Archive for self doubt

It’s Almost Here!

Posted in Drum Roll, The Flow and Rhythm of Life, The Writing Process (How do I Come up These Beats?) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 09/14/2012 by Angel D. Vargas

The ideas have been fine tuned. The words are in place. I have finished and edited the content of my book.

All it needs now are chapter names and a title worthy of its greatness.

It also needs a professional editor, of course. I just refuse to send mine utter crap.

Time to save massive amounts of money.

Time to celebrate. My succubus can’t wait to make your acquaintance .. really 😉

Have a video!!

 

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Coming Back ..

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 09/14/2012 by Angel D. Vargas

I’d like to start this blog by saying that I was on a hiatus for a bit. A friend of mine came into the city and I decided to show her a good time. There are pictures. No, not that kind, you sick perverts!

As a result of my mini “staycation,” I stayed away from most social media. I didn’t even e-mail more than once, and that was to confirm that I was continuing a writing project that I started many moons ago.

My writing is going very well, I think, despite all the challenges that life seems to throw at me. I’m one busy motherfucker. I have the cleaning project in this apartment that has all but consumed my life when I am not working. I’m taking a break from that messy business. It’s done great things for this house and for my own mental health, but the process of getting cleaned up around here has been slow, and at times, so fucking aggravating that I want to snap someone’s neck and call it a day. I’m glad I took some time.

But my mindset since I’ve gotten back from that hiatus has been one of purposeful relaxation. I don’t want to delve back into the rat race that quickly. I’ve got to catch up with myself. I’m a bit tired of putting the needs of others above my own. My balance has been off in that respect. It happens. Life hurls its many curve balls at me, I get busy, and I don’t take the time to take care of me. I get sick or I get sick and tired. Those are apparently very different states of being according to my mother.

Cue studio audience laughter.

Parents have a way of making their adult children think about the course of their own lives. My parents are no exception.

A friend of mine engaged me in a discussion this afternoon before work. Of course, it started when the word “denial” came up. The word “denial” immediately puts me on the defensive. I won’t make any bones about that. But my friend, as far as I could tell, was genuinely concerned that I don’t appear to know how to slow down. Our discussion took on several different dimensions of course, but this is the one that stuck with me all the way through work this afternoon. It’s the one thing that I kept thinking about as I hurled myself into my captains chair and tried with utter desperation to bring the fun in.

If I have to try that hard to bring the fun in, perhaps the vacation wasn’t long enough.

But this is not the first time that this has come up in discussion this week.

Another friend of mine expressed concern that I won’t let anyone into my heart.

A third friend of mine seems worried that I don’t talk much.

My co workers seem to think I’ve become withdrawn.

With all these concerns coming to the fore AFTER I’ve just had a vacation, I was forced to consider the very real possibility that people simply didn’t like that I was gone for as long as I was. Even today, people expressed concern that I was in the back of the store at work pretty much my entire shift. My job sort of requires that right now, so I have little choice. But even I have to admit, after so much public face time and customer contact, being stuck in a little alcove in front of an elevator processing returns all day long feels isolating.

I’m beginning to worry.

My parents have put their two cents in. For some reason, their interjections on this subject have made me angry.

My father tells me “kid, you look tired and you work too hard.” Never mind that virtually every other day after work, he makes plans for my time that involve even more home projects that I am getting rather sick of doing. I have to shake my head at chuckle when he does this and then tells me “relax, kid,” as though I’m the one who keeps coming up with all this shit.

On the other hand, this is what my typical week looks like.

I wake up at 6 am monday morning. I prepare for an early work day. I got to work at nine.

After work, I do a load or two of laundry. It takes hours.

After that, I edit my story and try to catch up with my friends.

Maybe, I get some sleep.

The next morning, I do MORE laundry before a closing shift at my job.

The third day is a morning at work. If I’m lucky, I can rest after work this day, except I almost always have errands to run concerning my family. Even better, I’ve got writing projects that I’ve been putting off for so long that I try to do some of them. But my brain is so shot and I’ve had such a tiring previous couple of days that I get very little done. I start to wonder where my discipline has gone.

