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i should be excited…& i think i am…but maybe after so many years of being quietly unpublished, i am not sure how to make noise about being published….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

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projects! projects! projects!

(i don’t know if anyone ever notices…but i often use movie quotes or mangled movie references in my posts. it amuses me. this one is from robocop (the real one) in reference to clarence saying, “guns! guns! guns!” man, i love robocop….)

so, idle hands being the devil’s playground…or something like that…. i am, at least, keeping busy despite my mental breakdown.
so yay for that.

over on my patreon page, you can find the full posts of an except from my novel-in-progress: chasing ghosts
i’ve been working on it for over 20 years now, so you know it’s good.

also! i am finishing up illustrating benjamin davis’s story fetish. one more page to go on this installment. hopefully he & i will continue working together, & i will be doing more in the future.

and, as always, my adventures as the invisible exhibitionist continue via my art journal self-portrait series.

well worth the dollar a month!

drawing in cars with boys

here’s what it looks like when i try to draw a car

i’m trying to illustrate a scene from my novel-in-progress chasing ghosts where the male lead drives a ’65 impala.

i can’t draw cars…but, compared to the other things i find i can’t do lately…this one, at least, i can use some artistic license with.

a difficult decision

i have been thinking
debating
i added another tier to my patreon page
a $1 tier where i can post my art journal pages
sketches
works in progress
& sneak peeks
which means i will not be posting as much here
it’s an exercise
in taking myself seriously
and trying to make a go of my dreams
but as a girl
who always gives it away
for free
and who doesn’t mind
giving it away
loving the idea of a world of trade &
mutual support
a world where money is not an issue
alas.
maybe someday
but today i have to buy
groceries
notebooks
clothes & shoes for my kids
buy food for my pets
buy art supplies so i can keep doing art
and!
spend money to support
other artists & writers
(also, one day soon, pay rent &
utilities)
so
for now
the bulk of my posts
will be over on my patreon page
for one dollar a month.
i understand if this is too much
i totally get it.
but maybe, just maybe i can get some patrons
& then be able to afford to do the same
for my fellow
artists & writers & crafters of all types.

whether you join me over on patreon or not, i really really really appreciate your support.
& i’m not disappearing from here, i just have realized how much energy i spend on this site and wonder what would happen if i put that energy into trying to earn money for my art.

xxoo

fallen XIV

it always seems
i am looking
at myself
from a place
other than
me
taking notes
making
observations
i am my own diane fossey
studying
the mountain gorillas
of my mind
i am always
removed…
maybe
i need
to come down
off
my mountain
&
get
dirty
with my human
self.

i am turning myself into a work of fiction for my fallen series. this is an interesting development for me. i mean, it’s me…but on a fictional level. i am sure other writers are familiar with this. becoming their own characters. being a character…as well as the creator. this isn’t the first time, of course. all my life i have been a character in my own story.
okay, several characters, depending on which voice is narrating.
the fallen series is just a new flavor for me…(new flavor of me?)
i like it.

fallen XIII

no wonder
you think
you don’t like people
yet
are strangely
fascinated
by them
no wonder
you think
you’ve always
believed
you could fly
that there was more
than just shoulder blades
sprouting from
your back
no wonder
you think
lights go dark
bulbs explode
when you walk down the street
electricity never behaves
when you are
around
no wonder
you think
you could always hear
the whispers
of trees
& suffered
the wrath
of disgruntled fairies…
you watch
as the puzzle pieces
snap
snap
into place
a complete
picture
is forming
a picture you have avoided
looking at
for
your
entire
life.

using second person in place of first person is so much fun. i mean, since i am always looking at myself from a place other than me…it just works out for me.
(i just totally wrote an art journal page about that)

this exercise is working its way into being a full-length work of fiction (lets call it fiction.) i am pretty excited about it.

i really should shower more often

so i got up this morning
as usual
way earlier than i would want to
to feed & water the critters
and also the livestock
as i drank a cup of coffee
i read the works of
other
writers
and one story i read
started an itch
in my brain
i was both envious
& inspired
but the idea did not leap from my skull
fully formed
until i was in the shower
where it sprung
along side ideas for a journal page
& plans to finally finish my patreon page
it sprung
the first chapter of my
novel form of
fallen.
(duhn duhn duhhhhhhhhhhnn)

so, yeah. i really need to shower more often.
also, i will update you on the patreon page.

image is a throwback thursday done in ink & pastels

excerpt from “chasing ghosts”

so i have only been working on this novel (formerly a screenplay titled “serial killers & space aliens”) since the 90s…early 90s even? yikes.
but here is an excerpt, along with a rough draft for an illustration to go with the novel. yes. an illustrated novel. 

& i am serious about finishing it…finally.

We sit in a booth in some dingy, small town diner. A waitress brings our order as we sit in silence. She glances from one to the other of us. I think she wants to say something, but Guy has a pretty fussy look on his face. She’s a good waitress. She leaves our food and skedaddles.  A burger with fries, two eggs over easy and toast, and a side salad with French dressing are sit in front of Guy. He is already sucking on the straw to a large chocolate milkshake with whipped topping and sprinkles. The waitress leaves me a BLT with a side of fruit cocktail.

Realizing she has left without kissing his ass, Guy yells after her, “Hey!  Can I get a Coke!” Then he starts wolfing down his burger.

“Her name isn’t ‘Hey.’”

“What is her name, Smartass?”

Her name is Irene.”

“Irene, huh?”

