- Arrive late and ask, “Did they really start without me?”
- Walk up to the first person that smiles at you and hand them your business card and say, “Here’s my card. I’m a fabulous writer.” Later you find out the man you handed the card to was a publisher.
- Walk up to the front of the room to get the instructions for getting online, so the guest speaker has to search for it. “Excuse me, can I please have my guide for starting this presentation?”
- Humming hymns, songs, lullabies in class. (This is not song writing 101!)
- Try to sell your unpublished novel to someone so you can buy a cup of coffee.
- Sit in the front of the class with your hearing aid on your lap and start yelling, “I can’t hear you! Speak up!”
- Sign up to pitch your script with the agent that says, “I don’t like women’s fiction. I don’t like women’s nonfiction. I don’t like women.”
- Tell the guy sitting by you, “I’m not just funny looking, I’m also a funny writer.”
- Listen to the creepy old guy who keeps asking you to put ice down your shirt.
- Tell the agent you are pitching your manuscript to, “This is normally my nap time. I’m just going to tell you the truth my novels sucks, it’s broken and stupid.”
I was a typical boring housewife. I worked as a teacher once for a small private preschool, but when the economy turned for the worse in 2008, enrolments dropped and I was let go. My husband felt that teaching was more work than good. I only earned minimum wage, so technically most of my check went towards my wardrobe of khakis and cotton shirts, lunch and gas money. Jobless, I became a homemaker. I spent my days making organic homemade dinners, cleaning, going to the gym, organizing the home, and spending more time with my family. Spending time with my family was great but that was the only spending I was doing. Not earning a paycheck anymore meant I was forced to stop spending except on essentials.
Now, two years later unemployed, when I should not be facing drama or stress I found I could no longer sleep. Insomnia sucks! Typical Saturday night, my husband was fast asleep snoring, and my adolescent child laid tucked in bed with his dog and I was awake laying in bed. Bing! I rolled over to reach for my cell phone. It was a text message. I won the opportunity to test an iPad. Really? At 2am the telemarketers are texting me? WTB (What the Buck not What the F**k). You see, I gave up cussing years ago when my child started picking up words.
I decided to take a Lavender oil bath to put me to sleep. Sitting in the tub with my eyes wide open I stared down at my cellulite rolls. The daily trips to the gym were not even putting a dent into the four inches around me. I heard my neighbor pull into his driveway. There was loud techno music, the slamming of car doors followed by laughter, lots of laughter. I stood up and gazed out the window watching the bachelor accompanied by two young women that could be models. Water from my body was dripping on the floor, but I stood there peeking out the blinds thinking about those women in the small skirts with slender legs and small waist wearing beautiful shoes. The kind of shoes one would never wear to church, let alone to teach preschoolers or for housewives to run errands in.
Then one of the beautiful ladies tripped on the stairs leading into the neighbor’s house. She took off her shoes. Then she crawled to the edge of the patio to throw up. The man helped her up and carried her into his house. The shoes were abandoned, left on their sides on the cement steps. I looked around for a towel. Buck! It was laundry day the racks were empty. I looked for my robe but I had left it in the bedroom. My dirty pajamas were soaking with water on the floor where I had stood dripping. I felt my heart race and my loins awakening inside me. I wanted something for the first time in a long time. I wanted those shoes. I feared waking up my family, so if I were to go I would have to go naked. Time was against me. I tiptoed to the door. I slipped out of the house and I cautiously hunched over with my naked obese body to snatch up those beautiful pink heels. My toes sank into cool thick grass.
Holding my breath, I made it to side of the patio. I reached up for the shoes. Without warning, the sprinklers went on. I jittered, but I withheld any screams. I embraced the suede leather pink shoes against my sagging naked breast. The soft leather felt soothing against my skin. The cold droplets of water from the sprinkler encouraged me to run. I ran with pride clutching to those shoes as my buttocks flopped with each stride. For the first time in my life I felt liberated. I smiled with joy as I reached my home with my bounty in hand.
