Saturday, September 29, 2007

For Once: A Post About Writing and Rejection

Current mood: chipper
Category: Writing and Poetry

CURRENTLY ON MY IPOD: Makes Me Wonder: Maroon 5

Good Afternoon,

I have the weekend off...Thank God! I needed it more than anything in the world. Well, I need a book contract more than anything in the world, but a weekend off is also nice.

For once, I am going to share some thoughts on writing. I highly encourage any and all of you to comment on this. Topic of the day...are you ready? Do you have your 2 pencils sharpened and ready? REJECTION.

Inevitably, rejection is a part of every writers life. Rejections on a small level, on a large level and on an insurmountable level of pain are just going to happen. Get over it.

But there is a difference between rejections meant as "stop writing...leave the world alone, we are sending little blue men to take away your laptop" rejections and the rejections that are impersonal, or are meant to ask you for more.

As the submissions editor for Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens, I can tell you that there are several types of rejection I send out. And I can also say that this is a very difficult job, most of the time.

Here are some of my grounds for rejection, and after speaking with other sub-editors I know that they go by this as well.

If you want to be rejected please follow these rules:

1) Don't read the magazine you are submitting your works to. This is a sure fire way to get rejected. I can not tell you how many submissions I receive that are not nearly on topic of what we accept. Our name says it: A LITERARY JOURNAL OF THE ABSURD AND SURREAL. If I get one more story about ponies, carebears or love I am going to puke.

Well, unless the carebears are revolting against a mutant force that calls itself My little pony and then the ponies get slaughtered by He-man..I might actually read that one all the way until the end. And then reject it. If you submit to a magazine geared for children, it better not talk about heinous sexual acts etc.... Just go to the archives of any e-zine or email the print ones to see if you can get an issue at a discount. What's your hurry anyway? Its not like literary mags are going away and this is just a phase. So chill out, research your market and then take two steps back and then re-edit and then send.

2) Ignore the damn guidelines. Please...pretty please with sugar on top. I was once rejected by a wodnerful mag called, Sybil's Garage. The rejection letter said...We liked your work, your story was intriguing..BUT YOU SHOULD HAVE READ THE GUIDELINES...STANDARD MS FORMAT ONLY....I admit that I was young, green and wet behind the ears. I submitted everything else to their liking, I just left out that little incidental thing called standard MS format. Oh for shit's sake. I about cried. But then the story was accepted elsewhere.

If we say we don't want stories based around D&D and zombies..don't send it to us. Don't think you will be cute and see if you can get away with it. You are not cute. You are probably pale and sickly like me from lack of sunshine...and too much computer time.

If we tell you to attach your sub. in word or RTF, then do it. Don't cut and paste into the body of your email. IF we tell you to send it in pink hieroglyphics then do that too. It doesn't matter. When you are asking to be published in a certain magazine then you better know good and well what they want in order to have their editor even read the first few words. INCLUDING WORD COUNT. We will let a few past the count slide, anyone will, but when we ask for subs of under 1000 words and get one that is 5000 it is an automatic rejection. Trust me on this one. We have that little word count button on our computers too.

3)Writing, terrible, awful, no-good writing. Yes, I actually reject the writing because of the writing. I recently read a piece in my submissions box that was composed entirely of very very very flat dialogue. Now take this down kids..."And then Fred said, I don't like you. And then Molly said to Fred, But I love you. And then Fred said, I am going to take a knife and cut the editor's brains out, as this writing is killing her.." Got it? If you aren't sure if your writing is up to snuff, then have someone take a look at it. Read it out loud, read other writers works of whom you wish to emulate. I love the short stories of R. Dahl and R. Carver. So, I read them when I can and try to soak in their style as much as I can.

And if I hear one more person say that they don't like to read because they feel as though they will be wrongly influenced by the works or that they will start to become "unoriginal" I am going to throw myself off of a bridge. Come on people! WTF? Do you think musicians don't listen to music in fear of playing like the greats? Do you think that artists blind themselves when they go everywhere in fear of being tainted by Picasso, Matisse? Am I right? Read, read, read and then when you are done reading, go read a little.

It will dramatically improve your writing.

4) Surprise endings. No, not the good kind of surprise ending. The one that makes you go, WTF? I can be reading a story, actually like this one.. I think I might forward this on for consideration and whammo! Stupid and terrible ending. Almost as if the writer said..Oh shit..My word count is out of hand. Must end now..must end story now!!!!...And then the two people lived happily ever after and they never heard from the giant killer squirrel again.

