Monday, August 17, 2015

this is not a pity party

That was my sort of anti-warning to you. Safe zone. OK to enter. I will not be whining. I don't mean I'm cured of it or anything. It is a goal for this post. One day at a time and all.

OK, so, the health stuff I talked about ... health not great, treatments much less great, but the treatments will make my health better and they happen only once a month, so that's not a bad exchange, I think.

It's been hot and humid here, but I will never complain about weather again after living in Austin. I do miss the central a/c, but I am a California girl, after all.

And, writing. YES, writing! Yes, I am writing. More than I have in a long time. I am writing multiple things, even. I am writing stories, working on my novel. I've even written a few poems. I don't write every day, but I'm close. I've never set my own deadlines on writing or set specific word count goals per day, but I do have a pretty big goal, which is to have a first draft of my novel done by my birthday, September 21.

So far, I'm at about 43,000, but I started with about 39,000 words I wrote about 10 or 11 years ago, when I had even less of a clue about writing than I do now. Now, I'm working with a novel group, and I'm working with what I have to expand it with more description and dialogue. I think the expansion will all go on within what I have already, so I'm pretty excited. I also think this book will be pretty good and I'm ok with saying that. I really like my girl (aka my protagonist, my narrator, my character). I am totally invested in her. She is a good girl.

Now I feel like writing, but I haven't been good about posting links, so I would at least like to add a link I haven't put up here, that I know of. From June of this year, here are two stories that were published at Midnight Breakfast.

Oh, also, I don't think I've shared that a story of mine will be in The Best Small Fictions of 2015, along with 54 other stories by people like Diane Williams and Bobbie Ann Mason, judged by Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler. Jeez, I've never been such a name dropper. Sorry. There are also some wonderful writers that don't have major publishers or prizes. Anyways, it was a pretty wonderful surprise. The anthology will be released on October 6, and I'll make sure to put up a link.

And ... I'm not going to complain about eating too much and being fat, or be mean about myself, in general. This time. Again, one day at a time. For now, the health stuff has given me some decent perspective and I'm feeling OK about things. I hope this goes on for more days, but I've got a few more hours on this one, so let's just wait and see.

Monday, July 6, 2015


So, I've been gaining weight pretty steadily since 2011, at which time I had someone I don't know coming into my apartment. I moved in 2012, and continued overeating and not sleeping (which doesn't help with weight loss or maintenance), and moved to Texas in 2014, because I couldn't get past the post-traumatic stress. Texas was kind of a disaster, and I moved back to Southern California in November of 2014.

I have some health issues, some pretty serious. I just learned I have this kind of rare immune deficiency for which I will have monthly infusions for the rest of my life.

Back to weight gain ... I've done ok since I moved back, but I was not in good shape already. In May, I decided to go on Weight Watchers, which is the best/easiest program, and only stayed on for two weeks. I got into this sort of downward spiral, and decided that since I was sick and not really able to do much, and was lonely and having family issues, I might as well eat a ton and get really fat. Seriously, that's what I thought. And I went to the store and bought an obscene amount of junk food, and have been constantly eating crap ever since. I call it punitive eating because I'm not so happy with my life, and self-soothing, because eating makes me feel better when I'm doing it.

I decided to go back on Weight Watchers and started today with the dreaded scale. I have gained about 14 pounds in two months. I am not kidding that I was eating non-stop. And I feel pretty bad about being so mean to my body. I feel ready to be nicer. At least a little. So far today, I have only eaten 10 of my 35 daily points. I've still been in bed watching a lot of Netflix, but I don't have a big bag of M&Ms and several of those individually wrapped lemon pies next to me. I can't believe the weight gain. I am overwhelmed by how I will even get back to where I started, which was overweight. But I feel committed. Sort of. I guess I feel sort of frantic, and that can be motivating.

Here is a story about weight and identity: Weight is an issue in quite a few of my stories.

Nothing much to say about writing. There is, but it's just a few publications. I am working on my novel again, and that's been really good for me, so I'll keep working on it. I got a story rejection today, which feels heavier than usual, maybe because it's perched on top of other stuff, but I'm not eating to make it go away. I still kind of feel like punishing myself, and I need to figure out what real hunger feels like again, but those are not bad things. At the very least, I'll give it a big, fat shot.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


So far this year, I have made $100 on published stories. Not bad for a total of about 1400 words.

