Archive | May, 2010

People LIVE Like THIS?!

30 May

Humbug. Yeah, I know people are wealthy, rich, loaded, covered, but gosh.

This kind of home–ahem–estate makes me just depressed. There’s my place and there’s this place. There are the regular suburbs and there’s this place. There’s a community pool and there’s this place. Oy to the vay. This is the kind of place that’ll make your cortisol levels nonexistent.  This is the kind of place that’ll make you look at LIFE differently.

Hope I can sell enough art/write a bestseller (or several) to get here. Soon already. Poverty and any of its cousins bite.

Shallow Eyes

29 May

aes·thet·ic  1.pertaining to a sense of the beautiful or to the science of aesthetics.  2.having a sense of the beautiful; characterized by a love of beauty.   3.pertaining to, involving, or concerned with pure emotion and sensation as opposed to pure intellectuality.

I have SUCH a love of beautiful things and I try really, really hard not to seem or be shallow but, gosh, it just happens. It’s like having a fear of the sight of blood or not being able to stomach even a glimpse of those surgeries on The Learning Channel.                                                                                                                                                                                       Since this is a confession room and it’s deliciously anonymous I have to say that I don’t like feet. Well, yes, of course I love having feet. Of course. What I mean to say is that random feet rile me. Naturally summertime is an assault on my eyeballs what with all of the feet in flip-flops and open-toed shoes gazing back at me in check-out lines, on sidewalks, at flea markets, etc., etc.

It’s funny, we often think our pet peeves, our hangups, our nuances are so solitary but really they’re not. After all, there is nothing new under the sun. There are no new ideas, really. No original thoughts. Everything at some point has been thought about by someone else at some point. Except in extremely rare cases. But whenever I find myself recoiling at people’s gnarled toes or black toenails or exposed gargantuan bunions, sure I feel shallow and petty and, well, shallow but then I’ll read something on Postsecret and realize I’m not so unique in my weird thoughts after all.

“Rejection” Letters & Other Doldrums

28 May

So I wrote a book about the working life, particularly in corporate America, in 2007 and I pulled it out and re-edited it for the umpteenth time this past winter while snowed in and I sent another round of query letters out to literary agents. Within days I started receiving the dreaded rejection letters…

Sorry, but this doesn’t sound like something I would represent at this time. Keep trying!

We regret to inform you that we are only receiving submissions from published authors at this time.

Our agency is currently saddled with current authors.

Etc. etc.

But get this: I know the book is delicious. I do. And no, I’m not one of those writers who merely thinks that they’re a good writer. I mean, for crying out loud, I’ve won awards for my writing since the ’80’s when I was a teenager. I was always the student that the teacher would read work from. I was placed in an advanced writing class. I was writing manuscripts in class while my classmates would fight over whose turn it was to read the next installment during biology class. So I know I’m not fooling myself. (And I don’t usually toot my own horn.) People say find what you love to do and you’ll never “work” again. Well, I’M TRYING OVER HERE. 

Seriously, this is how people end up stuck in cubicles for decades.

I saw an interview with the author of the bestselling book The Help and she initially received, like, 50+ rejection letters. Not to mention the Chicken Soup for the Soul series that received, like, 1,000 rejections. There are gobs of stories like this. But dang, I’m two seconds away from stalking literary agents on the streets of NY. I’ll wear a flower in my hair so they’ll know I’m just a harmless writer desperate for a reading.

The thing about query letters is it’s your one shot.  If  the agents don’t get goose bumps from your query letter, you’re fried eggs. If I rewrite my query one more time I just may plotz. Self-publishing I’m just not interested in at this juncture for several strategic reasons.

The one good thing about writing is you can do it as you grow older. It has nothing to do with your looks, your weight, your location or your age.  I can be 80 still churning out books. Hey, don’t laugh…Maya Angelou does it.

I press on.

Small Confession

27 May

Though I am mostly/primarily a right brain(er) I wish that I was a tad more–ok, a lot more–left brain so that I could contribute to the dire need the U.S. has for math/science scholars in order to compete globally.  I mean, we need more than one Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. And speaking of which, where is our current Einstein? We haven’t had one since Albert. 

Sure, I dig, cherish, even honor the artist in me, the writer, the right brain weirdo that I’ve become, but gosh, I wish I was better equipped in the science world.  Oh boy.   There’s nothing like an entire generation of kids falling behind THE WORLD with their guitar hero slash StayStation slash cell phone obsession slash everything that keeps them from learning global skills. 

I think I’ll start brushing my teeth with my opposite hand.

You Got Mustard With Them Potaters?

26 May

One of my favorite–favoritist–movies of all time is SLINGBLADE.

I know many people love to mock Carl, the lead in the movie. Mock his voice, his mannerisms, etc., but for me that movie was so much more than his strange voice and physical oddness; it was such a story between his mental incapacity yet his ability to have immediate love and care for that boy (and his mother). Which I realize was just a reflection of himself and his own mother.  There were so many parts of the movie that were so incredibly scrumptious that I find myself craving a SLINGBLADE viewing.

I wish there were more movies like this. Can’t think of very many. Continue reading

Toes. Legs. Hurt.

25 May

So now that it’s warmer I’ve been canvassing the D.C. area selling art on foot.   Oy. The Pain.  Gosh, I’m merely walking–WHY AM I SO SORE AT THE END OF THE DAY?! It’s not like I’m climbing cliffs or scaling buildings. I’M WALKING OVER HERE. Eeeesh.