Inside, I stood still drenching, but I slipped into those beautiful five-inch heels. My calves tightened, my legs lengthened, my stomach sucked in and buttocks sat perched as I walked around the living room naked in the stole pink leather shoes. I felt sexy. Yes, I was still forty pounds overweight but the dining room mirror told a different story as I stood there in those fantastic heels. I looked delicious. I was hot and for once in a long time, I felt sexy! The insomnia I had awakened the naked shoe thief inside of me.
There it is. I have said it. I am going to do something about my dream. This week I am attending a Writing Conference. I am pumped up and ready to go, or not…
What will I wear? Professional, casual, trashy, or maybe as one of my characters
What will I say? Nothing, little, or lots of nervous chatter
What do I bring? Manuscripts, samples of my blog, a gift
If any of you have any recommendations, please let me know. I am now on pins and needles. I know many of you readers and writers have been, so please advise me.
Whisper lived in the countryside of Oklahoma with her mother. On Sunday afternoon she was helping her mother on the farm. Then her mother called out to her. “Whisper, clean the spider webs off the house.”
“I thought you were going to spray them?”
“I should of, but I forgot.”
Whisper took the broom and swept under the window and door trims around the house. She noticed a very large daddy long leg spider. She didn’t scream, because she knew he would not hurt her. When she finished she went into the house. Her mother was now making dinner. “Whisper, I need you to sweep up the leaves on the porch. Every time the door opens the leaves come in. That Sooner wind.”
“I thought you were going to fix the screen door.”
“Well, I should of, but I forgot.”
“Fine, I got it.”
Whisper went back outside. A huge wind gust came. She turned her back against it. The wind was so forceful that rubber band on her braid came off. When the wind slowed down Whisper’s long red curly hair was in her face. She was so distracted by her hairs flying about she didn’t notice the small black spider that landed on her red locks. When she finished sweeping she went back inside to eat dinner.
“Thanks for doing that. Those leaves are such a mess.”
“It’s fall. They’re supposed to be everywhere. You should of just fixed the screen door.”
“I’ll get to it soon enough. You need to do your homework.”
“I wanted to shower first.”
“Well, you don’t want to be a procrastinator like me.”
Whisper didn’t say anything. She finished her dinner and then went to her bedroom to do her homework. She was sitting at her desk when her head started to itch. She scratched it. She finished her algebra. Her head was starting to hurt, so she rest in bed. Her mother came in the room to check on her. “I thought you were going to take a shower?”
“Yeah, my head hurts. Can you look at it?”
“Later, go shower.”
Whisper took a shower and then went to bed. By now the small black widow spider was safely resting under her pillow from when she had lay down before. Not knowing about the spider Whisper went to sleep for the night. In the morning her scalp warm to the touch. “Mom, look at my head. It really hurts.”
“Ok, ok” She looked closely at her scalp and sure enough she noticed the two small red humps. “I think you got bitten by a mosquito. You’ll be ok.”
“What if I’m not?”
“If it’s not better tomorrow, I’ll call the doctor.”
Whisper went to school. All day she had a throbbing pain on her head. When she came home she did not do her chores and went to sleep instead. Her mother came home. She was upset. “Whisper you need to do your chores.”
“I don’t feel good.”
“You said that this morning. I told you I’ll call the doctor tomorrow.”
Whisper did get up and finish her chores. Then she went to bed without eating. In the morning her head was warm to the touch. Now instead of two bumps she had three. “Mom, I’m really sick. I can’t go to school. Look at my head.”
“I told you I will call the doctor today. Go to school. I’ll get to it.”
Whisper went to school. Her teacher could tell she was ill so she sent her to lie down in the principal’s office. The secretary called her mother, but Whisper’s mother never called back. Whisper went home and lay down in bed. This time her head, neck and back was hurting. She fell asleep in aching pain. When her mother got home she saw her. “Whisper, you look terrible. Are you ok?”
“No” She was too weak to talk or open her eyes.
“I was so busy at work I forgot to call the doctor.” Her mother noticed the bumps on her neck and back, but thought it was more mosquito bites. “I promise tomorrow I’ll call the doctor.”
“Ok mom, love you.” Whisper went to sleep and never woke again.
“You don’t look sick. Why are you playing video games?”
“Because I’m sick!”
“Why do you think you’re sick?”
“I went to the movies and someone farted on me. One of those bad flu toots. They just kept floating into my face one after another.”
