just keep dancing

i have decided to join
the church
of ann-margret
if i look
half as fabulous
when i am almost 80
if i can
shake my ass
half as gloriously
when i am her age…
i have accepted
the teachings
of ann-margret
into my heart
never
stop
dancing & being
fabulous.

i was binge watching “happy” & ann-margret appeared to me in a vision of loveliness and changed my life
or at least gave it a push in a good direction
so now
much like in west side story
i am determined to dance my troubles out.

(adopting this philosophy is still a work in progress & might take awhile to fully adopt, but my first step is a dance step)

fort building

here is a box of me
a box of my comics
my art
my thoughts & stories
here is a box
that kind of
terrifies me
no one is going to want this,
i tell myself
oh fuck…what if someone reviews me?
how will i answer them
when they ask me,
who the fuck do i think i am….
remember
when you were 17
& you just knew
you were
destined
for greatness
ready to take on the world
a famous novelist
in the making?
what ever happened
to
that
girl?

so, yeah…. if you want an autographed copy of my book, let me know. meanwhile, i will be using them as weight while building my blanket fortress of solitude….

wrong puzzle box

i am a puzzle piece
in the wrong
box
i am the squarest
of square pegs
searching
for where i fit
a puzzle
box
where i belong
i am not willing
to change
my shape
change who i am
force myself
into a space
that does not
honor me…
so…
where does that
leave me?
forever lost?
forever
alone….

ack! i like the idea of this post…but the inking kinda got away from me. wet page & black ink & my lady looks a bit like a munster
but
then again
i feel a bit like a munster
so maybe it works.
i was at the creator’s group i am creating last night. four people who were exploring writing as a retirement activity, re-discovering their inner writers showed up for my group…. & i totally felt like a fraud. at one point i even confessed that i did not feel like i belonged in the very group i started.
ack
to be me…or not to be me?
(that is the question)

reset

to defeat my imposter’s syndrome
i have to
become
what i fear
they think
i think
i am….
if they think i think
i am
an awesome writer
i have to believe
i am an awesome
writer
if they think i think
i am
an unstoppable artist
i have to believe
i am an unstoppable
artist
if they think i think
i am a good
& valuable
person
i have to believe
i am
it is the only way
to stop
feeling like
an imposter.

so i was at a dance party in viroqua. yes, i was. and i was half-assedly dancing…then i remembered i don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks of my questionable dancing skills.
so then, as i was reeling from imposter’s syndrome due to my book, my show, my writer’s group, & my freestore…i began questioning whether or not i gave a fuck…& this is what i figured out.

(i was a little disturbed by the size of the head in my inking, but based on the words, maybe it is important to let her have a big head)

in other news…

the freestore i started last winter is open again!

i am starting a writer’s/artist’s group on monday…

my art show (the invisible exhibitionist) is going up this weekend?

& my book is due for release on october 1st.

i’m only freaking out a little. okay. so i am super-dooper freaking out & my imposter syndrome feels like i am about to step off a cliff & spiral downward into the abyss…but, you know, otherwise…exciting stuff.

sustained on rejection

am i sustained by
rejection
like a panda
surrounded
by bamboo…did rejection
become my staple
& now
now that the bamboo
is scarce
do i actively seek
rejection
lumbering
past greener pastures
to find my
desolate
patch
of bitter rejection
where i can sit
uncomfortably
& gorge myself
on defeat?

one of the problems with not always being able to illustrate my thoughts as i write them (this one was written 10 days ago & i am just getting to it) is that i do not always remember what sparked my free verse ramblings.

my childhood was a big pot of rejection. out of six kids, i was nobody’s favorite. my younger sister (closest in age to me) was mortified by me & even suggested i do myself in. my peers at school actively avoided me. i was charlie brown on valentine’s day. i eventually had to go to a neighboring town to find a boy strange enough to kiss me.

so…did rejection become a familiar “friend” that i sought out as my adult life began? seeking out the boys who didn’t want me. focusing on them. throwing myself, relentlessly, at them. sending out stories to publishers without first attaining the necessary writing skills. staying on the fringes. watching, but never joining.

do i still seek out rejection? will i ever stop expecting rejection? will i ever believe i am good enough that i will not be rejected? has it become a self-fulfilling prophesy that keeps me exactly where i am?

just some musings as i wait to be rejected by a publisher & an art award…not even entertaining the idea of dating because–look at me–who the fuck would want this?

the other day i read my tarot cards. they told me that i need to learn to like myself. they told me to stop obstructing myself. to stop living in fear of moving forward.
but…i am not sure i know how to do that.
they never tell me how to do it.