Yeah...uh...okay. Reject.

In some occasions, if the story is absolutely over the top and stellar, we will ask the person for a rewrite of the ending. But this is totally up to them. If you are passionate about the ending you wrote, then keep it and tell us to sod off, just know at this point it is a rejection. And also, if you are asked to do a rewrite and we offer suggestions, you don't have to necessarily take our suggestions to the letter, but just write something better than what you gave us the first time. Anything better and we will give it a heavier consideration.

Alrighty all that?

Here are the types of rejections I send out. And ones that I have received..(thank you Steve Finbow..from Thieves Jargon for my weekly rejection this morning) I will place these in example, for I learn better from example than I do preaching.

1) The good:

Dear Mr. Pen,

Thank you for submitting your work titled, Mr. Pen Does a Happy Dance. Your writing is very good but unfortunately this will not be right for our publication. However, we would like for you to submit more of your works as you see fit. Thank you again for your submission.


A. Hole Editor


Thank you for your submission. Although this particular story is not quite right for what we are looking for, we think your style is very much in tune with our publication. Please feel free to submit again anytime.

Sincerely....A. Hole Editor

I have been asked to submit again on many occasions and often after a few more submissions to the editors who requested more, I get an acceptance. With the exception of Steve from TJ. I have sent him four or more pieces after he has asked for them and rejected them all. Oh well, tenacity wins, right? If I submit approx. thirty or more times a week I am bound to be accepted somewhere, some time, some how...Someone has to love me, right? WRONG! Do not take any of this personal. What is that line from the Godfather? "Its not personal, its business.." I just pick up my little laptop and keep going.

2) The bad:

Dear Mrs. Pen,

Thank you for submitting your work, Mr. Pen Does a Happy Dance While Churning His Butter. Unfortunately this work will not be right for our publication. The story was not sufficiently written in our style and the ending was slightly jarring for the reader. I especially was thrown off with the addition of the killer squirrels. I suggest you read one of our journals in order to get a better idea of what is expected from our contributors.


Major A. Hole Editor

(NOW I HAVE TO NOTE THIS: If an editor gives you specific feedback, be thankful. At least you will have an idea of what was going through their head when they rejected you and at least you know they read your story.)

3) The ugly:

Dear Mrs. Ink,

Thank you for your submission. We hated it. Please do not write anything again..As a matter of fact, we sent a virus with this email in order to prevent you from ever writing again. Your computer will self destruct within a matter of minutes.

Just kidding.

But this is the worst, at least in my opinion.

Dear Mr. or Mrs. Idiot,

Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately we are going to pass on it at this time.


No-Name A. Hole, Editor

With this, you have no feedback, no inclination as to whether or not they even read the story etc...I once got a rejection letter from a literary magazine that stated the wrong title in the rejection. I emailed them back to see if they had even read my story and never got a reply. Jerks...

I usually give personal feedback with the rejections unless I have nothing good to say. Then I know when to keep my mouth shut. LOL... I would want someone else to do the same for me.

Regardless, the rejections we get should not make us cry. They are just a fact of life. How's that for cliche'. Remember this: often times after you have followed the guidelines, read a few dozen issues of that magazine and written the "perfect" piece for submission, and you still get rejected, it is still a matter of personal taste. Bradley and I don't always agree on what goes in and what doesn't. But that is okay. We talk it out. If I really really really like a piece and he I throw a mild temper tantrum and then ask him why, or at least rest on it for a day and then go back to read it again the next day to see if his opinion is valid. And often times it is.

I hope this helps somewhat. Also, schmoozing the editors from mags and requesting them as friends etc.. is not something that is going to help or hurt. It just takes up time. Your writing will be what will sell you to the mag. And that is it. At least for most of the mags I know. I am becoming quite friendly with another editor of a well known EZine and I sent her a story for the publication. She rejected it, told me why etc.. Fine..Our friendship is not tainted because of it. I don't care. It just wasn't up to her tastes.

And if you want a reply to send out to the people who reject you then here you go.

Would love to know your rejection stories etc... The good, the bad, the ugly. And if you have received a rejection from me.. let me know what you think of that too.

Going to submit to a few places now..