And then, I do the social networking thing.

Oi.

Thursdays are my last day at work for the week. I want to say that this means I have some fun. I can do that most of the time. But then the drama begins at home. Someone at home always has to make a scene at the end of my work week. Drunken arguing ensues. I slam my door and try not to regret that I came home at all.

Friday and Saturday. These are supposed to be fun days. Of late, they are replete with a lot of work. My cleaning project is foremost on the list of chores. My autistic brother decides to intervene by making noise and complaining when I won’t let him play with my keys. I try to maintain good humor and patience through all of this, but the previous week has been stressful. I compromise on everything. I don’t even get to use my bathroom when I want to this day because my father is busy doing an hour and a half long asthma treatment two times a day in our only bathroom. I’m getting angrier, but I press on because I know that this will all be worth it, right?

Meanwhile, I have NO social life to speak of in this city. I don’t hang out with family. That may have something to do with the fact that they all seem to want to give me advice that I don’t ask for. Or maybe it’s because I’ve been gone from most of their lives for so long that they no longer can relate to me in any other way. Some of them scare me with their sheer ignorance. Others are just living their lives, and we’ve remained separate for long periods of time.

I was gone for ten years. I won’t deny that it hurt some people. But I won’t apologize either. That was my time to figure out some things I needed to know. I’ll ask those of you who bother to get to know me again to remember that.

But I’ll only ask once. I have no energy to repeat myself.

I worry that I’ve swung my katana too hard. I’ve scared people away with my intensity. I’ve intimidated them with my inability to slow down. I’ve elicited concern and, in some cases, alarm from my nearest and dearest.

And I won’t lie. I am tired. So tired.

But I can’t stop fighting. I have goals to meet. I’ve got a life to live. I’ve got dreams.

Are all of these things supposed to fade into nothingness again like they did before? Are all of my own aspirations supposed to take a back seat again because I grow so tired of trying to balance it all on my shoulders?

I can’t allow that. If my ten year absence taught me anything at all, it is that I cannot allow my dreams to fade. I will not allow anyone to tear me away from my writing and my art. I can’t bear the thought that I have to sacrifice those things again so that someone else will think I’m doing something “practical” with my life. FUCK PRACTICAL! Practical doesn’t make anyone smile when they wake up in the morning. Practical is what you reserve for balancing a budget or figuring out how to dress your kids for school while writing a grocery list.

It’s NOT the word you use when you talk of love for something, or someone.

.. I’m afraid I don’t always know what real love is.

That scares me more than anything in this world. All this hard work and all this running around, being fast and efficient means nothing. All this motion and repetition leaves me feeling cold on the weekends. It leaves me feeling rather irritated with most people.

Am I growing colder?

Is exhaustion taking away my humanity? Am I killing my own spirit with too much work and worry?

These are legitimate questions.

The calm of a weary warrior suffuses my being. It is the calm that comes before the storm.

Maybe as I wipe the blood from my sword in my private forest sanctuary, I’ll stick the blade in the soft earth, lean my head upon the hilt and just weep.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Drum Roll, The Flow and Rhythm of Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 09/04/2012 by Angel D. Vargas

I’m here.

I’m not exactly sure what that means. I’ve toweled off after a shower. I look in the bathroom mirror. My right forearm sports a nasty purple welt that’s red around the edges. It stung when I washed it. There’s a cut on my face, just above my left eye. It looks worse than it is. In fact, it looks like my barber didn’t know when to quit and I got razor burn on my forehead.

There is another wound I can’t see, right at my knee. It’s an open wound I’ve had to cover with a band aid.

One would have thought this was from a street brawl or something. I guess when I think about it, I didn’t come off too badly. I can still move, though it stings sometimes. Bending my knee at work today will be an interesting experience.

But the real reason I’m bruised is because my autistic brother lost his cool yesterday. He had what we in this family have learned to call “one of his episodes.” It makes it seem like some kind of cop drama or something. NYPD Autism? Yeah, not so much. It’s not nearly as entertaining as all that, but it can get your blood pumping. You will leap out of your chair. It’s a “full body” experience.

