I wish I could say this was fiction. I’m trying something out. Rewriting the story. The Story. It’s Dani New Year and I’ve just been dumped again. Not by my husband mind you, he’s amazing and perfect and snoring softly in our bed as I type this. But I have been dumped, summarily dismissed in less than 300 words by someone I thought was one of my closest friends. It got me thinking of course. It always does. So I opened up the file that is The Book I Wrote That Lives On My Computer and looked at it again. It’s terrible. One of the reasons I haven’t sent it somewhere to be edited or published is because every time I read it it sounds more and more juvenile. More trite. More and more a collection of ill thought out blog posts instead of a cohesive narrative.
So I started rewriting. Same story, different words.
Here’s part of the beginning:
I hate throwing up more than just about anything else on the planet. It is the combination of several things I don’t like: not being in control and slimy, lumpy textures. Vomit, to me at least, is both of those things. If I am throwing up it is because all of my attempts to convince my body to “stop it right the fuck now” have failed and I am no longer in control. My lack of control is being broadcast through my throat in the form of disgusting partially digested food.
It’s horrible. Absolutely one of the worst things my body could do to me.
During the first few days after the bit where I was pantless and unloved on Mothers Day (which really sounds like it should be a more interesting story than your run-of-the-mill, we’ve grown apart break up.) I was throwing up a lot. I was completely out of control of my bodily functions. Everything made me cry, and I apparently only felt two emotions: sadness and hatred. The sadness and hatred coupled with all the anxiety pills and lackluster microwave oatmeal conspired to find me sprawled on the guest bath of Casa Awesome hoping that someone, preferably Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, would come in and scoop me up and make my decisions for me.
My choices were: stay in Las Vegas and try to carry on without the person I loved most or go back to my hometown of Anchorage, Alaska a total and undisputable failure. Also, I had no money. I was making and selling hand blended artisan teas online and designing knitting patterns for a living at that point. Both of which allowed me to make my own hours, thus freeing up a lot of time for sobbing and puking, but also didn’t pay much.
It was safe to say I had very near to zero dollars. No job. No family within several hundred miles and at this juncture a deep seated hatred of the desert. Ultimately the one thing I did have wasa lot of unknit yarn, a busted Subaru and a plane ticket that had been purchased with the intent to visit my family later in the summer.
After an awkward phone conversation with Him, the first and only that we would have after the break up, where I offered to see a dominatrix he would please just take me back, I decided to change my round trip ticket home to a one way departing as soon as humanly possible.
I had convinced myself, in the midst of all the klonapin pills and door knob staring contests, that the reason why Himself didn’t want to be with me anymore was because I was disinterested in sex. I thwarted his amorous advances repeatedly and had fallen deep enough into the emotional disconnect that I was sleeping in his parents guest bedroom surrounded by half knit shawls and one or more of the houses three pets as bedfellows. I convinced myself that if I could just learn how to be sexy or exciting that we could fix this.
As instantly as the words came out of my mouth, as soon as “dominatrix” passed my lips, I knew that it was really over. I knew that even as I was offering this as an option that I would never follow through with it. God no. How humiliating. I get enough latent degradation in my life just by living it that I don’t need to pay a woman probably more attractive than me and definitely more capable with a riding crop to dole it out. No ma’am. It was definitely time to get myself back to Alaska.
This is part of the second chapter so far. I’ve told this story so many times, in so many different ways that this is now the most succinct way to tell it. There’s more of course, the first chapter is where I explain how I got dumped with my pants around my ankles after Mothers Day brunch and then was subsequently taken in by the good people who live in Casa Awesome.
Chapters henceforth will discuss the totally humiliating move home, listening to Cat Power while curled up in the fetal position after I moved back in with Mom, my trip around the country where I cried on trains while I was supposed to be writing an ethnography about knitting culture in America. Then ultimately we’ll round out the story in the second half with such well loved tales as “That Time I Made Out With A Stranger In Spenard Because My Friends Left Me” and “My Walk of Shame on Easter Morning 2011.”
Thankfully now I can end the book on a happy note: married, infertile and considering moving back to Las Vegas because I feel like it’s time I conquered that bitch instead of just letting her win the first round.
This is a thing that can be a book, right?
Sending press releases for Kickstarters to a news outlets Facebook page is not a productive or prudent way of getting us to “cover a story about it.”
Also, I am not the person who decides if those kinds of things are newsworthy, but I can pretty much guarantee that the whole “Kickstarter as a story idea” thing is dead and my editor is going to disregard anything that presents itself as a story but is secretly an advertisement.
Unless you’ve discovered the cure for cancer and are marketing it as a pair of shoes that when you buy a pair you also send your cancer curing shoes to shoeless children in India. Is that a Kickstarter? No? Then we don’t want your story.
Repeat after me: I love my job. I love my job. I love my job.
My therapist wants me to get to a point, sometime in the next year, where I feel confident enough to submit the book I wrote to a publisher.
The idea of someone reading the blood, sweat, tears and deeply personal shit I poured onto paper and telling me it’s boring, been done, poorly written or just straight up trash is fucking terrifying.
Also, I have no idea how to submit to a publisher.
And I need an editor to gut it.
It’s a good goal, but I’m super scared. Writer peeps: advice?
There is no way to reblog when someone responds to an ask question but I had to put this up there. This shit drives me batty.
I too am a writer and editor. The paper I work for has a Facebook page that we use to promote articles as well as put up fun little things every now and then. There seems to be some kind of Grammar Crack Down Team that is intent on taking writers down a peg by pointing out every mistake that slips through in even the most casual of scenarios.
