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My dreams last night were disappointingly mundane. Why bother even dreaming if that's the strangest sort of shit I can manage? Such as: Kevin Bacon and Tom Hanks giving me an Academy Award for having appeared in the National Inquirer more times than anyone else. Or: sitting in an upscale Atlanta restaurant when John Goodman comes pushing, apologetically, past my table, and I realize that Kathryn and I are on the set of Treme. See? Crap dreams. Run of the mill.


I am officially in the longest dry spell of my writing "career" since it began in earnest – let's say that was round about 1992 or 1994. I finished Red Delicious back on May 4th. Since then, I've written a single vignette, "Turning the Little Key." That's it. That's all. In three months, one vignette. Oh, sure, there's been editing, proofreading, a long trip to New Orleans that ate up two weeks, fretting over things I've already written, trying to make deals for new projects, quitting Dark Horse, and so on. But, mostly, there's been not writing. I began a story in June, before the trip. It was awful, and I shelved it. On June 28th, I began "Ballad of an Echo Whisperer" (based on something that happened during the trip to NOLA). It still isn't finished, and I can't find the ending. It's due day after tomorrow, and, likely, I'll be emailing the editor and begging of, with profuse apologies. Because even if I could find THE END, I probably wouldn't like what I found.

I have to write Cherry Bomb sometime over the next six weeks, while editing Red Delicious (aka, Pink Delicious), so that the Siobhan Quinn books can stay on schedule.

I'm still not completely free of Dark Horse, and that's partly my fault. I'm dithering over the last three pages of the last script (ever).

And the words just aren't coming. And the best people can manage is encouragement and pep talks and "pick yourself up by the seat of your pants" sermons and "we believe in you" shit. But this is the real world. Platitudes and faith don't cut it. I puke up the prose, or I go broke.


I am a trigger.


I came to New England to finally escape the bigotry of the South. That part worked. In five years, the amount of crap I have to put up with from people has dropped by maybe as much as, say, 95%. Scary difference, even if I go out into rural areas. Rhode Island is a decent place to be if you're transgender and lesbian and mentally ill. Meanwhile, most of the nation has lost it's fucking mind. What was bad has gone to worse, and what was already worse has gone the fuck to Hell. Here in America, sanity holds sway only in the northeast and along parts of the Pacific coast, with a few isolated dots throughout the rest of the nation. The Deep South seems determined on turning the clock back to the age of Jim Crow laws. And me, ha ha ha. I need to go "home." Rhode Island's climate is chewing me raw, even as its temperament does right by me. But I can't go back. Probably not ever. I don't have the money to move, and I can't drag Kathryn back down there, and what sort of life could I have in all that hate?

People in the South who have not lived in the Northeast simply cannot grasp the difference between places like Providence and Birmingham.

And winter is already bearing down on at me at the final act of the short, cold summer. Rhode Island has become my unpleasantly comfortable prison. Or ghetto. Or whatever. We are not free if we are not free to exist beyond the confines of the lines of tolerant states. I'm on a reservation.

I've had one visitor this year. Once. My life is lived in pixels, in this chair. If only I could drive....

I don't know. I just do not know.


We had two unexpected vet bills in July, which is why we're pushing eBay so hard. Oh, and the late checks. Because of those, too. Writers get paid when publishers feel like paying writers. So, please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thank you.

Every Stone a Story,
Aunt Beast


( 22 comments — Have your say! )
Lynette Meja
Jul. 29th, 2013 06:03 pm (UTC)
I wish you could move back home. The South would be better for it.
Jul. 29th, 2013 06:21 pm (UTC)

If only. Though, calling it my "home" makes me feel sick inside.
Jul. 29th, 2013 06:28 pm (UTC)
See? Crap dreams. Run of the mill.

you must have been in the shallow end of the sleep/dream pool. Some days its like the brain is unpacking a forgotten trunk and we get surprises like unexpected gifts. Then we dont know if we really want to open them.
Jul. 29th, 2013 06:30 pm (UTC)

you must have been in the shallow end of the sleep/dream pool.

I don't dream this way. I suspect a thief. A cuckoo.

Edited at 2013-07-29 06:30 pm (UTC)
Jul. 29th, 2013 07:00 pm (UTC)
the metaphor has worked for me, being a water sign, the depths of the ocean being like the layers of the brain, the deeper you go the more the pressure of the past will crush you.
Jul. 29th, 2013 07:02 pm (UTC)

being a water sign

Please do tell me the astrology thing is only another metaphor.
Jul. 29th, 2013 07:03 pm (UTC)
nah, I am a Crab, but then, I used to say I was a Water Sign, and when asked which one, I would say Polluted, or Salty.
Jul. 29th, 2013 06:31 pm (UTC)
What about one of the southern liberal meccas like Austin or New Orleans? Huntsville is supposed to be becoming a bit of a hipster magnet from what I hear.
Jul. 29th, 2013 06:36 pm (UTC)

What about one of the southern liberal meccas like Austin or New Orleans?

