On Moving On…

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I don’t remember much of last winter. I was too buried in grief colder than any squall. The sharp bite of bitter wind was a welcome distraction from the sickness of my heart.

I put all the things he gave me in the back of my closet, not brave enough to throw them in the trash but not bold enough to keep them around either. Like all bad memories, I hoped they would just fade away.

I found things enough to keep me busy during the days, but the nights were filled with inescapable loops of all the things I could have done better. Of all the things I might have done wrong.

I don’t remember the first day after January 7th that I didn’t see his face every time I closed my eyes, but it must have come. Yes, it must have. Because the sick sinking feeling in my chest now feels like a faded picture.

I grasped for anything that might save me. Desperately, I entered entropy and let the world devour me with new experiences. And yet only within myself did I finally find healing.

For a late blooming flower, I found that each bruise he gave me wilted my tender petals. But those scars will grow a stronger bud come spring. Every beautiful rose wonts to be plucked. And every summer they bloom again.

Moving on is all about compartmentalizing. The pain never goes away. You just box it up and bury it somewhere in your mind and try to think of better things to come.

Wishing stops working after a while, when you realize that people don’t work like shooting stars. They don’t fall on command, and they have pasts that they can never outrun.

I walked into something karmic, and fuck that’s unfortunate, because you were the start of my journey, and I was only a distraction from yours.

Sometimes I remember the way he rolled his eyes while I drove us home one December night, and in that moment I knew there was no saving this. And it took all my strength of will not to burst into tears as we ate our blue cheese burgers while we tried to think of something, anything to talk about.


Here’s some prose from last winter, about my broken heart and learning to move on after that.

Bad things happen in life, but we shouldn’t view those as negatives. We learn much more from pain than we do from success. And sometimes a broken heart is just what we need in order to transform our lives into everything we’ve ever dreamed of. So thank those who have taught you the tough lessons, and pray that they someday find the healing they need as well. Forgive them, and find peace.

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Take care, and don’t forget to take your medications!

Kat 

 

Nothing Is Okay

“I wish him a lifetime of safety and platitudes, a soundtrack of fluorescent lights humming. I do not wish him me, though. Never me again.”


Dry Cake Wishes and Tap Water Dreams

Rachel Wiley speaks to everyone who has ever been made to feel like they weren’t good enough in a past relationship. And she does it in the most comical and sarcastic way possible. She manages to capture the not-quite-hatred of her ex in an onslaught of mediocre wishes for him on his birthday. She doesn’t wish him death, destruction, and ruin. She doesn’t wish him pain or revenge. She wishes him fluorescent lights and tasteless oatmeal breakfasts, because his reason for ending things with her was because she was “too intense”. Therefore, the poem that follows is anything but intense. It’s savagely normal, and comfortingly comical. More importantly, it details the importance of letting things go, of moving on and holding no grudges against those who may have hurt us. Her poem is not an angry call to arms or a swearing off of all men. At the end of her poem, she speaks of finding someone else, someone better suited for her, and she wishes him the life that he wants too, albeit a painfully boring one.


Button Poetry

If you like this poem, you can purchase her poetry book, Nothing Is Okay from Button Poetry, a publisher of diverse poets who come from many different backgrounds. Button Poetry also hosts live readings, which help to capture the unique voices of these poets in breathtaking performances. Use the code “secondchance” for 25% off your order!

Sunday Pep Talk | NaNoWriMo 2018

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Hello lovelies!

Happy Sunday. I hope everything is going well for you all. We find ourselves at the starting weekend of NaNoWriMo, and for those of us participating, it can be difficult to stay motivated and inspired, as well as fit the time to write into our busy lives. But that is the point of the challenge! To create a writing habit if you didn’t already have one, and to devote a specified chunk of time to working on the thing you really want to create.

Don’t get discouraged! Even if you fall behind or the story doesn’t go the way you wanted it to, you should still be proud of yourself for undertaking this challenge. Perhaps you will learn a thing or two about yourself in the process too.

Stick with it! Don’t give up! You are doing great!


Take care, and don’t forget to take your medications!

