Spoilt 9th (#9)

It was never supposed to be this way. It never HAD been this way so what possessed me to try this year I’ll never guess. Maybe it was a last HURRAH before shit hit the fan. Maybe I wanted to try to inject some sunshine into everybody else’s shit storm and let them forget for a while.

I should have known better. But I wanted to try.

It started with a request. A simple request, as had been done every year before.

“Mom, I want a water balloon fight for my birthday.”

One year it was a cake. Just a simple chocolate cake with Neapolitan frosting colors. One year, she wanted a garden. I was so proud of my daughter for choosing unique gifts instead of bombarding me with requests for Tablets or Xbox One’s or Razor Scooters. Maybe not having cable in the house really did help.

It was still a huge deal to get ANYTHING for her birthday though since we used to be Jehovah’s Witness and thus eschewed any holiday traditions. What the kids didn’t know, they couldn’t miss and that’s the way it was. I did let them celebrate holidays at school since that was not at home. I refused to take them out of the classroom and let them believe they were being punished by not getting cupcakes. Ridiculous. Since we’ve cut ties with the good ol’ JW’s however, security had been lightened and I had no problem going back to my roots and getting my kid a small gift for the anniversary of her birth.

Water balloon fight. Cool. I can do that. It wouldn’t break the budget to get her a couple packs and maybe a little cake. She was all into Five Nights at Freddie’s so I knew the cake would have to be red and bloody and gory. It was a simple enough request so I got red and black frosting misters and a glittery red gel writer for the top.

That was it. That’s all that was supposed to happen. Then the texts started coming.

“What size clothes does she wear?” From my sister.

“What’s she into now?” From my cousin.

“Where are we having the party?” From my mom.

Wha…? Did I miss a memo somewhere? Since when was this a big ol’ thing? Okay, whatevs. I answered the first two no problem but as to the last… my house wasn’t big enough for lots of guests. I assumed from the texts that they weren’t just gonna drop off presents and bone out. So…a park.

Great.

This was right around the time that my brain shut off and my Debit card became an extension of my hand. People. Food. Decorations. Presents. PRESENTS! I couldn’t be the only adult to NOT get my kid something to unwrap! Toys ‘R’ Us. Hot Topic. Barnes and Nobles. Michael’s. WalMart for decorations. Target for wrapping paper and tape. Winco for food.

My god holidays are a media trap.

$400 later I was sequestered inside my laundry room for privacy, wrapping my first present in ten years thinking about whether I would be able to get a job fast enough to replace what I spent so we could make next month’s rent. Getting laid off was a bitch to deal with and humble pie tasted a lot like apple cider vinegar straight from the bottle.

But it would be fun, right? Worth it. Parties always were when I was growing up.

Well.

Mix one homeless and car-less sister who had suddenly become a single parent because of the death of her baby daddy with a depressed starving artist step dad, an over worked and under-appreciated mother and a hypochondriac cousin and see what you get.

Yeah. The tension was palatable. Yum.

On top of that, I was a terrible organizer. Or at least, this time I was. My plans had been blasted out of the water and I had to scramble to throw shit together. I over bought on just about everything. Way too much food for only 8 people. I didn’t even use the decorations because I didn’t get to the park in time to set up before people arrived and ran out of time to make the cake so I bought one instead, which was way bigger than it needed to be.  Great start!

The park site we got was bug infested. Black biting gnats were everywhere and no one had thought to bring citronella candles or bug spray. The kids didn’t care though. They were outside with the promise of getting wet, which was the whole point. I silently listened to the group of conversations going on around the table while I mixed dip and laid out sandwich stuff.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do about the funeral. I can’t even give him a good casket…”

“I’m on Somas and Tramadol for my pain and my doctor said I should have any ibuprofen in the mean time because of what happened during my surgery…”

“At work they just fuck around and take extra long breaks. I have to lecture them every damn time and I’m getting ready to write them up and give them an ultimatum…”

I mixed a drink for myself. Fireball whiskey and RC cola. I hadn’t had soda in months due to the new healthy diet I was on. I was slowly trying to  get myself off of sugar but I wasn’t sure I could deal with the negativity sober. Or at least without liquid happiness.

This was a bad idea.

I took the kids down to the creek and I plopped my jacket over my head to keep me from developing skin cancer. While they waded in and squealed over the moss collecting around their ankles I dipped my feet in the dirty silty creek shore and filled up the water guns one by one. I double-handed them and made the kids squeal louder with my squirting antics. So fun!

