Monday, September 27, 2010

The Rejectionist's Uncontest

So, is doing an uncontest. I was originally not going to participate, but I read other entries and some masochistic part of me said, 'WOW! I was WAY lamer than that. I need to share!'

Whatever respect you may have had for me will soon evaporate. I will pull pieces of entries that began when I was 13 years old and sentenced to a year in an all girls private Catholic School. That's how it felt anyway - a sentence. So, when you read words like 'campus' or 'campused' that means the school and being grounded by the school for less than stellar behavior.

I'm including the spelling mistakes and grammar scariness, mine and Margie's.


January 22, 1988
Met Ron. Me & Paula & Tina faught over him, but we let him choose & he chose me! I stopped seeing Nels. He's an asshole! & stopped seeing Dean. He's got a girlfriend that looks like Tiffany, the singer!

January 23
Met Ron again. I like him a lot. He's a virgin! (note added 05/19/88: Bull Shit!)

Feb 13
Got arrested for drinking underage & Genni arrested for drinking and driving underage. We were with Huey & Greg in his Daytona. Mom's pissed.
P.S. Ron gave me a red single rose! It's gorgeous & perfect, but I'm still campused from getting in car with Todd & Dean.

Feb 15

Feb 28

Inserted note from best friend Margie (who spelled my name wrong)on same page:
Christy - I seriously doubt you will ever read this again escepially since you never touch your diary but remember you are the weirdest person I have ever met & that I ever will! - me

March 8, 1988
*lots of scribbling*

April 11, 1988
Well, Sunday I met Eric. I met him on Easter. I met Benji on the 8th. I had fun. We made out alot. He lives in Denver. He's gonna take me to California, maybe. I love him.
I'm going to spare you guys the rest. Just take with you the knowledge there are far too many pages in my diary with a new boy name on them. I was the picture in the dictionary next to the term 'boy crazy.'

Do I seem any less lame if I admit to having many drawings of 'the bird' or rock band name lettering in boxes? Probably not. Most pages also contain far too many hearts and the words 'love' or 'kill myself.' 13 was rough, y'all. I ain't gonna lie.

Be thankful I've omitted the poetry.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Passion - a short

So, it's been a while since I wrote a new one. The random spark flared last night and I polished it up today after work. It's exceedingly short (164 words) but to add any more would take away from it, I think. Or maybe I could write my fourth novel from this humble beginning? Just thinking out loud, as I'm wont to do. Anyhoodle, enjoy.

The Passion

It was the passion of the thing that moved me.

Those hushed voices, a murmur of disbelief in my ears. All else shrank from my reality like heavy clouds sucked into a silent vacuum, leaving only the blood which danced down his fingers and my entranced gaze.

Pressure built in a painful swell until I released it in a primal scream that threatened to pull my lungs out into the heavens with it. Fear was not the blanket into which I crawled. My cowardly feet twitched to move, but I remained. Grief blipped like a sonar screen in my mind, scanning the void for emotion. It found none; only irreconcilable awe.

I was enamored by the passion.

The crumpled body before me was an unfortunate side effect of a man’s emotions stripped bare. Rage and love, a two headed beast, swallowed the man whole in an instant, and the flash of steel carried away my mother.

I used to call the man my father.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Time to SPEAK up

There's a lot of chatter on the internet today about Laurie Halse Anderson's book SPEAK and the suggestion it be considered a banned book for being 'soft porn.' There are numerous posts about this. Janet Reid’s got a few links on her post, and the author has some words about the suggestion in her post here: Laurie Halse Anderson

What I want to speak about is the post I read written by CJ Redwine.

Those who have followed my blog for a while might understand how important the topic is to me because I'm using honest to goodness links instead of just writing out an address in my usual lazy way. CJ's courage has given me a drop of my own.

Back in April, during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I posted a couple works of fiction to help spread awareness.

And yet, there is truth in that fiction.

It's not an easy thing to talk about. It's certainly not the sort of small talk you have at a bar or a party. Most people who know me are aware of what I've been through. Why? Because I'm not ashamed. I don't blame myself for what happened. I was young, small, weak, and far too ignorant about the evils of this world when I had my experiences.

Yes. Experiences.

