A Poem(?): A Finger Length Life

Three years ago I learned of a war
between ring finger and index.
Ring thrives with testosterone–
surpasses Index in height, in length, in boys.
We all stared at hands that day.
Index compared to Middle was petite.
Ring compared to Index was not.
Three years later I hear
“Those with more estrogen are prettier.”
Testosterone high; confidence, the opposite.
I wonder which finger determined that.

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Creative Writing Coalition

Today was good. And I’m thinking it will increase my productivity level by 1000. Also I just wrote my friend a letter and licked the envelop and it tastes real weird and now I might die like Susan in Seinfeld (RIP). So hopefully that’s not poisonous and I stick around to blog another day.

I got brunch with a girl I went to undergrad with earlier. Her name is Julia and we were both Literature majors with a concentration in Creative Writing. We weren’t always super close, especially through our actual time spent together in undergrad, but this past summer, she and I connected a deeper personal level which is always a cool thing to experience. Then I moved far away and now that I’m back, I thought it was important to reconnect with her. Not only are we pursuing the same type of life, but we both feel stuck in the life we have right now. She seemed like a good connection to have and I wasn’t wrong.

We both expressed a feeling of being detached from our art and our writing. While both of us want to end up writing in our future, we just couldn’t find a reason to write right now (WHICH IS NOT GOOD). We both work jobs that we hope don’t become our entire life (me, a part-time manager at a moderately priced clothing store; she, a part-time server at a restaurant I’ve never heard of). We agreed that we weren’t writing because a lack of ideas. We have several ideas. Several good ideas. She said something that was interesting to me and, I guess, I never thought about it that way. She said that it wasn’t that she didn’t have the things to write, she just didn’t want to write. And it seemed odd, at first. You don’t want to write and you want to be a writer? You don’t want to write and then you complain about not writing? But now that I’ve been thinking about it, I think she’s right (haha, originally spelled ‘write’ woo). I have the most ideas in my head and I can communicate those ideas to basically anyone that asks. And it’s not even that I don’t have time to write because I do. And if I don’t, I can easily take some time from my “sitting on the couch eating cupcakes” chunk of time to do so. It’s not even that I can’t write, because I hardly think I can use that as an excuse anymore. It’s just a matter of writing, whether it’s quality stuff or not. I just need to get writing and hope something comes from it. Because at least then I’m writing and not complaining about it here. But maybe it’s the fact that I don’t want to write. Maybe I’ve let myself get so distracted and so discouraged that I don’t even want to try anymore. And that sucks, but I promise you guys, I’m here to tell you that I’m 100% changing my attitude.

She and I have decided to start a little writing group (aka me and her). We’ve settled on five pages a week and at the end of the week, we’ll meet somewhere and discuss. It doesn’t even need to be actual fiction or nonfiction or poetry. Maybe it’s list of things to edit. Maybe it’s new story ideas. Maybe it’s an old piece edited. Maybe it’s just a journal entry from what happened that day or that week. We basically gave no guidelines aside from writing five pages a week. I feel good about this and I feel even better that I have someone doing it all with me. I’m positive that this will give me the push I need to move forward with my writing and hopefully provide a little determination to find something that makes me inspired and happy and something that changes my “Weekly Whining” to something cooler, like “Weekly Winning” where I tell you all about how many literary magazines want to publish my writing.

Also how proud of you guys that I’m blogging more than five times a year??

Reorganization of Life?

(I use question marks a lot. Also it took me like ten tries to spell reorganization right?)

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

After being back home in my room for about five months, I’ve finally gotten my life together and cleaned everything up/maybe finally finished unpacking? Cleaning my room turned into basically a room transformation which felt very similar to finishing a journal. (I’m going to make this comparison and I’ll try to make it work/connect but it never will, I promise.)

Finishing a journal is like closing an entire part of your life. Not necessarily a chapter, but a part filled with different chapters. It’s weird. And then you start a new journal and you can make this journal whatever you want it to be. It doesn’t need to follow the same criteria as the old one. It doesn’t need to have the same tone or the same structure. Maybe it’s a dream journal this time. Maybe everything you do is in sonnets. I don’t know. But you close this whole book that is your life and you don’t ever have to look back into it. You never have to read it again if you don’t want to. Or you can read it everyday to remind yourself that things have changed and that this is what you want to stay away from in your future. Or maybe you read it to remind yourself that you were once the person you always wanted to be. An old journal can be so many things for a person. And it’s very much like what cleaning my room was for me today.

Unpacking my stuff finally put an end to all the weight I carried around from Texas and my move. All the doubt I let hang over my head. Organizing my books and clearing my desk was me erasing the slate. It was a new start for me. It was creating a space that was new and entirely my own. It was giving myself a second chance to accomplish things I haven’t gotten the chance to it. I have a clear space where I can just think and write. A space to write. A thing I haven’t had since before I moved away. It was going through old letters from friends when I was gone. It was reliving memories. It was some weird therapeutic thing? And I wasn’t expecting any of it to make me feel better, but now I’m sitting at a desk typing this post with some adorable lanterns hanging above my computer and The Smiths providing a soundtrack and all I can think of is that now I have a second chance to make my life what I always wanted it to be. I’m crazy and a romantic in that way, but it’s true. I transformed the life I had yesterday and the life I had five months ago and the life I had a year ago and now here I am, reminding myself that things are not over until I say they are. I am not finished yet.