But that doesn’t mean I want to participate.

I’ve got loads of work to do today. I have my actual job sometime this afternoon I think. If I have an afternoon shift, i might want to get some laundry done. And after work, I’ve got a bunch of damned plastic bins to put into the storage warehouse about a block and a half away.

Yeah. I’d say I’ve got my work cut out for me.

Happy Birthday to me. 😉

 

No Time for Hate ..

Posted in Drum Roll, The Flow and Rhythm of Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 08/27/2012 by Angel D. Vargas

I have to poke my head up for a minute.

This time, there is a great deal to share.  The problem now is that my time is limited.

There is plenty for me to do right now. I am editing my first true book. I’m working. I am helping to clean my family’s apartment while contending with the wants and needs of the autistic adult in my life. I’m also attempting to balance social media, help my friends with their creative endeavors, and make sure that I support those who are getting their literary work out there for all to see.

I don’t do any of these things because I expect anything in return. I may be one of those rare cases where what you see is what you get. The world owes me nothing. If I get anything for my efforts, it’s because I work for it.

In other words, my time is short. I want to enjoy what little time I have to myself these days. The friends of mine who “get me” are the ones who go out and do. They’re the ones who put themselves out there for scrutiny, holding their necks out for a vampire’s kiss or the blade of the executioner. They are the ones who ask, “when,” not “why?”

I have a question for “the others.” These are the ones who are NOT my friends, but seem to think I need to hear racist, homophobic, or otherwise plain obnoxious rhetoric and propaganda.

What the fuck makes you all think I have time for all this?

Living in New York City has been a blessing in disguise for me. It’s reminded me of one universal truth. There are so many people in this world that I have yet to meet. Most of them will not become my friends. Most will barely give me a second thought unless we introduce ourselves to one another. New Yorkers have a unique way of reminding me that their time is just as precious to them as mine is to me. New Yorkers remind me that sometimes life is best lived on a moment to moment basis. Nothing is permanent. Nothing is trivial.

There is an ironic way that haters seem to spread their hatred that I am still trying to understand. Facebook is replete with this kind of hatred. Someone says something inflammatory (and often just plain wrong).  Their words stink up my life for mere seconds in the miasma of ignorance. Their energy knocks me off my path. Haters count on this. They get off on it.

But haters also count on the fact that nobody will stand up to them for lack of courage or time.

When I encounter a hater, for the briefest of instants, I have a choice to make. I can keep on my path and ignore the hate, living my life as I see fit. I can cross swords with each hater and make them suffer for their ignorance.

But there is a third option that I forgot about until recently. It’s the one that I prefer.

I’m a smart person who can read the haters from a mile off. I often see them coming, and I have turned my blinders on in the past. If we’re going to use the metaphor of two ships passing in the night, I’ve been the lonely ghost ship  that turns on giant lights  and goes their merry way after they’ve blinded the captains of other boats. From a warrior’s perspective, I’m the guy with the broad chest and the focused stare. I leave others alone if I’m outside because I’m often too busy doing something to care what you’re about.

But of late, haters have stopped me in my tracks. They bump chests with me, or stick their feet out to try to trip me up and make me look bad. They forget one thing.

I still carry a sword.

I don’t have to stop and engage you if you’re a hate monger who needs to fill their time insulting and hurting others. I don’t want to waste my time pointing out the myriad of ways in which you are wrong. I don’t think you’re going to listen anyway. I’ll save my breath.

What I will do is exercise the third option. I will cut you down and leave. If I take the time to strike, I do it fast. I won’t waste emotion on your demise. I won’t waste energy. I will remove you from my life and the lives of others in one fell swoop. Simple. Efficient. Effective.

And it puts a grin on my otherwise stoic (yet handsome) face.

I have no time for hatred. I have no room for bigotry in my life. I will show you no quarter if you hurl your negativity in my direction. I have too many things yet to accomplish to stop and point out how wrong you are. But do not doubt that I will eliminate you if needed.