Enjoy your Saturday.

Yours in Rejection from Red-Headed Editors, Right Ways and Reasons Why,


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Gamma Pi Lunches at the Happy Machismo

Current mood: sick
Category: Writing and Poetry

Currently on my IPOD: Gravity: John Mayer

Good Evening,

I have the death virus right now. My head hurts, glands are swollen, throat is scritch,scratch,scaley....After this I think I am going to do shots of NyQuil and then head off to bed.

Anyway, you guys have got to chill out. Holy hits on my blog batman! After the post regarding the stupidity in the country, I had, literally, over several thousand hits. And then the emails started to come in. We want to see part of the book. We want to read some writing....My pub history is limited online because most of the zines I am in are print. So I have decided to post a little tid bit on here. No..It's not from the book. Thats under wraps.

Almost one year ago, I attended the Algonkian Writers Workshop in Colrain Mass. with Mike Neff and a large assortment of wonderful writers...I learned so much at this conference, it was unprecedented inspiration. As a matter of fact, if I had not attended this conference I don't think I would be writing the book I am writing now.

But, one of the writing exercises was to write a piece (short, middle of a story type) that was completely moved along by dialog. This is an exercise...and only an exercise...Don't read this expecting to find the holy grail of Pulitzer prize winners in the making... The work is below. I had them laughing out loud when I read it. You may not find it nearly as funny, but I always hated sororities...So here goes nothing.


Gamma Pi Lunches at the Happy Machismo

(c) Cicily Janus Oct2006

"Great to see you! Alice, you're looking great, have I told you that lately?" Diane lied.

"It's been a while since us Georgetown Gamma Pi girls could grab a bite between headaches and assignments, huh?" Winking at Alice, Diane sat down at the table.

"I tell you what, the source of my headaches has been Bob, he can really push himself and his assignments on you." The work over the last three months had been more than she had bargained for. Alice needed to blow the steam off of her chest. She looked around at the wait staff and tried to relax.

Handsome young Mexican boys wearing tight white shirts and dark blue jeans, painted on their butts, the scenery at this place definitely has more going for it than the food. Burnt refried beans and sour tequila slipped a noose around her senses and suddenly her appetite waned. As usual, Diane looked better than Alice, especially since the miscarriage two months ago.

"So, Diane, what's new in your life? Did you and Gary ever go on that trip he promised you?" Alice forced a Wal-Mart smile as she gawked at the unbelievably yellow plastic sombreros upon the heads of the bartending staff.

"Not yet." She sighed and glanced at a happy couple sitting at the bar, playing footsy for all of the world, or at least all the people in "The Happy Machismo" to see. "You know how men are, promises, promises. He knows that I've been under stress, but it's always the same crap from my dear old Gary, 'Come on honey, you know sex lowers stress levels, come on wadda ya say?' " Diane stood up and made the motion like she was going to unbutton her pants, zipper first, just like a man. Alice and Diane both dated Gary at one point or the other in college, but in the end, Diane won him over.

"Diane, seriously! Don't embarrass me here." She said this with a smile on her face. "This is supposed to be a 'business' lunch." Under the table cloth Alice unbuttoned her pants knowing that her capacity for guacamole with hot corn chips has yet to co-inside with her pant size and her blouse was already clinging for life to her bosom.

"Business? Alice, this is lunch, let's just talk girlie shit."

Approaching the table, a buff, golden boy placed two water glasses in front of them and proceeded to interrupt their seemingly friendly banter.

"Could I get you ladies…."

"You can get the hell out of here until we're ready to order." Alice said. Diane has not had a glimpse of this side of her since the big sorority brawl back in 89'.

"Where the hell did that come from? The stick up your ass? Alice, give him a break, he's all of what? 18 years old? You know, ever since you took this job, three months ago, you have been on the edge. Is it me? Is it the fact that we are working for the same group of assholes in PR? Bob can be a jerk, but he really knows his stuff, you should listen to him once in a while, you might learn something."

"You know how I value my job. It's not that I don't want to work Bob's Georgetown PR Palace, it really is great. But.." She hesitated. "It's just that the Phillip Morris, 'Killer-at-large' account is really going to bust me up and send me back to prostitution if I don't do what needs to be done for this account." Her voice escalated as rapidly as her blood pressure and she suddenly wished that she had not said that. Diane has been at the company for over a year and in addition to being a loud mouth, she is Alice's only competition for the new supervisor position that Bob is going to create for the marketing department.

