Saturday, May 28, 2011

Perspective, Perspective, Perspective

In my twenty-eight years on this planet, I have never encountered anything quite like the organ twisting,
self-esteem massacring, want to hurl-myself-off-a-cliff-side-and-wash-away-all-traces-of-my-pathetic-existence, that attempting to write something of worth stirs in me -- all within the first three seconds of opening my laptop. What IS that?!? I haven't even typed one word and already my hands are trembling, pulse is racing, and there is a rhinoceros sitting on my chest. And am I mistaken, or did my vision just go black for a second? I mean, come on! Sitting down to work on my book does not need to put me in a state of bleak dysphoria.

I am not Jake Gyllenhaal, deactivating a bomb in the Source Code. I am not Tom Hanks, on the brink of unveiling possibly THE most controversially debated religious issue. I am not Gregory House M.D., mid-epiphany after a consult with Wilson, about to solve a medically implausible case, save the girl from a flesh eating virus, all while leaving me plenty of time to belittle my diagnostics team before I go down a half a bottle of Vicodin (Good show. Look it up on Hulu). I am simply Cara; writing a book, because it's fun. Er. Scratch that. Used to be fun. Last time I checked, experiencing a cocktail of symptoms, varying somewhere between cholera and spina-bifida is not a whole lot of fun. So! This is a dilemma, yes? I need to be able to put my prose on the page if I want to see this book finished before the actors I envision playing my teenage characters hit fifty-five.

What I need is some perspective; a real look at a situation conclusively agreed upon as terrible. Inside the garret I confine myself in each day, my world can seem quite desolate and hopeless.  Cliche dialogue, a run-on sentence, or consistent usage of an incorrect "your" can spin me into hysterics in a mere 2.5 milliseconds. A fatal epidemic is sweeping across Africa, tornadoes are ripping apart entire cities, tsunamis are destroying hundreds of years of unprecedented industry and innovation and me... well, I'm barely clinging to my sanity because I can't seem to get my sentence structure just right. Hm. Yea... some perspective might be helpful. Thus, I have decided to blog about a day that has *almost* reached that point where I might find its atrocity humorous.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Don't Toy With My Emotions

This is short story I submitted for a contest on the writing site, Figment. The guidelines requested that we -- in no more than 1200 words -- write a modern retelling of an recognizable and renowned faerie tale. *Please forgive me as I take a moment to joyously crash my symbols in a ticker-take parade of one. This happens to be one of the first pieces of writing to receive public acclaim; the validation, from someone other than my overly-doting husband, warmed this insecure writer's heart considerably.* The story was first selected by the editorial staff as 1 of 20, whittled down from 230. After a cross-country voting by poll, the story was then chosen as 1 of 5. The final 5 have been sent to a published YA author for her consideration. I eagerly await the announcement of a final victor; however, win or lose, I wholeheartedly believe the victory was achieved in the completing of yet another story. If you are a fellow writer, you might understand this poignancy.
**Update** I WON!!

"A professional writer is an amateur who never quit." ~ Richard Bach


 Crowded is never a good thing. Never. People can get hurt; children traumatized for life. The last time it happened, and it was crowded, someone almost got run over by a car.
I purposely scheduled my appointment in the middle of the afternoon, figuring it would be the least crowded. The after-lunch rush should have passed, and most of the working-class are still at work. After stopping at the water fountain – procrastinating – I come to the Pepto-pink door. Taking a deep breath, I suppress it. Peering through the rectangular window, I see the room is crowded.
My sweaty hand slips on the door handle as I pull it toward me. Heads turn discreetly, but quickly lower. An ordinary boy of seventeen offers no competition for the latest US Weekly. I head toward the receptionist, stepping over a boy playing on the floor.
Waiting room toys are lame. What is that thing? There is not one ounce of joy in pushing large beads up and down a wire. Whoever’s in charge of ordering the toys should be fired. It’s boring… insulting. Just because it’s colorful-

Color Spinning

Color Spinning

Asylum white.
Cholera gray.
Hitler black.
Mutinous achromatic thieves, banding together to steal My color.
He won’t let you.
Razor teeth scrape the blush from My sky.
Glue brooms sweep the emerald from My grass.
Albino ghosts feed from My exquisite rose.
You're smiling now…
because you believe you’ve won.
First kiss magenta
Belly laugh yellow
Happy tears violet
Vivacious kaleidoscopic romantics, dancing Me into mystic topaz.
He is color spinning.
Rambunctious snow cones melt into My cheeks
Hope’s faithful jealousy spills inside My eyes.
Unpredictable autumn leaves streak My hair.
You're angry now…
because you know you’ve lost.
Pillage this world, turn pigment to bleak.
But Me...I dance,
with the One who is color spinning.