Hi everybody! I hope you’re doing good. I’m really looking forward to Christmas this year. I think it’s going to be the best one I ever had. I hope yours is too!

I wrote another poem the other day. It’s about how my friends were invited to a party and I wasn’t. At first, I was angry because me and the other girl that was throwing the party were neighbors and we knew each other. We weren’t close friends though.

I was really upset but then when I was up in my room I realized that I was constantly getting mad at her. Why should I care? I didn’t invite her to my party so I just laughed and found something better to do than sit around feeling sorry for myself. The poem is called It Happens to Someone Everyday. I hope you like it!

It Happens to Someone Everyday

It happens to someone everyday,
and boy, does it ever sting.
Being left out and sitting alone
Is a very lonely thing.

It happens to someone everyday,
and today it happened to me.
I’m sitting alone, up in my room
While people are at the party

It happens to someone everyday,
My friends were invited too.
My room seems so quiet and so small
And there’s nothing really to do

It happens to someone everyday,
and I think she was not my friend
But then I thought I’m just being selfish
And laughed and this is the end

Have a great Christmas and a great New Years!!!


/me says usual disclaimers apply.

"Why do you think you want to be published?" is a fundamentally different question than, "why do you want to be published," but it's one I've been able to zero in on a little better over the six months of my Goodyear-imposed cognitive dissonance. In my theory of the world, there isn't a "good" answer to the latter question--the main and truthful one being, "Eeee gee oh." The main truth being, "Since I was an infant I've wanted to be the center of attention. I like lots of eyeballs pointed at me. Look mom, no hands," which is true but not "good".

Now to the other question, I just finished reading another Michael Chabon book and I decided that if I ever meet this guy I'll say, "love your books. read 'um all. how about those Giants?" Because a guy who wins the Pulitzer doesn't really need to be told his work is good. That's now the definition of him. "Creator of good writing(asterisk)"

(asterisk) If you don't think his writing is good, adjust your priorities until you think it is.

A guy who's good-by-definition probably hears it a lot and would rather talk about something different, like baseball, which seems to be what Michael Chabon likes. And comic books.

But if I was pressed by him, back to the wall--if he looked me in the eye and said, "OK, WHY?" I'd say, "Well, um, Michael, I hate reading novels. Really. I hate the whole thing of reading the first page, knowing I gotta work at getting into the story, and then once I do get into it, I can never suspend disbelief. I sit there imagining you typing on your PC or Mac, dreaming up Zeppelins (by the way, I love the whole Zeppelin vs. Blimp thing--Zeppelins have more class, for sure) And I don't imagine the story as having a life of its own. But whenever I pick up one of your books I'm certain there's quality there, and even though I imagine your fingers hitting the keys, it feels awful friendly. Like I'm reading over your shoulder. And I'm okay with that if you are."

And he would probably say, "You twisted fuck. Leave me alone."

Now chances are good I could actually run into Michael Chabon. He lives in Berkeley and I have friends up there, and maybe we'd crash into each other on Telegraph or University, or maybe we know some of the same people and could wind up at a dinner party together and this fictional encounter would grow some legs.

"Michael, Zeppelins. Stick with that. "Zeppelina--your personal zeppelin alternative" Inspired genius. You have something there."

Heh, like he would need to hear it from ME before he believed it.

Ok. Now let's use this. We have logical minds. One way to analyze a potential situation is to imagine yourself in it and imagine what you would say to yourself in that situation.

So, let's say I was a published, famous writer like Michael Chabon. What would I be thinking? Would I be happy? What would I say to me when I came up and burbled something stupid about Zeppelins?

If I was Michael Chabon, I'd probably have burbling people approaching me all the time. Maybe not as frequently as if I was Brad Pitt, but in a place like Berkeley where people still read books for entertainment, I might be noticed once a day. And then my fans would approach me and they'd be tongue tied, because they would know me but I wouldn't know them so the conversation would be inherently asymmetric. But the onus would be on them to generate something meaningful to say. They might have a line or two of prepared speech about Zeppelins or baseball, but after that ran out, we're still inherently total strangers and unless they were slick, we'd not have anything to talk about.

I'd hurriedly hold my hand out for something to autograph, so I could get back to whatever it was I was doing before being interrupted. Of course, I'd plan to be interrupted occasionally, but truthfully, there'd be lots of times I'd just want to go to the hardware store or to Starbucks' and just get coffee or a 7/16" lag bolt without having to explain why I have this thing for baseball and Zeppelins.

Would I want to become a famous writer for that kind of attention? Probably not. I think that would be fun for about a day. And then it would be annoying and I'd get annoyed and I'd start being snippy with my fans, and then book sales would lag because I was becoming a well-known grouch.

Then if it's not for the fandom, why would I want to be a famous writer? Well, another thing is the lecture tour. And the publicity. I'd be on Oprah and Larry King and I'd spend anywhere from ten minutes to a full hour talking about how I invented my books and what was the symbology of inventing a character who's a Sasquatch who gets her feet chopped off by a big blob of nothing and needs prosthetic big feet. I'd probably be asked questions about my childhood which I'd answer honestly. But most of my life would be played through after about forty minutes of reasonably inane conversation, and then we'd need to talk about something more interesting.

And after I was on these talk shows once, I'd never be invited back because unless I'd starred in a movie or survived a fall out of a moving 747 or sued my own children for spilling hot coffee on me at my own birthday party--the entertainment world would soon discover there was little interesting going on in my life that couldn't be covered in a twenty minute segment including seven of commercials.

