I just want to finish this story. 

It’s a mess and I know the beginning and I know the end but I can’t figure out a middle. 

And every time I sit down to write I just feel like everything I have to say sounds stupid and childish and amateur. 

I think the only course of action at this point is to get belligerently drunk and write the middle shitfaced on whiskey because honestly I think it’s what the character would do and I don’t know how else writers handle this shit. 

Like. Why did I pick this as a hobby/vocation?

writing am writing not really writing can i just be drunk and hope the words come?

Recommitting myself to the Fuck You, Brian story. Ditching the prompts though. I’m at just about 12k word count right now with a goal of 40k. 

Here’s the promise I’m making to myself. If I get to 40k. (WHEN I get to 40k) which is officially no longer a short story but much closer to a novella I think? I’m still super unclear on how long these things are supposed to be. Anyway, when I get to 40k I’m going to start querying literary agents. Because my life is not scary enough and I feel it could use with more uncertainty, fear of rejection and gut wrenching insecurity. 

I just wrote a story outline and here are my notes on theme:

  • NOT a love story
  • 30 something coming of age
  • about female friendship and second (third? fifth?) chances
  • get your shit together, June. 

I think that about covers it. 

fuck you brian writing fiction

Wrote two chapters on the Whiskey story yesterday and now I’m completely obsessed with it. I’m trying to settle on exactly what flavor of monster we’re dealing with. 

I basically need a good solid 48 hours, a lot of caffeine and/or writing wine (sweet whites, it’s very specific) and someone to listen to me bounce ideas for a while. 

Guess how I’m spending my weekend? Who wants to come over and listen to me babble about mythology and fat babes who help protect monsters from warrior nuns? 

a girl called whiskey writing am writing

Okay, so here’s what I have:

1) A 40,000 word shit show detailing nearly every thought I had while going through a terrible break up. I started writing it the day he dumped me and wrote on it for the year following. I haven’t looked at it in months, I have no idea if it’s even coherent. It’s not fiction, it’s all VERY real life and is basically a collection of essays/blog posts. Who wants to read it?

2) About 8k words on a sci-fi/fantasy, lost civilization in space, bad guy trying to bring back Earth style conservative politics and Christianity. There’s a cat who never dies and the main character is a weird girl who owns a haberdashery on a space ship. It’s…a mess. Who wants to read it?

3) A few thousand words on a sorta love story but mostly about a girl on a drive through the Nevada-California desert and experiencing a love-lost situation in flashbacks. Also a wreck and currently written in fits and starts. I need help fleshing out an actual story arc. Who wants to read it? 

4) The concept/treatment for a children’s book about a hedgehog that I wrote one night while I was super fucked up on sleeping pills. Loosely based off bed time stories I used to tell my brothers. The hedgehog is very lonely because he’s prickly and no one wants to hug him. He’s building a boat in his backyard and a fox steals his shit and his friends help him find his stuff but it turns out that he’d rather help the fox than build his boat. The fox was cold and lonely too. Now they’re besties. I haven’t actually written that one, I just have the general concept. 

So, for those of you who offered to read some of this stuff for me let me know what you’re into. Really I just need people to talk about these stories with so I can actually get past the hump of “well, I have an idea and now what?” 

You into it?

writing first reader help me

Sometimes I get really bummed out that like half the (admittedly, AMAZING and hilarious) bloggers I follow have all secured book deals. I do not begrudge them their success, mostly because I like reading their books and am so stoked that publishers somewhere are looking at this medium as a way to source new talent, but like. I want a book deal. 

But I don’t really know how to do the things you need to do to get one of those. I remember in college I had to write a book proposal for a creative writing class I took. The professor graded it and sent it back and told me that I would have been rejected by a publisher. I got a C on the project I think. I know I passed, but like, barely. And his comments have really stuck with me in the subsequent years. I’m pretty certain that there is not a single idea I have or piece of writing I have completed or even could complete that would be picked up.

I do not think I’m on the same level as Grace Helbig or Hannah Hart, definitely not popularity wise. I also don’t think I’m as talented as Alida/The Frenemy. (I call her Alida in my head because I like to think that we’re friends. Even if she doesn’t know it. ALIDA WE’RE BESTIES, HIIIIII.) 

Ugh. Anyway. One of these days I’m going to get real drunk on wine spritzers and actually send off a book proposal to someone. Just, you know, in case. 

Maybe I’ll pitch the sky punk one. I’m like a solid 1/3 of the way done with that shit pie. 

writing bad confidence day

"Don’t Reach for Me" : a short story by you and me

So here’s what we know so far about this short story you guys are helping me write:

Main characters:

Beatrice “Bee/Bey” Jordan, short, chubby and weird. Lives in Vegas, is presently on a solo journey through the desert to put her toes in the sand on the beach outside L.A. having recently suffered a heart break. (Cliche plot line, I know.) 

