50,000 Words Later: Farewell, NaNoWriMo 2013


 

 

 

 

Some of the last words on NaNoWriMo13

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A few days ago on this blog, Cheri took a look at this year’s successful National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo), the month-long event during which bloggers write a new post every day. The end of November also signaled the finish line of the the granddaddy of all writing challenges, National Novel Writing Month.

This year, 311,575 writers set out to produce a 50,000-word novel in the course of a month. A healthy chunk of those word-marathoners also keep a blog or an author’s site here on WordPress.com. In honor of their labor (and the insane amount of coffee they’ve consumed over the past 30 days), let’s take a look at some of their hard-earned wisdom from the fiction-writing trenches.

The thrill of sharing stories

NaNo projects come in all shades of the storytelling spectrum — from dark horror tales to uplifting narratives of redemption. The challenge brings together first-timers…

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What is Sexy


I am in the beginning stages of my novel . I am enjoying the writing and it is moving forward but I have found that the first chapter is almost lurid with the detailed sexual scences and I am gaining fear that it may send the wrong message, or it may be seen as titillating for the sake of titillation.   I have decided to allow an except of the text to be viewed with the hopes that people will critique it. I am going to do a larger piece in the company of writers but since those who read this blog are my first readers I thought that I should begin here, with the people that I hope to touch in future

 

He had loved her in white. Her body in the taut fabric stretching across her body threatening to expose her naked flesh beneath. He loved her in white. She was so sexy in white, her tanned skin shone against it so well. She was wearing white everyone she came to him, she was in white when she died. The next time he saw her they had become the ruined grey of funeral vestments.

She liked to tease him, he knew that. He would watch her at the bus stop, stretching unnecessarily. He tried not to let her know that he was watching, she was in white then too, a tee shirt, with blue jeans and a bra visible through the light cotton of the shirt. The bra was the soft pink that he had come to most associate with the color of her nipples. He had seen those nipple. She had seen him passing in the backyard of her house and she had looked at him then removed her bra, she looked at him, she wanted him to see

She wanted him, she had finally told him as much one day when he was working at the store. She had entered with the gaggle of her friends, all giggling and loud girlish voices. It was odd to him that they always seemed to be yelling or giggling, or both. She had stayed behind, having manufactured some pretext or another, forgotten soda, or incorrect change.  She had come into the aisle and looked at him. She had gotten close and in her breathy little girl voice she had asked if he thought she was “hot”

He hadn’t answered, he wasn’t sure why she was doing this but he was sure that she was playing some game. Then she leaned in and said “I think you are smoking hot, I always have,” She gave him a smile of infinite slyness and sweet sexy desire and said “I want you, I don’t know why but I just do”.

She ran from the store after that, taking her place among the giggling swarm and more than likely covering for her friends having seen her talking to him by expressing that she thought he was “weird”. She had tossed her hair and walked with her friends but she had spared one glance over her shoulder, giving the store and him inside a slow, sly, sexy smile. That smile was genuine. It was all want. A week later, she had shown him her naked breasts and her nipples, the soft bubblegum Pink color of them.

 

This book is not going to be for the faint of heart or the prudish of nature but I would like to not be associated with porn.  I mean , there is definitely an aspect of this that will be fully sexual and it is about a serial killer ( did I ever say that before , not sure) but I don’t want it gore for gore sake or sex for fuck sake .

Don’t Speak


The Six word story or  the six word novel is a concept that was supposedly started by Earnest Hemingway . It is said that he was bet by a friend that he could not write an effective story in 6 words. There have been  many that said that it was not Hemingway that actually wrote the passage but I like to think that the very Manly Hemingway did think up the sweet , sad story of a life cut short, and hope dashed.  Funny , takes more words to explain the story than it was to write .

For sale: baby shoes, never used. – Six Word Stories.

Ernest Hemingway's 1923 passport photo

Ernest Hemingway’s 1923 passport photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I had a Hammer…


If you asked a person that never saw a hammer, what a hammer could do, what do you think that they would say? A hammer in the hands of a child, or an animal like a monkey or raccoon is nothing but an object to destroy. A bludgeon, a blunt object or a weapon. A hammer is useless to those with no knowledge of them. Does that mean that a hammer has no value in society? The hammer is stupid, in other words?

If you answered yes, I need you to stop reading, right now. I am serious, not another sentence. I don’t want or need the thoughts of a person that says that getting into my head via my writing, which I sometimes feel is a conduit. If, on the other hand, you read the question and wondered in utter puzzlement, where I was going with all the hammer talk, please read on.