The opposite of love and caring isn’t hatred, folks. It’s apathy. It’s obvious to me that I can’t exercise apathy in the way I move through the world. But for the haters, the racists, the homophobes, and those who would tell me that I can’t have what I want in this world, I’ve got advice for you.

Your hatred is unwelcome. Don’t cross my path.

 

Know Yourself

Posted in The Flow and Rhythm of Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 08/18/2012 by Angel D. Vargas

Have fun with this latest post. I don’t have a bouncing ball for you to follow, so my words are below.

There isn’t much to tell.

A lot of good things come to those who get up in the morning, suit up and show up for life. Hard work and discipline help me to surmount the obstacles that stand in my way. I toil, I fix things when I break them, I put things back where I found them, and I try my best to leave the world a better place than it was when I found it.

But it appears that there is yet another lesson to be learned in all of this. Social networking, making new friends, and sharing the ups and downs of life with others have made something crystal clear for me in this past week.

I take on too much.

I’ve been forced to draw lines in the sand with people these last few months. Unneeded drama really does unsettle me. I don’t exercise patience with those who would choose to surround themselves with it. To embroil myself in the “he said, she said” arguments of others leaves me feeling confused, angry, and ultimately alone. I try my best to avoid it.

But even my best efforts can fall short.

I do try to be there for the people who matter most to me. I’ve made some beautiful friends. They all have varied personalities. But I have a tendency to want to look out for people who mean something to me. When I was younger, that manifested in a strong desire to rescue others who appeared “lost.” It even led to what I thought would be my ultimate life calling.

I wanted to be a therapist.

But life happened. Some people came and went. Others stayed. In the last decade of my life, I discovered some ugly realities about people and choices.

Fast forward to my life in New York City. I can count the close friends that I have on one hand. When I devote myself to someone, I remain loyal no matter the cost. But that means that I must watch myself in my dealings with others. I must chose my words carefully. I must not make promises that I know I can’t keep.

Now I’m here. I’ve realized something as I lick my wounds and prepare for the battles that lay ahead.

Among people there may be no such thing as unconditional love.

I’m here to propose that maybe that’s not always a bad thing.

Among my truest friends, there are varied talents, desires, and life goals. It can be quite the adventure to navigate through all of those to get to know these people better as time goes on. The ones who have stuck with me the longest are the ones who are willing to let me get to know them, and to get to know me in turn. These are the ones who listen to me as often as I listen to them. I can’t really say that any one of these friends has a drama free existence. Frankly, my life is replete with opportunity for melodramatic nonsense. But the realist in me wants to know that the people in my life can hold down the fort until I get to the scene of the carnage. The pragmatist in me needs my friends to exercise self awareness, to know when to put up and when to shut up. The warrior in me knows that I can’t be there for everyone all the time.

I’ve lost sight of that somehow, and it bothers me.

My inner samurai seems to have his sword drawn all the time now for someone else’s defense. What happens to a warrior that rescues all his comrades in arms? Does he ever see the enemy coming from the side if he’s busy smiting the pursuers of his friends?

If I am a friend, it’s until you find some way to make me deviate from my course. Those who know me  well are in no doubt of my sincerity or loyalty.

But I do make mistakes. I do, on occasion, open my mouth to switch feet. As eloquent as I can be, I have used the wrong words, and made the wrong impressions. I have hurt other people’s feelings. All I can do is apologize and move on. I can’t be perfect. Nature is as close to perfection as anything gets on this planet, and even it can get under my skin.

Only someone who knows themselves well will understand and pursue what makes them happiest in life. At some point in adult existence, people draw their own conclusions about life, love and the  universe. We all must move through this world on our own, and yet we can’t do it by ourselves.

It is one of the many ironies of my own existence that I’ve stopped trying to puzzle out.

If I meet you along the path of my own journey, the warrior in me simply hopes not to cross swords with you. The friend in me might stop and offer a greeting. As an older brother to someone vulnerable, I’m used to being a protector.

But I am no mind reader. I never was. I must make do with the information I am given.

I make no promises and I tell no lies. In the end, you can all think of me what you will.

I think I heard a movie quote once that sums it up rather nicely.