Finnegan Connor, pale and skinny, dark wavy hair and a penchant for shoe gazing. 

They met in the middle of the night while Bee was sitting on a rock in the desert looking at the city lights. Finn is charming but kind of a dick. 

Story arch: 

Bee is driving to the ocean. It’s a cleansing ritual for her. She woke up one morning and couldn’t stand the thought of spending another day in Vegas. Finn is gone but not quiet forgotten. 

Here’s the scene so far at the beginning of the story, Bee is in her car at 2 a.m. headed out of Vegas:

That dark stretch of road before Barstow feels endless, day or night. Dappled with parched Joshua trees and burnt out towns past their prime. Even in the middle of the night it feels oppressive and heavy with heat baked into hard packed earth from the day before. These empty and eyeless shacks on the roadside are haunted by a stream of over the road truckers and tourists on their way to the beach. Everything west of Vegas feels like a piece of bread left out too long. 

What’s missing:

I don’t know how/when/why they broke up. I don’t know what happens after Bee gets to the beach. I don’t know where Finn is now. I don’t have any conflict that needs to be surmounted. (So therefore, I don’t particularly have a story yet.) 

Since we’re building this story together, let me ask you: what obstacle should Bee encounter? What will help her find resolution in her heart break? What thing needs to happen to make this story worth reading? Where the fuck is Finn and why is he there? Do we want Finn and Bee to get back together, stronger for having been apart? Or do we want Bee to find happiness on her own. (I’m leaning towards that resolution myself. I’m not particularly interested in writing Bee into a complete romance novel cliche.) 

I’m going to finish this one guys. I’ve given myself a word count goal of 10,000 words and a finish date by May 18th. I have no idea what I’ll do then but it’s time I finish something. 

Drop some plot points or thoughts in my ask box. I really like the idea of writing this story together. 

don't reach for me story telling short story writing writer writing prompts

I’ve never been good at pitching for freelance work. In fact, I’m kind of terrible at it. I think the problem is that the stuff I write about is dime a dozen; music (yup, every hipster with a MacBook does music reviews now), sex/love (ditto hipsters + MacBook + two semesters of women’s studies.) and personal essays (ugh, I am a fucking cliche.) are all done to death. And probably in more inventive ways. 

I’m not trained to be a “real” journalist, so that cuts most straight news reporting out of my repertoire. I would require far too much hand holding and editing to be worth any editors time as a freelancer. This isn’t self-depreciating either. I worked in a newsroom for two years, I was one half of the editorial team, I handled the entertainment stuff and my boss did everything else. I know what an overworked/underpaid editor looks like, and I know they’re not going to want to have to explain to me about comma splices or the inverted triangle theory or whatever every time I turn in a hack job piece of news. There are journalist majors fresh from four years at their college paper who can and will churn that stuff out like little literary robots. And they should, they should get paid for that too. That shit is hard. 

So that leaves under the radar, maybe 50 person friends/family readership e-zines and my own network of blogs that have a handful of dedicated followers. (What up, ya’ll!) But that shit doesn’t pay or advance my career as a writer. 

So, what to do? Shannon and I really want our sex blog to go…somewhere? Eventually? Maybe? And I know the way to do that is to network, to guest blog and get our name/URL out there and all that. But, how? How do I convince a site like The Gloss or Vice or HuffPo to let me say things like “lady garden” on a platform that will reach more than a few thousand readers? 

HOW? Tell me your secrets, internet. How?

writing writer pitching freelance guest blogging how to be a guest blogger hire me

I started writing a book a few years ago. (I actually finished one too. It’s not fiction and it’s not very good, but I finished a first draft at least.) This book is my first stab at fiction and I got about 20k words in and stopped because I had written myself into a plot hole the size of the Grand Canyon and didn’t know what to do. 

For some reason while I was in the shower last night I figured out how to salvage the story. It’s going to change a bit, but all of a sudden I figured out how to rework it to make it keep going. 

I have no idea if it’ll turn into anything full length. There’s a mysterious house cat who doesn’t appear to age, a heroine who owns a haberdashery, a culture beyond religion and a space ship involved. So…it could be really good or total trash. I have no idea yet. 

But I pulled the file out of the dark recesses of my computer and I’m going to start tweaking it with the new plot outline and see where it goes from here. Even if I’m the only person who ever reads it, it feels like something I need to finish. 

writing writer writing fiction fixing the plot storytelling writer problems