I have read that LinkedIn is an utter waste of time. I have read that about Facebook marketing, Twitter accounts, YouTube … I have read through several sources that all these things, all the social media ( side bar, when did that become something I say every day? Social media? I don’t know) sites are just filler and fluff and that people that use them are time wasters. I think that 800 years ago, or whenever Hammers were invented, they would have said the same thing about them. I will use my rocks and boards thank you, they would snark at the hammer users, and you can play with your stupid little toy. They are the people that damned sewing machines, TV, computers and cell phones. They are the people that will always be and always be proven wrong. We used to call them nay Sayers.

The fact is that calling a tool stupid is, well, stupid. It shows that you have no idea how to use said tool and instead of wanting to be taught you would rather damn the product. Can LinkedIn be a waste of time, oh hell yes. It can be something you play on for a few hours, following Richard Branson and Conan O’Brian’s words around and end the day with nothing accomplished. You can spend a whole day connecting with people for no reason, until enough of them complain and you are put into LinkedIn jail and have to have email addresses to connect with anyone. You can endlessly see who looked at your page and wonder how they found you. You can even develop a crush on someone and go peeping at their page every few hours to see if they changed anything. I actually have one of those. He is always there, checking me out.

On the other hand you can do amazing Boolean searches and find people that fit your needs perfectly. I needed a CPA, with a Master’s degree and 8 years of experience in oil and gas … boom, found!  From Texas, educated at Oxford. DONE, says LinkedIn, what else you want? I found my amazing first placement there on LinkedIn. She was just there for the cherry picking, and I didn’t even know all the uses at that point (gotta love beginners luck) and I found a woman so perfect for the role that even I was impressed with myself. On LinkedIn, I found her, placed her and got paid. From the waste of time site. Yeah.

I think what I am trying to say is , if you are waiting for the hammer to explain to you how to use it, it will sit, stupidly , waiting for you to pick it up and whack you thumb with it. If, on the other hand, you take the time to learn how to use the hammer, how its weight affects things, what way to hold it, and put that to use you can build a home. You can build a boat to sail the world. You can build a business making furniture, or racecars … ok not race cars but you understand where I’m going with this. You cannot damn the hammer, for your lack of knowing.

Crazy Man, Crazy


131008-140951I happen to love my job. It is not an easy job, it not a simple job and I can see why some people just do not have the stomach for it. It is sales but not sales. Moreover, I have to sell to the client and to the product! Imagine I have to convince someone to buy my broom and then convince the broom to join this family.

In a job like mine, you have to wear many hats. There is the recruiter, the salesperson, the career counselor, the negotiator, the travel agent … and the therapist. There are probably more but the Therapist is the one that sometimes is the hardest to deal with, for me. The truth is that I want to help everyone that comes into my inbox. I want to get the job for the guy who has been out of work for 5 years for no understandable reason. I want to help the kid right out of college. I WANT to help the person that was retired and now wants to go back to work because retirement is not for him. For the most part I CAN NOT HELP THESE PEOPLE. I am a recruiter; someone has to pay for my services. Companies do not pay for fresh faced kids, unless they did something amazing in school that put them on the map. Companies do not pay for the chronically unemployed, and usually the chronically unemployed have applied everywhere anyway and I have no one to whom I can market you. Companies largely do not pay for people that may retire at any moment. If they are going to pay a fee, at minimum, they want 3 years from this person, and really, they want closer to eight. So you don’t send these people out, you reply politely to their inquiries and express that if you get something that fits their experience you will be in touch.

Then there are the wild cards, those people that are looking; have a good background and are all go-go-go on the job market. Something is off about them but you just are not sure what.  Why did you leave the last position? Better opportunities. All sounds right. Then You get a call after the send out that this person bitch slapped the receptionist or drooled throughout the interview and you are left with that “ I knew it , I just didn’t know what IT was” feeling. So what can you do when you have put your reputation on the line and someone did a Hadouken to it? Do your best to laugh about and learn from your mistake.

Mine went this way.

  1. Person calls me and I feel that he is a little arrogant, a bit full of himself ( red flag!)  but I like his background and I decide , what the hell , meet him . Not everyone conveys well over the phone.
  2. I meet him and he seems perfectly lovely, except for getting lost on an almost impossible to get lost road ( red flag!) and acting as if we had somehow hidden the building on purpose. Once inside he was amiable and interesting.
  3. I get him an interview, on the day of the interview he gets lost( OMG REALLY!), and ends up late to the interview.
  4. I get my prerequisite call after the interview and he tells me “ everything went so great, I hope they can wait for me to wrap up my current contract”
  5. The client calls and asks me, basically, what the hell I was doing sending them a Looney tunes!

