November 22, 2017

Where have I been all your night?

...or year. Or decade. Where have I been since 3 a.m. this morning? Or possibly since the late 80s. At a typewriter, word processor, computer, notebook, junk mail envelope. Writing in sand, in my mind, on the back of a faded photograph. Tracing my fingers on the mirror in steam while you shower and talk to me about your day.

Where have I been?

I don't know because I don't matter.

What I do or where I go is irrelevant. Scientists say we're 55% water. I believe the rest of me is the words and the stories and the nagging, insistent tugging inside to set them free. This is all I think about. So that if I'm lucky enough to find myself at the Frankenstein ballet or in an auditorium listening to David Sedaris read, I'm still halfway gone somewhere else.

The voices in my head don't believe in coffee breaks.

But I do.

See? I'm learning. Or I'm trying. That's it. Trying. To cut some slack. To take a walk and see the sky—not see the sky through some imaginary someone's eyes. To take a class, not because a character wants to but simply to learn a new trick. (Yeah. At this age? Me and new tricks are getting along like coffee and cups.)

There's a balance somewhere. Maybe deep down dark in the dreaming zone. A balance where I can have a little bit of me mixed with all the other people who live in my head. I always say that my mind is a bus station. Every so often, though, I've learned to ride alone.

I'll be honest. When we last spoke, I was worried. With everything I knew in publishing changing, with everything I've been taught turning out to be if not wrong then wrong-ish, I felt groundless. Floorless. Hanging from a marionette thread.

I forgot that the words don't care. They'll come wherever I am.

Over the past year and change, I've managed to pen 19 chapters of an alien erotic novel called pr0n. I'm  22 chapters into a shifter book tentatively titled The Shift Key. And I accidentally began a seriously dirty, every-room-has-a-story piece called The Bad Hotel.

Also on Patreon, I run a book club (with a flicker of regularity). Currently, we're reading Rutger Hauer's memoir. I mail postcards, scarves, hats, short fiction, matchboxes, and this month buttons and some leftover books. You can read all of the serials mentioned above for $1/month. A little more wins various prizes and a lot of gratitude.

Where have I been for the last quarter of a century?

It all started with once... upon... a... time.


The Fine Print: I am also thigh-high in an interactive how-to called Slow Brew, and I am curating an erotic anthology in the ether.