Ghettoes. In the old sense.

At least here, I can travel from state to state without fear of physical violence and incarceration.
Jul. 29th, 2013 07:12 pm (UTC)
I fear one day traveling to Austin or a similar bastion will be like visiting West Berlin during the Cold War...
Jul. 29th, 2013 07:13 pm (UTC)

Jul. 29th, 2013 07:14 pm (UTC)
"You are now leaving the Blue zone. Please be prepared to have three forms of ID and a valid church membership should you be stopped by Red zone authorities...
Jul. 29th, 2013 07:24 pm (UTC)

Actually places like (parts of) New Orleans and, say, Wisconsin, are more akin to Warsaw.
Jul. 29th, 2013 08:46 pm (UTC)
You can drive, everyone can drive. Not everyone drives well, but you could drive. You just don't have a car. You income level determine where you can live. You could live in Hell and like it if you had enough cash. Personally, I would prefer hell over the time I spent in Texas.
Jul. 29th, 2013 10:41 pm (UTC)

I have one eye. I cannot get a license. Also, my meds, and my seizures (though the meds mostly stopped those). Not everyone can drive. We actually have a car.
Jul. 29th, 2013 09:48 pm (UTC)
This post reminds me of my situation: 5,000 miles from home, except I've never really had a home, and homesick for a place that doesn't exist because I've built it in my mind so any relationship to reality is only incidental. I seem to keep going places and starting over only I'm still me so nothing really changes except the scenery. I'll be 60 in a few years but if age conveys wisdom I don't think I've found it. I just know that starting over yet again is beyond my physical capabilities. No, I have a cozy place to die and my midlife crisis blonde (sans the red convertible) so I will just have to stick it out here and make of it what I will...maybe I can make it into a place that is close enough to that place that doesn't exist except in my mind so I can be content and maybe, just maybe, I can work up enough of that happiness or whatever it is that seems to be missing to create a little again. I won't say hang in there because that's pointless but I will remind you that wherever you go, there you are, getting in your way and being a pain in the ass, and you can't even get mad and go sleep on the couch.
Jul. 30th, 2013 04:11 pm (UTC)

but I will remind you that wherever you go, there you are, getting in your way and being a pain in the ass, and you can't even get mad and go sleep on the couch.

Fuckin' A.
Jul. 29th, 2013 11:24 pm (UTC)
I'm still not completely free of Dark Horse, and that's partly my fault. I'm dithering over the last three pages of the last script (ever).
Does this mean you are done with Dancy, Dark Horse or comics in general? Or all of the above?

I hope you can at least get some ocean swim while there is some summer that remains. Perhaps this might reset something. Perhaps.
Jul. 30th, 2013 04:10 pm (UTC)

Does this mean you are done with Dancy, Dark Horse or comics in general?

I'm not sure about Dancy. But Dark Horse, yes. Comics, probably.
Jul. 30th, 2013 04:34 am (UTC)
I live in mirror-image to you; my jail is Scottsdale, Arizona, my home is San Francisco. I am a gender-queer, punk rock, liberal, bipolar, etc., writer-photographer-"artist" mom of a transgendered teen (and an autistic, etc. teen and a fairly neurotypical teen) living with my disabled (but employed, thank whoever) in a "Real Wives..." world. I've made one friend in the seven years I've lived here, but lost her (I think it was around election time), and socialize, when I can (which implies a whole lot more than time/availability) only with artists/writers/musicians who are 20 years younger than I am and want only to leave for greener (um, bluer?) pastures. I'd go home, but money. Can't get a job (I'm either too "weird" or too old for the ones for which I'm qualified). [ed. Oh, yeah, I frakking hate the frakking weather here.]

As for writers (particularly in the comic book world) getting paid on publishers' whims ... oh yeah. And freelance means "FREE"lance these days, right? Gah. You are a trigger, my beloved Aunt Beast. And I mean that in the nicest way possible, not as a slight. But you made me spill all over your pretty page, and for that, I humbly apologize.

Edited at 2013-07-30 04:36 am (UTC)
Jul. 30th, 2013 04:12 pm (UTC)

I would love Arizona, were it not insane.
Jul. 31st, 2013 08:18 pm (UTC)
I thought, as I added my comment about the weather, that you would love it, and I think, if I lived somewhere other than the Valley of the Stunned, I might, as well. But the Phoenix metro is a concrete heat island drowning in smog, and which the cleansing storms bypass because of the heat island effect.

Areas like Prescott are lovely. I would not dare suggest that you relocate here, or anywhere else in particular (YOU have to find your home), but it certainly would decrease the insanity quotient by some significant percentage to have the two of you here.
( 22 comments — Have your say! )