reading for me

am i searching for signs
of me
in every book
i read
pleasantly surprised
when i see
myself
in a character
in the reflection
of another writer
so i can whisper
“i am not alone
i am not a complete
anomaly.”

i have been reading a lot lately. you can check out my fickle reviews on goodreads (i think there is a link on my sidebar?) i notice that i gravitate towards writers who remind me of myself, either in style or in the characters they create…or in the message their works seem to have.
being crazy empathic, i also disappear into stories sometimes, actually taking on the grief or anger or joy of a character. sometimes i wonder how healthy this is. especially when my kids need me, & i have vanished into someone else’s work of fiction.
if i am on a writing streak, i can also disappear into my own fiction.
i feel like maybe i need to ground myself more when characters are running amok in my head….

broken spell

i don’t feel it
anymore
when he is near
the spell is broken
the electricity gone
i feel
affection
fondness
thinking only of him
as a friend
someone
to talk to
i don’t feel it anymore
that need
to be inside his skin
to have him touch me
in every
possible
way
…now
i feel whole
without him
the spell is broken.

my ex-husband lost his job recently due to covid politics. i offered him a place to stay since he won’t have the income to pay his rent & will most likely be looking for a job closer to me & the kids.
i worried that this proximity might spark something as it has been a little over a year since our last (final final final) breakup.
i mean, i am trying to be realistic. obviously, after 12 years of an on-again/off-again relationship, how can i be sure that there will not be another on-again?
but i feel no attraction to him. yay! even after he brought me whiskey & has been all sweet.

and just the other day i read through my pages for my future book (the invisible exhibitionist) as i put it on a thumb drive to mail to my publisher (are you ready for that, tara?)
so many writings of my torrid relationship with the dad…so so many.
which inspired me to draw this page in the style of my self-portrait period.

sheep fingers

i’m sending off the bits & parts that will hopefully become confusion perfume & other neurotic comics published by tara caribou’s raw earth ink.

i guess i will be re posting all of the moses jones pages next? y’all ready for that? maybe i’ll hook a publisher for it as well….
i also need to try again at the sustainable arts foundation award for artists & writers with children. it opens on february 1st. i am thinking i am going to submit my latest pages of moses jones.

meanwhile, here are some sheep fingers for you to enjoy…they are good with ketchup.

better late than never

when i was not even yet 20
i had written
three or four books
& working on the next one
plunking away
on an electric typewriter
sending off pages & pages
to publishers
& agents
getting back
an impressive collection of rejections
i knew i was going to be a famous
author
i knew it…
but life got in the way
& hope
dreams
years
lost
to
“but what are you really going to be?”
&
“shouldn’t you be looking for a job
with health insurance”
(punk rock little me
thinking
as long as i have planned parenthood
why do i need insurance?)
somehow
without looking
i am almost fifty
still punk rock
but not yet
nor
anytime soon
a famous
author
however!
soon
a published
author.

my collection of stories–some from those times when i was 20…some from an almost 50 (but still punk rock!!) mother of four…and all the time in between–my collection of short stories has been accepted by a small press in ohio.
a punk rock press, of course.

i should be excited…& i think i am…but maybe after so many years of being quietly unpublished, i am not sure how to make noise about being published….
give me a day or two.

meanwhile, i have started a new art journal series about my being feral. that is, decidedly not a domestic goddess. it is over on my patreon page along with my other art journal pages.

and happy earth day, y’all…but, remember, every day is earth day!!

it was a dark & stormy night…

as tornadoes and thunderstorms tear up an early december evening in illinois, i contemplate my newfound faith in myself.

it turns out that i am not content to take myself seriously solely an artist. the writer inside of me is also demanding attention.

whenever i start reading a lot of fiction (which i have been doing lately,) my inner writer gets stirred up. anymore, i can’t help but to take a story apart as i read it to see what works & what does not. this is actually a trait that has only recently developed in me. it used to be i got so lost in a story i didn’t know which way was up. which–it turns out–is a bit of a handicap as a writer.
being able to now analyze and dissect stories has me thinking i should be reading more of my own writings.
like this pile of works from the late 80s & early 90s. two books, some short stories, and flash fiction pieces written before i knew there was such a thing as flash fiction. 
my sister bound the one up like that. it is 300 some pages of double spaceed content–so not as huge as it appears.
note that i was using yet another version of my name for that one.

so!
the minions are away. i have two art commissions to work on. other than that, i will be poring through short stories, forgotten novels, and journals & journals & more journals with the crazy idea that i might have not one story to tell but three? four? more?

i know, you’re thinking “baby steps!” but i think i am just going to jump on into the deep end–you know, knowing how much i love a challenge. 
(i am my favorite challenge)
plus as a gloriously blooming late bloomer, i got some ground to cover to get to where i need to get to.

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