“Good, bad, I’m the guy with the gun.”

Samurai Mode

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 08/10/2012 by Angel D. Vargas

What have we here?

I wake up. Twelve hours have gone by since I crashed. The funk of the work week had to leave my body, so I showered. The weight of the work week had to leave my soul so I slept.

But my body still hurts. My mind is still full.

And when I open the door to my room, my old man gives me this look like he’s expecting my wrath to explode like napalm. He isn’t scared. He’s braced.

I don’t care. It’s time to go about my business.

The bathroom is hot and it smells. I feel like a layer of grease just settled over my body. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear the sizzle of bacon. I would shower again, but the hot water has been turned off. Swell.

Errands need to be run. Bills need to be paid. And .. Are you fucking kidding me? Someone needs to be taken care of again.

I don’t do that anymore. It’s been made clear that I have no authority here. I’d flip them all the bird, but I’m in some sort of hurry that I can’t even explain.

After a short time on the internet, I find some coffee and get dressed. Like a bat out of Hell, I fly from my home, determined not to look back. I got up late, and it still feels like I’m the early bird of my house. I don’t understand it. It feels pathetic somehow.

The first order of business is to go to my bank. I don’t realize it until I step outside, but the humidity hasn’t gone away. New York feels like a Turkish Bath, except for the fact that I can’t walk around in the buff.

I don’t know why, but the humidity just makes me want to move faster. If I have to sweat, I might as well do it while accomplishing something. It’s the same mentality I had yesterday at work. There was no AC there either. The promised repairs on the system hadn’t been made. I wasn’t surprised.

I had a mountain of work to do. I leveled the mountain. I did it with an economy of motion. I did it with few words. There were no surprises.

That’s what a warrior does.

My mind hasn’t left warrior mode. I move across the street with as few steps as possible. I am aware of people only as moving obstacles. I see them in my periphery as I zoom by. Appearance matters little. Speed is of the essence.

But it’s my first day off of work for the week. My mental state flies in the face of that fact. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I understand this. Somehow, I’ll get to the point where I’ll relax.

Now is just not that time.

I make my way to the bank and wait on the line of people. I look behind me once I step inside the building. People walk inside, intent on the same thing I am. They all seek to interact with a machine. That interaction will be the longest one some of these people have with anything outside of their own essence. Why this occurs to me at this moment escapes me.

When my turn comes, I do what I need to do and I leave. No muss, no fuss.

I hold the door open for about nine different people before I even get to walk back outside. Somehow I beat the after work, pre dinner bank rush. I smirk as I step out onto the street again.

But I don’t run my errands right away. There is something else I need to do first. I don’t bother to make sense of it. I just know what I’m feeling. I’m pent up. There is aggression in my steps. There is tension in my muscles. My clothes feel like just another layer of skin. I am already naked to the rest of the world.

Almost.

The exception is my eyes.

I think about this as I thread the needle of my soul through countless other pedestrians on the New York Streets. My glasses are compact, graduated transition lenses. In the sun, they darken. At times, I forget this fact. I somehow hang onto to it today like a lifeline. Why? What is it in my eyes that I don’t want others to see? What am I hiding in the supposed windows to my soul?

As if in response to this thought, a woman stares my way. She’s wearing a form fitting blue sun dress. She’s also wearing shades. The corners of her mouth twitch upward. I can’t help but return the gesture, even as I rush by her like a bullet train with a cracked out conductor.

Is this how New Yorkers interact now? Maybe it’s always been this way.

My father tells me stories about running into friends on the street all the time. I’ve walked with him for years. He used to be like me. When there was a slew of things to do, he did them with a brutal sort of efficiency.

But he got older. Silver and grey encroached on his beard like a reverse oil spill in the Hudson. Somehow, along with that silver came a propensity to slow down and look at every random thing he could in every store that he ever shops in.

It drives me to the point where I grind my teeth and want to stomp my foot in frustration.

