Melodramatic Writer Meltdown

I’m having an existential writer moment. At least I think it’s existential. Hell. Basically, I’m just throwing a tantrum. I get so tired of promoting all the time and then when I see my sales report (abysmal) it’s really hard not to take it personally. It reminds me of auditioning…even dating…where somehow you’re never quite good enough. To wax old-gold-digger: Tarnation!

I guess this is the modern life of a struggling writer, or any artist really. You have to produce work, believe in your work, constantly put it out there, and hope that it catches on. I wonder though, sometimes, at what point do you just give up? Not that I’d ever give up on writing, but I do think sometimes of giving up on trying to get a big publishing house, or even promoting my current work.


I just sent out a dozen free books to people in hopes that they’ll help spread the word about my work. There’s no telling if it will work. That all comes out of my pocketbook. I had to buy the books to give them away. Ouch. And I paid for some advertising. Promo stuff. Etc. etc. And now I’m looking at doing a reading/signing at St. Cecilia. I couldn’t get Schuler’s to call me back. A reading is a great idea, but it will probably cost me about $500 with food and promo materials. And there’s no guarantee that anyone will show up. (See the onion spoof  here. It’s funny because it’s true.)


Sometimes I wonder if I’ve been swept up in some massive scam that gets writers to pay for promotional material and even their own books. Then I immediately stop thinking about that because it’s too sad.


Wah. Wah. Wah.


I think this is just another temporary setback. I’ll get over it. It just comes at a time when I still don’t know if my teaching contract will be renewed and I’m not sure how many more voice over gigs I’ll get. If teaching tanks and I’m not selling books…dear god…what will I do then? It scares me. Deeply. Probably not the best time to watch the first episode of Mildred Pierece where she’s all starving and looking for work. I do not want to be a waitress again. I really don’t.


I’ll get over this and my tight pants. I’m not dieting, exactly, but I am upping my workouts. I probably need the endorphins. And I have wonderful friends and family who read my work and love it. And, of course, I’ve got my kiddos and Kealoha. It’s just sometimes I get tired of all the work and I want to see the fruits of my labor. And by fruits I mean ‘income’ and by labor I mean ‘writing’. That’s my dream, I guess. To one day see my writing pay off, literally.


It might never happen. So…guess I’ll just continue doing what I do. I might bitch about it every now and then, but sheesh, I’m endlessly flawed and human. And my zodiac sign is Cancer, so what can you expect really?


And Mildred Pierce eventually made some kind of fortune out of pies or something, didn’t she? I haven’t watched the whole thing. I’m afraid maybe she has some kind of confrontation with her daughter involving wire hangers. (I could be mixing up old movies here.)


I’m hoping all this will blow over when it’s finally sunny outside and I can get over my angst and put on a sundress and a pair of sandals. That’s all I really need. OR…I could pretend I’m in a 1950’s melodrama. I sort of like that idea. Let me go get a hanky so I can flit it around while crying dramatically, and without tears.

I leave you with some melodrama. Enjoy.



I'm not dieting anymore

I’ve been dieting since I was 17, so for the last twenty years. I don’t mean actively dieting, more like I’m always saying I’m on a diet and then I fall off the diet and then blame myself for every piece of chocolate or bag of chips that I eat. It’s really annoying.


In my journals I’ve recorded my weight, my activity level, and there’s always a sense that I’m never going to lose those five pounds. The only time I was at my goal weight was during the last couple years of my deteriorating marriage. I wasn’t happy then and I was at my goal weight. Why am I doing this to myself now?


I had a great discussion with my Gender in Society class and we were talking about beauty. There was a discussion on photo shop and how it’s so prevalent that it’s perpetuating an unattainable sense of beauty. Or consider the Dove short that shows how a cute woman is transformed into a super model by actually lengthening her neck and moving the placement of her eyes. But when these photo-shopped pictures are everywhere, it’s hard not to think you should look like that.


For me, I generally feel good about myself when I’m on my own. It’s more that I worry people are judging me. My ex and his wife are very healthy and run marathons, so when I look at them, I think in comparison I look like a hippo. The truth is, I will never have a lean runner’s body because I’m not a runner. I’ll also never look like a “Real Housewife” because they have so much plastic surgery they probably glow in the dark.


