Sunday, July 17, 2011

Does My Wardrobe Reflect My Authorly Coolness?

In a word-NO.
No, it does not.

It reflects my MOMNESS.
I wish it were otherwise. But right now, that is the role I'm in, so that's what I dress like.
*sigh* I need a makeover.

One that gives me an air of Authorlyness. Is that a word? Too bad, I said it.
One that says "I'm dangerous for your mind"
A look that says "I'll write you into my book if you piss me off. Then I'll torture your character beyond belief"

I need a look that projects condescending writerly badassness. So I can intimidate you with my big words while I sip overpriced cappuccino and frown about the state of literary slovenliness on the bestseller list.

Anybody have any intimidating big words I can borrow? Oh, and can I borrow a few bucks for cappuccino?

But really. For practical Mom purposes and to satisfy my OCD about preparedness I'll probably end up looking like a cross between a female Indiana Jones and a Supernatural Monster Hunter.
Look out Zombies! I'll rip your heads off with my trusty whip!

Ok, just ignore the weird visual there. I don't mind.

I know I wont look like the cyberpunk maven I want to be. I just don't think I can pull that off. I can try.
But, uummm, No.
And that "Authorly" snob look? Nah, I'm too much of a snarky smart ass.

I'll stick with Monster Hunter.
Besides, the weapons are way cooler.

Is your wardrobe a reflection of who you are? Or does it reflect who you want to be?
You know the old saying --"Fake it till ya make it."
If you worked in an office job you would want to impress the bosses with a good wardrobe that was professional. It would make them think you were serious about moving up in the company and would make a good representative for them.
So why not do that for yourself?
Give yourself that little boost by dressing the part as often as possible, it will build up in your psyche.
The next time you meet a new person and they ask what you do, you will answer just a little more confidently
"I am a Writer"

Friday, July 15, 2011

On The Road or A Traveller's soul

So this post is about working from home. I warned you, it's about to get personal.

I live in my R.V. 
That was a situational decision. It's much cheaper to live this way than to try to rent a house or apartment. On our small income there was no way to afford even the cheapest of places and where we lived at the time of the decision the 'Government Housing' list was a mile long with a three year wait. *Sigh*

Living with friends and relatives, while cheap, was a nightmare. Three small children do not a good roomate make. Bless You all loved ones who put up with us while we were in the slump and practically homeless. 

So. R.V. it was. My mom helped with the cost of getting set up, we gave away, donated, threw away almost everything we owned. The rest went into a mini-storage.
I had expected to be upset and mourning the loss. Instead I felt liberated, free, as if a great weight had been lifted off my shoulders. 
My husband was away on the road for work so I bought and hauled home the tiny R.V. trailer with my mom following close behind in her car, in case I had a problem. It was exhilarating. It was exciting! It was the bravest thing I could remember ever doing.
I moved myself and my children into the trailer. Lucky for us they were small enough that it wasn't too tight a fit. The closest r.v. park was in the next town over so that's where we went. South East Texas is not exactly a resort area. 
Within weeks my husband changed jobs. Again. It sucked. 
Some things happened. Not exactly bad, just disappointing and depressing.

We made the decision to move to Oklahoma. Our families hated it. They were angry with us.(side note; we both have large extended families and most of them live in SE Tex. so leaving the bosom of relatives was frowned upon even if it meant we had to be dependent on them forever.) (families, gotta love 'em)
But it was the best thing to do at the time. Had to follow the jobs.

Since then we've moved several times and changed trailers and travelling companions. We've made friends in the oddest of places and been blessed with help out of the blue and at the least expected moments.
Someday I'll tell you all how I became a believer in Santa Claus again. 
Someday I'll tell you about the strip club owner that tried to recruit me.
Someday I'll tell you how I sweet talked a tireshop guy into not charging me for a tire to replace my flat spare.
Someday, someday, someday I'll write memoirs that will make my great-grandkids blush and say "Hell Yeah, what a life!"
Somewhere along the way I realized a few things.
I realized that I love travelling. 
I realized that I had been a traveller my whole life and not known it. 
I realized that I thrive on adversity and conflict. 
I realized that I am strong, independent and capable.

But after all this time I'm stuck in one place. I now have two r.v.s and two trucks. And a trucker husband who is never home. My eldest is old enough to get a driver's license but, hell, I can't trust him on a bicycle so I'm terrified of helping him get his license.
I'm feeling that itch. That urge. I can't explain it. Four years we've been here in Cheyenne and I absolutely love it. But there is something calling me. Something that says it's time to move on.
Four years is a long time in one place. As an adult I don't recall ever being in one place more than four years. As a kid I was constantly shifted from one parent to another. From one place to another. 
I learned to live out of a backpack and not treasure any one possession too much for fear it would be lost.

