august

I can hardly believe that it is the beginning of August!

This summer is flying by. Already the mornings are filled with the sound of cicadas, the evenings are lit by fireflies, and the nights are cool and clear. I’m seeing “back to school” supplies in the stores. I’m not quite ready! I’ve been out of work since the school year ended, so it’s been a difficult summer financially. But it has also been very rewarding in other ways.

Having the children home all summer has been wonderful. During the school year, we’re all so pressed for time. I love these expansive days and the time spent either with each other or tangentially around each other. I’ve been watching them grow in so many ways. I worry about our lack of money, how that affects them, but I also see a positive outgrowth because of it.

I feel that boredom is a great inciting factor for growth. They have to find things to do. They have to follow their interests. Sure, they watch TV and go on the computer and hang out with friends. But they also have been spending a lot of time reading, drawing, painting, sewing, and felting. They’ve been making collages, listening to music, creating stuffed animals and puppets and felted creatures.

Since school ended, I basically hit the ground running in terms of my writing. My job had been so overwhelming at times, I lacked the time and energy to really be able to focus on projects. During weekends and vacations, I would try to do what I could. I even managed to submit a couple of stories. But for a writer, there is no substitute for the sheer time it takes to think and work on creative projects.

First day out, I came across a very cool call for submissions that had been extended from the original deadline. When I initially saw the call during the school year, I knew I didn’t have anything that would fit the theme. If I wanted to submit something, I would need to create a story anew but I didn’t have the time. With the extension, I suddenly had another window of opportunity.

I threw myself into writing, and it was great. It was as if I had been holding back, holding back, waiting, waiting, and then the dam burst. I wound up creating a story that had been in the back of my head for some time. After I finished and submitted that story, I embarked on my next writing project – collecting some of my dark and erotic stories into a cohesive body of work.

Again, this is something I had wanted to do for awhile. I just didn’t have the time or energy while working a 40+ hour work week. I was waiting for the summer, holding onto that glimmer of a promise. Almost immediately after finishing the story, I came across a call for book submissions from an intriguing book publishing company based in the UK. I compiled the manuscript over the course of a week.

During this time, I was able to release the third issue of Siren – an online zine for writers and artists of all genres who create new, edgy, and experimental work. I put out a deadline for the end of June, when I knew that I would have some time to attend to the zine. Issue 3 came together beautifully, and it is such a wonderful feeling to be able to support and share the work of other writers and artists.

Strangely enough, after I finished with that project, I was introduced to a new online publication that I was really interested in. One of my stories that I had put aside in hopes of having more time to work on it would be a perfect fit! That’s where I am right now, working on this new story. I have more time to work on it, and I love how it is all coming together. When it is done, I have more ideas …

I’ve also received some good news in relation to my writing! One of my stories will be published in an upcoming erotica anthology that I am so excited to be part of!  Another anthology, Fairy Tale Lust, (edited by Kristina Wright and published by Cleis Press, 2010) includes one of my stories  and is being translated into German! And the manuscript that I sent out was accepted for publication!!

For me, August always means that summer is almost over. We still have a few weeks to do the things we haven’t yet. I want to have at least a few more beach days and museum days with my daughters. Soon, I have to stop staying up half the night writing and get back into a productive day schedule. I’m hopeful that I will have a better job by the end of this month, allowing me more time during the school year to write.

Soon I plan on posting more “Stories of Failure” which was a project I began recently through the reading series section within this site. It’s an interesting project for me because my writing is so far into the realms of dream and fantasy and imagination. I’ve often said that my reality and the course of my life has been such that it’s no wonder I write fiction.

Sometimes escaping into dreams is necessary to survival. It is as real to my sustenance as food or water or air. I no longer question why that is; I can only accept it. I’ve realized that my path as a writer includes impulses that are far stronger and stranger than what is temporal. However, that doesn’t ease the difficulties and struggles I have on an everyday basis, in the fabric of my life.

Right now, I’m feeling happy. Writing, writing, writing! I can hardly wait to get back to the story I’m working on. Recently I was thinking of what a magical thing it is while working on a new story. It’s like opening a door, a unique portal, that opens to a succession of doors. These doors lead to empty rooms, dark rooms, black voids. Some doors I never open. Some doors I am afraid to open.

The doors all lead to different places. The more I feel out the story within and the more I make connections, it feels like tiny sparks ignite and light the darkness, like candles being lit one by one, until the story becomes clearer and more focused. By the time I have finished a story, I am often in a brightly lit room. It is a room that has given me its secrets; it is a room I have loved in, lived in, died in.

Ah, August … do not pass so quickly! September will come too soon, I know. But right now, I want to hold onto this time. Tomorrow stretches before me. The sun will rise bright and hot. We are planning on working in the garden. Afterwards, I will put on the sprinkler to refresh us, and my daughters will jump through it in their clothing, laughing like they do, seeking and finding rainbows through the refracted light.

 

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