Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The art of procrastination

I've been telling myself (and others) for months that I'm going to send out queries for Distance and Time.

But there's this little thing called "fear of rejection" that sits behind me juuuuust to the right a little and mocks me. Usually, I'm a tough bitch. I confront things head-on with the balls of a Brahma bull. (Sidenote: In Googling "Brahma bull" to make sure I spelled it correctly, I learned that Brahma bull is often used to describe a man with a large penis. Huh.)

Where was I?

Oh yes - confrontation. Anyone who knows me knows that while I may not particularly like confrontation, I never back down from it. I grab it by the horns (still thinking about that Brahma bull thing. Sorry. I'll stop giggling in a minute.) and tackle it head-on. (still giggling.)

Rejection however, is a beast all its own. I can handle confrontation involving name-calling, discrimination, injustice, rude behavior, bad fashion choices and any series of other things. Rejection is not one of those. Rejection leaves me feeling helpless and insecure. I ultimately want to crawl into bed and hide from rejection.
As I began learning more about having my writing published and realized that rejection is a huge part of success (odd, huh?) I got cold feet, tight muscles in my neck and a knot in my gut. It's one thing to write for someone close to me about subjects we agree on. But my story wasn't necessarily in that category - especially where potential agents are concerned. They see housewife-turned-author probably a hundred times a day or more.

So here I sit.
Inventing chore after imaginary chore that I simply MUST do before sending those queries.

Yesterday I Tweeted all day. The day before that, I caught up on my 30-day song challenge blog. The weekend, I spent at my in-laws. Last week I cleaned the entire house, decluttered closets, bagged up clothes for Goodwill, rearranged my office, set up playlists to play while I'm writing.

HELLO?! Writing what? More shit that'll never get published because I'm too chickenshit to send a simple letter where someone may or may not say "You've got great potential. Let's talk?"

Today, the procrastinating is done. I sent off my first six queries. And they may send me a letter that says "You've got great potential" or they may say "Your stuff sucks. Take a class and learn the difference between lay/lain/laid, will you?"

Either way. Rejection? Stick that in your juice box and suck it!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge

 (I filched this from Rissa ~ a friend who enjoys good music as much as I do.)

Today begins my 30-day challenge...a SONG challenge, at that! I do believe this is perfect for me :)  I'll update the blog daily.

And here we go!

day 01 - your favorite song - Glitter in the Air - Pink
day 02 - your least favorite song - Love the Way You Lie - Eminem (ft. Rihanna)
day 03 - a song that makes you happy - I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
day 04 - a song that makes you sad - Gone Too Soon - Michael Jackson
day 05 - a song that reminds you of someone - Daddy's Girl - Red Sovine
day 06 - a song that reminds you of somewhere - Empire State of Mind - Alicia Keys
day 07 - a song that reminds you of a certain event - Gone Too Soon - Michael Jackson
day 08 - a song that you know all the words to - My Strongest Weakness - Wynonna
day 09 - a song that you can dance to - Let's Get Higher - Jordan Knight
day 10 - a song that makes you fall asleep - Even Now - William Fitzsimmons
day 11 - a song from your favorite band - Coming Home - NKOTB
day 12 - a song from a band you hate - Just Can't Get Enough - Black Eyed Peas
day 13 - a song that is a guilty pleasure - Baby - Justin Bieber
day 14 - a song that no one would expect you to love - Something in Your Mouth - Nickelback
day 15 - a song that describes you - Flaws and All - Beyonce
day 16 - a song that you used to love but now hate - Here We Go Again - Joey McIntyre
day 17 - a song that you hear often on the radio - Firework - Katy Perry
day 18 - a song that you wish you heard on the radio - Let's Go Higher - Jordan Knight
day 19 - a song from your favorite album - Twisted - NKOTB
day 20 - a song that you listen to when you’re angry - Heartless - Hinder
day 21 - a song that you listen to when you’re happy - Today My Life Begins - Bruno Mars
day 22 - a song that you listen to when you’re sad - I'm Still Here - Mindy McCready
day 23 - a song that you want to play at your wedding - I See the Light - "Tangled" soundtrack
day 24 - a song that you want to play at your funeral - On My Way Here - Clay Aiken
day 25 - a song that makes you laugh - I Pray For You - Jaron and the Long Road
day 26 - a song that you can play on an instrument - I'll Be Loving You (Forever) - NKOTB
day 27 - a song that you wish you could play - Home Sweet Home - Motley Crue
day 28 - a song that makes you feel guilty - I'm Sorry - John Denver
day 29 - a song from your childhood - You Are My Sunshine - (my mom)
day 30 - your favorite song at this time last year - I Need You Now - Lady Antebellum

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Move

There's been much speculation about this move among friends and family who may be well-meaning (but some may be just plain meddling) that I feel I need to clear up.

I've wanted to move to New York City since the first time I set foot on the concrete in that city in May 2009. I was a tourist then, visiting sites like Ground Zero, Central Park, Grand Central Station and Rockefeller Center. I saw a concert at the Today Show. I felt like it would be the only chance I would have to be there, so I soaked in as much of the city as I possibly could in two days. New York City captivated me. When I visited last October, I experienced another side of New York: the side most people who visit don't get to see. I stayed with a celebrity friend and met others like her. I went to a concert at a club near the Bowery. I shopped on 5th Avenue. In January when I went back a third time, I got more of the same. During that last visit, I spent a week with my best friend exploring the city like a New Yorker. We rode the train all over that city, walked when we didn't ride, cabbed (and got ripped off by a cabbie) when we weren't walking or riding. We froze our asses off in sub-zero windchills and grumbled at a snowfall that came unexpectedly in the middle of the week.

