Tag Archives: writer

I have a desk


I have a cat who naps on my old library desk where I write.  This is one of my favorite pictures.

I have an old library desk where I write.

I have words swimming in my head.  These are some of my favorites — bric-a-brac, innocuous, innuendo, ubiquitous, kismet, juxtaposition.

I have notebooks: big ones and little ones and a million scraps of paper that I use to record my thoughts.  Once when I couldn’t find something, W pointed out that I save everything.  I couldn’t tell if this was a criticism or a compliment.

I have a king-sized bed covered in flannel sheets.  It is warm and soft and inviting.

I have books and magazines and newspapers.  When I am in bed, I surround myself with them.  It is a fortress made of paper and words.

I have pens and markers that I use to make notes and jot down ideas.  At night, the paper and  pens get mixed in with the sheets and the blankets and our slumbering bodies.  I tell W this is what happens when you live with a writer.

I have dreams.  Good ones and bad ones that I remember in snippets.  I try to write them down, but I am almost always too late.

I have good intentions to empty my brain every day and transfer my thoughts to clean sheets of paper.  It never works out the way I had planned.  Sometimes this is a good thing, and sometimes it is not.

I have writing that I am proud of.  My pieces always seem different when they are in print.  More important and truer for some unknown reason.  When I’m alone, I read them out loud and wonder who that person was who wrote like that.

* * *

I wrote this from a prompt in my writing group.  The assignment was to write a list poem starting each line with the words “I have” similar to the poem I have a horse by Tomaž Šalamun. You can read the poem here.  Try it yourself.

Recently, I had a piece published in an LGBT anthology.  Off the Rocks, Volume 18 can be purchased here.

Lady luck and shooting stars

It’s December, but I see them everywhere.

LadybugI spot the first one on a windowsill in the upstairs bathroom.  A lonely lady bug walking along the painted white ledge while the outside cold seeps in through the gaps and cracks of the old window.

I offer my hand and she crawls onto it.  Her hard shell belies her delicate nature.  I admire her armor, which protects her sensitive parts from the world.  We are alike in that way.

As the month of December passes, I find more.  One on my bedside table.  Another on my bedroom windowsill.  Several end up on the bed, pacing back and forth on the striped flannel sheets.  I find one under my pillow as I’m positioning it for the night.  It’s as if someone else placed a wish there for me.  The universe, perhaps.  If you believe in those sorts of things.

I believe in those sorts of things.  Omens.  Signs.  Signs from God.  Signs from the universe.

I pay attention when a bevy of ladybugs takes up residence in my house in the middle of December.  And I seem to be the only one to spot them.

I know it is my animal totem.  At least one of them.  The one that matters at this moment.

But I don’t look it up.  I don’t want to know what it means.

Good luck, I imagine.  They are lucky ladybugs after all.

I don’t want to know any more.

December is my month to hibernate, to rest up for 2015.  I deserve it.  The nothingness.  I’ve earned it.  At least that’s what I tell myself.

On New Year’s Day, I look up ladybug as an animal totem.  It means “wish fulfilled.”  The appearance of a lady bug heralds a time of luck and protection in which wishes begin to be fulfilled.

I know that for my wishes to come true, I have to write.

I wonder why I resist so much.  Sometimes it seems like the hardest thing to do in the world is to pick up a pen and scratch out a few sentences.  Good sentences or bad sentences, it doesn’t matter.  Starting is always hard.

Even on the first day of the new year I don’t want to write.

No shame.

No shame.

W shuts off the L Word reruns we are watching on Netflix.  Like she is my mother and knows what’s best for me.

She says she is helping me.

I just want to watch The L Word.

I figure I could be known for that.  Watching The L Word over and over and over again.  It was a groundbreaking drama.  Ten years ago.  But still.  Groundbreaking.  Where’s the shame in that?

Or online Scrabble.  I could just play Scrabble on my iPad on the intermediate setting.  How could there be any shame in Scrabble, America’s favorite word game?

But what I really want to be known as is a writer, which means I must write.

About ladybugs or The L Word or Scrabble.  It doesn’t really matter.  I just need to write.

* * *

Shooting StarDriving home on New Year’s Eve, we see a shooting star.

It’s a dot of white light that seems to fall from the sky.  A singular blip like the electronic “ball” in the game Pong.  It’s there and then it isn’t.

“Did you see that?” W asks.

“I did.”

It seems almost too perfect.  A shooting star to start off the new year.

I freeze inside.  Hold my breath.  I am too afraid to ask for anything, to make a wish.

Now, I am wondering if it is too late.  What’s the expiration date on a shooting star?

But maybe the wish part is optional.

Maybe it was the universe winking its eye.  Saying I’ve got this, I’ve got you.  No worries.  2015 is going to be epic.  Just you wait and see.

It’s all in your point of view

TypewriterI was sitting in my writing group on Tuesday reading out loud a chapter of my memoir-in-progress, or mip, as I like to say.

Actually, I just coined the term mip. [flexes writer muscle]

I liked the chapter itself, well, at least most of it anyway. You know how critical writers can be.

But I was having problems envisioning it fitting in with the other chapters. It was the sad little chapter that no one wanted to play with in the schoolyard.

(If I close my eyes, I can already see the finished book, which is not a good thing because it’s totally stifling my creativity and constricting my writing. But, damn, I look sexy on the back cover.)

Anyway, something was wrong with the chapter. I just couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

“Maybe it’s your point of view,” someone in my group suggested.

A chorus of angels started singing — Beyonce bustin’ the place up and Heidi Klum yodeling — and the skies lit up like it was the 4th of freakin’ July. Hey, it’s my blog.

Point of view. That’s what it was.

Fuck Me PumpsI had altered the point of view in the chapter, which made it uneven and unbalanced when compared with the other chapters. It was like a drunk hooker in a pair of fuck me pumps.

The whole thing has got thinking about my point of view. I see things from many different viewpoints: woman, lesbian, mother, writer, and partner, to name a few.

Sometimes these different lenses produce the same thought. Sometimes they don’t.

I need to try harder to see things from different perspectives and not the rigid ones that come quickly and easily.

Case in point: We seem to have more problems with one of our kids than the other two. I usually look at the situation through my bifocaled parent lenses. I sometimes forget that I was a kid once and did some weird things. Like stealing booze from my parents’ liquor cabinet and storing it in saline bottles that I took with me to parties and other events. They must have thought that I had really dry eyes that needed constant lubrication. And telling my brother every five minutes or so that he was adopted. No, really, I saw your REAL parents drop you off.

Point of view: If it makes a difference in writing, I bet it makes a difference in life.