. Well he…uh well…he um hit me tonight. And it wasn’t the first time. I just snapped tonight I guess. I don’t know what came over me. But uh…shit I’m in big trouble Chris. There was so much blood…”
“Shit, Ali is he dead?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t stick around to see.”
“So what’s your plan? We just go one the run.”
“Well, yeah. It sounded sensible in my head on my way over here.”
“You know we can’t do that don’t you?”
“Why the fuck not? Do you want me to go to jail for murder? I never filed a police report all those times he hit me. The police won’t believe my battered woman story.”
“How do you know they won’t? I’m sure they see situations like this all of the time. If we just explain I’m sure we can get through this?”
“Are you really that fucking naïve? We are in Bellaire, Texas. You know they don’t much like our kind.”
“So the only option is to leave town? You know they will come after you. Track you down. How are we supposed to live? Can’t use credit cards or debit cards. Can’t leave a trail.”
“I don’t know. We’re figure it out.”
“Now who’s being naïve? You’re not going to want to hear this, but we need to call Dad.”
“Yes! It’s the only way. He knows people. Has connections. He can help get you out of this.”
“I said I wouldn’t ever speak to that man again after what he did to us and Mom.”
“Infidelity pales in comparison to murder.”
“Dammit, Chris! It was self-defense.”
“And he can get his connections to make sure the police come to the same conclusion.”
“So I’m screwed. I either spend the rest of my life in jail or grovel to a man I hate in order to get help.”
“I don’t see how this is a hard decision, big sis. Dad most likely holds your ‘get out of jail free’ card in his hands. Use it.”
I walked over to my sister, grabbed her hand, and lead her to the couch. She followed like an obedient child, suddenly drained as the night’s events settled on her. I wrapped a blanket around her. “Just lay here and rest. I’ll call Dad. Trust me everything will be fine.” I walked into the kitchen to get my cell phone. As I dialed Dad’s number I barely heard Allison’s whispers.
“That’s exactly what mom said before Dad left us.”