It’s all about the memories right? They’ll remember this for the rest of their life. The first time in a creek with the tadpoles and dirt and fish. I felt ashamed that this was the first time they’d been in a creek before. I practically learned how to swim in one as a kid, we were always camping and hiking. I was fearless.

We had a slew of visitors come and offer me drinks and conversation and snacks. I sat and tried not to think. This was supposed to be a bright spot in the middle of the craptacular month. I couldn’t add my woes to it so I smiled and drank and squirted until it was time to get things moving again. The bugs were getting too bad to tolerate for much longer and the sun was glaring relentlessly.

Time to get the ball rolling. Get on with getting on with this sham of a party.

Cake time! I announced. We wrapped the kids in over-sized towels and sand “Happy Birthday” for the first time in my daughter’s life. Then we ate cake and I smushed cake in her face. Bad mama. Ohhh she loved it though. It was gluey and half melted with way too much frosting but we ate.

Then it was Time. PRESENTS!

I don’t know who was more excited, me or the kids. Brightly wrapped gifts (or in this case, black and red to match the FNAF theme). Boxes and bundles of surprises, of unknown pleasures waiting to be discovered. And for me, I get to experience the opposite side of the equation now. Instead of the anticipation of getting the presents, I get to experience the joy of giving them.

With the family primed for pictures, we started. I gave her something boring first, trying to confuse her and lead her up the “Big Present.”

“Paint mom? Really?”

“Yeahh!” I said, upbeat with a big smile. “It’ll make sense in a minute.”

Chartreuse eyes looked at me skeptically but eagerly surveyed the big box on the table in speculation. The next one was a little purse with matching sunglasses that I thought she would love. She had complained that she needed new sunglasses and they were brightly colored in pink and green, her favorite colors, so I thought she would at least be thrilled with this gift. I bit my cheek when I saw her lips turn down and say not a word. She moved on to the next. Clothes. An emoji shirt (which she’d been all into with her class that year) and some pink capri pants.

“These are boring,” she said. “Not what I wanted at all. They’re kind of stupid.”

There was an audible snap in my brain and my rage came pouring out like liquid hot magma.

“Don’t be a spoiled brat Kate. You should be grateful you’re getting anything at all,” I whispered fiercely, bending down to her level so she could see the fury in my face. “I can take every single present back to the store and you’ll have NOTHING. Is that what you want?”

But I wanted Five Nights and Freddie’s–”

“BE GRATEFUL FOR WHAT YOU GOT, BRAT!”

Yes, I realized later that my mother came out of my mouth just then. Her eye brows were in her hair, arched in surprise, looking at the intense scene. It’s not like she wouldn’t have done any less. Hell, she would have smacked mine and my sister’s mouths if we were ever ungrateful shits like that!

There was a hushed silence and Kate looked gobsmacked. I slammed her next present on the table in front of her, emphasizing my immense displeasure. It was a new drawing book with a beautiful pastel cover that I now figured she would probably never use and moved away from her before my fingers wrapped around her little white neck.

Somebody else took pictures. I stood back in my hateful little bubble and watched as she blew through the rest of her gifts. Clothes, drawing books, scented crayons for God’s sake! And the piece de resistance: an awesome “Spin Art” activity that my sister and I begged for as kids but we never got. It was seriously, the creme de la creme of presents in my mind. How happy I was to give her something I never got to have! And it was pushed aside without a second glance.

I was done.

I started picking up trash and packing things away, silently seething. How did I raise such an ungrateful little wretch like that? I’ve always taught her manners, to say please and thank you, to share and be generous. She painted her teacher a coffee mug when I took her to a ceramics place. She ALWAYS shares her after school snack with her sister. She loves baking cookies for her class mates and giving them out just to be a nice kid. So what happened?  THIS level of nonchalance I didn’t understand. It was so out of character for her. I wanted to take everything back and teach her a lesson. Lucky for her most of the receipts were thrown away already.

My black mood seemed to be the straw the broke the camel’s back. While the kids entertained themselves with the promised water balloon fight, everyone else gathered their stuff and boned out. I got a quick kiss and some murmured advice.

“It’s just overwhelming for her. Don’t be too harsh.”

“Her first party. It was bound to happen. She’ll come around.”

Never again. This was the first and last party I would ever throw. I plunked everything in the car and drove home, trying to find room in my fridge for all the extra food no one ate and setting the half eaten cake on the counter. Fuck it. Fuck it all.