“Gross! That didn’t happen.”
“Yes! Yes it did. I sat for two hours behind three sick tooters.”
“Why did you sit there? Why didn’t you just get up and move?”
“My parents made me. They paid for the movie and they made me stay. I had to put my dad’s coat over my head and look out the sleeve. I was about to vomit.”
“I told you.”
“No, you are sick and in a real sick way.”
If you said yes, why every time I step in the local bookstore it looks like the Post Office during Christmas? I am not talking about the amount of people in line for a coffee or the stray shoppers licking the corners of magazines. Every time I step in the bookstore, I am shelling out over $40 dollars on books and magazines along with the other readers lined up at the cash registers.
I am a reader and writer. I blog online and have a dream of being published. The problem is my job is real estate and my hobby / pipe dream is writing. I would like to say I am a good writer. I have even had publishers tell me my work is great. The real problem is that publishers are not willing to take risk on new or unheard or writers. I am not just speaking for myself, but many good, funny and great writers are producing stories online free in the blogosphere in hopes of being published only to receive the same response, “We are currently only representing known authors or celebrities.”
I think the publishers are getting it wrong. What if publishers were like homebuilders? What if a customer could go into the local bookstore and select a book with a genre just for them? Today, I noticed a woman in the bookstore that was totally stumped looking for a book. Finally, the woman with the blank stare on her face looked over at me. She asked me what book I was getting. I told her. Then she asked for suggestions. I gave her a few and she thanked me. If this woman were shopping in any other business there would be a customer service person helping her with a ready product or offering her the option to build her own. Maybe in the publishing business the bookstore cannot build a book for the customer in the store, but maybe the publishers need to start watching the blogosphere, take surveys or watch patterns of behaviors online. The truth is this woman was sick and tired of having celebrity biographies and diet books thrown in her face. She wanted an intelligent, thought provoking book. Many of print publications books and periodicals are mainstreamed and full of advertisements pushing products.
Granted, there are still lots of great books and editorials being published. I just feel the publishing world is not taking the risks to create a profit. The first goal of any CEO of print publication should be to wrap the products in plastics. Stop allowing customers to read your products for free. Monthly, I purchase an international magazine that cost three times of the local brands. I pay that because I like the editorials, actually I love them. I do not mind that it is wrapped in plastic preventing me from previewing it. My own teenage son purchased a computer magazine from the United Kingdom, because it had more products reviews. It also included an indepth look at concept technologies as opposed to the American magazine full of advertisements. The American magazine was about the view of one computer giant compared to all the competitors while the other magazine gave an unbiased look at all technologies available.
Over all, this article is my firsthand experience of the products I see publishing world placing in my local bookstore. I have to hope that maybe someone in the American publishing world will seriously consider this article, push the envelope, and create great editorials and literature. Take risks. Stop feeding the readers with advertisements. Take chances on new writers. Print facts. Take aim at silenced topics. There is more to publishing than advertising. There are new artist like the Fitzgeralds and Hemingways alive today writing free articles in the blogosphere. Give more writers (and me included) smaller publishing contracts. Get more books on those shelves where you have placed those homogenous celebrity books. Readers want to read. Writers want to write.
“Danny…” The woman pauses to cry.
“Julie, what are you doing” You shouldn’t be calling me.”
“I needed to. I need to talk.”
“I trust you. I have no one else. There is only you.” She cries out loud. “Please, just listen to me. You’ve always been my best friend.”
“I know, but our friendship is secret and Keith is here. You know how he feels about you. It’s eight in morning.”
“Danny, put me on speaker phone. I don’t care if he can hear my problems. I just need your advice.”
“Go ahead,” Danny put the phone on speaker phone and places it on the kitchen counter.
“I caught him.”
“Danny, who’s that on speaker?”
“It’s Julie. She’s upset.”
“Go figure” Keith mumbles as he pours himself a cup of coffee.
“Jules, what happened? Are you sure he really did it?”
“I’m not sure.”
“Did you walk in on him?”
“No, it was nothing like that. I came home last night and found another woman’s shirt in the guest room. It was blue, ripped and smothered in perfume. It was laying flat on the spare bed.”