Running errands with him will always be this way now. I’ve had to learn to accept it. I’ve also had to learn to say no when I know that the frustration will make me want to kick him in the shins. I don’t know that it’s his fault. He’s retired. He spent 21 years of his life doing a job that I can’t even imagine doing. He’s earned the right to slow down and smell the technicolor flowers.

So why can’t I do that?

The work week has come and gone. Granted most of my work has been fast and somewhat hard on the physical body, I can handle it very well.

But I’m not a spring chicken. I’m in my  thirties, still trying to figure my shit out. I’m trying to launch the life that I want. I don’t want the life that others think I should have.

It’s difficult to get people to understand that part of me.

I’m reconciling all of this as I continue to speed through people. They simply look like columns of light to me shooting out from a flowing blue stream. I can shuck and dodge my way past objects like that.

At times, I don’t want to deal with people, but it’s easier to get lost in a crowd. That irony will always be with me in New York City.

Today is no exception. My quick footwork gets attention from some. The way I’m dressed gets attention from others. I meet people’s gazes, glances, or glares with equal measure. I don’t shy away from anyone’s attention anymore. When I consider that I am editing a book that I hope to get published someday, I can ill afford to be shy much longer. When I consider what I’m writing about, spotting the Naked Cowboy on Times Square in his tightie whities might not be such a big deal. Being a New Yorker almost makes my direct personality a necessity. The reputation that New Yorkers have for being blunt is well deserved.

I came home for a reason. It had nothing to do with family. It had nothing to do with the economy or with my aversion to Midwestern living.

I returned to reclaim my muse. But to do that, I needed to reclaim who I am.

That process is never easy. It’s taken me a year of living here to remember the parts of me that I loved. Like a defragging, I’ve had to sort through and remove the other parts of me that no longer serve.

The most straightforward part of my psyche is also the most unnerving. This is my inner Samurai.

In the moments where I speed walk along Times Square and find the wormholes that let me punch a hole through the world, I am in Samurai mode.

In Samurai mode, I don’t waste time. People have called me ninja. I used to think this was cool. But I realize now that they only call me this because I move when they’re busy standing still. I act when they are busy reacting.

I get from point a to point b when people aren’t even paying attention.

If I do this to you someday, it won’t be because you blinked and I seek to dazzle with preternatural speed. I’m simply in my Samurai state. Since it seems I can’t walk down a NYC street without being noticed, I can’t really be a ninja anyway. But I can still move too fast for you to catch. I forge ahead with purpose. I exude the strength of my will. It seeps from my pours. It crackles like electricity. It strikes like forked lightning through a turbulent sky.

I do this because I must. I have to get beyond the confusion and mediocrity of my past. I need to surge past the static waters of my immediate surroundings.

I will make my way to the future. If it means we befriend each other along the way, then so be it. You can either raise your weapon and join me on the road to your own future, or you can stay out of my way. In samurai mode, I feel no compassion. I sense no sadness from others because it doesn’t register. I have no mercy. Those things slow me down. They keep my wheels spinning at the times when I want to be skimming over water or soaring  through the air.

In samurai mode, I won’t stop to mourn you if you fall.

If nobody else will unclip my wings, I’ll use my sword to unclip them myself.

I will draw blood from God himself if he tries to stop me.

Editing my Horrotica Book ..

Posted in Drum Roll, The Writing Process (How do I Come up These Beats?) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 08/08/2012 by Angel D. Vargas

There’s a funny thing that happens when I edit short stories that I’ve written.

Maybe it’s not so much funny as it is aggravating. I perseverate on things. Sentence fragments. Run on sentences go on and on and on until I stop and deliberate on the uses of commas and periods only to find out that I’m either too trigger happy with the fucking things, or that I’m not savvy enough with them, and then it turns out that my friends are no better with commas and periods than I am, and don’t even get me started on the uses of semi colons and the like;

Whew.

In short, I am my own worst critic. You would think that this would make me an excellent editor for my work. You would think that I wouldn’t need the services of professionals.

But I won’t lie. I’m too biased, after a certain point, to know what I’ve missed.

