Friday, August 21, 2009

Confidence

I posted part of this on a friend’s blog, in response to his post, then decided it was too self-indulgent and deleted it. With some prompting, I’ve decided to post it here. I can be self-indulgent on my own blog, right? I received another poetry acceptance today, so I think the post is appropriate.

I was the very uncool kid in high school writing bitter words filled with angst, assuming those words were nothing more than cleverly disguised crap. Even now when I write, whether poetry, short stories, or novels, I second guess myself time and time again and fear my words are still worthless.

Self-doubt is a powerful thing. It wraps itself inside and squeezes tight. Sometimes the only way to achieve confidence is to 'fake it until you feel it'. My day job is professional belly dance and I know the first fifty or so times I danced in front of an audience, I was terrified and filled with horrible thoughts about myself. I kept dancing though, donning faux confidence like a second skin, and eventually, that second skin got a little thinner. Later still, I realized somewhere along the way, it had fallen off. Sure, I still have days where I get an uncomfortable tug inside right before a show. A little tug that says 'hey you, what do you think you're doing, you call yourself a dancer?', but most of the time, I can push it away. I know it's just the self-doubt, trying in vain to trip me up again. I know I've reached a skill level with dance where I can be confident.

In my opinion, that's the key. Reaching the level where you feel you have something worthwhile to give and don’t have to wear a second skin. For writers, maybe it comes when you can acknowledge your words are good. Maybe not perfect, but good. How do you get there? I think it takes time, lots and lots of words (good, bad, and indifferent), honest critiques from other writers you trust not to just blow sunshine up your...well, you know, and maybe a few hundred acceptances.

I think.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Untitled Bit of Flash Poetry

The words
are never spoken,
and faded eyes slip away
to anywhere
but the spaces
between.

Dreams lost
amid a storm
of grey
and wishful thinking.

Sugar, he says,
it can’t always be
roses and winestems.
Sometimes
glass shatters,
and thorns
have their place.

I ignore it all
and drift away
from me,
from you.

Out of the whole,
and into a sleepless
walk -
numb,
and barely
breathing.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Totally Random Post Made at 3:33 a.m. About a Spider

Spiders.

I hate them. Even the word makes me itch. I have always had a deep fear of the 8 legged monsters. No, I don't remember any particular childhood trauma. The fear has always been there. I just went out on my back porch for a smoke (Yes, I smoke. Yes, I know it's bad for me, but I like it. Sue me.) and sat down on the chair and saw it. No, not the spider itself. I saw that the last time I went outside. I kept my eye on it, too. A very, very close eye.

No, I saw one fine line of spiderweb leading from said spider's previous location to the arm of the chair in which I was sitting. I jumped up and of course, started to itch and shake, because what if, boys and girls, what if that spider was on the chair, and in the few seconds between my bum hitting the seat and my eyes registering that web, it crawled on me? Nope, fear is not the word. Mortal terror is the proper term.

I am terrified of spiders. Even a picture on the 'net will result in shivers (and so not the good kind) and a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I've had several people tell me how cool they are, and what wondrous, good things they do (Ha!), but I do not care. They are repulsive.

And that spider? The one with the audacity to spin a web on my porch? Well, I don't think it crawled on me, but I have to say, I think that was the fastest cigarette I've ever smoked, and the entire time I stood outside, I brushed myself off, checked my limbs (because what if it crawled on my bare skin?), shook my clothes, shook out my hair, and prepared a shriek, just in case he made an appearance. Never mind the grasshopper, the moths, the Japanese beetle, or the cicada also on my porch. They are quite okay in my book.

Now I am back inside, but I'm still itchy and please, please, please spider-free.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My First Short Story Sale

I can't believe it. My short story, 'The Depository', will appear in the April 2010 issue of Bards and Sages Quarterly. This is the first short story I've sold. I am thrilled and a little breathless, which is why this post is so short. :)

Bards and Sages Quarterly

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Edits and Emerald Tales

Well boys and girls, the edits for my MS are done, and the tale is off to my three beta readers. I'm relieved and quite happy with the way the second draft turned out. Is that the end of the edits? Nope. Depending on the feedback from my betas, there may be more edits to the story itself, as well as grammar and comma checks, ad nauseam.

In the interim, I've been working a little bit on the next tale, a few bits of poetry, and a short story.

And on another note, the first issue of Emerald Tales is available. It includes my poem, 'Monarch', as well as poems and short stories from other writers. If you would like to obtain a copy, please visit the publisher, Scribblers and Ink Spillers here.