Can We Talk

For a minute?

I had Tevin Campbell's Babyface produced slow jam from the 90s Can We Talk on my mind all day. I went to Spotify at the end of the day found it and played it on a loop for the next hour. I'm listening to it right now. When I played it as I packed up to head home, it made me giddy. This song is beautiful. Gorgeous. It's perfect pop music.

Listening to it, I figured out the ending of my novel. Not the one I'm writing for NaNoWriMo this year. The one I started for NaNoWriMo in 2015 which I still haven't finished. I also figured out the end of a horror short story that I've been working on for longer than either novel. I don't know how that snuck in.

One more thing: When I got home I had another rejection from an agent. So, I have to remind myself to never give up.

I'm still listening to Tevin.


I love the colors of these dead flowers

I love the colors of these dead flowers

Many of the Bliss Tours I've read (often with the words happy or happiness in the titles) start out as new year's resolutions. Their journey, literal or figurative, begins on the first day of the year. I don't make new year's resolutions anymore because...

January 1st is an insane time to start new year’s resolutions.

Seriously, we’re all bloated from the manic high that is the National Orgy of the Holiday Season (NOHS). The American NOHS now lasts a quarter of the year from Halloween-prep mid-October to MLK Day in mid-January. 

NOHS creates expectations and disappointments, pressures and stress. This is the absolute worst time for the quiet reflection and contemplation required for taking an honest look at your life and making decisions about what you may, or may not, want.

When is a good time? Now. Spring. With Easter, Passover, Holi, and every other holy day, the land in the Northern Hemisphere is waking up. Flowers blossom, trees that looked dead a week ago sprout fresh green. This is the time of year to begin again.

Renew, rebirth, resurrection, restart, restore, reboot. That’s what survival is, coming back.


The feeling that I’m going to “waste” this sabbatical year keeps nagging me. What is this year about? Do I want to take an epic road trip (no, see: Marfa posts)? Do I want to go someplace and stay for a few months (see: original idea and still a contender, aka the Eat Pray Love model)? Do I want to stay in Austin the whole time writing? Or some combination? The year might be over before I make a decision.

I am not, usually, a ‘strike while the iron is hot’ kind of person. I’m more of a ‘hot iron is really dangerous, why don’t I let it cool off’ kind of person. I have an idea. It flames bright, lights up my imagination, and then I think about it. And think about it. Then I think about it some more. I cool the idea down with all its imperfections, then once the it's cold, I let it go. Sometimes this takes seconds. Sometimes it takes years.

I shocked myself by selling my house. I freaking quit my job. And for the first time I actually managed to escape cube life. That’s huge. HUGE.

This is where my anxiety about “wasting” the year seeps in thought. This year has never been about writing, traveling, learning new things, whatever else is on my long list, although those are all important. This year has always been about trying to escape cube life, permanently.

Whenever I think of escape, I always remember Mr. Day, my Greek professor at Vassar. He taught us the pluperfect tense by using the word “escape.” I don’t know the Greek word for "escape," but I remember his explanation. “If you escaped from prison,” he said, “and you were caught, you didn’t really escape. You attempted to escape. You tried to escape. To truly signify that someone 'escaped' – that she escaped and was never caught – you have to use the pluperfect. ‘She made good her escape’.”

I need to strike while the iron is hot, make good my escape.