Beta readers are important, in part, for this reason. I’ve got several loyal and wonderful writer friends who will help me in that department. YAY ME! And a big YAY should go to them all. You know who you are 😉

Short stories are one thing to edit. After a certain point, I’ve done all that I can do. I’ve listened to the advice of my beta readers. I’ve even read the darn thing aloud to myself and to others just to ensure the smoothness of my narrative. I find it easiest to catch errors this way. If it sounds awkward as I read, it will read that way to my audience. At least, I think this is true.

But now that I’ve gone and written a book, I find that the editing process is very different. In my mind, it’s a bit like dropping a pebble into a still pond. That pebble creates ripples, and these ripples can spread forever. They can, in fact, bump into other ripples created by other dropped rocks, or they can be blown away; fragmented by an unexpected wind.

But I can only see the ripples if I am under the sunlight. My book feels like the pond underneath the heat and the light of the sun.

The magnitude of my accomplishment is beginning to settle on me.

Editing a book of mine also makes me feel as though I am in a time warp. When I can go back to the beginning chapters of my book and ask myself questions like “Who the hell wrote this?” and “What the hell was I thinking?” I have to feel good. I feel good because I am a better writer who can catch many of these mistakes. My style has evolved. I’ve altered my use of American English (hopefully for the better).

The editing of erotica adds another interesting layer to this exposed feeling.

I am bearing my soul with my writing. I won’t mince words. I knew that I was going to try to get this thing published. I knew that I was going to finish this book, make some noise, edit the shit out of it, celebrate my greatness, and then allow a professional editor the smack the shit out of it (and my ego) if needed. I am capable of doing the forward, backward and side rolls I need to figure this thing out. I’ll put in the sweat. I’ll work through the tears and the desire to put my fist through walls.

What else is a warrior writer supposed to do, especially when they are trying to break into the business?

Erotica exposes a part of soul that I rarely share with others. People don’t look at me and assume “this man has sex on the brain.” Well, some might, but I either laugh at them or get their numbers depending on who they are. But we can all be honest with each other, right? People are probably better off not making more than perfunctory assumptions about one another on first glance.

But if I  am damned lucky and I work hard, someday, this part of me will be exposed to the world. I want to make people squirm at work. I want the husband who reads my stuff to go home and fuck his wife until the roof comes crashing down around their ears. I crave the knowledge that I caused someone to break into a sweat on an otherwise uneventful bus ride back home from work.

Now, my characters really ARE on a stage. It feels like there are cameramen and boom mic’s with them in each scene as I scratch out one word and use another. As I relinquish my use of adverbs, I zoom in on someone’s bare ass. As I add a description of the glint in my leading lady’s eye, I actually see her breasts heaving up and down in the heat of passion. My leading man is beginning to understand what a fluffer is.

Again, I ask, “What the fuck is going on?”

Throw in the horror aspect of my book, and what we have here is a recipe for double the pressure. I’ve got to keep the tension going on multiple levels. Horror must be a visceral experience too! Fear must build. Gooseflesh, thrills and surprise must be felt when this is all said and read.

Horror and erotica are two of the hardest things to write, and perhaps two of the strangest genres to combine. The thing they both have in common other than being so difficult to do WELL is that both must be shown with such clarity. I want everyone who reads my work to feel what these characters experience. I want grab my readers by the hand and leap head first into a hell of a ride. I want them to break into a sweat for one reason or another.

I don’t know if I’m good enough to accomplish this. But I am not afraid to do the work to find out.

And damn is it fun!

I don’t know all the unwritten rules of writing a book or editing it. This is something that I can only learn by doing it over and over again. I can go to the drawing board as many times as it takes. I can pour my soul into every word that you will ever see. But I didn’t go to school to learn to write fiction. My hat is off to those who have. I may even take a class on creative writing someday when I’m not creating something else to scream about. What I’ve discovered lately is that there are so MANY good writers out there, I can only guess at what defines success for each one.

For me, the appeal for writing always was and always WILL be the ability to use my voice to add something original, fun and beautiful to the world.

Look for it. Listen for it.  It’s coming.

I may or may not record these words later for my amusement and your entertainment 😉 Fear not! my dulcet tones shall return later this week!

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