I stayed in my room like a grumpy adult child the rest of the day, barking out orders and losing myself to my own distractions. What they said was right. Kate had been overwhelmed with everything and I was willing to forgive her for that. She was still little and it was her first party ever. But this reminded me of the reason I never wanted to start celebrating in the first place, even after we left religion behind.

People make such a huge deal out of holidays, frantically running around trying to find the perfect gifts and decorations and food. They get anxious and spend way too much money and go into debt for one perfect day. Why? For what? It was too much to take in all in one day. Too much excitement, like having nothing but sugary treats all day long and then feeling hung over by the end of the night with an achy stomach and the world spinning.

I got it. I really did. But I was never ungrateful for the stuff I got.

The next day I sat Kate down and made her draw out and write Thank you cards to everyone with her new scented crayons. I still refused to look her in the eye but I did calmly explain why her reaction made me upset and that I would like a little more appreciation from her for the things she was given.

Because I was the adult. One of us had to be.

Adulting sucks. Don’t adult.

 

I’m the Punch Line. Wow, Really? #4

-There’s a concert tonight at San Souci Bar. The Polecats are playing. Wanna go? Free of charge.- 

I glanced at the clock and did a quick mental calculation. Take meat out to defrost now, make dinner at 5:30, get ready at 7:30, have a celebratory drink at home so I don’t have to pay for alcohol, be out until about 11 and back home snuggled in bed with a book by 12. Hmm…

-HELL YES!!! I typed back. Come by before so we can get ready! I’ll even feed you, lol.-

-LOL, K. –

I rolled off the couch where I’d been browsing pinterest on my phone and hurried into my room, my brain racing ahead for possibilities. Did I even HAVE an concert clothes that fit anymore? I pulled open my closet doors and rummaged through my sad collection of dresses. Pink fluffy, Orange ruffly, matronly black, Purple sequins…? Meh. I dismissed everything. Who was I kidding? It was the dead of winter and most of the dresses were a size too small now.

I looked down at my gray leggings and my blue cheetah print slip dress. It was long sleeved and hugged my curves nicely while hiding my bulges. I’ll just add black boots and a knee length jacket to hide my large ass and call it a night. I’d never been to San Souci and didn’t know what to expect. Bombay was classy. The Garage was a dive. The outfit was a nice mix of elegant and casual. Accepted anywhere and I didn’t care if beer or taco sauce dripped on it. Gotta love cotton.

Rina got here early to escape her parents’ endless questions and unload her drama on me. I’m so lonely. My dog is sick. I’m so tired of living with my parents… yadda yadda yadda. Sounded like a Country song. I was nice enough to nod in sympathy and make noises of concern because no one ever listened to my advice anyway. I was learning not to mind that I was largely ignored in this regard. What did I know anyway? I’d only been in the longest running relationship out of anyone in my family, ever. Well. Whatever. At least I was kept in the loop.

I fed Rina tacos to cheer her up and we killed time talking/complaining and watching the kids play video games while my husband ignored us and plugged into the computer. Occasionally he would burst out in a guffaw of laughter that quieted the entire room temporarily and he’d apologize. At 8:00 I brushed my teeth and hair, stuffed a water bottle in my purse along with my wallet and a grabbed a book (cuz I never leave home without one) and we left an hour early.

Rina and I ALWAYS get to the bars early now to reserve seating. This was largely due to the fact that one night when we were going to a concert, on time like good little garage band fans, we were wearing heels and discovered that all the tables were taken. Yeah. That was a special kind of pain to a woman who LOVES flip flops and Chucks. That night my ratty thrift store slouch boots made an appearance. Who cares if the toe was chewed and they were a size too big? I could dance in them and they wouldn’t kill my feet. Besides, with a rack like mine, no one would be looking at my feet.

San Souci was tiny and a hole in the wall place that I walked by probably a million times without even a glance inside. I showed my ID at the door, snorting at my ten year old photo. I hadn’t changed much, which was the important thing. I still looked like me. I just wish that my weight now matched my weight on the card.

There were the typical smokers and boozers outside, already too loud and punchy. It seems like a drink and chill kind of place. An in-between place before the next thumping club with harsh obnoxious music. Rina took a quick survey of the tiny room and bee-lined for our boys, the Polecats. I followed more sedately, giving brief hugs and saying little because Rina had already launched into her latest drama. I took out my book and found an out of the way chair. I’d already heard it before.

Thank God for selective hearing, a skill I learned from my abusive stepfather. Bad-mouthing me seemed to make him feel better so I learned to tune him out. He was usually too drunk to notice. It was a kind of harmony between us I guess. Useful skill though.

