It's quite an album and a half 😂 - the decisive blow to #Hollywood Image-Reality, disguised as a television show. It's a banging journey of the mind. Cripes, my mind happens to be EXPANSIVE, they can have their expensive hypnotic toy—whores. #Media who fiddles with the elements of image, sound and words, yer fucked. I kill you. And your death is quite a spectacle. REALITY IS THE NEW FICTION and it has authorised this hand. #camera#microphone#imagesoundwords#poetofsoundandimage#newvaguecity
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"Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them (us) in the world," stated Anne of Green Gables.
We agree with her. Photo credit @cavendishbeach
All I wanted to do was get on the plane, sleep if I could, drink some wine and arrive to my idyllic little cottage far away from everyone and everything. With my carry-on tucked under my arm, I hugged my partner goodbye. and started to cry. “You were the one that wanted to go.” “I know.” I said quietly. “I have to. We both know that. We can’t keep going on this way.” He agreed and we stood looking at one another for a moment. Half in-love and half in-hate. Half wanting me to stay and half knowing that I had to go. “I’ll be seeing you.” he said. “See you.” I smiled halfheartedly. I hadn’t booked a return flight. Not yet.
As the plane taxied down the runway I said my quiet goodbyes to all I had known. Then I said hello to the new me, the one I was determined to find.
I never thought I would have an affair. Men had affairs. My ex-husband had an affair. My father had an affair. It seemed socially acceptable that it was the man that was the one to have an affair. When a woman did it, well, how despicable. As it turns out it’s pretty much unforgivable in either case.
I felt suffocated, trapped, completely confused and totally panicked. It was like balling up an anxiety attack with depression along for the ride and then throwing a beautiful mirage in front of it and it saying, “Hey, let me take some of that pain away for a while.” It’s a drug. I’d take a hit and for a moment I’d forget that my career was gone, my parents were gone, my family were estranged, that I’d had cancer, I couldn’t have children and that my supposedly unbreakable relationship with a man I thought I would never stop loving, was broken and probably irreparable.
I found myself spinning in this never-ending cycle that I didn’t have the balls to break.
“You said you didn’t want kids either. If you’re changing your mind now, then it’s on you.” I withdrew into myself. What was wrong with me? Did I really want to jeopardize my wonderful relationship for a child? Maybe not even a child, just the chance to have one?
I could feel the wheels coming off as a sped out of control. I convinced myself that I was leaving my partner. Our relationship was over. I just needed to wait for the right time to tell him and to have some money of my own so I could move out. I tied it all up with a pretty little bow and set it aside until I felt the time was right.
And then, my partner went through my phone and found the messages between myself and my affair.
The time had arrived.
Suddenly I found myself scurrying to cover up my actions. The neat little package that I had protected, containing my affair had been torn open. I tried to patch it back together. I resented my partner for finding it and opening it before I was ready.
I recessed further into my own world of deceit. Eventually I would figure a way out of it. But at what cost and to who? I would be the biggest loser, of that I had no doubt. Instead, I became even more stuck and complacent not do anything about my situation. My affair stayed, wrapped back up again with a tidy little bow. I protected it and everything else around me with a vengeance. The thought of losing control was unbearable. The thought of losing anything or anyone was most distressing.
Hadn’t I lost enough already?
“You’re gorgeous.” I laughed. He must be joking. How could I be gorgeous? Ridiculous! The comment got under my skin. Into a crack in my self-esteem. It was a crack that had been there for years ever since I was young and my father would play on it with his critiques of my being. It lived in the moment that the *friend of the family* slipped his hand between my legs. With every step I made throughout my young adulthood the crack would widen. Sometimes, if I was feeling particularly good it might diminish but it never truly went away.
Now there was a crack in the foundation of my relationship with my partner. The strangers' comment was enough to blow it wide open.
I’d like to say it were something deeper and more meaningful than that, but it wasn’t.
Have you ever experienced a moment in your life when you knew you were about to be tested?
I did. I knew the exact moment it was enacted into motion. It was like I had challenged the gods. I remember thinking to myself, “I’m so happy. I love him so much. There isn’t anything that could come between us.” Then came an indescribable ache in the pit of my stomach. It was almost as if the fates conspired together to say, “Oh yeah?” #shortstory#writing#writer#write#womenwriters#story#publish#literary
My mom would always say the same thing, “If only…” She was afraid of facing life without any financial security. My father held all the strings in that department. It wasn’t that my mom couldn’t work, she could and she did. Every time she went out and got a job, sooner or later my dad would come along and convince her that she didn’t need it. And, she would quit. They were on their spinning hamster wheel of life and it had all become normal.
I wished my father could have been happy. His happiness was the key to everything. But, nothing ever seemed to be enough for him. Never enough money, never enough respect, never enough control.
I wasn’t just a child. I was their referee, a mediator, a listening ear and a go between.
When my parents died, I snapped. A simple snap of the strings that held us and our little puppet show all together. My marionette was finally free and the part of me that had to be responsible for looking after my parents suddenly no longer had a purpose.
I wondered if this were the time for me to think about having my own child.
That’s when my ivory tower began to crumble.
To both my parents’ dismay, I married an idiot. Once I let myself realize that, it was too late. I lost everything and then some. My home, my credit my independence – it was all gone to a man who hid a spending addiction and a wandering eye. Well, more than just a wandering eye as it turned out.
One sad day, newly pregnant, I sat in my doctor’s office as she informed me of my husband’s infidelity. My husband stuck to his story that a toilet seat must have been the cause of his current itchy affliction.
I sent him packing.
As far as my parents knew, I had just grown tired of his idiot ways. No one needed to know the real reason.