“Have you asked the maid?”
“Danny, I’m poor. I don’t have a maid.”
“Sorry, I forgot. That shirt could belong to anyone. Just because you found a shirt does not mean he’s cheating on you. Could it be a friend’s?”
“No, the shirt was a short sleeve blue cotton shirt with poloyster side panels. It was worn. The tag was faded and the front was ripped. That shirt was too cheap for any of my friends to wear.”
“Did you confront him?”
“Yes, he was already sleeping in bed. He blew me off. Then this morning he turned it all around on me. He said I had to keep my mouth shut or I would just humiliate myself, again.”
“Again? What does he mean by that?”
“He was referring to my ex. The infamous male slut I was married to.”
Julie begins to cry again. “Danny, will someone ever want to be with just me?”
“Of course you will, but give him some time to tell you the truth. You guys have been together for six years now, and you’ve been through a lot. This will pass. Just don’t jump without knowing the truth.”
“What if I don’t want to know the truth? M ex left me feeling ashamed and like I was less of a woman. Then there was that boyfriend I had in college that couldn’t keep his pants on. I was the laughing stock of the campus. Then you left me.”
“Julie, I’m gay. I was always gay. I loved you. I still do, but you can never give me what Keith can.”
“I know. I love you and respect your choice with Keith. At least you were always honest with me. We were never exclusive. That’s why I’m calling your instead on anyone else. I can trust you.”
“Julie, you are loved. You might feel dark and unloved right now, but you are not alone. You will find that one that only needs your love. You might have already had, but until you give him a chance to explain you are not going to feel better. Don’t walk away from him based on a cheap blue shirt. Your relationship deserves more than being torn apart from a ripped shirt.”
Here’s the backstory for this week’s challenge: The tin-foil hat, Mayan apocalypse conspiracy people were wrong about the world ending in 2012. Hooray. Time for them to go back to watching grassy knoll footage in slow motion. BUT!
They were only half wrong. There’s a gigantic meteor hurtling toward earth at an alarming rate, and a 97.3% probability that we’re all going the way of the dodos and dinosaurs within three months. So, this year you aren’t going to make resolutions about losing a notch on your belt. You aren’t going to concern yourself about polishing off Remembrance of Things Past once and for all. You don’t even care a jot about emptying your email inbox. In three months, doompocalpyse is going to be upon us. So what are you going to do?
Fuck you 2012! Gone are the old days of weepie tears, fat thoughts, binge eating, self-destruction. The world is ending in three months! I’m tired of being nice! I’m tired of being sorry for shit I didn’t even do. Quite honestly I don’t even like the puss-puss I’ve become, so watch out World, I have three months to live! My three months start now.
My new beginning starts now. I call my peep in NYC.
“Shirley! It’s me Cheese!”
“Cheese…Why you talking funny?”
“You owe me bitch.”
“Sorry. No, I’m not sorry. No more apologizes. It’s the new me.”
“Ok, you’re not a bitch. I need a ride.”
“You in China Town?”
“I’ll be there tomorrow.”
“Ahh, you come visit and shopping? I find you good purse.”
“Shirley! The world is ending. That crap is crap! Let’s travel.”
“Paris! Where else? My passport is no good. I need you to hook me up with one of those guys.”
“You know the pimps that brought you over here from China. The ones you had to work off your freedom with hardcore sex.”
“Nooo, I virgin!”
“What about those stories you talked about hiding in small places in the dark cold and listening to people call your name. You said you almost wanted to cry in pain.”
“That was the story of me playing hide-n-seek as a child. I’m American. I’ve never been to China.”
“You can’t be an American. You’re not smart like all those other Asians in school and you talk funny.”
“So, you stupid and talk funny too.”
“You’re a dumbass!”
“Ok fine. I’ll be a dumbass, but can you help me?”
“Yes, stop watching CSI, 24 and all those television shows, oh and try getting off the caffeine. Are you still on your way to NYC?”
“Yep, the bus is still moving. I guess I’m screwed for the last 3 months of my life. I sold all my stuff.”
“No you didn’t. You too lazy.”