Hocus Pocus Writing Tag

Thank you once again, Jane, for tagging me in a fun writing meme! If you don’t follow her yet, go check her blog out! ‘Tis the season for Halloween, and what better way to get in the spirit than with a Hocus Pocus writing meme? If you’re a writer, I’m sure you’ve thought about these things at least once or twice in your life.

SARAH JESSICA PARKER, BETTE MIDLER, KATHY NAJIMY

Sarah, Mary, & Winifred Sanderson: Being a witch is hard, but so is writing. If you had magical, witchy powers what aspect of writing or what part of the process would you magically skip over?

Such a hard question, because I really like all the parts of the process! But if I had to choose, it would probably be the marketing part, because…I uh…I don’t really know how to market myself.

Max and Dani: What relationships tend to be at the core of your books? Friends? Family? Romance?

My relationships tend to focus most specifically on the characters and themselves. My characters all tend to have a lot of internal problems and baggage, so most of my writing focuses on either understanding themselves better, or learning to accept themselves, the good and the bad.

Amuck, Amuck, Amuck!: How do you approach the chaos that is drafting? Are you a plotter, a pantster, or a combo of both?

I’m definitely a pantster when it comes to writing. Sometimes I outline, or write out a scene of dialogue if it’s fresh in my head, but usually I just sit down at a blank word document and let the thoughts come as I go. Yep, definitely not a planner. Because you can plan all day, but planning isn’t writing. Writing is writing. So I don’t like distracting myself with planning too much. The story that needs told knows how to tell itself, for the most part, without any preemptive efforts.

I Put a Spell on You: How do you deal with book ideas that want to pull your focus from your main WIP?

This is a huge problem I have, so I created a word document titled “ideas” where I will put all these distracting side projects. Sometimes it’s only a line, sometimes it’s whole paragraphs or scenes that have already come to me. Then I can go back in and look at them when I’m ready to transfer them to their document forever home. But if I’m being honest, I don’t just have one WIP. I have several. So most of the ideas in the “ideas” document have already started to be fleshed out. I write on ALL my ideas at one time, depending on the headspace I’m in.

Thackery Binx: Things aren’t always what they seem–Think back to when you first started writing to where you are now. How has your process transformed from then to now?

I’ve definitely improved on my writing skills. I was always pretty good with grammar, but I find that my work now has a better flow and more originality than my earlier work. Dialogue has also improved. I often got stuck in the “conversational” mode for dialogue, when it really should have been “dialogue to advance the plot”. I wrote a whole post comparing the two, here.

My Lucky Rat Tail: Do you have a writing ritual? If not, what are some of your favorite writing tools?

My writing ritual usually happens in the morning, or more often in the evening, when I have some free time to sit and commit to the craft. It usually just involves putting my hair up into a ponytail, lighting a candle, making a cup of tea or snack, and sitting in my bed, buried under a hundred blankets. And as far as writing tools go, all I really use is Microsoft Word and occasionally a pen and notebook when I need to work something out, off script.

Boooooookkk: Favorite Writing Craft Book?

This one definitely has to go to On Writing by Steven King. Reading that book was like looking into the mind of a genius. There’s no fluff, no filler. Every page and word talks about his experience as a writer and author. He talks about his failings, the hard parts, the grueling work that goes into it, and more importantly, he tells you how to overcome these things, from experience. I devoured this book, and then promptly put every book in his suggested reading list onto my to be read list. (Side note: I love this question because it’s always great discovering new books on writing)

Another Glorious Morning: Do you enjoy writing in the morning? Or do you prefer the evening, like Winnifred?

I really do prefer evenings, although I have been known to write in the morning. I find that I like to incorporate my daily experiences into my writing, and I often have a bit more time to write in the evening after work.

The Black Flame Candle: What’s one of the biggest mistakes you’ve made so far in your writing journey? OR What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?

I don’t count anything really as a mistake, because you learn from everything. So the biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is that the writing is the easy part. Everyone has stories inside of themselves to tell. The hard part is getting it out there and convincing people that it’s worth something. A lot of writers tend to be introverts, so the marketing or querying part can be a little difficult or intimidating. Writing is no problem. I’m still learning how to do everything else.