The young Mexican boy appeared out of no-where and asked Alice to keep it down. Alice lowered her voice and pulled her chair closer to Diane.

"They are the ones responsible for killing my mother, my father, my baby sister and the wiener dog from second hand smoke. They all smoked. Maybe I will talk to Bob about moving over to the Righteous Animals of Uganda account, I think I have a lot to offer for that company. Does Bob ever let you switch accounts?" Alice whispered as if this was a big secret she was telling. Diane knew she had her where she wanted her, talking about the past, ruminating about what could have been and what could be, Alice was such a schmuck for this stuff. With a look of false sympathy in her eyes the moment for takeover was about to present itself, and Diane knew it.

"Alice, don't worry about it. Bob has always helped me out when I needed it, especially with special projects like this one. But if he won't, well, you are the type who could get a job anywhere you wanted to. Having that special talent to pull off any kind of bull shit, and with tenacity is a winning combination you know. Relax, let's just eat our food." The Guacamole had arrived and Diane smiled at the coolness with which she delivered that speech. For a fleeting moment, Alice had the look of a kicked puppy on her face. Diane had undermined her with men, friends and drinks throughout her life, this was not going to happen again.

"Listen. Alice, if you want, I can hook you up with Dave, you know that guy I dated for a while last summer. He calls me every once in a while for a non-committal act of sex and I have, well, let's just say, leverage to get you into his company. Wadda ya say, He would probably pay you better and the hours, as long as you don't get involved with him, are reasonable." Diane elbowed Alice a little too hard in the ribs. Chummy was a pet peeve for Alice.

"Speaking of Bull shit, why don't you cut it out of your life and talk to me about the real issues at hand." Alice, one. Diane, zero.

"Bull shit? Bull SHIT? You are the one who attempted to steal Gary out of my hands after I had my miscarriage, I saw the two of you in the hospital waiting room as they were wheeling me into surgery, now that's bull shit! It's time for pay back. I was so damned nice to you and got you into this company. With my bosses! And here you are, thinking that you can just waltz right in, a mere three months into the position and steal the promotion that I have been working for!" Stares from all corners of the room bore holes into the backs of their chairs. People quickly pulled cash out of their pockets and headed for the door in an effort to avoid the inevitable.

"Now, that is some bull shit right there. Working? HA! I hardly call what you and Bob do in his Beemer in the parking garage after work, working. Should I call Gary right now and let him know about your latest 'work project'? "

"How the fuck did you know about that?" A lady at the corner booth gasped and dragged three preschoolers out of the restaurant by their hands, attempting to cover their ears. The boys with the guacamole and corn chips ran over to the table in a vein effort to calm the women down.

"Senorita's please, The Machismo is a place of love and fine food, don't…"

In Unison,

"Shut the hell up!"
At least they agreed on that.

"Alice, you can take your job and your fat ass and wash it down the tubes if you want, but at least I am the one who will win this time! At least I still have my looks, the girls at Gamma Pi laughed at the size of your thighs at our reunion last month, and guess what, I laughed with them!" Diane scooted her seat away from the table, this was about to get ugly.

"Diane, you take your guacamole and your job and stuff it down Bobs pants, I QUIT!" She picked up the bowl of guacamole and threw it onto her ten dollar Anne Taylor meets Good will rip off blouse. Her face grew pale and the obedient Mexican boys came to scrub her boobs of the chartreuse/guacamole shit that she had made of her life on this afternoon over lunch.

Alice quickly made her way out of the restaurant to avoid a fist fight and walked next door to the office to tell Bob what she really thought of him. And for just a brief moment, she wished that she had ordered some guacamole to go.

Yours in Sororities, Single Writing Exercises, and Soul Sisters,


Monday, September 24, 2007

Pissy Moods

Current mood: bitchy
Category: Life

Currently on my IPOD: Wake Up Call: Maroon 5

Good Evening.
Today was another crack-pot day in my life. So, I thought I would share something with you.

I wrote this after a few glasses of wine and I happened to get a rise out of a friend, whose opinion I highly value...And then had to write her saying it was all tongue-in-cheek fun. Isn't most of my writing that way?
Please don't take me seriously. Ever. Except with the novel writing.
Anywho, here is my diddy, and like always, let me know what you think.

