Month: March 2017

Journal: The nightmare that turned out to really have been about success

From this morning’s journal.  I was trying to figure out why I had a terrible nightmare involving sex, then woke up angry and resentful.  Possible answer below.

I know all about fear.  [Huge break while I stare off into space.] You’re thinking in your head again, instead of on the page.  One more promo task.  One more after that.  After that.  Day by day:  promo.  When do the writing days happen?  […]

But I am also bitterly angry this AM.  [Description of stuff I’m angry about that is too personal to talk about and really wasn’t what I was angry about anyway.]  And the nightmare of sex being a train wreck, of getting tricked into doing things I didn’t want to do.  It started out as trying to help [person I think of as “good” but also very judgey] out.  But why?  To prove I’m a decent person?  Who knows, maybe everyone’s horrified at me.  […] I’m angry and unpleasant.

It seems like I should be having different nightmares, if at all–ones about…what? [I realized I’d been staring at my fingernails for like an entire minute.]  My fingernails?  You’re nowhere near halfway through today’s journal, honey.

Nightmares about failure.  Over and over.  Instead I’m having “I’m the bad person here” nightmares.

[Tangent as I try to swerve away from the subject.]

But [The Clockwork Alice] went over well.  So maybe that’s okay.  Maybe you just get to tap into yourself and have fun writing, and that is how you make your money.  With the nutso project that’s never going to work. [Side notes about a nutso project that I’ve convinced myself is never going to work.]

I ask for help–it’s not like I don’t<–that statement looks like a red flag for bullshit.

[The process of marketing as] asking over and over:  Is this me?  Is this me?  Does this fit? Does this still fit?  What do I sell.  Second sight.  How can I sell anger as second sight?  Stop being so mercenary!  Okay, but that’s really just a matter of phrasing, not mental purity.  I get to sell my thoughts, some of which are angry, and they deserve to be sold.  [If I just] narrow down my focus on delight, well, there are dark and angry magics.  What about mystery?

[Maybe I’m angry that my true feelings are,] “Yay.  Failure!  I can afford to write again.”  [And stop doing promotions.]  Every day, get some shit done to get your thoughts to your fans.  Customers.  Readdress the thoughts in your head to be survival–thrive–profit.  [Note:  I was sneering at myself for using money-words around creativity.]

It’s hard for me to market, because of words being triggered as bad.  Maybe that’s it–I’m trying to sell stuff; therefore, I am doing something filthy and corrupt.  That nightmare.  Probably not a coincidence that I’m trying to convince someone that I’m a good person in the dream before that, which means that the first dream was part of the nightmare, too.  That’s some hard shit to deal with first thing in the morning.

[Complete tangent about not knowing what to write next.]

How do I drag myself out of this ugly feeling so I can be productive today?  […] I don’t know what I should have done or what I should do or how artistic I should be or how to turn this rant into anything but fire and uselessness.  I hate it when my emotions take over.

[Tangent as I try to swerve away from answering the question yet again.]

So–what?  What do you plan to do with your day?  Throw a fit?  Collapse?  Weep?  I need a day off.  Do you?  Will that solve anything?  Or will you just want more and more for yourself, when really you’re afraid of selling books?  Because you’re still gonna be afraid tomorrow.  But I tried and now things aren’t magically all better.  And I’m angry about that.

[Another attempt to swerve away from the subject.]

Don’t swerve.  But this fear of success is a raging beast.  I’m terrified that people will think I’m dirty.  For selling books.

[Note:  At that point I hit my three pages and was done.]

Journal: The podcast I decided not to listen to

So once upon a time there was a podcast.  (Not naming names.)  It was just getting started up; only the first episode was live.  It was on a subject that I’m a fan of.  However, after listening to the first five minutes of the first episode of the podcast, I stopped and haven’t gone back.

What popped out in my journal this morning, the last thing before I wrapped up:

The sign that the [name] podcast  was going nowhere was that they didn’t get down to the meat of the matter.  They talked about themselves — they talked about how and why they were doing this — they avoided the ballsy move, which was to talk about the topic itself — which is contentious — right off the bat.  They did their Academy Awards speech before they made the movie — not because they were arrogant, I think, but because they were afraid.

If you liked this entry, please check out Angela Carter’s Wise Children on audio.  It sounds like Helen Mirren with a cockney accent reading a bawdy, rambling story about families, twins, theater, and Shakespeare.


Journal: The Antique Shop

I was journaling this morning and this came up.  What it’s for?  No idea…

The Antique Dealer

It’s the kind of place you go to step out of a thundering rainstorm, the kind that makes you feel dirtier rather than cleaner.  Of course there are real metal bells over the doorway, jingle bells.  You push the door closed.  It wants to stick as you stand on the rubber-backed mat but you lean into it and the latch catches.

The air reeks of dust like a perfume…and NewHash.  You can see curls of smoke billowing and wandering overhead like a managerial dragon, watching over  customers and stock alike.

There’s something about Augmented Reality that always feels thin.  The smell.  No matter what a place looks like–the filthiest brothel–it always smells like plastic.  This place, though, is the real deal.  Your eyes itch from all the dust.

Real wood furniture packs the room.  Dusty glass chandeliers overhead…one of them made of animal antlers.  Tin signs, tchotckes, a stuffed raven over the door.  As you look at it, its beak opens and the speaker inside croaks, “Nevermore.”

You scan the room for the proprietor, who appears to be some kind of inanimate object or cross-dimensional toad behind the smeared glass counter–certainly too big (and too ugly) to move through the narrow aisles.

“Cute,” you say.

The proprietor puffs out a cloud of hookah smoke.  You’re not buying anything, and you both know it.

My new book, The Clockwork Alice, is officially released today.  You can find links and description here.

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