I’m sorry I used the wrong it’s/its in my Facebook post about a cat on Morrissey’s head. I JUST WANTED YOU TO SEE CUTENESS, CUT ME SOME SLACK.
Also, considering editors are human it’s also entirely likely that the occasional error will make it past even the most hawkish editing and slip through. Typos happen, people.
Right now the paper I work for is running a haiku contest. The newsroom (all three of us) have taken turns writing haiku to post on our Facebook account to help promote the contest. Every single time I post one some one jumps up my ass about the 5-7-5 format because apparently I cannot seem to count syllables correctly.
Here’s what it boils down to: quit bitchin’ and do it your damn self if you think you’re so good. You edit a book, or a paper, or two music articles and a blog as the case may be and then get back to me on how you accomplish being completely perfect all day, erryday.
(p.s. this Blake dude seems like an okay fella, you should go check out his blog. He writes a lot of poems about kissing. He should enter our haiku contest.)
I’m tired of crisis, of terror.
I’m tired of violence, horror, humanity turning on itself.
I’ve seen the face of a beautiful, resilient local gay man beaten in and swollen because of hate.
I’ve seen body parts and carnage because of a bombing at a marathon. For no reason, no demands given, no purpose stated. Just to do damage.
I can’t anymore. I’m so tired. I’m so tired of people just generally being total pieces of shit.
I don’t pray, but sometimes I wish I did. I feel like it would be a comfort. It’s hard living in this world — this chaotic, horrible world — when you have no higher power to hold on to. I envy that in others. I wish I could find it myself at times. (You don’t need to preach to me, I’ve searched on my own and haven’t found a faith.)
I want to love. I want to believe in love. I want to keep this psychotic optimism that is sometimes THE ONLY fucking thing that gets me to leave my house each day. I have to hold on to that. I have to look for the helpers. I have to continue forward momentum when all I want to do is cry at how terrible people are to each other.
I have to hug the people I love. Even though I hate hugs. I have to send dollars when I can and send good vibes when I have no dollars to give. I have to believe with my blood, with my tears, that eventually this will stop.
I have to. I have to believe that or I won’t ever leave the house.
Be good to each other, please.
Yesterday one of my music writers (I’m an editor, so I oversee a handful of freelancers. No real authority, mostly herding cats) informed me she wasn’t going to be filing her column this week. Our main editor (the one with actual authority) is on vacation and so we have a guest editor (which is not me, thank sweet baby Jesus) and our deadline was early.
Today. (Normally on Sunday.)
So yesterday I was told I had 22 column inches to fill. I blinked a lot. Because it’s the only thing I know how to do when I’m freaking out.
Then this morning Mike Birbiglia emailed me back answers from an email interview we sent him earlier this week that we were not totally certain we were going to get answers to.
GUYS, let’s be clear: Mike Birbiglia is a God among men, a gentleman, a funny dude AND prompt. We asked for them back by Friday morning (fully expecting to be blown off like we were by Macklemore, Yelawolf, Brett Dennen and several others in recent weeks) and we got them back by Friday morning.
Now, I have to pull an article out of my ass. Which I should have filed to my editor by…nowish. But I went to go see Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical (which was amazing, btdubs.) and I’m a little tipsy and there is no fucking way I’m going to be able to do Mike “Best Person Ever” Birbiglia justice.
This is the first time I’ve blown a deadline. I mean, I told the guest editor it would be in the morning and she’s fine with it because I don’t even have edits back on the first story I filed with her earlier this week. (Ya’ll remember my break up recipe? It’s been refined for print.)
Basically, tl;dr is I blew a deadline, I feel like a jerk, but Mike Birbiglia is an amazing human being and I’m freaking out about writing about him because I’m a huge fan and it’s hard to write about things you fangirl about.
Well, when it’s not on your own blog. Or Dr. Who. I could write graduate level dissertations on Dr. Who.
In the last two weeks I’ve watched the entire first season of Nashville. I love it.
I’ve written four articles, two that have gone to print. Two that will live forever on my computer because they’re terrible. I’m rushing headlong at a deadline for one that should go to print later this week. I’m making it up as I go because everything I planned for the music pages this week went to shit.
I’ve cried. A lot.
I’ve read books 1 & 2 from the Parasol Protectorate series.
I have spent a lot of time wishing I could move back to Las Vegas. I’ve looked at job listings and apartments there. We’re not moving because my husband absolutely, positively does not want to move. And honestly I think the only reason I do is because I am so very sick of it being winter. It’s basically April and only just today are things beginning to melt.
I’ve had a lot of heart to hearts with the dog when no one else is home. We talk about my feelings mostly. He’s a great listener.
I’ve learned all about the luteal phase and progesterone and blastocyst phase. I’ve also researched stage four breast cancer, blood transfusions and how to handle grieving.
I’ve cried a lot.
Today everything is going wrong.
I am afraid to check my email or text messages.
All of my freelance writers are upset. The content I had scheduled for next week is perched precariously and if people don’t start acting right I’m going to be running big pictures of children giving raspberries with captions that read: “rock stars are jerks and management can’t respond to press inquiries, so this is what you get.”
I love my job. I love being a journalist. I love love love being the entertainment editor.
I kind of hate musicians.
As usual, by noon on Wednesday I am so sick of whatever subject my article was on this week that I don’t even want to think about them.
It’s going to make going to this Macklemore concert on Friday interesting since I HATE THINKING ABOUT HIM NOW.