comic from the 90s…a bit of creative non-fiction (page one of two)
i was asked today about my bamboo pen & realized that i should probably have a reference page on my blog to all my materials, sources, inspirations…but failing that, here is a look at some of my art supplies that i use on a daily basis. (yes, i have three different kinds of black ink, why do you ask?)
on that note, i did type up the beginning stirrings of my soon-to-be hit novel and series on netflix, fallen.
it is available to anyone willing to be my loving patron.
excerpt from my short story “jesus fingers”
You feel like you are inviting badness into your life every time you mutter “the little fucker” to yourself and every time you regret not killing it when you had the chance—every time you think about it just disappearing from your life and how easy that would make everything. You can’t help fantasizing though because everything just seems so hard now. So fucking monumentally stressful.
And your body that you were anxious to have as your own again—where is it now? And the days you were anxious to have as your own again? How many more years before that happens now? Five? More? With number three you kept thinking, “Just get through the toddler years this one last time and there won’t be any more toddler years to deal with. Just get through the breastfeeding one last time. Then I won’t have to worry about what I do to my own body—it will be mine again.” But now you sink into despair, realizing it will be even longer. Another baby to soothe to sleep. Another toddler to watch with an eagle eye. Another toilet training. Another kid’s meal to buy if you can actually afford to go out ever again.
five years later
i am defeated
by a five year old
he crushes me
not much of me is
he destroys me
screaming & screaming & screaming
until i am
on the floor
i am nothing
as i wish
that i had never
writing both of these pieces, my short story and this free verse, it helped me to deal with the overwhelming anguish around my conflicted feelings about motherhood.
i wouldn’t trade poppy for the world, but that doesn’t mean sometimes i just don’t want to be a mom.
today my brother mike would be 55. he died 10 years ago on december 19th. this photograph is from the last time he & i & the rest of us were all together in one place…my wedding. thinking about him, i started this memoir….
the six of us assumed we were blessed for the mere fact that we survived our childhood.
survived our father passing out at the wheel.
survived drunk motorcycle rides with dad.
survived our father sending us into precarious places to do dangerous chores.
survived our father, drunk, angry, & armed.
survived family adventures. camping. hiking on natural bridges…up to starved rocks…into mammoth caves…all though the grand canyon.
survived water skiing behind jet engined motor boats.
survived a back yard pond with a homemade diving board in the summer and ice skates in the winter.
survived snow mobiles, three wheelers, four wheelers, chainsaws, log-splitters, tractors, riding on running boards, riding on trailers, riding in the beds of pick up trucks.
survived no baby seats. no seat belts. cars driving fast down country roads so you can catch that stomach dropping hill just right.
six almost died when he had a head on collision with a gravel truck while riding his four wheeler around that one blind corner of the gravel pit. but six was the only one of us to wear a helmet (pants & shoes as well!) the helmet did not survive. six had a broken jaw, broken cheek bone, his femur snapped in half.
but he survived.
which was further proof that we were blessed.
one died when he was 45, and his death shattered all of us. it was beyond comprehension that he could really truly be gone.
some of us were quick to go numb. go into denial. some of us threw ourselves into the mystery, the drama of his death. some of us searched for someone to blame…anyone to blame.
i had talked to him on his birthday just 19 days earlier. he sounded sad. stressed out. we had so much family drama happening as well as the drama he kept hidden from us. his one consolation was that he had gotten a red velvet cake for his birthday. his family left for a ski trip, but they had baked him a red velvet cake first.
the same cake that two always got on her birthday when we were growing up because two’s birthday is just before valentine’s day.
all these years one had been coveting two’s cake just like i had always coveted five’s cake. she got devil’s food every year while i was stuck with angel food–because i was “the good one.”
one finally got his cake. and then he died. and his wife and four kids would have to forever feel like shits for going on a ski trip on his last birthday….
my favorite way to make fun of one was to mimic our phone conversations. “so what else is new?” he would ask incessantly making me scramble for newsworthy tidbits to tell him.
i was on the phone with two around the time one’s plane crashed down. i was making fun of one again. i had just gotten his yearly–& much anticipated–christmas newsletter.
a newsletter so crisp & professional as it was designed & produced by a proclaimed “web guru.” yeah, my brother.
between the smatterings of “keep christ in christmas” & photos of his beautiful children doing all the things beautiful children with money get to do were articles lamenting the newly elected president and calling for strength & endurance for this upcoming apocalypse of a democrat in the white house.
thanks to the thorough brain-washing of my completely insane & devoutly catholic mother, one literally feared the evil baby-killing agenda of the left wing.
to me, a self-proclaimed anarchist, one’s christmas newsletter was hysterical in every sense of the word.
so i ranted about this to my sister as one died…for his beliefs.
so this is the beginning. i hope to write more. another work in progress. hang onto your butts.
have i finally exorcised this fucking ghost?
i hope so. i am tired of holding a torch that just burns the fuck out of my fingers. i want to move on and stop wondering which thing that i did wrong was the thing that drove him away.
it needs editing & more substance, etc. but the rough draft is available entirely for reading over at medium.
let me know if you have any suggestions for work that needs to be done on it. i am still pretty close to the story–i was crying as i wrote this last page. but i think in writing it, i am working out a lot of the bullshit that i was holding onto and calling love.
the journal page is from 1995 when seymour & i lived in austin, tx with peacocks on our front lawn .
i wrote a little bit more on my memoir.
there is now a page eight and a page nine.
i wrote page nine (i had started but not finished page eight at the time) after waking up from a dream about him. the whole thing felt so delicious. you know those dreams.
and i looked in the mirror–and my hair (at least in my mind) was all like super sexy super model hair.
being one of those people who have few & far between “good hair days,” of course i took a picture.
my dream was so awesome, it gave me good hair.
that says something, right?
a quick doodle as i brainstorm illustration & character representation in my hot & trashy memoir (without the hot & trashy part)
i’m still obsessing about…erm…
writing a memoir
over on tumblr…..