“Fine, you’re right. I was in a hurry to leave. Talking about it makes it sound kind of stupid. I just thought with the world falling apart I should run off and live my dream and travel around France.”
“You can stay with me in China Town. It might only be NYC, but I can show you China, Russia, Italy, Poland and the world for that matter without ever leaving the country.”
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.
Beth finished applying her second coat of mascara. Then she smiled back into the mirror to check her teeth. Her cell phone began to buzz and vibrate along the counter. It was her alarm. The alarm she set to leave the house to pick up Wendy. They had RSVP for the fall trunk show at their favorite boutique. The owner had scheduled a live performance from a new men’s a cappella group. The singing sensations were famous for not only their romantic songs but for the eye-candy of a show with muscle-toned arms, six-pack abs and bulges in all the right places. Beth sprayed one last puff of cheap perfume.
Beth arrived at Wendy’s house. Wendy was home alone. Her husband, Bob, was one of those beef eating animal hunters. Wendy refused him to hang any of his trophies, but that did not stop him from chasing the hunt with his bow and arrow. He just donated his catch to friends and coworkers. Tonight, was the eve of deer season. While Wendy was to be spending money on fashion and enjoying the show, her husband was to be camping with old fraternity brothers.
Beth knocked on the glass door and walked in announcing herself. “Wendy, are you ready? You should see my new mascara. It’s supposed to be thick lash. I had to put two coats on. You would think at thirty-five dollars a tube, it would take less than two coats to give me same effect as the five dollar drug store brand.” Beth stopped in the living room. Wendy was sitting on the ottoman crying. Her makeup was smearing as she wiped off the tears streaming down her cheeks.
“Honey, what’s wrong?”
“That bitch…” Wendy pointed towards her window.
Wendy nodded in agreement. “That stupid bitch is ruining my life.”
“The grave, remember the grave for Wrinkles?”
“No, I never knew you had a pet.”
“Well, I did. I loved my Wrinkles. Then that woman comes along to ruin it for us.”
“Shut the front door! You think your neighbor killed your dog.”
“No, not my dog. Wrinkles was my hamster.”
“I didn’t know you had a hamster. I’ve been your friend for last five years and you’ve never told me about a hamster.”
“He was a childhood pet. He died when I was eight. I was like really upset when he died, so my mom let me have him get stuffed. Then I put one of those little voice recorders in it with a recording of him playing in his cage. I could push on his chest to hear the recording. I loved having stuffed Wrinkles. It was like he was still alive without having to feed him or clean his poop.”
“That’s sick Wendy.”
“That’s what Bob said, so when we moved here last year he made me bury it. I went out and buried it. Then I ordered a tombstone for him. It was so beautiful. I held this small private ceremony.”
“Apparently, I wasn’t invited.”
“What does all this have to do with your neighbor?”
“That bitch decided to dig it up.”
“Yuck! Are you kidding me?”
“No, I’m serious. The tombstone is gone. There was a hole in the yard.”
“How dare that woman to dig up your hamster tombstone. Where was it buried?” Beth asked as she looked out the window.
Wendy got up and started to point. “Over there”
“Over there, next to the new patio.”
“Wendy, you don’t have a patio.”
“I know. It’s my neighbors.”
“Wendy, are you telling me that you buried your hamster,Wrinkles, in your neighbor’s yard?”
“Of course, why would I want to bury it in my new yard? Bob pays a lot of money to landscapers to keep our yard amazing. I don’t want to mess our yard up, so I notice that the neighbor never went in her back yard. That’s when I decided to plant my dear sweet Wrinkles there.”
“With a tombstone? How big was it?”
“It was small, like the size of a medium pizza box. Don’t forget I also planted daisies beside it. Before me, that woman had no flowers in her yard. Now, she decides to build a patio right where my Wrinkles was resting.”
“Wendy, that yard belongs to her. She can dig up any grave you place there. Look at how happy she is sitting there reading a book.”
“I thought you were my friend, not hers.”
“I am. I’m just saying that maybe your neighbor is not such a bitch because she dug up a grave you placed on her property.”
“Are you ready? We’re going to be late for the musical performance if we don’t hurry.”
“Sure, but one more thing; when we get back, can you help me dig in her trash to look for Wrinkles?”