New York has a gravitational pull to a creative mind like mine. Its energy and beauty is inspiring. The honking horns and marquees pulse like a second heartbeat in my chest. Everywhere I look, I see a new story. A new group of characters to write about. I see hardships and histories that need to be told. I turn my head and see a new picture to be taken. It's a neverending treasure box of things to see and do, all of them aching to be written about or photographed.

I've never kept my desire to move to New York City to myself. I told my husband when I returned after my first visit how much I loved it there...how much I wanted to move there someday. I knew it was a pipe dream, though. Even if he did want to come with me, my divorce decree was very clear that I couldn't move the kids out of state without their father's permission. I'd come up against that man in court before and honestly, I could win, but at that point, I just didn't have the energy to fight him. Instead, I decided to make a five year plan.

After this last visit, I realized I wasn't sure I could wait five years. So I started talking about stuff with my husband and after presenting the idea of an East Coast move to the kids' dad (who was fully supportive), we decided to make the move.

The semantics of the move are simple (implementation will be tougher, of course): I will head over sometime this summer, as soon as I have a job. I'll be staying with a friend of mine through the summer. Before school starts, Midget will join me and we'll move into a more permanent place. Once Hubs can transfer to the Midtown office, he'll join us. Big Man will be staying here with his dad, where he's been the last couple years. He's doing well in school and we feel, as a family, that to move him to New York wouldn't be beneficial to him. He does have his sights set on West Point, so it's possible he may join us on the East Coast later.

I'm not abandoning my children.
I'm not strong-arming my husband into a move.
I'm not divorcing or separating from my husband.

The decision to move to New York City was done as a family. We're all on board or nobody goes. When I married my husband over eleven years ago, we promised to always discuss things openly and honestly. Any decisions we made would be made together. Our decision to move to New York City was no exception to that.

So, rest assured, while your concern is understandable (to an extent), it isnt necessary. And after a while, it just gets old.

Friday, March 4, 2011

What She Deserves

I met her twenty years ago. She was sitting on the hearth of a giant stone fireplace in a log cabin. We'd both signed up for a weekend retreat in the woods for kids from divorced and/or widowed homes. (She was a divorce. I was both.) She sat there in ripped jeans, a pair of Adidas high-tops and wore a shitload of peace signs around her neck. With a tangle of dark curls, chocolate brown eyes and the perfect pouty lip, she was like no one I'd ever met before.

Now, I've always been somewhat intimidated by pretty people - male, female, doesn't matter. And this girl was no exception to that rule. But beyond her physical beauty, infinite talents and a poise that I'd never seen a sixteen year old possess, was a heart so pure, so raw, so completely kindred with mine, I knew we were meant to be friends.

We shared many similar interests and in the winter of that year, we began to share another similarity: the death of a parent. Where an event like this could push someone into rebelling or turning to drugs or alcohol, we defied those odds. While my talents rested comfortably in her shadows, we threw ourselves into music and dance.

As we grew older, we drifted apart. After I got married and had my son, she, too met someone. I heard later she'd married him and moved to Minnesota. Life got in the way of our friendship.

Or so I thought.

I'd always wondered what happened to my talented friend. Did she go into modeling? Music? Dance? Did she end up on Broadway? Perhaps Vogue magazine? I hadn't heard her on the radio so I didn't think she'd gone into music (despite a recording deal offered to her shortly before we parted ways), but you never knew. Some projects took years to come to fruition. But I had looked for her and couldn't find her. She'd virtually disappeared. After a while, I stopped looking.

Then one day, years later, she came back into my world again. I'm not even sure now how it happened. As we got caught up on old times, I realized that life hadn't gotten in the way of our friendship; an emotionally controlling spouse did.

He'd convinced her that friends were superfluous...he'd also convinced her that she wasn't talented enough or pretty enough or smart enough to pursue any of the dreams she'd built her young life on. I realize it's not all his fault, mind you. She was the one who didn't believe in herself enough to know that he was feeding her bullshit...that he was just trying to manipulate her into some cookie cutter mold. he'd formed in his head as to what the perfect wife should be. That being said, she spent fifteen years in a marriage she didn't deserve.

She deserved marquees and spot lights and playbills. She deserved Grammys and Tonys and choreography credits in the best movies. She deserved the love of a good man and the rights to be called "Mom" by the most beautiful children in the world.

At least she got the kids.

Now? She's working on the rest. Someday she'll get there.

Until then, let it be said that I won't let her settle for second best ever again. So if you love her - treat her right. Earn the love she shows you. Be unconditional. Be her champion, because Goddammit...she deserves one.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day Late and a Dollar Short, Pal

Hello Charming Beautiful....
Hey! How are you doing?,I am Vincent _____ from NJ, I am a single widower at 45with one Son and a Telecommunication Engineer , I am a christian and i am very open and honest cuz i don't see any benefit in lying , I am currently looking for my soul mate, I am new on here and praying to meet that special person to make me feel happy here , I never tried thing online dating stuff before but my friend just introduced me to a Dating Site and i think you describe part of the things i am looking for in a woman , I am really thrilled with your beautiful profile and i would like to use this chance to tell you that you're a very beautiful woman and i bet you her that all the time , I will really like to get to know you and see how it goes, I have a yahoo im if you have one and one you can add me on ________ and you can send me an email there also, you can reply to my email address on ______ and tell me more about yourself .,,. I will be waiting to read from you

I received this message on Facebook today.
Let me address this.
  1. I'm married.
  2. I'm not in New Jersey.
  3. I'm not looking for a soul mate.
  4. While I have done online dating in the past, I stopped when it brought me my husband.
  5. I'm not on a dating site, nor do I have a public profile anywhere, "beautiful" or otherwise.
  6. I actually don't hear that I'm beautiful all the time, which is why I know this message is a joke.
  7. Thanks for playing. Pick up your parting gifts on the way out.
Seriously, people???