my youngest son, "Thing 3," uttered "Grass Oil" to describe what i once made for dinner. what is the Grass Oil blog? my observations about life from my cheap seats where everyone looks like ants. i'm funny, candid and i try to be nice, with some snark for flavor. Grass Oil: simple. random. elegant. there it is. ps – "Things" is a moniker to keep my kids off search engines.
And technically yesterday, I wasn’t here either, but I was, when I wrote “Hail Marys” in my random, stream of consciousness way as I processed what happened at The Boston Marathon.
Today: I am pontificating at the lovely and creative watercolor and collage studios of the equally lovely Lillian Connelly. She was daring enough to ask me to write about the creative process, and true to my definition of it (to create something out of nothing), I managed to do just that. You will see a picture of my scary desk. And then it will all be quite clear… She’s one of those people… You can find me here: http://itsadomelife.com/2013/04/examining-the-creative-mind-molly-field.html
Yesterday: I was also at Peevish Penman where I waxed … confusedly about online book reviews and my notions of whether any unbiased ones exist; I discuss my fear of writing a book because I don’t want to ask anyone for favorable reviews as well as the petulant-like behavior of brand-new writers who are disgusted when their first tome ever doesn’t hit the coveted 5-star mark. You’ll also see why I don’t believe in 5-star reviews. You’ll also see how Carole Anne from the movie “Poltergeist” has anything to do with my thinking in that arena and you will recall the horror of JoBeth Williams when she slipped into her family’s as-yet unbuilt pool and how I feel like her when I read a shitty unedited self-published first book. (Just a little thought: being able to type doesn’t make me a better writer; it just makes me a faster bad writer.) Go here: http://peevishpenman.blogspot.com/2013/04/poltergeist-and-online-book-reviews.html
I just entered a fiction writing contest. For people who are 45 years or older. I am 45 years or older. I am 45.56 years old. I’ve written some fiction. I submitted some of that content. So, like … heck to the yeah!
I’ve never done anything like this in my life.
If you knew me, you’d say, “Why not? You’ve a winning personality and a bright smile and a cheerful outlook on life… why wouldn’t you go for this?” and I’d say, “Because I don’t know. Because I suck. Because I have no confidence.”
And I’d say, “No, I didn’t submit that scene, but I did submit the parts that led up to it; the parts that started the story because while that whole scene, and maaaaan, yes, the ones after it, painted such a … wow, a detailed and intense reason and like shed light on a whole slew of effed-up family history, like real intense stuff, I decided against submitting that part because I wanted to follow the moderator’s advice, which was: ‘always leave the reader wanting more.’ So I did. I did that. I left the reader wanting more.”
And then you’d say, “Well, that’s OK, but you should’ve submitted that scene, Mol. It was so good, so intense. What about the later one, at the cemetery? Did you do that?”
And I’d punch you in the face because I would feel defeated because I had already submitted the content. I’d say “No. Just the earlier parts… because I didn’t want to give too much away and I had to keep it to 5,000 words and I had to have the content stand on its own…”
And then you’d nod and smile and say, “That’s awesome, Mol. Good job.” And you’d pat me on the back and then you’d think a little and your face would make a squinchy expression, like you smelled something rancid in the other room, but just a hint of it and you’d ask, “But when will you find out if you placed or won or got an honorable mention or anything, Mol?”
And I’d say, “Humph. You know what…? I have no clue. It sorta doesn’t matter. Except for the fact that if I won $1000 for the competition I’d use it to purchase a publishing package … or yoga certification classes. But the more I think about it, probably the publishing stuff. Right?”
And you’d say, “Yeah, I mean you don’t need certification to teach yoga and that Bikram dude is a total perv and that John Friend guy is another perv, so yeah… do the writing thing.” And I’d nod.
Yeah, so I’m stepping out of my box again. I have only one person to thank and she knows who she is. She lives on the other side of a fence line we share. Years ago she told me “I believe in you.” And she gave me this little card that said so. And if there were a little place to write a dedication for a content submission, it would be dedicated to her. So thanks, RICK. xoxo
So, if you’re on the fence to do something like this… just do it y’know? After your first writing contest what’s another one? The second… 😉 (I just said that to a friend of mine in a comment.) So don’t be afraid. I did this. You can too.
You can’t win if you don’t play. (That’s my motto.)
As for the rest of you: have a wonderful Sunday and a Happy Easter if that’s your bag; it’s mine, so I will.
I just shouted at one of our cats, “YOU WANT TO DIE TODAY, DON’T YOU?!” She was on the kitchen table, padding toward our butter. Cats live a long freakin’ time…
Good lord, I’ve been going about this post, this is the third edition, all the wrong way.
I started out feeling sorry for myself and being embarrassed about it. So what did I do when I feel embarrassed? I lash out. I blame other people and pick at their faults.
“snap the chain of our own disbelief.” -me
I will say this: some of my fault picking is appropriate.
I’m grossed out by the Internet lately and its warehouses of data of peoples’ appeals for attention, all the things people are willing to do for a “like” and all the stuff that’s out there — have you looked sometimes? I mean, there’s a lot of stuff out there. And here I am adding myself to the pile.
