I had the unfortunate displeasure of spending time with people I’m not fond of. I am barely able to tolerate negative people. I can’t stand people who are so mired in their own sense of self importance or righteousness that they can’t see beyond their own bullshit.
I came away regretting my decision to go and feeling very nasty inside, as if a piece of my soul had been burned away. I sat with it all night, no television, no radio, nothing to drown out or distract myself from the boiling nastiness of an impression they left on me.
Then I thought – I’ve never written anything about them. And I can see why. I never want to deal with them or be around them or even think about them ever, ever again.
But that inspired something. One woman has a big round face that appears to be growing from another face. Her husband stared at me as if he was planning the perfect recipe for my kidneys, liver, heart. “A slaw, soaked in buttermilk and vinegar.” I’m pretty sure I heard him say as he passed by.
And then the keepers of the whole chud-like crew.
I’ve been known to write some pretty dark things. People like this are the reason why.
Untitled, but begun.
I will give these soul sucking people a different life. I’m sure they won’t like – if they bother to recognize – themselves.
This will give that scent of madness, the sickly feeling of food poisoning filling my bodily cavities, some place to go and rest.
Use it, ladies and gentlemen, use all the things and people and places you don’t like to fuel your writing.
I’m ashamed, truly. I don’t usually brag, but someone asked… they asked!
I once woke up with a line to a story. It was four in the a.m. and I woke up with “the day she ran over her neighbor’s dog…”
(Pet lovers – no dogs were injured in the writing of this story.)
I wrote it down, but then the story started pouring out, so I got out of bed and wrote for three hours until I had to go to work, then finished it when I returned home. Of course, that was the first draft of “Of Strays and Exes.”
A few more drafts and it was published just a few months later. Sometimes that happens.
They wowed – so I wanted to share that not all stories go that way. Another story, took YEARS. I want to say maybe six or even eight years to get right. It went through many drafts and grew.
I’m pretty damn proud of that story. Yeah, I said, it was pretty damn good.
Maybe I lost them, I don’t know. I laughed, they laughed.
See – sometimes things spill out and they are a gift from the muses; other times, things are hard and you have to work and work to get them right, and when you’re finished and it’s accepted and loved, you feel your hard work has paid off, it’s successful.
I return to my usual humble self.
Caving in the Sierras six or seven years ago.
We have to challenge ourselves to become better versions of our old selves.
To become better at anything, we must challenge ourselves.
To grow, learn, understand, and create new connections in our brains, we must get out of our comfort zones.
That is in writing and in life.
Our brain, our writing, our lives are built on what came before. If there’s nothing new to add, we can’t grow.
Growing makes us better people, better writers. Therefore, challenges make us become better people, better writers.
* saying things in different ways can help more people understand and relate.
I heard from a woman who asked me to share a story with young people. The story was my own, The Healer’s Daughter, from How to Throw a Psychic a Surprise Party.
She said the story was valuable and every young person who has ever bullied or been bullied needs to read it.
Bullying is a part of the story, and for the little girl in the story, it’s a very big part – as it was for any and all of us who were on the wrong side of the mean kids.
She felt, I believe, it would also help bullies to gain some sort of understanding. Maybe, maybe not. But I appreciated her feedback on what some people feel is a minor part of the story.
I appreciate the feedback and that my story touched her so much she feels the need to share it.
Our stories have power. And they have unintended consequences. I’m happy that mine leaned toward positive.
It doesn’t matter what you do, people are going to be adverse to you, your writing, your ideas.
Writers can not be people pleasers. Mostly because it is not in the human to be pleased or satisfied for long.
We need to seek and hunt and move forward.
However, I think many people strive on strife.
Nasty people feed off negative responses.
I ran into a woman recently who, for some reason, had a bug up her ass. I’m unclear what the woman’s problem was, specifically, and I didn’t attempt to find out.
There’s always a choice. And I choose not to engage with people like that. Most of their negativity and nastiness is more about them than it is about anyone they act out upon.
Let there be haters – Choose not to engage!