Magic 8: “Reply hazy. Try again.”

I’m writing.

At least, I’m trying to write.

I may need a support group to provide me with unconditional positive reinforcement on demand, or some sort of ultimatum or force beyond the feebleness of my own will, but for now, ass in chair, I’m writing.

I wouldn’t say no to an intervention, though. And wine. To help with the motivation.

I booked my editor for my “Naked, at the End of the World” novel way back in March… my reasoning was that if I booked my editor for June, I’d get it the fuck done.

I work best under pressure.

Except this time.

This time, nuthin’.

The date when I was supposed to send my manuscript to her (lovely woman, patient, understanding woman) came and went… last Saturday… and I hid. I was going to email her with a sob story of literary despair, but I decided that I would just pretend it didn’t exist, this interminable novel of epic suckage, and she would forget about me.

It’s not like it’s her livelihood, after all.

Ok, so it is her livelihood, but I thought she’d take the hint when No Words arrived from Libby. I thought she’d sigh with gentle sympathy and chuckle and say: “Oh that Libby. No Words. It’s perfectly OK.”

Instead, she emailed me and asked where my manuscript was.

She reminded me that it was her livelihood, after all.

She suggested that I respond, indicating my intentions.

And I was bereft. My novel sucks. A doodle doo.

Suck-a-doodle-doo, that is.

(Thank God it’s not my livelihood!)

Until… I re-read my wanton manuscript.

And I chuckled a little.

And I thought, “My, my, what good use of the word ‘apocryphal’. Aren’t I clever?”

And I pondered the scene with the peacock feather tattoo, and the scene with the cat, and my painful and gratuitous overuse of the word ‘fuck’.

And I asked the Magic 8 ball if I should carry on…


I bought a Magic 8 ball because the Magic 8 is a pivotal prop in my story, and it seemed ill-fated… irrational, even… to not use its wisdom to guide my Novelacious Novelling…


Jeep, Wonder Weiner, asking the Magic 8 Ball for guidance regarding the squirrels…


Me: “Magic 8 Ball, should I continue with my novel?”

Magic 8: “Cannot predict now.”

*shake, shake*

Me: “Magic 8 Ball, should I keep writing?”

Magic 8: “Reply hazy. Try again.”


*shake, shake, shake*

Me: “Magic 8 Ball, should I finish my novel?”

Magic 8: “My reply is no.”


Then I asked the pompous and oratorically pugnacious Magic 8:

Me:  “Can YOU use the word ‘apocryphal’ in a sentence? Eh? Can ya?”

Magic 8: “Very doubtful.”

And with that,  I won.

Winning this debate with the Magic 8 Ball has provided me with the inner fortitude I need to continue writing.

Take that, Magic 8.


Mic drop.

So, I feel energized. Empowered, even.

I’m writing again… Naked, at the End of the World… novel #4…

And it feels good.


*shakey mcshakerson*

                            Me: “Magic 8, is this novel going to be a success?”

Magic 8: “Better not tell you now.”


Oh. Oh, I see.

Saving the good news for later… that’s how I choose to read it, anyway…

PicMonkey Collage

Wherein I ramble on…

I haven’t blogged for so long, I think I’ve forgotten how!

I’ve been busy doing this…


Mermaid’s Tears

and this…


Mermaid’s Tears, set

which resulted in this…


LITF 2016: Outstanding Visual Production, Adjudication Award for Excellence in Puppet Creation, nomination for Best Director (top 3 of 8) for Mermaid’s Tears.

and you would think that would be good fodder for a blog post, but I’m not quite ready to go there yet. Creating “Mermaid’s Tears” for the Liverpool International Theatre Festival was an epic journey, fraught with drama and emotion. Suffice to say… we done good, you. I may blog about the whole adventure some day, just… not today.

Do you know what happens, though, when a big project ends?

A hole. A vacuum where all the energy and pulse and excitement that existed for the previous project swirls around like lonely sheep looking for a shepherd. Like ants looking for sugar. Like ticks looking for a warm body…

Max has lyme disease.


He’s fine… I think. Medicated, loved, carried outside to pee when all of his wee limbs seized up stiff like little sticks. Treat your dogs, peeps! And don’t toss your children into swamps and meadows. Dangers abound! Jeep seems fine… good thing, no one wants a stiff weiner…

Here is Jeep, with his summer reading pick. An EXCELLENT book, if you’re looking for something wonderful to tide you through to July…


My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologizes, by Fredrick Backman

And the puppies are fine.


And I am looking for new projects.

I have Novel Number Four on the go but it SUCKS ASS. I’m in that sad tween state in the writing process where EVERYTHING SUCKS and everything I write is EMBARRASSINGLY ASS-ININE. I want to finish it, but then I write lines like:

“He wandered through the halls of his mind like a mental patient looking for a bedpan.”

…and I know my writing career is over.

So… today I did this:


Which was fun, and something quick and easy I can do with my Art class. White glue, food color, salt. Easy-peasy. It’s June, and the creative juices are flowing quite slowly in the Art room…


And I started this. A new Marilyn. Actually it started like this:


And then progressed to this:



And now this is standing in my living room:


She’s eventually going to look like this, from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”:


We’ll see how it goes. Let’s hope it doesn’t suck as bad as my writing.

Oh… and I’m also cooking a coyote carcass. I won’t post any pictures of that, because it kind of looks like I’m cooking a dog, and I fear I won’t be invited to any parties if people think I’m cooking dogs in my backyard. I do have access to enough dogs that one or two gone missing wouldn’t be a big deal… but this is a road kill coyote carcass donated by my friend HM.

Me: HM, I’d love to have some bones for my Art class.

HM: Would a coyote do?


HM: I’ll be on the lookout for one for ya. Find ‘em on the road sometimes.

My Love: Really? Seriously? That’s weird. You’re weird.


My Love: Why can’t you just collect shoes, like a normal girl?

Me: Where’s that big metal pot…

It is NOT weird to be cooking a coyote carcass on a sunny afternoon.

It’s all part of my quest to be The Coolest Art Teacher EVER. Have you ever drawn a coyote skull?

I can’t wait to see the looks of delight on the children’s faces.

Forget food coloring and salt!

We’re drawing road kill!

Is it June yet? Yes?

Just in the nick of time…

PicMonkey Collage