Of Writing Muscles

I haven’t written a plot driven story, poem, limerick, or really anything since I graduated. And it’s already been a year and a half since that momentous event occurred.

Recently I discovered that while my ability to ramble has not faded, my fiction muscles were defiantly out of shape.

When I first sat down at my laptop I was ready to kick ass. After all, in the past I’ve written fantastic stories on two hours of sleep and within extreme time constraints. So obviously this was gonna go well:

Anchorman - Big Deal

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The first draft was nothing more than awkward, unnatural dialogue. No imagery, limited movement, and hardly even a purpose. It was deleted.

So I decided it was best to start over. Now that the initial creative process kinks were out-of-the-way it was just a matter of accomplishing the task at hand:

Anchorman - Fight

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The second draft was much better, but not improved enough to make me say, “Good job self.” Most of this version will be deleted.

Now I’m embarking on draft three. If all goes well, this draft will be on par with the stories I wrote when I had only an hour to throw together a 2-5 page exercise to discuss during class. At this phase it feels a bit chaotic. However, now I’m invested, and turning back to the la-de-da world of binge watching Netflix is no longer an option. Sadly, this draft will most likely also join the scrap heap:

Anchorman - Regret Decision

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By draft four, maybe just maybe, it might be good enough to share with the internet. Because if by the fourth draft I still haven’t got my writing muscles back into shape, that would be a true travesty:

Anchorman - Glass Cage

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I think what I need is a writing group to keep me accountable. Whether they be strangers via the online universe, or people I may or may not know who live nearby. I need someone to give me a deadline and a reason to stare a computer for hours a day. Initially I will hate them for making me enter the treacherous love/hate world of writing. But when I finally have a tangible (and awesome) story that I can hand to a group for discussion, all I’ll be able to say is:

Anchorman - Love You

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They say that, “You’re always your worst critic,” but I’ve always thought I was decently awesome. So if I say it sucks, trust me when I say it’s a shitfest that’s not ready to be viewed by anyone. However, when my writing is once again impressive …. I shall show it everyone:

Anchorman - Jump for Joy

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Of Procrastination and Luck

Procrastination Club

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Every success I’ve had can stem back to two aspects of my reality: procrastination and luck.

I procrastinate everything, and it doesn’t seem to matter how important it is. Student loans are due in two months, essay due tomorrow morning, need to write a new blog post, get an oil change, maybe go on a date, transfer the funds to pay my car loan off, find a job, do my laundry, send my best friend in New York his Christmas present (yeah I still haven’t done that, sorry Joe, but I do have it, in fact, I’m currently sitting in front of it – you’ll get it eventually).

So why am I not homeless?

Because I’m one lucky bitch. Honestly, there’s no other explanation, besides my natural sense of intelligence, and the ability to compartmentalize my emotions so I can handle the sense of doom that occurs when one has 45 minutes to write a 10 page paper. Mostly though, I’m just lucky.

I lucked into school: I’m awful at standardized tests, seriously horrid, but I managed to get into a school with my shitty scores. I applied for a whopping two schools without doing much research on either, and I got into one of them. I only applied to schools because my mother was more or less standing over my shoulder. And that my friends, is how I ended up at a Christian college surrounded by Amish country for a year and a half – it’s also where I met the aforementioned Joe.

I lucked into a job: Student loans were due in like three weeks, and my only source of income was still the movie theater – not sufficient. So I applied for a sales position at a radio station. I didn’t get it. I applied for a job as a resume consultant, I was scheduled for my second interview when the guy got sick. Just as he got sick and thus unable to interview me, I was able to start the radio job after all. Crazy. Who knows if I could have gotten the other job, that’s still a mystery.

I lucked into writing stories: I’ve always been a half-assed writer. I love writing, I do. Once I start I’m all sorts of gung ho! But starting a story, whew, takes me ages. So unless I have a deadline, I never start anything. Even when I do have a deadline, I wait until I have just barely enough time and I type like the wind. Somehow my stories are good, character’s make sense, and considering it’s a first draft that I did not have the time to revise. It’s pretty damn good. Now if I ever stopped procrastinating, in theory, I could be awesome.

But now that I’m an adult and the world expects me to support myself with a livable wage – I need to stop procrastinating, like, now – or maybe tomorrow.

Of Awkward Ex Encounters

Ex Couple

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Okay, so we all have ex’s. Or at least, most of us do.

  • With some, the relationship ended amicably and you remain close buds.
  • With others, the end was so dramatic that seeing their face still brings extreme sadness to your soul.
  • With a select few, there’s no emotional pull at all. Being around them is akin to standing in a room of strangers. Just this stranger, you happen to have been intimate with momentarily.
  • With most, one of you is more hurt than the other, more attached, more likely to sit there and pine over the thought of, “What if?” A very dangerous question, mind you.

Everyone has ex stories, and I would love to hear all of them. Seriously, post them in the comment section, I will read each and every tale of lost love. I don’t care if you wish to share a story from when you were together or after you parted – I just love a good story, Hell, I even love a bad story on occasion.

Here, I’ll go first:

Recently the only man I’ve ever dated contacted me. And I think it’s important to clarify that we broke up over two years ago. That we were not a happy couple. Also, that I can’t remember the last time we had a conversation.

Anyways …

The situation was the sort of predicament that everyone wants to avoid – a former lover declaring that they miss them and want them back. And then, to inform you that they can’t afford to eat because they call out of work in efforts to avoid you.

Seriously? Don’t blame me for your hunger. 

Little is more uncomfortable than having someone you’d rather not talk with, cry about you over the phone.

But I was very polite, making grand statements like, “I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do to make you feel better.”

Then I got a handful of text messages. Granted it’s not seventy messages in two days like a different situation of mine (but that’s a whole different story – if you want to hear it, please let me know).

The first basically said, “What if I stop picking my fingernails?” – Huh? I don’t remember that being a problem.

The second asked me to think about what I’d done. Said, “It was nice to hear your voice the way that I remember it,” and urged me to take a couple of days to get back to him with why we can’t be together – Yeah, I’m not gonna do that. I think it’s VERY VERY obvious why I don’t want to date you again.

And the last accused me of rudely texting him in Spanish – I don’t even know Spanish. 

So there’s my most recent story. While my current dating life is quite stale, so much so that it’s borderline pathetic. It seems my past wanted to stir up the unwanted drama in my life.

Which is just … annoying.

Okay, now would you be so kind as to tell me a story?