When I read CJ's blog post, it was like reading my own diary entry. I was molested by the son of a family minister for four years, beginning when I was five. When I say 'minister,' I don't mean your typical minister. This man had his own small 'flock' of which a family member was a part of, and I was taken to this man's home and left alone for hours with his son who -I assume- was trusted. The truth is, the whole lot of them were a weird bunch of people, and I was saved from a continuation of such 'attention' by my father's decision to move us as far away as possible from those lunatics as he could.

I tried to speak up once. I suspected what the son was doing to me was wrong. Unfortunately, another young girl in 'the flock' had accused her father of the same thing, and it was decided that I was 'just looking for attention.' I was punished for my sinful lies, and I never mentioned it again.

I 'wasn't right in the head' for years. I didn't know how to socialize with boys. I didn't know how to accept affection from my family or friends. When I was eleven I met my best friend. She was the sweetest person I have ever met, and I think about her every day, even though I have not seen her in twenty years.

We shared our secrets, and hers was far more sinister than mine. She actually made me feel lucky for what I'd been through. Her mother would give her as payment to men for drugs. Yes, that's no typo. From the time since before she could remember, her mother would let grown men sexually assault her own daughter in exchange for cocaine, crack, meth, or whatever they had.

We lived in a small town in Colorado with no more than 5,000 souls. A beautiful tourist trap town predominantly German and Italian in descent. This was not a high crime inner city or 'the scary part of town,' and yet the very same evil lurked in the shadows of majestic mountains and slithered along fresh streams. Her family was not poor. Her mother just didn't want her father to know she was doing drugs so offered my friend's tiny body in lieu of payment. It was proof, for me, that evil really was everywhere. I had not escaped it when my father had moved us so far away from the scary nutjobs.

I won't go into any details of what my four years in the private company of a young man was like, but I will say that I somehow escaped with my virginity in tact. A small mercy, especially compared to what my friend suffered. I managed to cling to my virginity until I was thirteen. One month and twelve days after my thirteenth birthday, to be exact. I remember it every year. It's a pretty hard thing to forget. I had been out with my friends, and a 'friend of a friend' offered to drive me home. Instead, he drove me out into the country where no one could hear me scream as he... well, you can guess the rest.

I was afraid to tell anyone, especially my parents. I thought I deserved it for being so stupid. I thought no one would believe me because he was so popular and widely loved in our community. As time passed, it festered in me. I let myself believe I was destined to know nothing but suffering. I had more abusive relationships than I care to go into.

I found my strength again about a decade ago. Sometimes it all seems so far away, and I know that dwelling on the past serves no purpose. But learning from it - yes. I'm open with my daughters about my experiences. I'm probably even a little annoying at my frequent reminders of how they can tell me anything. They need to know what dangers there are in the world, and they need to know they can talk about them.

They need books like SPEAK. Every girl and boy does. Please click on the links at the beginning of my post. We cannot sit idly by while some ignorant (and frankly a bit demented) man calls rape 'mild porn' and lose a chance to maybe save some poor child's life. They need to know they are not alone. Even if they don't have the strength or courage to speak about it, they need to know they are not to blame, and they can find their strength again.

I am a sexual assault survivor, and I am not ashamed.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Procrastination is my BFF

In fact, if there were a land called Procrastinationia, I'd totally be the queen of that place. Instead of ordering executions and demanding tax increases, It'd be decreed that scheduling events would be punishable by death or giving me a pedicure, criminal's choice.

The truth is, I need a deadline. When left to my own devices, it can take me ages to get around to something I need to do. Those of you who won critique from my contest know this is true. I'm also terribly forgetful. If I've slept since I agreed to something, I need to be reminded. Sleep erases my short term memory, therefore the premise of 50 First Dates was totally believable to me.

If anyone was expecting a point to this post, I don't have one. I was just sharing some random thoughts. I wrote a blog post a couple days ago, but blogger ate it and I got mad, cursed at it, then walked away. Now I forgot what I blogged about, so you get this randomness instead. Clearly, it wasn't earth shattering information or worth remembering, so you're probably better off.

Speaking of earth shattering, do you ever feel pressure to hurry up and get published before the world ends in 2012? I mostly don't believe it, but part of my psyche has latched onto it and knows the world with blow up one day BEFORE my release date. Let me apologize in advance to mankind for making the world end. I'm sure I have the power to control the cosmos. It's in that other 90% of my brain that I don't use often.

So, update on MSS?