(1)    He got an attitude about getting lost as if it was their fault (where did I hear that before?)

(2)    He was completely arrogant and acted like his questions were more important than the interviewers ( damn)

(3)    He asked the person he would be replacing how much more he would be making at his new job (ok, what?!)

(4)    He asked the owner of the company how much he had paid for the company ( nope , I’m not taking a hit on this one) .

  1. I called my candidate and asked him, for the love of god ,WHY?

What I did was apologize. I apologized to the client, to the owner, to my company and I learned to listen to my gut feelings and not the little therapist in your head that wants to believe that everyone deep down, is good. Yes, I would get everyone a job if I could. The college kid, the old man, the man who can’t stay off the internet ,or whatever it is that keeps getting him fired from every job. Everyone. But I can’t. If I could I would. What I can do is find the best people, with the occasional snafu that I can use as an object lesson.  Sometimes you also have to give yourself a pass. Because … let’s face it. Crazy people are sometime interesting, intelligent , funny people . Right up until they bitch-slap the receptionist.

There is a sucker born every minute..


P.T. Barnum famously said there’s a sucker born every minute.I think that is a little bit cynical I think the truth is there’s an optimist   born every minute. I think that most of us are essentially optimistic. I think largely the problem is that optimist are often viewed as wide eyed idiots. 
Now in the case of P. T. Barnum there was no bad thoughts in it. Mostly he was saying that people want to be fooled , at least a little. they want to believe that there is a woman who survived the train , we want to believe all of the humbug as PT Barnum put it.
I like to believe that I am smarter than the average bear, with PT Barnum twist. Reasonable intelligent, and wise… I would like to believe that I would have spent the nickel to see general Tom Thumb, or the mummified remains of an actual King… Even if that made me a little bit of a fool. I would like to believe… I think I just like to believe.

 

Hot Thing


I’m born and raised here in Michigan.  I have lived here for 34 of my 38 years.  I have spent less than one year in Texas. So this is going to sound ridiculous… it is too darn cold here!
I’m saying this with weather between 65 and 85 degrees being the normal weather here for this time of year. But the fact is bad after living in Texas, for just the one year, I cannot acclimate or re acclimate to Michigan in just two days.
Hopefully by next week I’ll be used to it again. In just about enough time to have to get back on the bus and go back to Texas and suffer the heat.

Hello Detroit


I’m in Michigan again, for a little while. Its weird. I have missed it. I miss the places so familiar. The roads I know, people. The flat midwestern accents. I may stay a little extra time…I think what I’m really trying to say is…I hate this fucking bus…my ass hurts…I don’t want to do this again next week!

Free bird


On the road, I have peed going 60 on the freeway, eaten a 2 dollar microwave hot dog, and seen and heard some very strange conversations.
I have also seen so many birds. Eagles, hawks, falcons, and what I seriously believe might be a pterodactyl. Lifted on air currents, beautiful and graceful.powerful. I think what I’m really trying to say is…I hate this fucking bus…my ass hurts from sitting! I miss my big ass today, because the abbreviated booty doesn’t like sitting  .I don’t understand people afraid to fly.

Assimilation


      I am an example of the assimilated American Negro. I am generally none threatening . I am generally none offensive ,and  non-intrusive  African American . My hair is usually straight and    my style is usually of the time , non-ethnic and with little to no “urban outfitting’s” . My speech is without so called “Ebonics” when speaking to those outside my close circle of friends , and when it is it is generally used as irony. When the usually eloquent Brie  says something like “wif” instead of with or “I’m is” , a word cluster that is in fact a pet peeve of mine , you know she is kidding .

I was never meant to be anything other than assimilated . Despite my background , family beginning and surroundings my mother set out to have a child that would easily fit into what she saw as America’s larger culture , that of the Caucasian American . She deviated from that in only one respect , my name . Her original choice of Olivia  was replaced with Libra by my godmother  whom she was going to name me after . With that single exception , I was meant to blend . My language and diction was closely guarded , I was made to “ask” for things and not “axe” for them like other little ones. I was likewise made to “ will not” or “cannot “ and was never allowed to “ ain’t” a  swat on the fanny or a slap on the mouth let me know that was unacceptable . so I emerged at 5 years old when I was unceremoniously ripped from my cloistered predominantly  white community in Seattle to the black community of Inkster , Michigan I was the little black girl that “ talked proper” , that “ sounded white” or on one very memorable occasion when I  who “ Talk like a honky” , pardon my use of the pejorative .