Yet, here I am. Stuck. I'm getting antsy. I'm getting nervous and stressed. The truck needs repairs before it can haul another trailer. The smaller trailer can't get registered for the road and I can't even sell it (Don't ask, it's too complicated.).
And my husband seems to be stuck working in Oklahoma again. Far away from us.
I'm at the point that I want to give away a bunch of stuff just to be rid of it. Including the small r.v.
The bigger trailer is more trouble to pack up. And heavy. But it suits us.
I'm doing all this alone for now.
Alone with three kids and a neurotic cat.

The original idea after moving here was to purchase property and settle down. It never happened. Now I wonder if I would be feeling this way if we had. Would I still watch the cars on the highway and wish I could be on the road again? 
Or would I have settled into life as a landowner and been content with the occasional road trip?
I don't know. I don't know a lot of things. 
I do know that I'm sick of sitting here waiting for something to break loose. I'm sick of doing this alone.
I'm sick of the people around me questioning everything I do despite the fact that I have proven myself a thousand times over.
While I wait and stress and pace and wish I could just pack up and go, there is only one thing I can do for myself. One thing I have control over.
My writing. It is a bright shining light in the darkness. Not because I see it as a money maker although that would be nice. But because I decide what happens in that world. I make things happen.
Good things, bad things, indifferent things. They are mine to create.
I have limited control over my own life right now. So I express everything through my characters.
My frustrations and fears. My hope as well as my anger.

Life is a journey.
Life is an adventure.
At least I keep telling myself that.
I have a quote that I love, can't remember where I found it:
"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "....holy shit....what a ride!!!""
by Mavis Leyrer of Seattle, age 83 (at the time of the quote)

I try to be prepared for anything.
 Broke down, broke and stranded? check the backpack for water, snacks and an extra blanket.
 Run out of food before payday? homemade biscuits and gravy, Y'all. easiest, cheapest thing to make that fills ya up.
Plumbings busted? Truck Stop shower. 
Computer crashed? Go use the library computers.
 Zombie attack? LIKE HELL! I can't help you with that one.

The world is a wondrous place and I'm glad to be in it. Shitty economy be damned. I love my life despite the bad times. I may be having a little trouble right now but things will get better. I know they will.
I have faith. I'll be on the road again soon.
And I have a computer and net connection so I can complain all I want and you can't do a damn thing about it!LOL!

(BTW, Santa Claus drives a big black SUV)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

There Will Be Cursing, Violence, and Sex Scenes

Ok. So to have those three things I have to turn off my inner critic.
Not the one who tells me all the negative things about my writing ability but the one who talks in my Pentacostal Grandmother's voice.
The one who is shocked when my characters so much as give each other 'The Look'. The one who faints at the sound of the word Fuck. The one who shakes her finger at me and tells me I'm going to Hell (with a big H)  when I add all the violent blood and gore that is involved in real, harsh, hard-core, conflict motivated life.

Don't get me wrong, I love her beyond words. But if I'm going to build a world that is real and believable I have to, I MUST, include the real things that real people do in daily life.
Real people get in fights.
Real people curse.
Real people have sex.

Real people stand on the side of the road by their yet-again-broken-down-truck-with-an-r.v.-attached-to-the-back and scream cuss words at the mechanic who assured me,...errr...them, it was fixed and kick the side of the thirty year old truck until dents form all over it.

Real people go to strip clubs, get blind stinking drunk, and shove wads of bills down the almost non existent g-string of a hard worn stripper just so she'll wave her tits a little closer.

Real people get in fights with each other and break skin and bone and smear blood everywhere in an attempt to prove who's the baddest badass all while cussing like the proverbial sailor and hoping the hot guy/girl onlookers appreciate all the work that was put into the badass wardrobe/hair.
Real people go to war and kill other people.
Real people are drug dealers and scam artists and gigolos.
Some Real people are sociopaths who don't give a damn about anyone or anything but themselves.

And yes, Real people get up early some mornings to attend church/temple/mass and pretend life is perfect and they are better than the world they live in for just a minute.

The point is that I can't let squeemishness prevent me from telling a story that makes you FEEL something. I can't let it stop me from expressing my own feelings through the art of storytelling.
So I turn off the Voice, put on my headphones and start writing.

And I secretly hope my Pentacostal Grandmother NEVER reads my stories