#amwriting #IthinkIneedawritinggroup

I am having some real trouble with this story I’m working on.  I’ve hit a bit of a wall.  I have pretty much the entire story mapped out in my head and in about twenty nine slightly disconnected scenes that culminate in approximately 43,000 words.  Novel length.  But something is still not right.  I don’t know how to proceed.

A thought I had today, while struggling with the whole concept of life in the 1950s, my romanticized version versus reality, of how to tie it into a modern setting (aka. something I understand).  But I don’t know that I really want to go there.  The idea was to have the granddaughter of the de facto protagonist be assigned her grandmother’s scholarly work in one of her own college classes and having that be a jumping off point to explore the rest of the story that I’ve already written.*  But I don’t know how I feel about that structure.  I didn’t set out for this to be a story about a young woman understanding her grandmother better, or more wholly; even though I’m all about women understanding the women before them in order to better understand their own place in the world.

I suppose my question is: would it be a cop-out?  Is it the easy way to tie in all the pieces I’ve written so far?  Or should I keep searching for something more organic and stay in the fifties?

*The idea makes me excited because then I’d get to create new characters and I love creating new characters.

Ages Unknown

I wrote this a few days ago, irate that Boko Haram is using abducted girls as suicide bombers, but it’s not quite right.  I don’t know exactly what it needs.  So I’m asking you, friends, for any feedback regarding style or form.

Ages Unknown

Today, my niece,
Age 6:
Gets up;
Eats breakfast;
Brushes her teeth;
Asks her mother
deep questions about
how the world works;
And gets on the
school bus.

Meanwhile I sip my coffee and read the news,
horrified by what I learn.

Today, my niece,
sporting her Ramona Quimby bob,
plays with her friends:
they build imaginary nests
under the playscape
pretending they
are dragons
roaming the countryside.

Meanwhile I wonder what makes a person believe
actions such as these could ever be acceptable.

Today, my niece,
curious like the cat,
learns beavers
eat wood and bark;
“tabs” are better for trees
when supporting tree houses;
and before the invention of lip balm
people used ear wax.

Meanwhile I am sad for the mothers and aunts
who might never know if she was one of them.

Today, my niece,
bright eyed, and full of life,
“borrows” my headphones and ipod
to listen to 2CELLOS.
She looks at books
while bobbing her head
to covers of Michael Jackson,
U2, and Nirvana.

Meanwhile I marvel at how
World Leaders,
quick to help those
who don’t need it,
are able to leave the powerless
unaided, in the dark,
subject to such a fate.

Today my niece
eats hot dogs
and macaroni and cheese
for dinner;
she runs around the living room,
jumping on the couch
even though she’s
not supposed to;
she reads her school books,
slowly sounding out
the words
she doesn’t know.

Meanwhile, I read:
Girls,
ages unknown,
kidnapped from their schools
months ago,
are loaded into a car
strapped with explosives.
Their charred remains
indistinguishable
from each other
now decorate
a village square.

Today I ask my niece,
age 6:
“If they said you could
skip first grade,
would you?”
She tells me she wouldn’t,
because
she “wants to learn more”.
Just like those girls,
ages unknown.

#JaneDates – process

Writing this comic is a lot of fun.  I don’t exactly date a lot, but I’m no cloistered nun by any means.  I’ve got ten years worth of stories from my dating life, good and bad.  This is very possibly the best idea I’ve had as an artist, making this comic.  Children’s toys and collectible action figures are the very best mode of talking about adult relationships.  We’re all children again when we’re doing it anyway.

Dada… dadadadadah

Today I made some poetry by stringing together words from the Subject Lines of emails filtered into my “Promotions Tab” (read: junk mail).  As expected, each one highlights the consumerism of our society, as well as the vapid focus on celebrity culture, parties, entertainment, materialism, and advertising.  I’m thinking of calling the whole thing: Don’t Buy the Hype.

This one is my favorite so far.

A Genius Wardrobe Solution

A genius wardrobe solution:

Bomber Gear dry suits

High-Rise Jegging

Free tee?

Wolverine boots

Spring sweatshirts

ASICS

Prescription Eyewear

Tropical Florals

Bras

Vera Bradley

Khakis & Cargo

Columbia Sportswear

The New Pixie Pant

Gucci Watches

Bangles –

The styles we can’t live without.

— par moi

I’m not sure how this started… I was washing my face and my brain churned out his little gem. I hope I can, one day, work it into something.

Because kids aged 0 to 10 are convinced they are the sole center of the universe and other kids are presumptuously imposing on their story and ought mind their own fucking business.  I say 10 because by then, hopefully, they’ve learned that the earth revolves around the sun and that our solar system isn’t even the center of our galaxy, let alone our universe.

Unless they’re getting some weirdly religious education where they’re taught Creationism, all the verses to ‘Amazing Grace’,  and that Adam named all the dinosaurs.  What he named them we’ll never know since Adam never got around to creating a written language.  He probably named them super masculine names like Bruce, Brock, Conan, Chrome, Leather, Sandalwood… Hey, Adam was a dude!  He liked being naked and was quick to blame someone else for his own mistakes.  Eve, at least, was telling the truth: the serpent manipulated her into believing that the “one rule of the garden” was pretty much bullshit, and, even if it wasn’t, shouldn’t she really find out one way or the other?  Why just take God’s word for it?