The Bother of the Uncultured

I am absolutely failing at my life. I have been trying to save the world, but it is no longer worth the bother. The wounded and insane have nothing on me. After all, I can't even get my cats to take their Prozac. Who the hell do you think you are? I, the crazy lady down the street, have no purpose, no stated life, and no exercise in futility to keep my mind contained within the streets of the living, right? Wrong. I have plenty to think about. Television proves it.

Every day I see them. They walk up and down the aisles of our local discount mart, they take orders through the processed food-o-rama drive throughs, they live their lives just to have the beer with no label greet their digestive systems with pure, simulated nutrition bombing on a Friday evening. Theirs is the whole subculture of uncultured beings. I am plagued by their stupidity, by their inane ability to ignore everything that is given to them through sight, taste, smell and touch. Their sight should be taken away for they do not even understand even the most basic instruction on how to use it.

Art is wasted on them, instead, hanging from their walls are velvet prints of dead-obese swinging hip singing Elvis. Looming in their pantries are processed Velveeta with Cocoa Puffs and overly salted generic potato chips whose flavor has been so far removed that the sadness of the chips is apparent through the crumbles they leave behind in the grease pit at the bottom of the bag. An intellectual conversation is something of foreign ground lending itself to the ho-hums of boredom and insanity that will inevitably follow the intelligence out of the room merely leading to a certain death after it jumps off of the roof. And to taste something savory, oh lets call it a taco cheesy melt with extra seasoning, meaning of course, MSG, from exquisite dining experience of a place also known in some social circles as Taco Hell.

Education is for the rich, the snobs, the ones who keep their teeth in tact and their waist line in check, right? Of course. If you lived among this extremist culture of non-culture, you would start to think this too. Literature is something the doctor gives you when he has to teach you about Gallbladder stones and Bladder infections. A factory of mass producing harlequin writers might as well be the Pulitzer winners. As a matter of fact, the fate of the world lies in the hands of Sammy. If she finally gets back with Lucas and Billy and Bo find out, then the whole three-some they had the night before the last episode will be null and selling their Days-of-Our-Lives souls will be a sell out to the devil. Stay tuned and see what happens next.

But what happens next is not pretty, intellectual or surprising. For we all know what the end of the story is. They live and they die, producing mass numbers of off-spring in their place at the ripe age of fourteen and find out that government help isn't so bad after all and the cheese is just as good as any other cheese you buy with money, only this is the free stuff. The food stamp righteous, the free hand out while you have two good legs and fifteen children by the age of 22, isn't that bad of a life. God-forbid, that this sub-species continue to thrive among the progression the rest of the world is making. The progression the rest of us are striving to continue, the advancement of intelligence and the retraction of stupidity.

Yet, I just sit on my porch, shot gun in hand, watching the fat girl across the street talk with a drawl thicker than Jimmy Carter's and a third tire form around her waste as she eats her chips and "ready made" dip in the jar as fast as she can, talking on her cell phone completely ignoring my pleas for the world to suddenly be right. Maybe it is the village idiot from Texas on the phone, speaking of his war in Iraq and how he promises to get her man back home alive. Never mind the fact that he may have post-traumatic stress disorder, or missing a limb or part of his face, for we are fighting for their freedom, right? We are fighting for the same things they are fighting for…Control over the world. Who's the biggest terrorist now? Terrorizing the minds of others while telling them that it is the truth and the only way out of their life? Terrorism is not selective about who it takes under its wings.

My requests go unanswered and I expect nothing less, nothing more. What else would I have to do if it weren't for the mind-boggling lack of IQ among my neighbors? What would you do? We would sit around and talk about the books, the arts, the music being made by and between the silences during conversations with friends. We could smell the roses and understand why they give their scent. We could live out our lives with the most stimulating thoughts and fine chocolates offered.

But, it takes a village; a village idiot and a plan to make the world cease its progress towards the betterment of man kind. Only this time, I am not going to be the one who bothers with the thought of this uncultured idiocy which lies in abundance all around me. Instead, I will be the freak, the eccentric, the unaccepted social butterfly who sits in her cocoon spinning wings of which I can fly away from this place to a more accepting culture.