Lesser Evils - pretty much abandoned at this point. I'll revisit it if I ever get an agent.

Postmortal - 26 rejections, 23 awaiting response, and at least 5 of those are going to be no response = no. 16 of those were sent in recent history, so I haven't given up on them yet.
Partial requests: 5, rejected: 4.
Full MS requested: 2, rejected: 1.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cyber Hugs All Around! (maybe the pink is effecting my brain)

Yes, I know. My blog is very post modern Valentine. I cannot find a layout I'm happy with. I need something more 'me.' I'm a fantasy/sci-fi girl. You'll definitely see some changes when I have the time to mess with it again.

Most of you share the common bond with me of being writers. We are all blogging and on forums, doing all we can in order to learn more about the craft and the industry of publishing. We share our joys and our woes. We ride the rollercoaster of good news/bad news from the industry professionals, and we wonder if we'll ever get our chance to ride the rails.

But we are all different. What separates us? Genre. Because of this, we have different agents we query, and different blogs and sites we frequent. Some of us are members of RWA or SFWA while others are members of CWA, MWA, ITW, or one of the YA Lit groups. Due to this, cliques are possible. People tend to gravitate towards other people with common interests.

What I love about the writing community, however, is that we don't do this. Sure, we know what our friends are up to, and that their preferences aren't like ours. But at the same time we recognize we are all in this shaky boat together, and we are there to help each other succeed in any way we can.

We don't break down to competitiveness or pettiness. We are competing against each other for a coveted slot with an agent, but instead of tripping each other or putting gum in their hair, we cheer each other on. We're so past high school crap, and that rocks.

I love us. Seriously, I'm so proud. It almost puts a dent in my eternal cynicism. Almost.

So, what groups are you all in? Where do you spend most of your time online?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hiatus Complete!

Miss me at all? Surely not. You have all been fiendishly typing away on your manuscripts, right? I'm SO RIDICULOUSLY BEHIND, and I hang my head in shame. Quick updates all around, then I'll entertain you with a story.

I still have one partial and one full MS out. I stopped querying a few weeks ago for the most part because I have a couple of opportunities in the works and I want to see how those pan out first. I hope to give an update on my super sekrit stuff soon.

Those of you waiting on me for feedback... I'M SORRY. My kids were my priority the last few weeks and all my time went to them. I swear I'm using the next several days to get caught up on things I'm doing for you. I'm off work until Tuesday due to a death in the family.

Now for story time. I used to post little stories all the time, and I've been slacking on that pretty seriously the last couple of months. I'm reposting one of my favorite moments in my life that I originally posted back in February before most of you found my page.

For the record, I'm doing much better now, but the first couple of months of this year were very, very difficult. I'm not trying to rehash my obstacles. I just wanted to share again how awesome my kids are, and why this was originally aptly named:

Why I'd Kill For My Kids -original post February 17th 2010

As some of you know, I've had surgery recently. Two of them, in fact, back to back. One in November, and then (due to complications) a second, more awful one. I've been off from work since November 10th. I went three weeks without any pay until my disability started paying 80% of my wages. Christmas for me and my girls sucked. I won't go into my financial difficulties, but rest assured: they suck. Like... can't afford Chex Mix suck (my lifeblood).

My girls have taken it in stride, although the odd complaint now and again makes me feel like a failure as a mother. I am still home from work, and though I've used this time to try to find an agent and feel productive, I still feel like a failure. My youngest is turning 13 in two weeks, and I can't afford to throw her a nice birthday to commemorate her entrance into the awesomeness it is to be a woman.

Said child did something amazing this morning. I was still in bed (as I don't get around too good most days) and I heard her as she sang to herself while making a bowl of cereal, then dragged the trash can to the curb (a day late. She thought it was Tuesday), then heard her outside with her friends while they waited for the bus. A few minutes later she came running back into the house, then left again, then came back inside.

I called to her to ask what she was doing. She came into my room and said, "Ashley was selling band candy. I went and got my last two dollars so I could get you some. I put it on your desk."

I argued she needed that money for lunch money, and I didn't need any chocolate.

She said, "School lunch is $2.75. We don't have that. I made a sandwich. Chocolate makes you feel better, anyway." Then she ran back outside before I could reply, hollering through the (very thin walls) that she loved me.

And I love her, too. I love her so damned much.