“Reading huh?” some smiley tipsy guy asked, sitting beside me and wafting his beer breath near my nose.

“Nope. Just making sure this paper gets enough air,” I said cheerfully. “Wouldn’t want it to suffocate in my bag.”

Where’s Bill Engvall when you really need him? HERE’S YOUR SIGN.

Something about my demeanor must’ve tipped him off that he was interfering because he gave an uncertain smile and then wove his way back to the other end of the bar. Byyyeeeeeee.

Ah! Finally! There was some activity on the tiny stage. The band had a convenient excuse to brush off Rina by setting up their equipment and I stowed my book away, settling back to let the boys work. Rina grabbed my arm and squeezed.

“It’s been too damn long,” she declared. “I can’t wait for Charlie to sing. I hope they do Mojave Mojo.”

“Looks like we’re getting a private performance,” I replied, looking around. The tables had cleared remarkably fast once word got around that the band was rockabilly based. Peasants. They wouldn’t know good music if it slapped them.

“Their loss,” Rina shrugged.

“Exactly.”

The Polecats were an eclectic bunch. My favorite was their bassist, Stephan, who looked like ZZ top on top, a western country dancer on his torso, and a kilt-wearing goth on the bottom. He was utterly fabulous. The team mascot to be sure. But I really had to give credit to the other three as well. They made the perfect quartet with Tommy’s bad ass drumming, “Skim Jim”‘s mad shredding skills on the guitar and Charlie’s beautiful honey lovin’ voice. Together, they were amazing. Fast or slow, they had no bad songs.

We stood right in front of the tiny stage, as we always did. There was only a brief moment passing guilt for obstructing the audience’s view. What little audience there was. I thought it might annoy the Polecats but I figured it was the sound that mattered, not the visuals so I stayed put. Rina and I exchanged excited smiles and we giggled madly. The drummer knocked his sticks.

“ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR!”

And then bliss started.

Ever the mover and a shaker I danced in place, uncaring who looked on. Rina shimmied beside me, her eyes flirting with Charlie. I could tell I was going to be on my own tonight. There was no getting her attention for the next hour. That’s fine. Music was too loud to talk anyway. Just the way I liked it even though I couldn’t understand half of what he sang. I twirled in place and kicked my feet up, swinging my ponytail around till it was frizzed out and poofy. I felt my boobs bouncing in the bra and the jacket slapped against my thighs. I was smiling from ear to ear, my chipped and crooked teeth gleaming in the lights of the stage. I was probably sweating a bit. I wasn’t aware of these things. Not while I was dancing.

This was heaven. I was away from home, listening to a really good band whom I admired. I was able to sing along with their songs because I’d worn out their CD. It was different experience going to a famous person’s concert and singing along with thousands of fans all together. That was uplifting and pretty damn cool. But singing the lyrics to songs made by local boys who were largely unknown felt like showing off. Like, YEP we were true fans. We found this band first, we know them personally, and we bought their CD’s because we support them wholeheartedly. We had TOP FAN status. It felt good.

Much to my surprise, after a few songs had played, I feel an arm slide over my shoulder and I look back to see a mysterious dark-skinned man grinning at me.

Whaaa? I looked up at this new man awkwardly craning my neck around to see his bright white grin. I couldn’t so anything but smile crookedly back. What the hell?? He reached over and took Rina’s shoulders as well and she gave me an alarmed look. Then we kind of swayed to the music like a white-girl “can’t dance” sandwich. We stumbled and fumbled, sweaty and giggling and crashing into each other. Rina was laughing uncertainly as this continued through another song and I could tell her vibe was thrown off. When he left to refill his cup we exchanged looks. Mine was flippant, like whatever. Hers was twitchy and anxious. Oh great. That was a downer if I’d ever seen one.

No, no NO! Dammit screw her! I didn’t mind dancing with the dude so I’m not going to let whatever was bothering her affect me. When another fast song came on I was doing the Charleston standing in place and I felt a tap on my shoulder.

AGAIN?

I turned around and was looking at a leather vest over a flannel shirt. What kind of a fashion statement was that? My eyes traveled up and up and UP. Whoa. They encountered a beard, twinkly blue eyes and a grown-in dark brown mohawk. Later Rina would dub him Mr. Cockatoo.

“May I have this dance?”