Two of the the three pieces were in my Unfinished file. I have beginnings or even finished pieces in that file that I haven't looked at for a long time. Some five or more years old. And I found them and reworked them and am making money for them. So, I'm digging and trying to finish or edit or both.

I don't have many new ideas. I have a lot of other things on my mind, and sort of stopped writing much for a good while. But I do have things, and, if you're a writer, you do, too, I'd guess. Take another look. Even if it's bad, it might have good bones. It was pretty cool to build new bodies for forgotten work.

I don't care if blogs are passe, or if nobody reads this one, or if I don't write here as much as I used to, other than to talk about writing, which is a huge part of life and will always be a major topic. But I need to make my world bigger. I need to have adventures again. I have good bones. It's time to rebuild the body again.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

story from extinct journal with no archives #1

As I mentioned in my last post, I am sad that so many online journals have closed. I understand. It's hard to maintain an online journal, which comes with no pay and a lot of work. Since there are no archives for some of these journals, I am posting some stories.

Parameters appeared in Barrelhouse in September of 2012. It was originally accepted by Dark Sky, but Dark Sky closed its doors shortly before the completed issue was ready to go live, and Barrelhouse graciously published the final issue online. Unfortunately, the story does not appear to be available on the Barrelhouse site. Parameters was on the longlist for the Wigleaf Top 50 Short Fictions of 2012, and is in my book.

Beth pushed the trip meter to zero when she got in her car. 18 miles was her limit. It was nothing she took for strange. Nobody knew. People drive alone in California.
The places she went were in range. Grocery store: .7 miles. Post office: 2.3 miles. Bank: 4.6 miles. Public swimming pool: 6.5 miles. She counted miles like birthdays, markers of significant passages. 18 was where she stopped.
Her former and only boyfriend’s birthday was January 8. He was rarely within 18 miles. Sometimes worked construction for a friend’s company for a few months to finance his next trip. She went with him once. To Tulum to explore the Mayan ruins. She flew home the second day. He sent postcards. Her refrigerator was a collage of Barcelona, Machu Picchu, Fairbanks, the Badlands, Ethiopia, St. Petersburg, Pittsburgh, Salzburg. The last one came from Auckland.
Beth –
Decided to stay awhile. Don’t know when I’ll be back.
Be well.
She put it with the others, under a magnet he brought back from Butte.
Sometimes her parents went places. She liked the postcard from Juneau best. The contrast of glaring snow and bluest sky. They always picked good cards.
Beth had never seen snow. She was born in Houston. Her family moved to San Diego when she was two. She went to community college 12.3 miles from home. When she finished, she got a job in the Registrar’s office. She got her own apartment a little less than 6 miles away.
She made friends online at travel sites. She subscribed to travel magazines and read novels that took place in Nepal, Lisbon, Uruguay. She told her online travel friends she loved travel but could not afford it. They sent postcards. Her refrigerator was covered. She taped them to her bedroom walls.
Beth did not need to go. The things she needed were in her perimeter. 18 miles in any direction was departure and return, same as any airplane.

The others went away. They would come back or not. Cards would be in her mailbox or not. On her refrigerator and walls or not. She would be here.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

gone away

I was clicking some of the links on the side to check if they still worked, and, sadly, many of the online journals that published my stories are no longer around. A lot of those pieces are in my book, but I like the accessibility of publishing in online journals. I founded and edit an online journal, and if I ever need to close down Corium, I will find some way to maintain an archive. I'm not trying to judge those other journals. I would just like for people to be able to see work that was published in journals that no longer exist on the internet. To that end, I'll try to put up some of those stories here occasionally.  But not tonight. Because I'm kind of tired. Do people even read blogs anymore? Should I do a Tumblr? Should I buy a website? Do these shoes go with this skirt? Have you tried that new breakfast thing at Taco Bell that has hash browns and stuff wrapped up like a little package in a tortilla? Does this color wash me out? Where's my phone?

I don't know the answers to most of these questions. Maybe I'll go to Taco Bell tomorrow morning and let you know about the folded breakfast sandwich thingie. I will also try to post a story.

(Oh, a journal accepted two of my stories today! The journal is called Whiskeypaper and the stories will be up in December, which is a long time to wait, but I guess I'll have to be patient. Anyways, I am very happy.)