my son like so many children to derail me will challenge every answer i give him with “why?” i have decided to start doing this whenever someone thinks i should do something i do not want to do & i have realized so many people do not have an answer.
i wrote this last month during a time when i wasn’t very enthusiastic about my journal, especially since i was consumed by my new house. but i have done this. it works like a charm.
at 12 i decided to be a novelist. i was sure i would be famous by my 20’s. at 28 i rediscovered my love of writing comics i was no longer so sure i would be famous but at least i would be having a good time at 50 i finally published my first book followed by another before i turn 51. first a book of comics then a book of short stories next a novel? a collection of art? it seems i finally have my momentum.
buy my book of comics–“confusion perfume”–the story of a single woman & her dog (not cathy) as well as a sampling of other neurotic comics. buy my book of short stories & flash fiction–tangled together–stuff i have been working on (or hiding in a trunk) for the past 30 years. write me kind reviews & wait with bated breath for my next literary contribution.
little victories today folding laundry washed at the old house & travelled to the new little victories mopping the mud off of the bathroom floor mud left by a flood three years ago mud from rivers & hills mud that has lived in this house longer than i have & with modest success driftless mud mopped up for shits & giggles not out of any sense of duty it’s my bathroom i wanted to see what it would look like sans mud.
i keep looking at all the things i need to do (boxes piled & still packed; walls with screws & nails that need removal/repair; a door that needs hung so one can poop in peace; etc.) and just kinda shrug. meh. i’ll get to it eventually. i’m hanging around this place for awhile. i can take my time figuring things out. it’s nice not to rush. not to freak out. not to listen to the anxiety telling me i better get it done or else.
so in 2018, one of those freak storms happened that dumped tons of water in a short amount of time. as a result, three? dams in the driftless broke and water filled the little town i now call home. the water filled the basement of this house & went up to the third step as it creeped toward the second floor. walls, cabinets, appliances, and carpeting was destroyed & ripped from the house three years before i met it. i like to think of it as a baptism for my house. a beginning, not an ending. i lived in illinois at the time. in the flatlands. some think i’m crazy for choosing to move to a valley where one is warned not to put anything they care about in the basement. but i like valleys. i feel safer there. more at peace. why does someone from the flatlands of illinois crave the lush intimacy of a valley? well, durp, why wouldn’t they? i have seen enough plains & cornfields. i have had enough big sky & unstoppable winds.
today the kids & i played in a beautiful creek & watched the shadows of the clouds roll over the hills and i said to them, “aren’t we lucky! we live here!”
day ten at madness manor temperatures in the 90’s & internal conflict afoot who am i? & why does that little voice whisper “fat…ugly…old irrelevant” no! i chose this i did i took this path because i am not like them my bohemian spirit enjoys doing dishes in a clawfoot tub digging through a cooler for food hanging laundry amid the trees to dry… this is who i am i chose this.
after a couple of days of spinning out. i came to this conclusion. i did this. i want this. i made this my life. there is method to my madness at the manor.
day seven at madness manor sexy…so not sexy my house is sexy not i forgive me my sins my trespasses i would better serve you if i were sexy fuck. i’m lonely …if i buy it build it will he come? my handy man yes? to my sexy house.
so i started being a “free-aholic” in the spirit of “freegans” …in that i am only drinking when the alcohol is free. so i’ve been mostly sober lately. however my ex husband brought me a six pack of strong beer when he came to take the minions. this poem is the result of drinking two of those too closely together. yikes. but i do feel very lonely. i look at myself, alone, and i feel such a profound pain. i think maybe my pain can be heard. like a siren’s song? ah. a journal page for another day.
(this was written on day seven, but posted on day 12)
i have moved into my new house which, like me & the rest of my life, is a work in progress. i have had no time or energy or mental focus for any other creative endeavors. mostly i have been spending my time cleaning, moving, or having clusters of panic attacks…sometimes all three at the same time. this is a big fucking change. it’s my house. again, like me, it needs lots of love. lots & lots of love.
it is really tricky feeding four children with only an electric griddle, toaster oven, and outdoor grill. i keep going back and forth between getting an electric stove or a wood stove. i really want a wood stove, but i am having trouble wrapping my brain around it–especially during panic attacks. i also haven’t committed to having a fridge…but i do have a freezer. i want to put in shelves…but i suppose i have to put up walls first, huh. thank god it’s summer.
everything is in piles which wreaks havoc on my ocd. i want to organize everything…but of course, eventually i will have to unorganize it again to work on the walls & floor. i want to do everything sustainably & for as little money as possible. i have started frequenting the “amish walmart” in this area & am planning a trip to check out a nearby habitat for humanity restore as well. i want to be creative and unconventional. any ideas?
here is what i see from my front porch as well as from my office. last night i was able to hear the frogs in the nearby creek…of course, i can also hear the traffic from a nearby highway…but that’s what happens when you can’t decide between rural & urban. so far the town is nice. it’s just 700 and a handful of people. my kids aren’t yet convinced it’s the place for us…but i love it.
i can’t remember how many times i’ve packed up my life how many times i’ve moved in my life i do know that this will be the ninth time i’ve packed up & moved with kids will this be the last time? my forever home at last? somehow i have trouble imagining sitting still & putting down roots no matter how many times i tell myself it is the thing to do.
my record for times moving (in both a calendar year & a 12 month period) is six times. that was in the nineties. i spent the first almost eighteen years of my life in one house. i moved out the week i graduated high school. my first move! i can tell you the states: illinois to iowa to illinois to virginia to kentucky to texas to kentucky to illinois to kentucky to texas to kentucky to illinois to kentucky to colorado to kentucky to texas to georgia to kentucky to wisconsin to illinois to wisconsin. i think i got that right? maybe not. that’s from 1988 to present. that does not include moves within a state. the aforementioned six moves in a year was in normal, illinois. i can’t even remember all the places i lived there. but, all my stuff fit in my car so moving was not an ordeal like it is today where i have to spend weeks packing & then rent the biggest truck available. yikes! anyone want to help me with this last (???) move?
as of today you can buy my book tangled together from a few different places! this is a collection of short stories and flash fiction i have been writing over the past thirty-ish years. the stories range from dark to quirky (sometimes both) and are a good reflection of just how my mind works as well as sometimes being more memoir than fiction being that i often use my writing to exorcise those pesky demons. also! pictures!! i did an inking per story.
if you want an autographed copy, message me (firstname.lastname@example.org)…otherwise! pick a vendor 🙂
it’s really difficult for me when people take me seriously because i guess then i have to take myself seriously? it’s hard to goof off when people are counting on you.
this is a big problem for me. i don’t take myself seriously…then when someone else does, i am thrown for a loop. i start wondering…should i be taking myself more seriously? why don’t i take myself seriously? i guess as a kid i learned it was easier to laugh–to make a joke–then to feel the feelings that hurt. taking myself seriously requires my getting past the painful part first…& i’m not always prepared to do that. it’s just easier to laugh & dismiss myself as a joke…. (even though that also hurts)