Dance? You can have my arm. My leg. My first born child. Well…third anyway. Damn! And I couldn’t believe it but he could actually DANCE. Legit, throw me around like a rag doll, dance. He was pro. The patrons around me blurred as I was waltzed into a world every woman dreams of being in. Flung far away, twirled under his arm, brought close, dancing cheek to cheek. You can keep all the flowers and chocolates and diamonds in the world to yourself. Present me with a man who could dance, and was willing to in public, and I was butter in his hands. And that’s exactly how I danced. Sloppy and clumsy, stepping on his toes and probably smacking him in the face a couple times with my hair. I was smiling too much to apologize.

It must’ve been interesting to watch this giant toothpick of a man and plump little olive of a woman tear up the dance floor. My friend stood back and just grinned like a mad woman, applauding me while eyeing Mr. Dark nervously. When I was delivered back to her, sweating and panting, she fanned me.

“Nice moves there Ginger Rogers.”

“HA! I probably broke his toes!” I said it with a grin though.

“But you’re happy?”

“Hell yes I am! Ain’t been handled like that in a long while.”

“Your poor husband. Trumped by a Cockatoo.”

“I would dance with the ugliest man on earth if he could cut a rug like that.”

I paused by my purse during a slower song to hydrate and my ears sharpened on a conversation behind me somewhere.

“It’s like a pity fuck man, but a dance” a guy chuckled, not bothering to muffle his speech. “Find the ugliest and fattest chick in the club then throw her a round a little, give her some attention, and she’s your bitch for the night.”

“Yeah,” his girlfriend agreed, getting in on the cruel joke. “Except it’s worse because it was in public. Definitely a pity dance. I can’t believe she’s not embarrassed. I would be!”

I slowly lowered the water bottle from my lips and capped it, hands clenching the plastic until it crackled in protest. I felt my cheeks start to burn with something that wasn’t exertion. It was a numbing kind of burn that spread out through my face and trickled down my body like liquid nitrogen. It reached my lungs and made me take slow deep breaths. I remained kneeling for a few seconds more, absorbing with this knowledge.

I was the punch line to a fat joke? Really? Had I really become the fat chick everyone pitied but admired for her spunk? People felt SORRY for me so they felt obligated to throw me a bone?  I flicked a glance at my friend. She was back in front of the band, swaying blissfully. She didn’t notice anything.

I got up.

There were two ways people usually react to over-hearing a conversation like I did. They run away with their tail between their legs and go eat a pint or three of Hagen Daas. I could have. I knew I was fat. Fattest I’ve ever been in my life. I had double chins and back fat and my thighs rubbed together horrendously when I wore a skirt. I could excuse myself from public and go wallow in mud like the pig I was. Or I could make an even bigger fool of myself by raging at the trolls, pouring more scrutiny on myself with expletives and a rousing shouting match to which I knew I would break down and cry in the middle of.

I did neither of these things. I re-tied my hair, ready for battle. You can do battle with frizzies. I sucked in my gut, spun on my heel and swept past the trolling couple, purposely banging my arm into the back of their heads.

“Bitch!” they hissed and I turned and smirked at them, holding their guilty eyes long enough to make them turn away and lower their insults to murmurs. Then I walked straight back to Mr. Cockatoo and held out my pudgy hand to him, bowing slightly in greeting.

“May I have another dance?” I purred. “I haven’t had enough.”

After the surprise had left his face, he grinned, set down his drink and took my hand, squeezing it and setting me into a spin.

And it was true. Who cares if I was the Punch line to a fat joke? Rina couldn’t ruin my night with her whining or her strange men PTSD and she was my best friend. There’s no way in hell I was going to let a couple of trolls ruin my night by being assholes. Stick it to them. This wickedly tall and talented man chose ME to dance with because I was willing. Ms. fakey liposuction twiggy wanna-be didn’t have my nerve, my guts or my humility to be handled by such a man. Puta.

At the end of the night, all I asked for was a picture with Mr. Cockatoo.

“I like your spirit,” he murmured to me. “Thanks for saying yes,”

I’m married. I remembered that as we cuddled up in the picture and smiled at Rina’s camera. I thanked him for the dance, said good-bye to the Polecats and thanked them as well for a wonderful night.

“Aside from Mr. Piranha (the toothsome black dancer), it was a good night right?” Rina said as we walked back to her car.

“Oh yeah!” I said.

Yes I’m fat. Yes my clothes fit finny. Yes, I have self-esteem issues. But when a man wants to dance with me to a great band, there’s nothing better in the world than that.

She dropped me off at home and my husband was still plugged into the computer. The kids were asleep. I showered and snuggled into bed by 11, took out a book and for a brief moment, held the memory close that even though I was a Punch Line, I was chosen out of everyone for one perfect night.