Yours in Bothersome Pieces of Fiction, Burdening your Friends with Terrible Writing and Blowing Smoke Out My A*s,


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Featured Words from Cicily

Current mood: awake
Category: Writing and Poetry

Currently on my IPOD: Ordinary World: Duran Duran

Morning sleepy heads,

Apparently I am featured on a couple of fiction/writing blogs this week. Check em out...

First one is Dogzplot

Second one is Tuesday Shorts

Both E-zines are micro fiction features. My piece on Tuesday Shorts is less than 100 words and the one on Dogzplot is less than 500. A challenge to write, but fun nonetheless.

I am off to work for the day, but will return with stories that will astound you, stories that will amaze your friends, stories that are nothing but pure bull-sh*t.
Go call your mom and say hello. She misses you.

Have a wonderful day.

Yours in Fiction, Fighting off Bed-Head and Features,


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Mile O’ Men

Current mood: amused
Category: Parties and Nightlife

Currently on my IPOD: My Love is Your Love: Whitney "coked out and crazy" Houston

Good Morning,

I am, at the moment, eating a bowl of Fruit Loops, so you will have to excuse any typos as I am typing one handed, eating with the other and dripping milk down my chin. If you guys saw me now you would wonder when the short bus was going to arrive to pick me up for school.


Yesterday, I was on my way home from work and listening to the radio. NPR was having one of those weekly test drills where they blare a god-awful noise through your speakers as if to alert you to an Alien attack or something equally as devastating, like say, Paris Hilton's next arrest. So I decided to flip through to the local music stations. My piece of shit car doesn't have a CD player, so this was my only choice.

I tuned into 99.9, a station with all of "today's greatest hits and yesterday's favorites!" Yeah..whatever. Fergie was whining about how Big Girls Don't Cry..and then this advertisement from their morning "crew" came on...

LADIES: Get your groove on early on Friday Morning as we host our annual MILE OF MEN! Downtown, men will be lined up for one mile for you to peruse and choose! Choose your man that morning and party with him by that night. Don't miss out, this was a huge success last year, and we'd hate to see all those hot guys go home lonely.


What did they say? Thinking that I had just had a seizure instead of hearing those words I stayed tune. Sure enough, five minutes later, they ran the exact same advert.

Let me ask you this. Is it really that hard for a man (I have to take a bet that the target demographic for this add is young men and women between the ages of 18-25) to find a woman? OR is it really that hard for a woman to find a man in this day and age?

With all of the "internet" dating agencies like E-Harmony and Chemistry and then the clubs, schooling, etc.. really now, someone shouldn't have to go to a MILE OF MEN in order to find a date. What else do we need as a society to find a mate? Maybe we could have old fashioned courting ceremonies as the next big gimmick.

I think I should go on Friday just to take pictures of this travesty of societal norm. My guess is that it is going to be a bunch of girls dressed up like, as my grandmama would say, street walkers, at eight in the morning, pointing, laughing and waving their "junk" in guys faces. Who wouldn't like this? Maybe I should call in sick and stay for the duration to see who the losers are and then post them on my page to try to pick up literary chics....

If I were a guy, I would feel like the fat kid in gym, waiting to get picked for a Dodgeball team.

Stay tuned, I will try my best to come up with some pics of this Mile of desperate lonely, looking for a one night stand, men.

Have a great day and if you are lonely and want to participate in this search on the streets of Colorado Springs, I will be more than happy to pick you up at the airport.

Yours in Desperation, Dodgeball and Drowning in Fruit Loop Milk,


Monday, September 17, 2007

Sugar High

Current mood: calm
Category: Life

Currently on my IPOD: Overjoyed: Stevie Wonder

Good Evening,

I hope that all of you had a wonderful weekend. This weekend marked my twin girls fifth birthday. They received their first bikes, scooters, hand-held gaming devices (Leap frog ones, educational..If I was going to buy a PSP or something like it, I would get one for myself), books etc.. And to boot, my folks made an impromptu trip from Atlanta out here for the celebration.

We had a nice time, and by the end of the day, they were cranky, dragging from their sugar highs and ready to explode. Understandably so.

If I had had chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, Sugary thick icing princess birthday cake for lunch accompanied by a side dish of cherry vanilla ice cream and assorted other candies, and then a mexican carb loaded dinner, I would be crashing and burning too.

Birthdays are some of the best times of the year for any age. Right? Although, I recall being quite solemn and mellow on my own date this year as I turned 30. But, there is no time like a birthday date to rehash those feelings of the years past, loves past, relationships past, just everything in general tends to come to a head around this house when that special time of year rolls around.