Well, there'd be the lecture tour. On Michael Chabon's website is a link to his agent, through whom you can book a lecture. Michael will come and talk to your group about something, presumably for a fee.

Now, what would I talk about in my lecture? The fact I've written a famous book does not suddenly provide me the gift of oratory. My public speaking ability would be fairly static, though I might have going for me that people expect writers to be introverted, and consequently less capable of providing conversational adrenaline rushes, and so if I showed up with Jell-O green hair and stood on the dais with an air horn, I might be able to be entertaining for a few minutes, anyway. Because fundamentally, I have nothing to say to a group of people even if they pay me.

There is one area, though, where I could provide some value. The Q&A section of the lecture.

"What advice do you have for struggling writers who have yet to make their first sale?"

"Try not to think about it too much."

But I still haven't got to the crux of the --why bother trying to become a published writer?-- question. On further analysis, even though I always thought I'd like to be the center of attention, I still value my isolated moments. Writing is a fundamentally solitary practice, and none of these trappings of success-- fans, appearances, lectures-- appeals to me in the least. In fact, they seem like the "work" part of the career I would loathe, but would know had to be done to sustain my income.

What then, would be the reason? Why do I THINK I want to be published?

Well, it seems to me that the primary issue of writers and writing is that all the attention is paid to the outcome. The world concentrates on the existence of the physical book and how well it did in this market or that, whether it won a prize and if there'll be a screenplay version. Which critic liked it and which thought it was trite. By the time you get to that part, the writer is a vestigial appendage to his own creation.

The sitting down and typing is ignored, presumed, and otherwise discounted. Yet, that's the most of it. And so if I was a published writer, making a living at it, my theory is I would enjoy the being left alone to type, part. I would probably like it a lot. The whole--sitting and typing and being left alone would make the rest of it tolerable. So if I could make a living for myself and my family by sitting around typing in a quiet office, or even on my living room sofa with the TV turned off, or maybe in the backyard with my iPod, or perhaps in Starbucks by a sunny window, or even in a tent in the wilderness, that would be the reason.

Overview of the last few days. Tuesday I worked my day job from 5 in the morning until 1:30pm... somewhere in the afternoon I took a quick 20 minutes or so of sleep, but most of this block of time was taken burning a new 'StayAwake 1.0' mp3 disc for the night's short-notice-planned trip....had to go to my night job at 5:45, and after that four and a half hour demonstration of Murphy's Law, there was a quick stop back by the day job for caffeine and a piece of lasagna from the sweet old lady who works there and likes to cook for everyone....
A gas stop was made and I was off to Ithaca, NY to chill for a few hours with one of my old friends from high school before having to each try and catch four hours or so of sleep before he went to a final that basically amounted to a pizza party with mandatory attendance, and I had to drive back to New Jersey for work. Mind you, I live minutes away from I-80, the first of several major highways to be taken in accordance with the debatably silly route I was given by MapQuest, but much closer to NYC than to the Pennsylvania border, the way I'd be going...so it's a good four hour drive. Alone, in the middle of the night, without proper sleep...
Great fun, though. I haven't put in a decent amount of highway miles in way-too-long, especially not in those wonderful, nearly traffic-free, hours.... partially out of lack of faith in my car for a while, but since I'd gotten the distributor cap replaced, it'd been behaving, so it was a good test for the thing...
It went well. I hit some snow near Scranton, and visibility wasn't the best between the darkness the snowfall, but I forged on anyway...it cleared up, and there was nothing worse than a non-accumulating flurry for most of the rest of the ride.
Until I got off the interstates...just some dark little 40-or-so mph road, 30 miles, and more snow for most of that. They're pretty diligent about plowing up there, so it wasn't too bad. The only problem, again, was visibility...in the darkness there wasn't always a lot to see on the sides of the road, making it hard to be sure I wasnt drifting around without noticing, being tired and all....just made the assumption that the little ridges on either side were curbs and kept going...eventually making it into Ithaca, calling my friend back up and having him attempt to direct me. Not having a car, he didn't know the names of too many streets or landmarks, but 13 minutes or so later I was parked downstairs from his dorm waiting to be met up with.... (hrm, have to attend that work thing....will try to get this finished later, and fill in some about the nature of highway driving and other crap i meant to write about)


Thyme, like Rosemary grows in the garden.

Amongst the dew-tipped grass she sits

Upon a mat of lavender felt she lies.

Sucking sickly sweet fingers

Of dreams she lives

Weaving through the shady trees she runs

Hunting silken butterflies, she wanders.

A friend or two in hand,

Of fairytales she lives.

A rocking chair, a floppy hat, she slumbers

Strolling past the bushes, lovely flowers she chooses.

A young man by her side,

Of fresh love she lives.

Amongst the dew tipped grass she sits

Upon a mat of lavender felt she lies.

Two children playing,

Of gurgling laughter she lives.

Weaving through the shady tree she walks,

Watching silken butterflies she wanders.

Stick in hand,

Of lonely tears she lives.

A rocking chair, a floppy hat, she slumbers,

Watching happy snapshots, she dreams.

Not moving, nor blinking, nor dreaming,

Lifeless she lives.

Over powering smell of thyme

Which, like Rosemary, dies in the garden.

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