It was the first time that I kept something from my mother.
I hid myself from the shame of the truth and I eventually took solace in a man who saved me. He honestly seemed to love me and I thought my world was finally coming together. My shame faded. However, the pain of a miscarriage that soon followed, did not. Despite the father, I would have loved that child. A hole found its place in my heart and it only grew bigger with the death of my parents. It’s a pain that stays with me all the time. Lingering beneath the surface of all everyday things. With my own diagnosis of cancer and the fear of not knowing what was to come, even after I was told I would most likely be fine, I spun further out of control.
My mother was strong, yet trapped by my father who had a tremendous temper which was contrasted by bouts of love, caring and …silence. His silence was loud and we would hide from it. My imagination would grow during his long periods of hateful silence. My confidence crumbled.
Was I beautiful or fat and disgusting? I waited for him to let me know.
Sometimes I try to think back to when it was that I lost myself.
Was it when I was sexually abused by a friend of the family as a young girl? I know who it was, but I block it from my mind nonetheless. The shape is that of a bad dream and every once and a while it creeps into my thoughts. What am I to do with it now? I’ve come this far and my abuser is long gone. I forgive. I think.
That must be where I became lost. How could it not be? If I wasn’t lost there, it surely set the course for things to come.
My name is Mara and I’m an adulterer.
I’m divorced from one idiot and estranged from my current partner, a kind and decent man. Estranged from all the family and friends that I have who are still living. Orphaned at 35 and a survivor of cancer. A childless liar, cheat and master of deceiving all around me. Including myself. I am completely lost and not entirely sure that I want to be found. I know what and who I am and I despise her. She is weak and lost and she is hurting. She doesn’t want to be who she is but she doesn’t know how to get back to who she was before.
And who was that person anyways?
I don’t know. I wonder if I ever did.
I was asked recently if I had a “next of kin” to list on my hospital record.
I was having another miscarriage.
I have yet to tell the father and I never will. I have yet to tell my partner and I wholeheartedly never want to. My “next of kin” was aborting me, as if he or she knew what I was all about and didn’t want to be subjected to a life with me as their mother. One drama after another. I couldn’t blame them. I would abort myself too, if I could.
Through pain-soaked tears, I replied, "No." When I was told I could leave, I slowly washed and dressed myself in a t-shirt and sweat pants retrieved by a thoughtful nurse from the lost and found. I stared at myself in the mirror, practicing the new smile I would wear home.
No one need ever know.
Well, I created the short story that follows in 11 forthcoming posts, from previous posts. It was a chance to look again at what I'd written with fresh eyes and work it into a short story for a contest I was hoping to enter. Turns out I can't enter as the story is already published here, albeit in a more wordy way. Oh well. It was a good exercise nonetheless and I'm happy with the outcome. Here goes...
We're only about a month away now from the 3rd Annual Broadleaf Writers Conference September 22-23, 2018 at the Decatur Library in Decatur, Georgia! Register soon to avoid the waiting lists for one-on-one pitch sessions with agents! And after you register, be sure to send the first page of your manuscript in for review by our panel of agents on the First Pages Critique!
Writing a standout first page is vital to your manuscript. Agents and editors are swamped with submissions, leaving them precious time in which to make a call on your work. So, how can you get their attention? Send us your first page and get invaluable feedback from our esteemed panel of agents that will help put your manuscript on the right track!
While getting feedback on your first page can be an incredible advantage in your quest for publication, we do want our attendees to be prepared for the critique they will receive. Your submission is anonymous, so only you will be aware that your page is being read; however, we do want to ensure you are willing and prepared to receive critique. Learning the craft is, at times, a tough task, but a vital one!
All submissions must be received no later than Friday, September 14th.
For more information on first page submissions, visit: http://broadleafwriters.com/2nd-annual-broadleaf-writers-conference/2018-first-pages-critique/
While Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic has been the next step for me in realising my creative potential and the fact that inspiration is largely a magical flowing energy - yet, so much more - one of the quintessential lessons her book gives out is this:
You do not need anybody's permission to live a creative life. Maybe you didn't receive this kind of message when you were growing up. Maybe your parents were terrified of risk. Maybe they were afraid of what the neighbours would say. Maybe you grew up in an environment where people just sat around watching TV and waiting for stuff to happen to them. Forget about it. It doesn't matter.
Let inspiration lead you wherever it wants to lead you. For most of history people just made things and they didn't make such a big freaking deal out of it.
I recommend this book not just to every creative person out there - which is basically everyone - but, I recommend it especially to those who are afraid of trying.
This is the book our younger generation needs to read. These are the lessons they need to learn. But let it not stop with them. So many of us older people too, along with our own parents need to read this to understand where we all come from. cc @elizabeth_gilbert_writer
Time to write, rewrite; create, recreate, yet again.
💥OUT TODAY: McSweeney’s 53, an issue disguised as a bag of balloons, with 8 inflatable stories and a durable vinyl-bound book, all packed in a custom ziplock bag. Featuring Carmen Maria Machado, Percival Everett, Lauren Groff, Kima Jones, Amelia Gray, Rebecca Makkai, Sarah Wisby, Maria Reva, Chelsea Bieker, Julia Dixon Evans, Lesley Nneka Arimah, C Pam Zhan, Namwali Serpell, Zoe Young, Jamie Figueroa, Daniel Gumbiner, and, improbably, more! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Grab a copy on our store site, or, if you’re in the Bay Area, at our Make Out Room release party tonight at 7:30 pm. We’ll also be slinging copies at Golden Eagle Market on Valencia and 20th today. Don’t miss this one!💥 #Repost @mcswys