Painting [and Drawing and Sculpting and Putting Broken Things Together to See What Happens] My Way Out of A Corner

This dark, confining, safe little corner. Oh, my. I’ve been hiding here since August, and am so ready to come back into the light.

So I’m clearing the deck. Or desk, to be more specific. There’s a bunch of old writing I want to get out there/get rid of, and I’ve been letting this one floppy beast leak out onto Wattpad, one chapter at a time. There’s a lot of old poems. I’ve been stuck. And I wanna get unstuck. That means digging myself out of all the piles of fiction and poetry that have no place in my life anymore, and either publishing it –ESPECIALLY because so much of it’s terrible, that’s a brave thing I’ve been scared to do: be terrible in public– or just organizing it into files. I know that if something doesn’t “spark joy” we should toss it, but in the past I’ve done that only to find out long after the fact that something either sparked joy which I hadn’t noticed, or while in the process of sending out boxes of things that SERIOUSLY didn’t cause joy, I accidentally mixed them up with boxes of beloved books and treasures. In case you haven’t guessed, for the past 8 years I’ve moved an awful lot. As far as long-abandoned WIPs, I either want to wake them back up and finish them, or decide that they no longer serve me as a writer, and likely not anyone else as a reader. And then it’s time to start something altogether new, and get back to present projects that I haven’t quite abandoned, but am neglecting. Poor things.

But this was supposed to be a post about visual artwork, not writing.

I’ve been posting artwork anywhere from several weeks to several years ago on this page for awhile. There’s more; lots more, too much more tucked away in boxes in various closets and basements…like the old writing. I had been thinking about throwing down something new here every day, but instead am going to revisit this book which helped me so much when I was in a similar emotional state several years ago.  Granted, I adjusted her method to make it work better for me, but the basic “sit for five minutes with some watercolors and don’t think about what youre painting” was a good start. I did it faithfully for thirty days.

What is not recommended by the BDB is going back and continuing to work on the “quickies” or –I think– share them with others. [If I’m wrong, I apologize because it’s been a long, long time since I read the book, and loaned out my copy to the Wrong Person so will never see it again. But I digress.] So I felt compelled to let those watercolors sit awhile, then return to them, and with a Sharpie marker and clipboard trace everything I found in that painting. There were lotsa magical creatures. Some spooky ones. Some beautiful ones. Plants. People. Food. Symbols. Body parts. New shapes. I was creating order out of chaos. That series would become the mad circus you’ve seen on this blog which looks a lot like stained glass windows.

So I’m going to try doing the 30 days of watercolor (and/or colored pastel on black paper; I’ve been enjoying that) and see where I go. Hoping it’s out of this corner. Wish me luck.

Also, here’s that finished Wattpad 1970s-1990s magical realism Gen-X friendly book I was talking about, earlier. PLEASE read the forward, so you don’t accidentally read the book if that laundry list of problematic subjects I list offends/triggers/outrages you. It’s not for everyone. But now it’s officially out of the desk, and I won’t have to think about the years of blood, sweat, tears, and heart I put into this thing:

https://www.wattpad.com/story/164719002-the-land-of-nod-a-novel

Hey, more Feb-March goals?

— Quit apologizing so darn much. Unless I’ve done something mean, even by accident.

— Try not to hedge, whether writing or speaking.

— Say no if/when I need to.

— Don’t take any guff from people who get angry for me not doing what they think I should when it goes against my own needs and values.

— Believe I deserve happiness and accept kindness.

— Trust in the universe that the sad story going on for so long will have a happy ending, or at least a peaceful transition into something more beautiful than my imagination can come up with.

— Ask for help when life is just too much. It’s a sign of strength, not weakness.

I’ll be back in a month unless/until something wicked cool happens between now and then. You are welcome to join me on this journey.

Sending love,

Rachel and vka

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Testing…Testing…A Gen-Xer Tries to Figure Out How to Shut That Shit Down

Hi. This isn’t a real post, but a a placeholder to find out whether or not I correctly blocked the comment section. I’ve avoided my WordPress for “reasons”, the biggest of which is that I had no idea how to shut off comments. Because it seems I am an offender to more people than I knew could be offended. Because I saw a video of a girl who’d been internet bullied, posted it, and then written only one of the similar experiences I’d had. Yep. The post I put up that got me so thoroughly lambasted was one I wrote defending an author who was so bullied (we’re talking not about “I hate your book,” but “you’re an ugly….etc, etc.”) that she was ready to quit writing. And she found a new genre, which is awesome, but I’m not sure how much of that was based on her internet crucifiction. I got 1600 hits on that one post, simply for putting STGRB as a searchword. I cut and pasted samples of some of the ugliest, nastiest “reviews” I could find on GoodReads and Amazon, including one for my book.

When I normally post, there are VERY few reads/comments. Like, three all year. This post had over 1600. The blog readers had no interest in my writing, but wanted a punching bag.

Yep, I posted that something over a year ago, and got the internet beat-down. Readers twisted my words into something stupid and ugly. When I foolishly wrote a follow-up in my post, and when I responded in my own defense to the nastiness, I was beaten further. “Don’t engage with trolls” is advice I now take to heart. I couldn’t take the abuse. So, like many women who have been abused,  something in me felt familiar/horrible. The mob stirred up old things. (Trying to avoid the word “tr*****d here.)  I’ve been quiet…and doing my best not to wind up those who would easily be internet-enraged.

My “WordPress updates” have been meek.

I shut my mouth.

Capped my pen, as it were.

Which is the one of the reasons folks go trolling.

To silence others.

Long story short, I took the post down, because there are better things for me to do than hit “delete” to hundreds of hate-mails in my professional (vs. personal) gmail inbox. There were some that were positive and understood my point. But there were so many happy to join an internet beat-down, that I couldn’t deal. I stopped reading them, but they glutted my inbox.

I’ve missed writing on my WordPress site. Since I come from a different generation (X, specifically) and because my brain works differently than some folks, I couldn’t find/follow ( what to some people would be) simple directions as far as how to shut off comments. Tonight, I’m PRETTY sure I did. So I get to write freely on my blog, without fearing the comment box.

And it’s pretty sad to me that I’d been posting for a couple years as an independent author, a single mom, a lady who keeps on trucking despite dealing with a disability, poverty, and trying to keep her head above water. That somehow the wrong “buzzwords” was what made folks click on my page. Seriously doubt anyone read my other posts.

So.

For those of you who –like me– have no idea how to do this social media stuff? Keep writing, anyway. Google “How to shut down the comment section on WordPress,” and then do your thing.

PLEASE try to comment on this post. If you succeed, it means that I need to go back to the WP help page to fix something. If I get no comments, then I’ve figured out a bit more about social networking, how to combat abuse, and how to get my voice back. Go, me.

Kisses,

vka