that’s what i get for going out in public

i totally have some cold/flu thing. crap. we didn’t get sick all last winter. now it’s only november & i’m down. i woke up yesterday with a sore throat & immediately began worrying about the minions who are in wisconsin with dusty.
he texted later to say poppy was down & the others were a bit snuffy & sore throats.
crap.
when you do the whole no-refined-sugar-&-artificial-crap lifestyle…but then let your minions go trick-or-treating & binge on just that…. for a day or so i think all we ate were “foods” we don’t eat the rest of the year (i’ve never claimed to be mother of the year.)
probably a shock to our systems…the immune one for sure.
plus spending a night cavorting with public school children.
i might need to re-think my allowing a halloween binge.
i mean, at least, ration or something a responsible mom would do??

but yesterday i did get out some of the things i need to be working on. i set up space for them on the kitchen table, which means moving the other random things to the other end of the table (homeschoolers, y’all.)
and i did get some work done! i just need to shade the last page of beyond the field, and all of those pages will be ready to send to the author. i have yet to start the final for another illustration project, but i have been turning it over in my head for a day or two…that’s actually part of my process. thinking about it. some label it “procrastination,” but i learned in my writing courses at UW that this is a very important part of the creative process. i call it “percolation.”
and i did draw a journal page, but it felt so much like all the other journal pages that i could not bring myself to finish it. i am feeling a bit crappy about my art right now too. i mean, i know it is being triggered by doing art for people other than myself–i start to doubt me & wonder if i am any good at all.
i wonder if shel silverstein or ralph steadman (two of my favorite male artists) ever felt that way…i am going to go ahead & guess that vincent van gogh did. imposter syndrome on red alert, y’all.

speaking of, i included in my yesterday layout of work to do the workbook “healing wheel” a samhain to samhain workbook. i was late getting started (too busy gorging on candy it seems.) and decided to start yesterday on the new moon. the samhain section is focused on confronting/noticing our fears. i did manage to do my tarot–which told me what it always does–i use distractions & escapes & do not take myself seriously when i really really should.
i tried to cast a circle…making me realize what a lazy witch i am. i was supposed to call a challenger. i imagined my first ever therapist. and to call upon a healer. i imagined…fuck. i could not think of someone who believed in me. so i started crying & closed my circle. later, i thought of a wonderful female friend who seems so open & accepting of me.
but overall i felt like a letdown to my witchy bloodlines.

all i can do is keep trying, i suppose.

maybe i will finish that journal page & post it later.

performance anxiety & high school reunions

emails from ex-cheerleaders
high school reunion
for this small town freak
i was going to be famous
by now
i was going to be
bigger than the beatles
but
you know
life got in the way
now i am a single mom
an unknown
just another cog
turning circles around
social media
but going nowhere
really.

so if anyone is looking for a good time, i have an invite to my 30 year high school reunion….
i wasn’t invited to my 20 year…the only time i actually was in a relationship. granted it was with dusty…but he’s charming & easy on the eyes. he might have been a good date….
my 10 year i was invited to…and i found a date…but then i ended up deciding it would be more fun just to get laid & skip the reunion.
that was pretty much how a lot of my decision making was done when i was in my 20s.

i have been depressed ever since i got the invite.
plus i had to see dusty to pick up the kids yesterday.
plus every song is still reminding me of seymour as he continues to ignore me….

in other news!

i was invited to join the literati mafia!!! so my imposter’s syndrome and anxiety about anyone noticing me is on full blast.
full blast, y’all.
and i am working on a post for them. which, of course, i am worried will not be good enough…but in my head it is an awesome response to the invite to my high school reunion/another obsessive piece about seymour.

so stay tuned!

(the illustration today is my practicing my figure drawing. lots of nipples & cooch in figure drawing, as it turns out.)

ps. i posted my memoir, in full without illustrations over on medium.

damaged

i’m so tired
of feeling damaged
i’m so tired
of feeling like i’m not worth
your time
like no one will like me
anyway
so why even try
i’m so tired
of doubting myself
of hating myself
of feeling like
i
don’t
matter
& i’m doing it all wrong
everything
wrong
&
no one
likes
me
anyway
i’m so tired
of being
my own
worst
enemy.

happy mothra’s day

i am not the best advocate of mother’s day.

my own mother–my most vivid memory of mother’s day is when the teacher in grade school had us grow marigolds to bring home and when i presented her with the marigolds i grew for her…she said, “ug. i hate the way they smell.”

and then when i became a mom, everyone would turn to dusty and say, “what are you getting her for mother’s day?”
and he would reply, “she’s not my mother.”
not that he got his own mother anything either.
that was one of my first glimpses that our marriage was not going to be a blissful & magical one.

now i have kids who want to do nice things for me on mother’s day, and i just feel uncomfortable. i feel like a fraud as a mom.

i just feel like a fraud.

especially on mother’s day.

sigh.

maybe i will spend the day planting marigolds.

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