What does this do ? I  simply do not fit anywhere . I was always aware that I am different than my peers . My way of speech is often seen as pompous by other black people . I am more comfortable around white people but I am nonetheless aware that I am different from they .My attraction to and for white men , while more widely received and accepted now than before ,  puts me again in the role of outsider.  Growing up I wanted to be white . My mother’s influence as well , as she still expresses that desire .  So I deal daily with a double edged shame factor . I am ashamed  that I care what other people feel about my marriage to a white man . I am ashamed that I am proud that he is white and often DO want people to see him . Not because of who he is but because of what it conveys . Barack Obama said it best in “ Audacity of Hope” when speaking of his mother and I’m  paraphrasing “ I realized at some point  I would bring her up to people to gain their acceptance . To make myself a part of that larger world , which I was using her to be seen as something else” .That is often how I feel like I am saying in essence , “ I am not one of them” .

So what ultimately does that mean ? Nothing .  It took me years to realize this but assimilation is unavoidable to some degree and it comes at a cost  . To NOT assimilate also comes at a cost . I am Brie Stoll , Oreo . I am also a makeup Diva and a Nerd Goddess . I am not defined by that one aspect of who I am . I have learned pride in being African American . I have learned pride in being an American American as well . I did find my way and I can only look at the ride as it was the ride that I had to take .

At 21 years old my mother saw white culture as having opportunities and possibilities that black culture , in her seeing , did not have in 1975 . I cannot fault her for that and my way of speaking has afforded me many things . She was right about that . Being able to speak  in proper terms and real words does make a difference upon short acquaintance . I am seen as more intelligent simply because of that one thing . I have to , in fact , thank my mother for that .  I believe that my way of speaking lead to my wanting  to be more intelligent .  I do not believe that I would be where I am today , a writer , a student , a friend to all types of people , if not for my assimilation . It did make me want to be  accepted by white society at first but later it just made me able to know and understand anyone that is intelligent and interesting . I am not cloistered or self-cloistered  within my own race. I am not afraid of white people , black people , Muslims , or Jews .  In fact I have befriended  them all . I am happy to be me but I am not stuck  with it . I am not saying this is what assimilation means for everyone .  It is what it means for me .

Here I Go Again on My Own


Today I woke up early. This is a great and  wonderful thing because I have been in my “I can’t get up, I can’t continue” phase for almost a month. The odd thing is it took me that long to realize that I am in fact in a deep depression. The fact that I started pushing away my friends , lying to people that have as a support system , sleeping full days away , crying at the drop of a hat and literally eating things that were bad for me while saying in my head ” I shouldn’t eat this , I’m not going to eat this, I don’t even like this” did not tell me that I was depressed Those things are all tale tell , I might as well have been walking slowly while touching a dark beige wall , but I didn’t see what I was feeling as depressed. I realized that I was depressed when I became aware that I could no longer form words. I had stopped writing.

This was a dangerous thing. I have been writing since I was seven. I have always journaled. I have always written short stories. I have always been a girl in her head, with little friends and personal anecdotes that keep her company. I have plays and movies and runaway epics that replay in my head. My while life I have been forming words , thoughts , people , places , constructions , monuments and alternative lives in my mind. I was no longer a friend to the various people in my brain, the mindscape was becoming a foreign land to me and when I came to understand this I knew. I am depressed.

Now this is both emotional and chemical. I am dealing with some major upheaval. I lost my job, I didn’t like my job but I loved my job at the same time. It was hard and new and I loved the challenge but I also felt that the company did not view me as an asset (ha, guess that was correct) and that it therefore did not allow me to be all that I could be. I was not given, or even offered the opportunities to network that my coworkers were. I was not aided in my position. I think that I should have// could have /would have been very successful in the position if I was better guided but I was not.  And I was terminated after being told that I was not going to be terminated.  I do feel discriminated against. And that feeling bullied, feeling lied to, feeling uncared for and used poorly is the emotional side of the depression.

