Sunday Scribblings: Writing

I write for a living, but somehow I separate that writing, which is mainly car reviews and articles on demand, from writing I do here in my blog, or any kind of fiction. I’m technically a working writer, but I think of myself as a marketing professional, because otherwise, otherwise I’d feel like a hack, or that I’ve sold my soul.

Strangely, doing paid posts in my blog does not make me feel like that. Possibly it’s because I choose the topics, and the money is “found” money – extra cash to pay for stuff like my perfume habit or pedicures, or the vast collection of blank note cards with pretty pictures that I’ve acquired. (I have a “thing” for note cards.)

Truly, however, when I think I’ve writing, I think of Jo March in her garret, with her special black hair bow, ink stained fingers, and baskets of apples, and even though I don’t have a garret, and my 2nd-floor home office overlooks the treetops and the pool, I try to channel that mood, that sense of place and purpose, when I’m working on writing I actually care about.

My dream, from the time I was eight years old and wrote a bit of bad poetry (well, it was good for an eight-year-old, I suppose) about it, has been to publish fiction. I now have a vast body of work circulating on the ‘net, but it’s all the work stuff I mentioned before, and much of it isn’t attributed directly to me. I’ve published some essays and creative non-fiction in literary magazines and e-zines, and I’ve succumbed to the pull of fanfic and posted some of that both to my fiction blog at, and at

I’m working on a series of cafe fiction, as well. That’s my baby right now, but while snippets of it ARE available on the ‘net at, I haven’t really made a point of asking for feedback on it. The few trusted friends who’ve read it say it’s good, but I can’t get myself to believe in myself enough to DO anything with it, and while I know you don’t have to have a finished work to query agents, just sample chapters, I’m terrified of doing so.

Pink hair has made me braver on stage, but I can’t find the courage to do anything with the one thing I love more than any other: writing.

I wish I could.

From: Sunday Scribblings

Alliterative Saturday: Fall, Fashion, Friends, Fish, Freezing, Funny, Fuzzy,

For those of you just tuning in, Alliterative Saturday is when I use alliteration as a jumping-off point for sharing the highlights of my week.

Fall: It’s not technically autumn, but signs of fall are growing more prominent. Pumpkins have appeared in local storms, spiced cider is back on the display menu at Starbucks (they have it year-round, but only advertise it in fall), as has the pumpkin spice latte, and even though we’re still reaching the 90’s for high temp of the day, the evenings are cooler, and the temperature doesn’t LINGER at the high, just reaches it, then cycles downward.

Fashion: Tim Gunn is one of my personal heroes. If you’ve seen Project Runway, you know Tim as the gently snarky guiding soul of the show, part host, part confessor, part cheerleader, part color commentator. On Thursday his new show, Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style, premiered on Bravo. It’s a little like a more refined version of What Not to Wear coupled with the sensibility of Queer Eye, and like the latter, it offers fashion advice to the DotW (disaster of the week) in a way that is both frank and kind. It’s the kindness, the obvious intention to help people, that I think makes it work, though Gunn’s snark is also a crucial part of the mix. Thursdays at 10/9c on Bravo. Check it out.

Friends: I am blessed with some really cool friends. Clay listens to me whine about all my writing being fluff and drivel and gives me a good kick in the ass, and injection of creative energy even when I know he’s feeling depleted. Sky brings me back to grace, often without knowing it. Gin makes me laugh. Rana introduces me to things I’ve never considered, like bull riding, and is more addictive to gadgets than I am. Ben is really Fuzzy’s friend whom I acquired by marriage, but he and his wife Julia never fail to be interesting and supportive. (There are no links in this paragraph because I don’t have their permission – well, I link to Rana all the time – but the others write in less overtly public places.) There are others, of course, but these are the people I have the most, regular interaction with.

Fish: Sushi for Christopher’s birthday dinner last night was great. He had salmon. When I married him I had to force him to eat any kind of fish. 12.5 years later, he willingly orders salmon and ahi tuna at restaurants. (I had salmon also, but with sashimi instead of California roll.). There was a group of young women – college aged, we guessed – sitting next to us. Three Japanese girls and one American. Japanese as in “just got off the plane from Tokyo” and NOT Japanese-American. We were trying to figure out the relationship – were they friends from school? Foreign exchange students with their mentor? Who knows? We could have asked, but we didn’t want to make them feel self-conscious, and sometimes it’s more fun to speculate.

Freezing: My body temperature is shifting. I’m not sure if it’s an unlisted side effect of alli, or if my metabolism is shifting, but lately I’m always cold. I keep turning the thermostat up, or going outside to sit in the sun, and while I used to like the car a/c set to “iceberg” lately I can barely tolerate it when it’s mid-way on the dial. Last night, I was so cold that not only did I wear my warm cotton lounging gown to bed, but I snuggled so close to Fuzzy he could barely breathe and was almost choking on my hair, and didn’t make the dogs move. I suppose in summer it’s better to feel cold than uncomfortably hot, but it’s very weird.

Funny: I’m really not a funny person. I can pretend to be, sometimes, but the reality is that while I can make humorous observations, dish out snark, and be ironic or sarcastic, I’m not truly funny. I say this because while I’m still enjoying CSz, I feel like I’m coming close to the end of my time there, like I’ve gotten almost everything out of it that I can. I feel myself disconnecting. I need to think about this some more.

Fuzzy: Yesterday was Fuzzy’s birthday. While I celebrate mine with bells, whistles, announcements to the blogosphere, and copious amounts of chocolate, a day of sleeping late followed by presents and dinner was really enough for my sweet Christopher. We’re such geeks. I gave him a gift certificate to the game store so he could buy role-playing books without me having to spend vast amounts of time near the unwashed miscreants who lurk in such places, and the first season of Heroes on DVD. And a heart-shaped rock, because I thought it was cool. He’ll be away all week, and I hate that, but at the same time, I kind of like not having to account for his food tastes or plan meals around his schedule.

Add Another Item to the Honey-Do List

I went with Fuzzy to his office tonight so he could pick up a wire labeler he needs to bring with him to San Jose on Monday, and was caught off-guard by the quality of the tile in the reception area. It’s lovely river-rock tile with blue-grey grout, and I commented, “That would be fabulous in our bathroom.”

Fuzzy glanced at it, the way geeky guys do, and said, “I guess,” which from him means, “Yes, I completely agree.”

“Speaking of the bathroom,” I went on, “When you come home, I want to go looking for shower faucets. I hate ours. I’ve hated it since we moved here, and I really want a better control, and a hand-held shower head.”

“We’d have to break into the shower wall,” he said. “I don’t want to do that.”

“No,” I said, “I don’t think we would. The plumber didn’t have to when he came to fix the leak two years ago. We just have to pick something with a splash plate that matches the existing hole.”

“That may be hard. This house is funky.”

I gave him my best, you’re-going-to-wish-you-hadn’t-said-that look. “Sweet boy,” I said, using a phrase I picked up from a piece of fanfic in which the lead character used it sarcastically to warn her partner that he was being anything but sweet, “we live in a tract house. Yes, the neighborhood has five models instead of one, and yes, they’re all landscaped and painted a little differently, but I’m fairly certain all the parts are standard.”

He changed the subject at that point, deflecting my lecture on which of us worked in real estate finance for half her life, and instead asking, “So are you up for Japanese food?”

You know, planning a bathroom remodel seems less important when there’s a plate of sashimi and tempura in front of you.