This past weekend, I spent more time on the phone than I have in a very long time. I can’t describe everything here, but it was eye-opening, and I’m grateful for all that I learned.

The following chat is with a friend I haven’t spoken to in a while. I’m blessed to have her around.

My mind is drawing a big blank. I didn’t really sleep last night, and I won’t get any real sleep until Saturday night. I can’t muster the energy to form a complete thought right now. I guess … life is hard in so many ways. It comes at us from so many directions. I hope all my friends out there find what they’re looking for. You’ll see I don’t give awesome advice, but it’s nice just to be there for them.

friend: May, I lost my voice (writing) and I’m finding it, but the way it’s coming through is in the corporate bs kind of writing and it’s stunted and stifled and choked.

10:08 PM   I thought of you, and all that writing you started doing in NYC, and the blog, and the classes and how you’ve been like a dog with a bone
Never letting up. And I admire that.
me: friend, that’s really kind
friend: So I realized, I have to write for myself if I want anyone to appreciate/value my gift.
I can’t wait for organizations to affirm what i
10:09 PM ‘m doing and then get all bent out of shape when they want something else.
Instead of sitting there crying and wondering if I even have a gift at all.
10:10 PM And my mind kept returning to you..and your determination and your persistence iwth it.
10:11 PM I want that, but fear I don’t have it. Or that I’m too afraid to really try. I keep myself in a no-win situation, that way I can always blame so many other factors and secretly think “they just don’t know a great writing voice when they read it”
I thought I had somethign to offer, but tonight I realize, [company] doesn’t want it.
10:12 PM it hurts. But it’s good to know. and like I said. There’s a choice before me. The truth is there to seize or not.
Thanks for being patient with me. Encouraging my gifts, seeing them, etc.
me: you know i’m there for you. whatever you need
10:13 PM keep up the patience with yourself
friend: Thanks May. That’s amazing to me right now. But true, if you say so.
Does any of this resonate with you having “watched” me for years?
10:15 PM me: yes, it comes and goes for me
phases and such
i went through a time last semester when i was wondering constantly if i’ve forgotten how to write
friend: I guess what I’m asking is does it seem that I have gifts I don’t know how to let out, or seem to squander
10:16 PM me: i think it’s important to find appropriate outlets for your gifts
which can be hard to do
putting feelers out there
and risking rejection
10:17 PM knowing how those gifts manifest is quite the process as well
you just have to keep writing
letting people read your stuff. getting feedback
10:18 PM get with other creatives who are actively engaging in a community
find out where they’re submitting
get some positive comments, ride on that momentum
10:19 PM you have talent
but we can’t feed our own fires all the time
we do need people
and writing is about reaching out to an audience and touching them somehow
i know you’ve heard all this before
10:20 PM but if it’s what you want, it’s worth repeating
friend: I so need to hear it all again. thanks.
10:21 PM I feel like deep down I have a voice, a fire, a spark at least but it’s so hard to believe sometimes when all you get is non-affirmation.
But I guess tonight I realized I’m looking in the wrong place for it.
[omitted stuff]
10:24 PM me: well, now i’m nurturing the talent in an academic setting
expanding horizons, testing ability
friend: does that feel liberating and affirming?
10:25 PM me: it does. but that’s inherent of a university setting
friend: true true.
10:26 PM Anyway, I just wanted to share what’s hot off the press. And that I feel like I’m made for something different, but can’t actualize.
10:27 PM And yet, I’ve seen you consistently pursue, pursue, pursue!
me: keep creating
just know [company] isn’t permanent
friend: I’m proud of you for that (and slightly jealous that I didn’t join you in the journey)
10:28 PM Right. true.
me: you’ve had an impressive journey yourself
friend: oh geez, these last couple have been a bit rough.
10:29 PM but, are they spicy for all the dicy? yes. have they held lessons, yes.
expensive lessons. tonight feels like an expensive lesson. I feel like I’m finally squaring with something I didn’t know I was trying not to square with.
10:30 PM I feel like I’m finally back where I was when I first started writing and yet I’m like 20 yrs older.
10:31 PM me: that shouldn’t matter
you’ve hit a wall professionally, but you’ve got a second wind creatively
that’s great
friend: true. I believe that in theory, but it feels behind to walk out.
10:32 PM I mean I feel behind in the walking out of the concept.
10:33 PM Thanks for the encouragement. i should prolly go to bed. it’s way past my bedtime.
me: chin up
friend: What time is it there? 10:30?
me: yep
10:34 PM friend: yes’m
Thank May-may.
me: anytime
i’m glad you’re you
friend: I look forward to phoning, seriously.
me: take your time

Negligence Compensated

Not really. But I feel so remiss when I don’t update as much as I used to. Blame darn school.

I’m just going to paste a few excerpts from responses to prompts from one of my classes. I like the class a lot.

This is part of a response to a prompt about literacy, but shucks, it’s truer than true with my writing.

I suppose that whatever I try to write makes them vacillate between realities, either jarringly or gently, opening their eyes to more possibilities, or at least reminding them that once they internalize the ideas these words represent, they’ll always have access to them.

After reading this fairy tale, I wrote:

If I were a nonconformist fairy tale author in the nineteenth century, I would enjoy poking fun at the social expectations of the day. I’d create a king who demands a daughter from his wife-queen, with an open disclaimer and subtext about actually wanting a son, so as not to put undue pressure on his wife-queen, which essentially effects said pressure. And just to spite and/or please her husband-king, I’d make the queen bear a lovely and beautiful daughter.

Oh, the dear infant’s christening! How much more can a sister-witch feel jilted than by her brother not inviting her to the grand christening? First of all, she’s a witch, which immediately casts her in her brother-king’s shadow, and second of all, she’s a witch, and everybody knows not to slight his own sister, especially if she’s a witch. It might be within the Divine Right of Kings to make mistakes without the same kind of accountability as punishable society, but being a sister-witch to the king also makes her a sister-witch-princess – Princess Makemnoit, to be exact – and somehow she turns the christening into a cursing! Interesting caveat.

So, the heir to the throne is not only a daughter, but also weighs nothing. And, she laughs too much. Not suitable at all for anyone who will need to find a husband-king and to rule with gravity (horrible pun intended).

And, she finds no satisfaction on dry land, but she discovers that she can think more deeply in the water. She realizes she has substance when she swims. The light-princess meets a prince who helps her with these self-realizations, and the possibility of marrying and becoming a happy merman-mermaid couple is not so far-fetched. After all, what were his chances of meeting a weightless light-princess with a chronic laugh?

Love is the cure for such an ailment (of course it is), and when the prince offers his life to save the light-princess, she struggles to return the favor. She does save him, and she is glad to have him and finally cries, at least a lake’s worth of tears, the materialization of all her emotions culminating to a proper sobbing, causing it to rain, relieving the drought, ensuring that the lake never recedes to a dangerous level again.

Happily ever after, of course. I would be trying too hard as a nonconformist author of fairy tales in the nineteenth century if it were a different ending. But the happiness here is relative to gravity, and the prince and princess live without fear of curses upon their children that render them as electrons, without matter. In the end, everyone matters.