Still, those lean runners and those “Real Housewives” have bodies that are more desirable than mine.


Or do they? When am I going to give myself some credit? I’m voluptuous. I always have been. And now that I’m inching towards forty, I really should cut myself some slack. I won’t look like a twenty year old ever again because I’m never going to be twenty. And I’ve had two kids. Actually, for nearly forty with two kids, I’m doing pretty good.

I recently bought the flat belly diet book and was going to do the whole 4-day detox. I told Kealoha my plan and he said “Why?” Why, indeed. Because I want a flat belly. I want abs of steel. Why though? Is it really for me? No. I think I want flat abs for everyone else because I….I don’t even know. I guess because in our society it’s more important for a woman to beautiful and young than it is for her to be creative and witty and ambitious.


And I’m tired of it.


So, officially, I am not going on a diet. I’m going to try and cut myself some slack. I’m a foodie, a sensual woman, a good mom. I love food. I exercise when I can, and will more as the weather improves. You know what we’ve had the last few days for dinner? On Sunday we had this incredible soba noodle stir fry dish topped with cashews and carrots and beans and ginger. Then we had homemade pea soup and bacon avocado sandwiches. Last night, was pulled pork carnitas with a roasted tomatillo salsa. All food that I made (with a little help from K-man). This is good food. Slow food. Food for the spirit, the body, and maybe even eventually my thighs.


I don’t care anymore. I think it’s time I started being grateful for what and who I am instead of always wishing to be something better. I’m certain I’m not alone in this.

While thinking about Jesus and Zombies...

Yesterday, while I was thinking about Jesus…

Okay. I can’t actually finish that sentence without laughing a bit. I’m not a religious gal. I’m really not. While organized religion really works for a good deal of people (and that’s great), I never quite got the hang of it. For me, Easter was always about ham and chocolate rabbits that I’d immediately decapitate with my teeth. But yesterday, I did actually think about Jesus…while taking a short break from listening to “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”.

I decided to go for a walk. And not just any walk. I decided to walk around Reed’s Lake, all 4.5 miles of it.

It was beautiful out. Birds singing. Sun shining. A slight breeze. The kind of day you expect animated Disney birds to fly out and throw a beautiful gown over your head. So, naturally, as I walked I thought about Easter and then Jesus…and then if I were teaching Easter to my students or my kids, how I’d ask them about the importance of the story. So, a super spiritual guy dies and is super dead. Then he rises up from the grave and now he has even more super powers. He’s almost a deity! Actually, he is a god. (You can tell my Sunday school is really limited.)

I couldn’t quite figure out the meaning of all this, the importance of the story, until I did something crazy. I started running. I ran. And I felt no pain. (Remember that I broke my foot in December? Doctor said I could try running in May, but there might always be a little pain. Sort of like The Mermaid walking on knives.) I ran for four minutes and NO PAIN. And I started laughing this crazy-single-lady laugh. It was a laugh of happiness. Of, dare I say it, rebirth.

If you’re looking at Jesus and Easter and all that jazz as a story, as a parable to understand our own psyches, I love it. We all go through periods of great darkness, of death even, and then with time, we rise up. We are changed, yes, but somehow by going through the pain, we emerge stronger, with more super powers. More god-like if you will.

Do you get what I’m saying?

I think that we live many lives without our lifetime. And we have times of forming a chrysalis. There are times of transition: from child to teen, teen to young adult, young adult to parent, parent to full adult. And it happens during times of crisis: birth, divorce, broken hearts, job losses, depression, etc. These are transformative events and while they are so hard to get through, you’re almost guaranteed to emerge stronger, more connected with people, more…I don’t know…not more god-like I guess. You emerge as a better human.

I could only run four minutes. I didn’t want to push the foot and re-break it. It was enough, though, for me to realize that I’ve come through all of this as hopefully a better person.

I went home. I got to see my kids for a while. I played in the yard with them. I ate cake. I watched “Hot Tub Time Machine”. I listened to a story about Zombies. I even thought about Jesus. If that’s not a day of rebirth, I don’t know what is.