Specifically, I found fault with a blogger who posts insanely staged photos of herself and her children and her spouse online. And yet, right now, as I try to “be OK” with it, I can’t help myself, I’m sorta grossed out and envious, truth be told. It’s like a toxic mix of all the rings of the inferno. I’m grossed out because I’m a traditionalist: “Keep some of that private!” I shout at the monitor, as I click at more pictures. It’s not illicit or in bad taste, it’s just a sentiment of “really?! who cares?!” and yet here I am. It’s so odd…
Then there’s a blog contest. I steer away from those things because they aren’t my style. What is my style? Apparently standing in judgement of other people. But that’s cool; I voted for my friends. I admire their courage.
Then I think some more. I have been doing that lately instead of actually acting. My SIL has two published author friends: hardcover, actual printing houses and everything. One is on her third book, the other wrote a memoir, which I loved. She gives me free copies; by way of inspiring me and being a great marketer for her friends. I am authentically grateful.
So I take the books graciously because I really enjoy them and I appreciate the generosity and I even say, “Hey! Maybe my name will be on one of these sometime…” and we all smile and nod and then I curl into myself and I say… “Nope.” And then I make excuses, “Naaaah. I’m gonna go the self-pub, eBook route, because traditional publishing is a rat race… and it’s evolving, you know, the whole publishing thing.” And then my inner Hilter-mustachioed Oliver Hardy part says to me, “With what? Your three-ring binder? While you cruise the web?”
And then I feel all Stan Laurel about myself and cover my whimpering mouth with my tiny tie, waddle in place, scratch my crazy hair with my pale fingers and say, “Mmemonononominionommmooooooo hoooo…nonananynonommmoooooo hoo.”
I make me sick sometimes.
Ouch. Hot plates.
So the reason I sit all judgey is because I would rather do that than take a chance, than get the book done. So I go online because it’s a TOTAL WASTE OF MY TIME and I cruise stupid stuff and I don’t edit my book.
Why? Because yet again, as I said before: I am afraid of failure.
And here is the moment of truth: I know now, how my mother felt all those years ago, and she didn’t have the Internet: terror. She believed what she was thinking, and she stayed there sometimes.
My pulse is quickening as a type and I know the fear is real. I am not an anxious person; I am very comme ci, comme ça (“like this, like that”) about life. I’ve read many books about tending to mySelf; I’m writing one. It’s the one I have, the one I won’t crack, the one that sighs from my book case that needs the most attention: the ones on vulnerability. The one by Bréne Brown, Daring Greatly, that I need to open, drink in, nod to, argue with, highlight, read and apply.
Good God… I’m not really jealous of all those people on the net with their photos and their specialness; but I am grossed out by their apparent need for approval and acceptance, and that’s the part that sounds like it’s afraid of vulnerability. Because when we think of vulnerability, we think of neediness, of kowtowing (I did NOT know it was spelled that way!), we think of obsequiousness, of which I must admit I am incapable. Not because I’m brawny and heroic, but because I don’t find much virtue in that either. It’s too familiar to me. ‘Nuff said there.
I’m just afraid of doing what they are sort of doing: putting it all out there, in the sun for people to pick apart. But how do you pick apart perfection? You find someone like me… and I’ll be only to happy to show you how you are demonstrating only your perfect life. Because: You will not see a picture of me fresh out of bed without so much as a sleepy heavy hand swiping my rubbery face, without protest or threat of imminent injury to the person who posted it. But I do get the idea of vulnerability, in which we find strength.
But I am digressing, rationalizing. “Feel the feelings” they say; don’t walk away. Listen to what the feeling, the vulnerability, is saying. What is it saying? Don’t think of something pithy to share… feel the feeling and write what it says. Close the eyes and type.
The feeling says:
You aren’t good enough. You can’t do this. Taking chances makes you hurt. Falling down is nature’s way of telling you to stay out. Don’t bother. You are not one of those people. There is nothing unique about you. Don’t risk it.
And yet, here I am. I open my eyes to see what I type. I correct the typos and I don’t edit.
Here I am… sitting just two days after my 200th post when I said to live without regret, take a chance and be present. Oh, I’m being present alright. But doing something different is the only way out of this rut. And I don’t stay here for long, in this bowl of self-pity soup, because I know part of what I’m feeling is due to being home with a sick child again, Thing 3 this time, and just feeling frustrated. With all of it: with his being unwell, with my not being able to go to yoga, with the Internet.
But I won’t rationalize it away, because it’s real, the vulnerability, and I’m in my own way. Constantly. I swear, if this were a paid gig, I’d be a millionaire and I wouldn’t give a toot about the Internet and all the souls out there trying to be something.
I wrote a book. It’s time to stop avoiding it. It really is. It’s time to do something with it. I don’t know when I’ll be back next. All I know is that when I’m posting, I’m not editing or writing. I’ve got to unload this book because it’s really holding me down. It’s like a purge and it has to go. Somewhere.