Ok, so she phrased it poorly.

Come on!  Lady just wanted a little knowledge.  (How is it that someone always seems to find fault with a woman just because she tries to seek a little knowledge?)

And before anyone gets huffy, this is meant to be humorous.  I’m all about poking fun at ones own religion and the views stridently and ardently and manically held by others who subscribe to the same religion (which, luckily, in the case of Christianity opens quite a range of possibility).  But I don’t ever want to irreverently mock any other religion.  Don’t let me do that.

It’s My Birthday!

Image

It's My Birthday!

I turned 29 today. Hard to tell, right? (I know, I’m so damn youthful!)
I thought I’d share this (lovely) picture of me waiting for the candles to be lit with you lovely people.

The things I spent my day doing:

  • Drank ALL the coffee (all of a sudden the pot was empty – I have no idea what happened, I swear!)
  • Writing
  • Writing
  • Writing
  • Tabled the scene I was working on for about an hour because I suddenly realized it didn’t work in the place I was writing it and moved on to the next part
  • Writing
  • Ate BBQ chicken and pineapple pizza
  • Didn’t finish the pot of tea I brewed
  • Went out for cow with my household (parents & one sister)
  • Cut the cake (and took the creepy picture above)
  • Responded to all the FB messages I received today (amazing how popular we are on our birthdays… — no, for real: once, in HS TWO SEPARATE groups of friends had me sent balloons at lunch; granted it was awkward considering the balloons came in bunches of 12 and I had to go around the rest of the day with twenty four balloons… still, I was supes popular for a day!)
  • Shared the creepy knife photo with the Internet.

Thanks for helping make my bday awesome!

Happy reading and Writing, friends!

Xx Bex

Don’t Look at Me Like That

Don’t look at me like that;
I know what you’re thinking.
You’ll still be thinking that
of me twenty years from
now.
We’ll see each other in
a bar, and I’ll admit
I stole your hall pass sim-
ply because it was yours.
Too embarrassed to con-
fess, I hid it in a
hole.
And I fear the day they
find that ceiling; and I
live my embarrassment
again.
And you’ll make me feel as
incompetent as you
always did back in the
day when I took it.
So don’t look at me like that
because I already know
what you are thinking.

Don’t look at me like that;
I know what you’re thinking.
Twenty years from now you’ll
feel the same when you see
me in a coffee shop.
And I’ll just want to die
because it will be the
one time I wear your sweat
shirt;
the one I ‘borrowed’ the
night I let you go where
no boy had gone before.
Hopped up on caffeine, I’ll
admit that I took it
meant to be in exchange.
Then you’ll know what you didn’t
(’cause I never told you);
it will be so strange.
So don’t look at me like that,
because I already know
what you are thinking.

Don’t look at me like that;
I know what you’re thinking.
And nothing will have changed
in twenty years when you
nervously edge toward me
to make awkward small talk
about work and family.
I’ll tell you I have your
DVDs, as if I
just found them. But the truth
is I’ve found and lost them
a dozen times since then.
And you’ll make a joke that
will put neither of us
at ease. And I’ll admit
I think of you every
time I post a letter
and laugh every time I
walk because I know how
you’d balk at me walking
alone down the street.
So don’t look at me like that,
because I already know
what you are thinking.

Don’t look at me like that;
I know what you’re thinking.
That’s how you’ll feel about
me in twenty years when
you see me again at
our friends’ vow renewal.
We’ll drink red wine as we
discuss the pink-hued past,
and share the sepia-toned now.
And I’ll admit that I
donated your sweatshirt
years ago ’cause I thought
we were a hopeless case.
You’ll laugh, shake your head, say
‘you’re right, of course’, and I’ll
feel like I’ve let you down
even though we both know
it’s the other way around.
So don’t look at me like that,
because I already know
what you are thinking.

Don’t look at me like that;
I know what you’re thinking.
Nothing will have changed in
twenty years from now, when
our work will overlap;
You’ll be there with her; you’ll
see I’ll be there with me.
And by then I won’t want
to punch you in the chest.
But I’ll tell you how I
fantasized I did.
And I never listened
to your music again,
But I kept the earrings
you gave to me back then.
And if you read between
the lines, you’ll finally
understand just how much
I loved you.
So don’t look at me like that,
because I already know
what you are thinking.

Boston, December 29, 2013, 11:55 pm

Pulling into South Station –

The platforms are empty of people,
only barren trains sleep beneath
lamps that look like paper lanterns
illuminating the concrete rows.
I imagine dozens of couples,
women in long gowns, men in tails,
dancing under the paper lanterns that
aren’t lanterns at all.

They secretly waltz where hundreds of
people trod earlier
thinking only of making it to their destinations,
getting window seats, losing luggage,
giving no thought to dance.

The couples glide majestically,
unconcerned they were not
considered by their predecessors.
They move in the silence:
Step, step, slide.
Step, step, slide.
No music is as lovely as that heard, collectively,
in their minds.
The only sound, a monkey
tapping time
against a piling,
echoes across the
empty space.

Text by me, Bex; photos taken from Daniel Lampariello at Boston to a T until I can go back and get my own photographs which will never be as pretty as his.