I stopped moving. I wanted to be at least another 30 pounds lighter by now. I wanted to continue working out every day, start my yoga, meditations and start next year off in a wonderful healthy place. Instead I haven’t moved in two months. I eat whatever I want , I don’t move , I stopped taking vitamins,  I started doing coke… ok diet coke but still I drink soda, which is not good . So the fact that my mind has become a clouded mass of ” who are we, what are we doing here” is less than shocking  If I was a car I would be running with dirty oil , low octane gas and water instead of antifreeze and basically wondering “” why is this car running so rough?” .

So I am now on the path to find a new job , get off my butt and move and eat food that looks at least 90% what it would look like in nature, turns out there is no chicken nugget bush. And lastly to continue writing , everyday from today forward . I need to reacquaint myself with my mind , and get to know once again the playground of my youth.  I’m back. Wish me luck.

 

Houston day 9


The day went like this.  Up and on the bus, first destination with nary a hitch. Did my thing , got on second bus to another location. The second location being a job interview.  Small hiccup on finding the building ,then the office.  That snafu was remedied by the meeting of a young god who works at the office I was interviewing at.  This guy looked like if   Michelangelo’s  Jesus and a husky had a baby that wasn’t an abomination . Almost hallucinatory good looks, perfectly tanned skin, long Jesus hair and clear blue husky eyes that seemed gradient to a lighter clear grey.  In board shorts and tank, he painted a perfect picture of what I was not.  In my fancy going to meeting dress, and heels. 
The interview went well, and while I have yet to hear from them I was pleased with the experience.  But seriously they should hire me. 
Now for the fun. All done I head for home.  I take the first bus with no problem. My feet began to hurt from the shoes that just were not equal to the terrain. I get to the second bus and wait.  Now this is a 45 minute walk but my feet were killing me so I waited.  One hour,  waited, two hours waited…. 3 god damn hours.  And finally I said enough.  I kicked off my heels and began walking.  Within that 45 minute walk I was passed by not 1 ,not 3 butt 5 fucking buses!  Yes, I was quite royally spongebobbed by the transit system.
Loves/hates

1. Love : Texas accents ; sexy and slow. 
1. Hate: the metro ; I’m sorry but you get a second round in the hate category after the three hour wait.
2. Love : the sky; the clouds lately look painted on. 
2. Hate: No one talks to in my

image

little barrio I’m alone.  I am learning Spanish, wonder if that will help.

Houston Day 8


I have needed to take a week to decide that I was going to in fact start this blog, so I start it where I am. Day 8.

I first want to  say that any resemblance this blog does, may or will have with “Sex in the City” will be purely coincidental.

By no means am I Carrie Bradshaw or Candace Bushnell    for that matter.  While I am a girl in the “Big City” I am not, looking for love, trying to find the meaning

Of life in the bottom of a Cosmo glass or living la Vida Fabulous. I may be slightly living “Mi Vida Loca”, learning Spanish and living in a little bit of a Barrio.

I am not in the city of my dreams, like Carrie that would be New York. I am not expecting to jump right into the job of my dreams or the man of my dreams(for one this Christen Bale is married ), if I was the human equivalent of any character it may be Laura Ingles Wilder, a pioneer woman in the west , fighting for the best life possible and writing it all as she goes.

I have moved to Houston, Texas from Eastpointe, Michigan because the job prospects in Michigan, for me anyway, were short on the ground. I want to be successful and just going along to get along was NOT getting it. So I went west young (WO) man and I am trying to be as positive as possible about this very scary new chapter. And you, if there eventually are a you, are invited to watch.

I will wrap up as I intend on wrapping up every day with my 2 loves and 2 hates about Houston.

  1. Love: Taco trucks: they are everywhere and the food is while not probably the BEST for you some of it is Amazing to the palette.

1.   Hate: The Transit System : I don’t have a car yet and the very IDEA that you can take a bus ride that  for 2 HOURS that would be a 25 minute car ride is the

Explains everything I HATE about it. It is winding and complicated, some lines have 2 or three routes that run down the same street and have the same names save one or two LETTERS and you will end up all the way in east hell. It’s not at ALL fair to new comers.

  1. Love: The Weirdoes:  I love the assorted fruits and nuts that live here. Trannies, the gorgeous “Is she or isn’t she “types and the putting that make up on with a spackle isn’t helping you Types. Coplay folks in dress up, Vatos with their tattoos and angry scowls masking the round lovely faces of Latin people. Beautiful Latina girls with big hair, or pink hair and piercings. And one short, skinny beggar woman, presumably a drug addict but she may just be homeless, that seems to be everywhere.

2.  Hate: I’m Lonely here.