I say it quietly to myself. I know he hears, but he doesn’t say anything when I say, “And my name is Colleen.” I notice that our names rhyme, me and Irene, but I don’t point that out to him. I pick up the top of my sandwich to put mustard on it.

“What is that?” Guy asks in a way that makes me not want to answer.

I brace myself, “It’s a BLT.”

“Where’s the bacon?”

“I don’t like bacon.”

“Who doesn’t like bacon? Nevermind. Whatever. How ‘bout why would you order a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich if you don’t like bacon?”

The waitress returns and drops off Guy’s Coke. She looks at me, not him, when she asks, “Is everything okay?”

“There isn’t any bacon on her BLT.”

I glare at Guy and then offer a smile to Irene. “Thank you. Everything is terrific.”

Guy ignores me and says to our waitress, “Irene, what did you do with the bacon from her BLT? Who gets it? Am I still getting charged for that bacon?”

“I will go check on that for you, sir.” Irene turns and walks away. Like I said, she’s a good waitress. A smart one.

Guy eats the other half of his burger in one bite and says with a mouthful of kind of chewed meat, “I don’t like her.”

“She can tell you’re not going to tip her.

“What? I don’t look like a high roller?”

I shrug. “Whether you roll or not has nothing to do with it. You’re a narcissistic sadist. And narcissistic sadists don’t usually tip well.”

“Sounds like a self-fulfilling prophecy to me. You don’t think a guy will tip well so you act all snooty to him. I suppose I could stiff her…if that’s what she wants.” Just like a narcissistic sadist to not even acknowledge I’ve called him a narcissistic sadist.

“She only gets paid like two bucks an hour. She lives off of her tips. Not that you care.”

“What? Are you an advocate for waitresses now…or maybe you are a waitress yourself?”

“I’m just saying you shouldn’t punish her for the system she works in.”

Guy sits back, looking down his nose at me. “One, Colleen, I’m not punishing her for the system she works in. I’m punishing her for being a snooty bitch. And two. You are a waitress, aren’t you?” He pauses here, trying not to grin. He is enjoying this too much. Narcissistic sadist. He pauses–to punish me–before he asks, “Do you wear a nametag? Do you keep pens in your hair and sweaty dollars down your cleavage?” Another sadistic pause before he goes in for the kill. “Does your mother know?”

I don’t answer him. It wouldn’t do any good.

“That’s okay, sis. We all have to slum it sooner or later. Nothing to be ashamed of.”

“Don’t worry. I’m not ashamed of anything. And you know what. Not that it will shut you up or anything. But I really don’t want to talk to you anymore.”

Guy has done everything but lick his plate clean. He’s looking all pleased with himself. “Buck up, baby. I’m all you got right now. Looks like it’s my way or the highway.”

“I’ll take the highway.”

“Funny,” he says as he stands up. “Let’s get rolling.”

I don’t jump when he says jump. I don’t move at all. He doesn’t like it when things don’t go how he wants them to. He wants to make his grand exit, and I’m fucking that up for him. I don’t know what I’m doing. I just hate him right now. It won’t do any good. He will win, but I can at least piss him off. Still.

“This is not the time or the place, Collie. Let’s go.” He reaches down and grabs me by the arm to pull me out of the booth. I watch as some of the others turn to gawk. This makes it worse for me. Worse for everyone, probably. Sometimes I don’t care. But I probably should.

Irene tries to come to my rescue…or maybe she’s realized Guy is trying to leave without paying. “Hey!” she calls out. Then over her shoulder towards the kitchen, “Clay! Get out here!”

Hey and Clay rhyme too, I think as I let Guy push me out the front door.

“Just a minute, Irene,” Guy hollers back at her. Then, to me, with his bedroom eyes turned to snake eyes, he says, “You wait in the car. I mean it. Don’t fuck yourself here. Get. To. The. Car.”

He leaves me standing in the parking lot. I can see shadows past where the sun reflects on the glass windows. I hear angry voices. I almost go back in. But I can’t do it. I find myself walking to the car, closing my ears to the sounds. Closing my brain to the thoughts that pummel me from all directions.

festering pot of rot

my words aren’t
making
sense
not even
to me
i feel like i am
shifting
moving
glitching
my thoughts are
disjointed
reluctant
maybe my brain is rotten
a festering
demented
pot of rot
but…my own special
demented
pot of rot….
strangely
i kinda like it
that way…
stumbling over my
words
keeps me honest
makes me look
deeper
discover
more.

i wrote this when i was struggling to find the right words for a few days. i think i have stumbled through and am blundering on with my art journal adventure. though the self-portrait for this page turned out not as i was expecting, & i am posting it even though i feel it speaks badly of me. but who am i if i don’t post my ugly for everyone to see?

i sent my short story collection, tangled together, to a potential publisher today. a crazy little punk rock press hellbent on challenging the system. it reminded me of me. so hopefully they don’t reject me
because
what would that say
about me?
(nothing new–it would say nothing new)

it felt good to send it off. i had to make a new to-do list to hang over my desk.
1. work on art for journal book
2. work on chasing ghosts
3. work on captain blonde beard
4. don’t forget moses jones

also! i am trying to get started on a series of maps. we will see how that goes. the idea is still evolving–percolating–in my festering demented pot of rot.

ps. it appears as if tumblr is not happy about my drawing my boobs so much–or maybe it’s my profanity. you think they could tell the difference between kiddie porn and self-expression. i suspect my account over there will soon be frozen. so, you know, #fucktumblr

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