a mint julep, please and thank you.
That sounds really good right now.
B-b-b-but it's summer!
When I think about what I want to do for a living--what I want my life to be like-- the only image that makes me happy is picturing myself in my own little house in the wilderness locked away in my office writing, writing, writing. I want to be a writer. Journalism--well, it's not really my thing. I'm not into hard-hitting news, interviewing people gives me the shivers (and not in a good way) and the thought of covering local news for the rest of my life makes me want to cry. I wouldn't mind writing for a music, craft, sewing or art magazine/website, but when I really am honest with myself I want to be that hermit writer. Whether it's poetry, novels, short stories or all of the above, that's what I want to do.
The problem? Poetry doesn't pay the bills. Novels can, but that means I actually have to write one. A decent one. Oy vey.
Over winter break, I proved to myself that I could write a 50,000-word novel in a month. It wasn't good--oh, no. It wasn't good, but it was an honest-to-goodness novel. So, I'm trying it again. I'm going to finish a novel I started a long time ago. I'm not going to do the 50,000 in a month thing, but I am going to track my progress on here with the word meter I used before. That will keep me honest and, I hope, motivated. If I want to do this for the rest of my life, I need to do it.
So here I go.
I'm doing it.
Well, I broke down and got a smart phone this week. I'm currently sitting in the local Monro Muffler waiting for my car to get inspected and typing this post from my new HTC Inspire. So far, I'm really digging the phone. Well, ok, I'm beyond digging it-- I'm addicted. It's great. There are only a few places in my house where I can use the internet because we don't have WiFi, so being able to check ky mail, etc on my phone is great. The typing takes some getting used to and sometimes ny phone changes the words I'm typing without me noticing. That may have happened in the post, so I apologize if something doesn't make sense.
Anyway, I spent way too much on this, but it's got everything i could want. I can go to any site online, i can call and text because this phone actually gets reception. I can also use it as an ereader, 8g camera and gps. Yeah. It's pretty great.
A Song of Despair- Pablo Neruda
The memory of you emerges from the night around me.
The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea.
Deserted like the dwarves at dawn.
It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one!
Cold flower heads are raining over my heart.
Oh pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked.
In you the wars and the flights accumulated.
From you the wings of the song birds rose.
You swallowed everything, like distance.
Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank!
It was the happy hour of assault and the kiss.
The hour of the spell that blazed like a lighthouse.
Pilot's dread, fury of blind driver,
turbulent drunkenness of love, in you everything sank!
In the childhood of mist my soul, winged and wounded.
Lost discoverer, in you everything sank!
You girdled sorrow, you clung to desire,
sadness stunned you, in you everything sank!
I made the wall of shadow draw back,
beyond desire and act, I walked on.
Oh flesh, my own flesh, woman whom I loved and lost,
I summon you in the moist hour, I raise my song to you.
Like a jar you housed infinite tenderness.
and the infinite oblivion shattered you like a jar.
There was the black solitude of the islands,
and there, woman of love, your arms took me in.
There was thirst and hunger, and you were the fruit.
There were grief and ruins, and you were the miracle.
Ah woman, I do not know how you could contain me
in the earth of your soul, in the cross of your arms!
How terrible and brief my desire was to you!
How difficult and drunken, how tensed and avid.
Cemetery of kisses, there is still fire in your tombs,
still the fruited boughs burn, pecked at by birds.
Oh the bitten mouth, oh the kissed limbs,
oh the hungering teeth, oh the entwined bodies.
Oh the mad coupling of hope and force
in which we merged and despaired.
And the tenderness, light as water and as flour.
And the word scarcely begun on the lips.
This was my destiny and in it was my voyage of my longing,
and in it my longing fell, in you everything sank!
Oh pit of debris, everything fell into you,
what sorrow did you not express, in what sorrow are you not drowned!
From billow to billow you still called and sang.
Standing like a sailor in the prow of a vessel.
You still flowered in songs, you still brike the currents.
Oh pit of debris, open and bitter well.
Pale blind diver, luckless slinger,
lost discoverer, in you everything sank!
It is the hour of departure, the hard cold hour
which the night fastens to all the timetables.
The rustling belt of the sea girdles the shore.
Cold stars heave up, black birds migrate.
Deserted like the wharves at dawn.
Only tremulous shadow twists in my hands.
Oh farther than everything. Oh farther than everything.
It is the hour of departure. Oh abandoned one!
Yup, I'm done. Thank God. The ending was rough for me. I had said all I needed to say at around 46,000, so getting 4,000 more words out of my story wasn't easy, but I managed. A lot of what I wrote in this novel is crap, but there are also some good parts. I probably won't look at this for a while, though.
I'm proud of myself. I've always struggled to write long fiction. I honestly wasn't sure if I could do it, but now I see that I can. That makes me happy. I plan to use this technique on other stories I've tried to write and failed to finish. Hopefully it'll be just as effective.