I feel determined. But not in a crazed, “I’m going to do whatever it takes and never sleep and always work and lose sight of everything around me,” kind of way, but in a relaxed, “I’ve totally got a handle on everything,” kind of way and it’s nice and it’s weird and I’m only hoping that I actually have a handle on things and can make something of it all. I’ve decided to let go of the stress that work brings me when it’s not my life and shouldn’t be bringing my so much aggravation. I’m going to get on track with my writing and my editing. I’m going to continue to read all that I can. I want to travel as often as I can afford. I want to get an internship. Meet new people. Have different conversations. Learn everything I possibly can in as much time as I’m given. And this time, I won’t let anything distract me.

PS you guys, I got this cool scent thing from¬†Yankee Candle¬†and now my room smells like the beach all the time. It’s insane. That’s probably the only thing that will ever distract, but I won’t even hate me. The beach. In my bedroom. Insane.

A Poem(?): Concerning Crayons

Today is the day. I can feel it.
I tell Black and he is
Uninterested. Everyone likes Black.
He’s half my size, but everyone finds him
In this box of twenty-four. He’s not usually
Back here. I share my corner with Yellow-Green
And Green-Yellow, because no one
Can tell them apart.
On the other side, Red counts down.
At one, the box opens.
Light. Today is the day.
Hands reach in and Black is
The first to go. Then Red.
Blue. Pink. Green. Purple. Yellow.
They don’t return for some time and
I wonder how it must be to lay on a table.
To feel stick from glue covered fingers.
I wonder what it must be like to stand out
In a box. On a white piece of paper.
To draw a snowman.
To sign a name.
To roll onto the floor.
The lid closes.
‘Maybe tomorrow, White.’

A Poem(?): Jacket Stash

It was April when I moved.
My closet is no longer mine.
This box will never be.
Four others share this space with me:
Northface (Brown), Columbia,
Northface (Pink), L.L. Bean.
Our second year together.
Although I’ve been in and out much longer.
Columbia is scared he is next to go.

It must be warm outside,
I cannot unstick myself
From Northface (Pink).
We are embarrassed.
I can feel the others watch us,
But I cannot find a reason to detach.
It is uncomfortably comfortable
And I hope Northface (Pink) feels the same.
And I hope Columbia is next to go,
So I’ll have another year in this box.
This predicament.

But there is movement downstairs.
And laughter.
Northface (Pink) tries to get my attention,
But I am distracted.
I want to stick to the torsos
Those voices belong to.
I am out of season.
And I convince myself that maybe
In this heat, I will sweat–shrink–
Somehow, becoming a jacket for spring.

(Maybe I’ll let this become a thing, but guys, I cannot write a poem, haha! What even is poetry, amirite?)

A Thought (Or Two)

First off, guys, I’m so bad at this why didn’t any of you tell me? I was just going through some of my past posts and, while I’ve had this blog for almost a year now, I have literally probably like seven and a half posts. Ugh, you guys, this is not good. Someone help me get better at this so I can build a social network fan base and we can all be friends and blog together while we eat pizza in our respective households.

Ok, but now I’ll talk about my actual thought and stop complaining. My sister and I were just (four hours ago) watching “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” For those of you who haven’t seen it, basically Ben Stiller is a daydreamer who never does anything cool until one day he’s doing something really cool and traveling around to try to find a photographer because he needs a picture for his magazine job. Something like that. (You all know I’m really terrible at reviews so, like, you can’t even be mad at me for that one.) So maybe it was because the soundtrack was SUPER on point, but I got really emotional invested in this entire movie and then really depressed at the end of it and I say most of this because the soundtrack was actually super on point, but also Ben Stiller got to go to Greenland, Iceland, and the Himalayas and isn’t that just the coolest thing in this entire world?

I went to Italy my senior year of high school and some days it feels like yesterday and some days it feels like it never happened. All I know is that I never experienced anything like it up till I did it and I haven’t experienced anything like it since. I remember feeling so at peace even though I was in a foreign country where everyone was speaking foreign languages, but something about it made me feel comfortable. Probably more comfortable than I have ever felt in my life which is weird because I am never comfortable. (Is that fairly obvious?) Anyway, after getting home I basically vowed that I would travel as often as I can to as many places I could get into. I planned to go to grad school abroad and then basically never come back because why would you want to? And, like my New Year’s Resolutions and my new summer resolutions, I have been really terrible at keeping said vows.

