treasure hunting

so it turns out that if you spend thirty-six years writing without locating a publisher who will publish you & then just saying “fuck it” and squirreling all your writings away, you create a bit of a situation. 
i just went through some actual folders (not virtual ones) to find these gems from the early 90s when i was still using a typewriter because, fuck it, i am….(wait, what’s the opposite of cutting-edge?)
retro?
archaic? 
luddititious?
a dinosaur?
(if i am a dinosaur i want to be a velociraptor.)
wait–you know what–i am going to circle back & say i am cutting edge. i was years ahead of the hipster typewriter trend. i am a goddamned trendsetter. 

typewriters are cool.

so, in addition to my working on creating a book from select pages of my art journal self-portrait series, i am also working on putting together a collection of short stories. 
short stories that i wrote, and then left to age.
i think they are well-aged at this point, and ready for harvest.
or bottling? 
how would that metaphor work?

as you can see from this incoherent post, i am using all of my brain power for editing short stories & art journals while juggling four screaming minions. 

meanwhile…i am almost almost so close to being done with the postcard commission & the portrait commission.
so close!

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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.

don’t tell…the last page?

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.

fuck it.

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.
yay.

the journal page is from 1995 when seymour & i lived in austin, tx with peacocks on our front lawn .

bruised

when i was a little girl, i loved to draw and i loved to write. i won (or at least came in second) in different competitions for both of them. i was good. at some point, i decided i had to choose between the two. i don’t remember why i decided this…but it seemed like the thing to do.

i chose to be a writer.

effectively, i stopped drawing and put all my energy into writing. i wrote my first two books while i was in jr. high school. i wrote another in high school. i wrote another directly after high school. i would spend many hours a day writing. in notebooks. on typewriters. on napkins. on word processors (it was the 80’s & 90’s). i wanted nothing more than to be a writer.

i moved to iowa city directly after high school to attend the university of iowa and it’s famous writer’s workshop.
but life got in the way, and i decided, “who needs to go to school to be a writer? live life & write to be a writer!”
so i did that. while living life, aka working in a bar, a girl (colleen coover) told me i reminded her of a character in the graphic novel love & rockets. and that began my love affair with comic books.

maybe it was with my fourth book that i started thinking maybe i could turn it into a graphic novel. so i sought out the local iowa city comic guy (paul tobin) and asked his advice. like most men comic bookers, he was just excited to see a chick interested in comics. he was trying to break into writing serious stuff and turned it around so i was helping him. and he tried to get into my pants. it all ended up with our becoming good friends, but he never took my becoming a comic booker seriously–so i never did either.

(coincidentally, i eventually introduced colleen & paul and they later became a comic booking team and romantically involved…or vice versa)

(also, coincidentally, i later dated tim bradstreet–another comic artist–who also declined to take my aspirations seriously.)

anyhoo!

i focused on writing for many many years, ignoring my love of drawing.

but i love them both. words & images. i love them. you can do so much with either medium.

(sigh)

so one of the projects i am playing around with is taking all of my random stories & thoughts and putting them in a visual context. i know i have already talked about this…but not with such a fascinating backstory!

so this one is the start of a short story that i never finished. bruised. about a woman who has a seizure and comes loose in time…ish. like i said, i never finished it…so who knows what happened next.

but i had fun doing this. the first attempt went into the fireplace…but i am pretty happy with this one.

narcoleptic woodpecker

i have whole files full of one line–one paragraph–one page stories. whole journals full of incomplete thoughts and epiphanies. are you ready? i’m going to make them all into comics. maybe. if you’re lucky. turn them all into visual art. use what i have learned in my ink blot tests. use what i have learned in my comic making. use my whimsy and my darkness.

are you ready?

it’s the next step of my metamorphosis. changing and staying the same.

i got a lot done today as i am off of facebook forever…again. i worked on art files & writing files. i had to move all of my stories to google docs because my microsoft word expired and i am one broke-ass mama.
really.
i have no money.
i am living off of credit cards wondering if my ex will ever send me child support. probably not. when the kids stayed the week with him, he sent all their dirty laundry home with me because he didn’t want to use his mom’s detergent as i might not like it.
um…?
so i nicely suggested he buy his own laundry detergent.
i was nice about it.
really, i was. i am working very hard on not being aggressive…passive-aggressive–reactionary…any of those things that kept me in that same destructive cycle with him. i am being a model of cool, calm, & collected.
(that was what it said under my dad’s yearbook picture. my dad, destined to be a violent alcoholic…cool, calm, and collected. so…maybe i will have to work really hard on it as my example of cool, calm, and collected is a bit skewed….)

but i wasn’t so cool, calm, and collected with my kids. i had a screaming fit that scared the crap out of them. what’s the good of not being physically violent with my kids if i am going to lose my mind & scar them accordingly?
“i am losing my mind!” my three year old will say to me.
right.
i always love when they model my bad behavior right back at me.
i have a long way to go on being a sane parent. sometimes i cry, wondering if i would have been a good mom if i had had a supportive husband. if i had had loving parents of my own. if i hadn’t of been broken so severely and completely and eternally.

baby steps.
until i run out of time.

narc2

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