Thank you Universe. I needed that. Hashtag “Positive vibes”.

Rational, Schmational! Hating the ones that have come before

Definition of Irrational (ir-ASH-in-AL): Not logical or reasonable.

This is a rant about about me being slightly juvenile. I’m not proud of it but I think a lot of people will legit understand where I’m coming from. It’s all about the journey and this is the exact reason this blog was started. So bear with me! I am still very much infantile in this realm of writing professionalism. 

Sometimes, humans are irrational. They have irrational fears, like thunder booming during a storm or fear of the dentist. (Although fear of pain is never irrational and I believe it to be healthy and logical!) We also have irrational happiness aka “Punch Drunk”. Like, WHYYYYYY is that Pepsi commercial so funny? I DON’T KNOW!! But I’m crying and wetting my pants because I can’t stop laughing!! And we also have irrational anger. Things we think about that creep on us that we know are ridiculous but can’t help being mad about. I had mine today.

So shameful.

Like, last night my husband watched a YouTube video about Common Core Math and I went berserk about it. I was completely irrational–okay not COMPLETELY, I really did have a valid reason to be upset about it. Building firm foundations and whatnot. Anyway, he wisely didn’t argue with me about it because he saw it was just raw frustration about the failing educational systems and not anything against the concept itself. Good on him.

Unfortunately and not surprising in the least, another irrational grievance cropped up, this time aimed at my favorite past-time. (Can you guess what it was?) I had decided to aim my horns at those lovely, accomplished and well-established millionaire novelists who have whole book cases dedicated to their prolific writing career. Yes, Nora Roberts and James Patterson, I’m talking about you.

SCREW YOU! And your millions too!

(I told you it was shameful. So juvenile…)

It’s NOT FAIR!! I railed, writing furiously in my notebook. Here I am, a nobody, struggling to even get ONE first draft done, to even wrap my head around this damn concept and these people are cranking out four and five books a YEAR! Do they even sleep? Do their editors even pause and READ their manuscripts before stamping “APPROVED” on the title page and sending it the publishers? They make MILLIONS a year off their books.

I gnashed my terrible teeth and roared my terrible irrational roar and kept writing. 

They probably got lucky, I wrote, venom spilling from my pen. They had connections already to smooth their way for them. A relative already in the industry or an editor friend that would “take a glance” when they had free time. Some smarmy English teacher who had a friend of a friend with a small time publishing firm that might be able to help out. It’s all about CONNECTIONS, dammit! Am I right? That’s how it usually goes. UGH! SO UNFAIR!! It was luck! Or chance! Or—

How about Hard Work? 

……………………………………

…………………………………………….

…………………………………………………..WHAT!??!

There was a new voice now amidst the gnashing and roaring. Small but resonant, it lanced through my thick ugly complaints like a hot knife through butter. I was utterly derailed by this magnificent voice of Truth. It was like an epiphany but less fluttery and exciting than those tend to be. More like a baseball bat to the head.

Get your head out of your ass and stop whining. Get some work done, slacker.

But…I’m mad!!

So? Start acting like an adult. Get back to work.

But those damn people! They got it so easy and it makes me so ANGRY I could —

They didn’t become famous by MAGIC. They did the work. But go ahead and be belligerent. See where it takes you. Go ahead. Kiss that writing career goodbye on a tantrum. 

I paused in my writing and waggled the pen in my fingers, contemplating. This voice was starting to sound like a more vulgar version of my husband. Who knew 15 years of partnership could give me a Peter Griffin tumor of my own? “I’m a tumor, I’m a  tumor!” …. Yeah okay, never mind.

The voice was right. I was an idiot for being mad at THEIR success. They did the leg work. Or finger work in this case. They reaped their fan base, they mastered the Golden Technique that got them numerous book deals, they figured out the pulse of the people. THEY found these along their journey to publishing

THIS IS WHAT I HAVE TO REMIND MYSELF OF EVERYDAY. You should too and this is what this blog was all about. Writing about the good, the bad and the ugly. You are not where you want to be in your writing career right now. But someday you WILL BE. I WILL BE. You will get mad and be irrational and that’s fine. So will I. All that frustration has got to go somewhere. Harness it. Use it to fuel your forward success. Everything is an experience than can be written into a story. It’s real and it’s yours.

The journey will take as long as it has to in order to produce a well-informed and terrific novelist. In the end, you’ll enjoy that you took the time to learn.