My toes hurt. My ankles hurt. My legs hurt–sections of my thighs hurt. I think I felt a pain in my kneecap last week. Sometimes my back hurts or my shoulders because I usually don’t realize I’ve had them scrunched up around my neck for most of the day while I smile that Cheshire the Cat grin at total strangers who I desperately need to purchase the art already.

Truthfully, my ultimate goal right now is to buy a house that works for me. Quiet. Peaceful. No mortgage is the goal. Yep, I said it. Let it marinate in the juices of your comprehension. It’s possible, so why not? I refuse to let a 30-year, bank owned, The Man controlled, mounting interest evilness loom over me into the prime of my life. No way, Jose, eh-eh. Not this artist. I need stability, dang-it. I need fresh produce and a longterm bed and gentle neighbors and a art room and–well, you get the picture.

By the way, epsom salt rocks.

The Year I Lost My Mind

24 May

Well, actually I’ve lost it plenty of years but we’ll just talk about 2006.

I moved from home (D.C. area) to North Carolina in search of…well, in search of happiness. I always thought moving from one familiar place (read: expensive, congested, expensive) to a new, exciting place would solve all most some of my problems, quell the angst brewing in me.  North Carolina, particularly the Raleigh area, was becoming a boom place. A lot of folks were moving there and oohing and aahing over it like it was Mecca. Or Nirvana. Or the closest east coast form of heaven on Earth. So after much hestitation and analysis paralysis I jumped. I had big money saved. The house flipping craze was in full effect (there were, like, 50,000 TV flip shows airing then) and I had auspicious giddiness at making a ton of money locating shacks and turning them into–ahem–cottages. 

So I moved there after two visits where I drove through most of the state, minus the mountains. Didn’t know a soul. Got an apartment for like $650. The last time I had an apartment in D.C. costing that it was 1997, it was an efficiency with noisy neighbors and I think Clinton was president.

I sat in my empty apartment with my stuff still back in D.C. in storage.  Soon my floor looked like this:

Have you ever been so far into a thing, an idea, that you can’t pull yourself out of it even when it’s a dead-end, a closed door, a sinking ship? I had no crew. I had no carpentry skills. I had no job. I just had equity from my recently sold home and those darn flip shows playing in my head. I saw people with zilch experience flipping houses and making $25K over two months. That kind of money. I blinked dollar signs. It was my true “If you build it they will come” moment. Only problem is, I was just thinking it. There was no building, no paper signing, no “here are the keys to your–ahem-shack, Miss Artist.”

It also didn’t help that I picked up a book about Samuel Mockbee and his Rural Studio deliciousness.

2006 became 2007 and 2008 and 2009 and…Here I am still running from a return to CubicleVille. No flip having occured. No grand $25K payday in one month’s turn around. Back in D.C. Back to the beginning of me. Doing art. Struggling. Hoping. Cringing every time I think of those flip-a-house! shows.

I think I’m depressed now.

The Catcher in the Rye

22 May

This was one of the few most influential books of my very life (and I’ve read many books).

This cover was found through a Google search.  It’s like the cover I have from 12th grade actually. When I first read the book I was floored. It was like before I read The Catcher in the Rye and after I read The Catcher in the Rye. I wanted to know everything about the author Jerome David Salinger. Then I found Franny and Zoey and Raise High the Roof Beam,  Carpenters. To discover that the author was a recluse made me want to find a way to stalk him gently.

I mean, I was Holden Caulfield.  And for a while I even started writing in his voice–a lot of “Oh, it was just awful”s and plenty of heavy sighing as if the entire world (except me) was just plain dumb and clueless. On top of that I had terrible sarcasm at everything under the sun.

See, Holden and I, we were searchers. We chased our tails. We packed our bags. We left places we deemed boring, stagnant, lackluster. We arrived disgruntled and ornery. We were twisted and tangled and leery of others. We headed north. And south. And east. And west. We never arrived at our destinations, really.

We had duffle bags.

Other Artists

20 May

I’m kind of bent on whether or not I like to hang out exclusively/primarily with fellow artists. I mean, it’s one thing to mesh ideas; it’s another to steal them. I’ve had several artsy “friends” literally steal ideas right out from under me. And if that wasn’t bad enough, have the AUDACITY to showcase my idea to me.  True balls and thievery. Guilty balls. I’ve become slightly paranoid–ok, seriously paranoid–hanging around other artists at times.

I made t-shirts in college–handpainted funky slogans, etc., only for a close friend (and a cousin!) to have a sudden interest in t-shirt life.

I made polymer clay creations only to have others take a sudden interest in clay.

I started painting not only canvases but furniture (coffee tables & chairs mostly) only to have–you guessed it–thievery.

Oy. Oy. Oy.

Who are these people I’ve been acquainted with?

Note to self:  Find new friends. Pull back on certain relatives.

NY, NY

19 May

I’ll be heading back to NYC this summer to sell some art and raise some funds so that I can eventually buy The Compound.  That’s what I call my ultimate place to live and settle down: The Compound. It just sounds appropriate for someone who hates noise and neighbor drama and sharing property lines and seeing beaters sitting in nearby yards and PACK RAT thingamajiggies. This right-brain needs solace like water. I’m planning on kissing apartment life and all former vexing residential lifestyles (rented rooms,  longterm broken down Artist couch guest, mortgage terror) good-bye.

In The Compound there will be a huge gate with state-of-the-art security. There’ll be dogs (Weimeranders, Labs, miniature pinscher) for comfort and protection. There’ll be a recording studio for poetry and spontaneous combustions. There’ll be an in-house art studio. There’ll be an exercise room with a Bowflex to work off all of the starchy foods housed in my stainless steel behemoth with built-in ice maker. 

There will be bliss before I die, dang-it.