I guess what I’m getting at here is that I want to travel. And I want to do while I’m still young enough to decide my life based off those travels. I want to go abroad and have adventures and write about them (and make you all jealous because that’s what we do). British novelist/translator Tim Parks literally followed around an Italian soccer club for a season and wrote about it (A Season with Verona). Are you kidding? Who does that but also can I do that same exact thing? Something like that. That’s all I want. I want to keep journals and records and take pictures and I want to see everything I can possibly see or everything that I’m supposed to see in this lifetime. I’m sure everyone everywhere has said that they want to see the world at least once in their life and I guess my only question is how many people actually get to see it?

Sunday Book Club: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon

(I’m going to try to make this a thing but I wish there was better alliteration for Sunday Book Club.)

I can’t tell how I feel about this book. Ok, my thing is, I think the beginning started off too slow for me. Granted, I know it’s the beginning so most of the story is set up here. We meet the characters, we are introduced to the surroundings, yada yada yada. That was a thing that happened. But I didn’t really like the pace it went at and I really didn’t like the narrator all that much for no particular reason. I felt like a lot of the end was the same way. It slowed down dramatically and I don’t know if the ending was enough for me. It kind of settled things and then just dropped you and, like, not a huge fan. But the middle, for me, was where this book was a real winner. Did I love the plot line? No, not really. Did I love all the explanations Christopher provides throughout the entire story? No, but this is where the story was. This is where we really met Christopher and learned about him.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the first part of this book had some great moments. I think when Christopher talks about the death of his mother and attending her funeral, it was probably one of the most beautiful things:

But Mother was cremated. This means that she was put into a coffin and burned and ground up and turned into ash and smoke. I do not know what happens to the ash and I couldn’t ask at the crematorium because I didn’t go to the funeral. But the smoke goes out of the chimney and into the air and sometimes I look up into the sky and I think there are molecules of Mother up there, or in the clouds over Africa or the Antarctic, or coming down as rain in the rain forests in Brazil, or in snow somewhere.

Like, I die. I think a lot of people discuss death and I think a lot of people discuss death in a lot of different ways, but this description comes from a young special needs boy who hadn’t experienced it before and who now had to experience it in the form of his own mother. It’s a wonderful image to think up of our loved ones showering the earth with themselves in some form even after life.

I also think the description of silence in the first part is pretty spectacular and I have nothing more to say about it than that: “On the fifth day, which was a Sunday, it rained very hard. I like it when it rains hard. It sounds like white noise everywhere, which is like silence but not empty.”

Ok, but on a more serious note, (spoiler alert, kind of) when Christopher finds the letters from his mother in his father’s closet, THIS is where everything begins for me. Was Christopher’s dad an awful person? Yes, 100%, but Christopher’s character evolved so drastically in the following moments. His descriptions and long winded explanations were, I think, the most on point in this section above all other sections. I normally don’t like really extravagant descriptions of basically anything, but Christopher’s descriptions aren’t of what he sees all the time, but they’re more so how he feels when he’s seeing them, especially for the first time. He even can adequately describe how he feels his own mind works, which is pretty great, because mostly I could never do that ever in my whole life. There’s a really great passage in which he is talking about the train station timetables and how much he likes the schedule and then he goes into an explanation about time and it’s long but I really want to type it all up because that’s just what I want to do right now:

Because time is not like space. And when you put something down somewhere, like a protractor or a biscuit, you can have a map in your head to tell you where you have left it, but even if yo udon’t have a map it will still be there because a map is a representation of things that actually exist so you can find the protractor or the biscuit again. And a timetable is a map of time, except that if you don’t have a timetable time is not there like the landing and the garden and the route to school. Because time is only the relationship between the way different things change, like the earth going round the sun and atoms vibrating and clocks ticking and day and night and waking up and going to sleep, and it is like west or nor-nor-east, which won’t exist when the earth stops existing and falls into the sun because it is only a relationship between the North Pole and the South Pole and everywhere else, like Mogadishu and Sunderland and Canberra.
And it isn’t a fixed relationship like the relationship between our house and Mrs. Shear’s house, or like the relationship between 7 and 865, but it depends on how fast you are going relative to a specific point. And if you go off in a spaceship and you travel near the speed of light, you may come back and find that all your family is dead and you are still young and it will be the future but your clock will say that you have only been away for a few days of months.
…And this means that time is a mystery, and not even a thing, and no one has ever solved the puzzle of what time is, exactly. And so, if you get lost in time it is like being lost in a desert, except that you can’t see the desert because it is not a thing.

My goodness, Mark Haddon is the man. It’s like a weird stream of consciousness and I wish with all that I have that I could write a story like this and not have it turn into something annoying, because mostly that’s what I think it would turn in to. So this is possibly my next experiment because this is just beautiful and exciting and thought provoking like I don’t know what.

Wow, I’m really bad at book reviews.

Ok, but also my last note is that on the back of the book there are a few reviews and one of them says: “Think of The Sound and the Fury crossed with The Catcher in the Rye…” And I get The Sound of the Fury and I can kind of see Salinger. KIND OF. But I would now also probably add Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower and even maybe John Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close because I think both those stories and narrators share a similar way in their delivery of information to their audiences.