Also, another lesson I’ve learned is never to tell your story idea, because as soon as you do, you’ll lose it. I don’t know how or why this logic works, but it does. As soon as I talk about my book to someone, I lose the inspiration to write it. So now I just leave the writing to speak for itself. This also saves you from “writing a check you can’t cash”, as it were.

Billy Butcherson: What’s a trope that most people hate, but you love and would like to see “come back from the dead”?

How about villains being evil for the sake of evil? I don’t like this new trend of explaining evil intentions. Some people are just not good people. Like Maleficent. She didn’t really need a big long back story. She was the mistress of all evil. Don’t fuck with perfection. You don’t need to explain every little thing. Sometimes the villain is scarier when you don’t know why he does what he does. A lot of people want to justify or humanize villains and call them out for being morally wrong, but that’s the point! Villains are supposed to be morally wrong! I don’t need a SJW telling me I can’t like a villain character just because of what they stand for. Villains happen to be my favorite characters. So just let them be villains.

Come Little Children: Songs that give you a “hypnotic” focus when writing? I.e., fav songs on your writing playlist

I love this question! I could listen to Bohren & Der Club Of Gore and write the best shit, but I already mentioned them, so to add some variety…I love the music from Final Fantasy. It shifts moods so often, which is really helpful when writing a complex story. You can find a song for any scene you want to write. I also love getting in the zone to chillwave. I don’t have any specifics here. I usually just browse youtube or 8tracks for a chillwave mix and let the words flow.


That was fun! If you’re a writer, I tag you! Go ahead and answer the questions and link me to your posts so I can read your answers.

Take care and don’t forget to take your medications!

I am

  


I Am, A Poem

I am a jazz heart, slow rainy rhythms and black silk stockings.

I am late night rendezvous, the girl you never get to know completely.

I am the sound of heels on cobbled streets, the flutter of fear before a first kiss.

I am steady logic, cold heart, warm hands; gentle eyes and big plans.

I am the bite of red wine.

I am the shadow thoughts. Insidious kindness.

I am dark ocean waves that carry the moon’s reflection no closer to shore.

I am purple orchids, pale lips, green eyes.

I am dark blue.

I am a winding line that snakes around the straight path.

I am cats claws hidden beneath soft paws.

I am melancholy.

I am the warm glow of a street light on empty city streets.

I am the skyline, peaceful until you get too close and begin to see all my cracks and crimes.

I am the scratch of a violin bow in the echoes of very old music halls that carry the ghosts of luxury within their walls.

I am watery and willowy, prismatic like the many edges of a diamond with too many sides.

I am dimly lit corridors that lead to intoxicating pleasures.

I am silent stares from across the room.

I am foundation; strong on my own, but incomplete.

I am quiet power.

I am.

Who are you?

Hop back on the horse.

Writing is a fulltime job, and often a job that must be done alongside a normal 9 to 5er. But sometimes life gets in the way of our dreams. So what do you do when you get derailed from writing? Maybe you submitted a bunch of pieces to magazines, or maybe even submitted a full novel for publication, and it was all rejected. Maybe you’ve been dealing with a writers block so thick and wide that even Trump would be proud. Or maybe you’ve just given up, for whatever personal or mental reasons. Well, the only thing to do is to get back on the horse and keep going.
Getting discouraged is part of life. It’s impossible to ride the high the whole way. Sometimes that energy will fall into a valley, but it’s not impossible to try again. It’s never too late to continue. Here are some tips to get back into the game:

  1. Read some shit
    • Often reading something in the same vein as we would like to produce gives us a motivational kick start. Want to write a self-help book? Go and read one, or five. See what works and what doesn’t work. Want to write a YA-fiction? Go and read one. It can be a new release or an old classic that once inspired you when you were a young adult yourself.
  2. Write some shit
    • The only way something will make it from the world of idealization or fantasy into reality is the put in the work to get it done. This means sitting down at your computer, or with pen and paper, and writing. It doesn’t matter if you decide to do this in a kitschy café while wearing a beret, or in the privacy of your own bedroom or study with no pants on and questionable pornography playing in the background. Both of which would probably get you some weird looks and a label or two, but you know what? Who cares. As long as you are putting out the productivity, something is going to happen. Writing is a slow process. It’s one of the art forms that many people think is mostly BS. “Oh, you’re writing a novel? So you’re lazy and have no life aspirations, is that what you’re saying?” And that may well be true, if you aren’t actually doing the work. But if you are actively working towards cranking out words like your life depends on it (which it does, in some cases), then who cares what anyone thinks? As long as you have a product to show at the end of the day, then you keep on chasing your dreams, little dreamer.
  3. Research some shit
    • Maybe your writing career has come screeching to a halt because you’re lacking some motivation, or you’re hung up on a detail that really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Guess what, we’ve all been there. “I don’t know what to name my main character. I can’t start writing until he has a name.” Call him Henry and get on with it! You can always go back and edit names, or locations, or even facts that you aren’t 100% sure about. And if you feel that you cannot move forward on a book because you’ve not done enough research, then haul your ass to your library and start digging. Hop on your internet browser and fall down a few rabbit holes. And when you have all the facts you need, go back to it and create something that doesn’t exist.
  4. Edit some old shit
    • So last year you finished the first draft, or second or third draft of a novel and since then it’s been sitting there collecting dust and serving as a decorative bookend. That’s great! That means it’s had time to ruminate in your thoughts. Or more realistically you’ve forgotten about it entirely; the plot, the characters, the shitty ending. But eventually you’re going to have to go back and look at how terrible the writing actually is, so that you can work it into something you’re proud of. Just because you finished an old piece doesn’t mean it’s done. It’s not done until it’s published, and even then, there’s still room for improvement. So dig out those old tomes and break out a sexy red pen and mark that shit up like a sadist devaluing a masochist. Your novel will thank you afterwards. (Just remember to practice aftercare by petting your manuscript and telling it that it’s beautiful and special and that you love it anyways)
  5. Listen to some inspiring shit
    • Realistically you can’t be writing all the time. You have to do stupid things like drive in your car and take showers and eat food. “What a waste of time!” you’re thinking. Wrong! Every moment of the day that you find yourself alone with your thoughts is a wonderful opportunity to be filling your mind with wonderful inspiration! Have you ever listened to a Ted Talk? Or podcasts? There are so many sources for inspiration from people who have gone from nothing to successful. These people know what they’re talking about! Listen to them! Let their wisdom fill your bosom with so much motivation that you feel like you might pop! Does every waking moment need to go into being productive? No, of course not. But if you’re anything like me, being unproductive just sort of leaves you feeling like a wonderful waste of space (as discussed in point 2). And what I like to do in my free time is fill my mind with positive words and positive thoughts so that I don’t end up sitting there saying “why bother?” or “what’s the point?”. You started this for a reason! Don’t forget that reason!
  6. Clean up your shit
    • Speaking of positivity, one of the most important things I’ve ever heard in my life was “declutter, distress”. That was it. Pretty short advice, but it stuck with me. Maybe you’re one of those people who can work really well under a heap of dirty clothes and old pizza crumbs, but you know what? Not everyone can. And if you are one of those people who is fine living in your old human filth, more power to you. You do you. However, I find that often when I am trying to do work when there is shit everywhere is a huge distraction. I find myself thinking about the dishes I need to clean up rather than the murder mystery that should be unfolding on the pages. Or I think about how I should definitely be doing laundry instead of freewriting. That sort of thinking isn’t productive. And yeah, you might get some work done, but think of how much better it would be with a clear mind, a clear unstressed mind! Oh how wonderful that would feel! And if you’re one of those people who just cannot bring themselves to clean anything up, do yourself a favor and go to your library to work on your writing, or some other neutral environment where there aren’t 10,000 things to distract you. Just a suggestion. Again, if you are one of those people who function under messy conditions, more power to you. I just hope you aren’t writing a book on personal hygiene.

Any other suggestions for getting back into the writing game? I’d love to hear from you. Oh, and if you’re reading this, go write something. Write a sentence, write a paragraph. I see you, and I’m judging you.