I signed up for The Fiction Project. Now I’m writing a story to put in the little book they sent me after they received my $60.00. I think I signed up so I would be forced to write some fiction. I’m not really being forced to do it, but wasting $60.00 would be a silly thing to do.
Here’s the thing; writing fiction takes a lot of work. I have to wonder why I’m compelled to do it. It’s kind of not fun. It’s kind of grueling.
Today I watched about 6 episodes of the X-Files on Netflix. That was easy. That didn’t require any effort. I also fed the outside dog, Annie; I fed the other two dogs, picked up their poo with a plastic bag, and fed the cats. None of these tasks were difficult.
Finally, I sat down to add some more words to the story I began last week. I like the story, and I think the idea is good, but I’m finding it mentally exhausting to write. I keep adding all of these little details, and quirks to the characters’ personalities, and a back story about the main character’s schizophrenic aunt. Why do I put myself through this?
I don’t expect to have my fiction published. I’m apparently doing this just for me, but I don’t know why.
I once started writing a novel, thinking that if I were a novelist, I would be important. I would deserve to be here on this planet. I don’t feel that need anymore, but for some reason, I still write. It just doesn’t make any sense!
Annie-I call her Annie Bannanie
1. Why didn’t I major in English?
2. Will I ever go to sleep at night and not wake up at 3 am -without a sleep aid?
3. Am I kidding myself?
4. Should I give up my dream?
5. Do I really know what my dream is?
6. What do I want to be when I grow up?
7. Why does a 42 year-old ask a question like the previous one?
8. Are there alternate realities in other dimensions?
9. Can I leave here for a while and then come back?
10. Will I always be indecisive?
11. Do I really believe that my day will come?
12. Is my day already here?
Sometimes I think I’d like to be known for something
Be great at something
But then I think about all the work it would take
To be great
Then I pause
If I even have what it takes
If I have the necessary moxie, gumption, chutzpah, nerve
Sometimes I think I do
Sometimes I dream great big dreams
Dreams that make mice out of elephants
Then I begin to try
And I begin to tire
And I say, save the work for another day
Greatness could be overrated
Maybe I could just get by
And be satisfied
With what I have and
With what I am
I just can’t seem to decide
I would love to lead the life of an artist. If I could do art for a living, I would get up in the mornings and do yoga for an hour or so. Then I’d go to my studio and work on my amazing mixed media collagy type works. Collagy is apparently not a word,
but it would be my word. Maybe my website would be called Collagy. I would sell my art from this website.
My mixed media art would have meaning. Every piece would emanate from my soul. People would be moved by my work. I would make a small difference in a lot of lives.
I would work hard at the business of being an artist. I’d try my best to get my name “out there.” I’d be at all of the big arts fairs, I’d be on social media. I don’t really know what an artist needs to do to be able to make a living, but I’d find out and do it.
That’s the fantasy.
In real life, I got two degrees in dance and never did anything with them. Sometimes I wonder what dance really means to me. I wonder what dance is really.
I’m working on some choreography for my belly dance troupe. I want it to be interesting, entertaining, and innovative. I’m a little bit stuck though.
What would that mixed-media collagy lady do? She seems pretty successful. Maybe I should talk to her.
The secret is that I might like the Fall
I might like the way the sky looks when red and orange leaves dance
playfully across it
I might enjoy wearing sweaters
and seeing pumpkins
and opening the car window on my drive across town
Don’t tell anyone
I’m known as a complainer about Fall
and a Winter whiner
I’m the one who declares that she wants two seasons, Spring and Summer
Please don’t tell anyone that I’m getting soft on this cool weather stuff
That I thought today was beautiful
I’ll deny it to the very end
I have a character named Cynthia that I sometimes conjure up when I’m trying to write fiction. Here’s a little scene that has never gone anywhere. I think it has some promise though.
Cynthia sat at the kitchen table waiting. She wasn’t waiting for the toast to pop up. That happened five minutes ago, and she had smeared enough butter on the multi-grain bread to negate any positive health effects that the bread was supposed to provide.
The kitchen table was bright white except for an unsightly pink stain that would never go away. When you don’t clean up your mess quickly enough, you can never quite get rid of it. Cynthia learned to tolerate all kinds of messes. She’d devised strategies for dealing with problems long after they’d spun out of control. A red wine spill on a white table, a dented car door, a misunderstanding with a friend; Cynthia ignored all of these and ended up with a permanently stained table, a car door so rusted that it had to be replaced, and a friendship dissolved.