And since we are about to approach the holiday season, (goodness, I saw Christmas inflatable trees in Wally World the other day when I was picking up some milk) I think we should all reproach our creepy crawly feelings, the ones we should all try to express, the ones that give us a pause and cathartic relief when finished.

AS I have written on a number of occasions, my friends are my biggest asset. Not only do they keep me going when I feel as though my sanity has left the building and my number is up, but friends are the one thing that I can never get enough of. Yes, it is hectic sometimes to remember birthdays, anniversaries, dates and I apologize deeply for not sending cards or tokens of my love, but they are continuously in my thoughts and musings. Most of them end up as characters too, as theirs are the voices I hear most regularly when I write.

Too many people now tend to mistake their lives as dull, unlivable lives with voids playing upon their souls. I say, surround yourself with a group of people, hell, even if you don't know them, love them, give them the attention and appreciation you would give your best friend and pretty soon, I guarantee they will fast become someone you would hang out with regularly. I know way too many people who get up, go to work, eat their brown sack lunch, go home, sit down, watch TV and fall asleep only to repeat this same pattern the next day. WHY?

Like i said, let out those feelings of mediocrity in your life, and always, always, always, strive to be better than yourself each and every day. You might be surprised at where it takes you.

This fall has marked my second anniversary as a writer. Two years ago I picked up a keyboard and started to write. When I did so, I had no idea that two years later I would have multiple pubs under my name, several staff positions with zines as book reviewer, and an assistant editor position. Nor, did I think I would be working on my second book.

Life has a funny way of becoming everything you always wanted when you work hard enough, yet not hard enough to not stop and enjoy those around you. I have learned so much from friends, family and other writers that I insist on surrounding myself with them on a daily basis. It is amazing. Sure, there are times as a writer in which I want to completely isolate myself in order to write what I need to be writing, but those times are fewer and far between than others. For if you isolate yourself, how are you supposed to learn the natural ebb and wane of dialogue, the scenes in which make up a life, the organic way in which we all relate to each other?

Live your life now. Cliche', I know. Let those around you know how you feel about them, and it doesn't have to be a hallmark moment, it can be in the passing moments when you buy a buddy a beer after a long day, or when you send a simple email saying, I'm thinking of you. My friend, Sharon, whom I met last year in a life-altering conference for writers, is fabulous at this. Every other day or so I get a simple three line email or just a "thinking of you" thought flashing across the pixels and I always smile, because I know she is thinking of me and I think of her. Even though it has been forever since we have seen each other, it doesn't matter. The thought is enough.

I am going to close with that and just say that you all mean the world to me, even if I have never met you, or will never meet you, it doesn't matter at all.

Oh, and my offer is still up, I am going to be in NY in Dec...Would love to meet any and all people listed as friends on here for dinner one night. I think I would practically pee on myself to see you all. And if I ever win the literary lottery and make gazillions of dollars on my book...LOL..I will fly you all out for a vacation with me. Yes, all of you. But for now, just know that you are in my thoughts and on a vacation everyday in my unruly mind..

Yours in Sugar High's, Sweetness and Surrendering Your Feelings for Your Friends,


Fish Poop Turns to Gold

Current mood: giddy
Category: Life

Currently on my IPOD: Rockstar by: Nickelback

Good Morning...

GOOD NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The fish poop that came out of my breasts (See my previous blog: Have the Fortune Cookies Lost Their Minds? for reference to the fish poop) is a condition called:


This is a benign condition. OTHERWISE KNOWN AS NO SHITTY-ASS, SCARY GREEN MONSTER LIKE CANCER LINGERING AROUND IN MY BOOBIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I feel as though I have a new lease on life. Thank you to all who supported me and sent me well wishes, prayers and good thoughts. I am eternally in debt to you.

So on with my life, right? Now I really have to finish the book.....Cancer would have been a great excuse for procrastination, but now there is no excuse. Well, other than the undiagnosed mental illness I suffer with, but that is something I don't like talking about. Or should I say the voices don't want me to talk about it. If it weren't for my mind, I think I would be sane.

I am going to be in NY in December for six days. If this is at all possible, although I am not sure it is at all, but I would love to arrange a dinner date with all of my friends on here who live in the Big Apple. To meet you guys in person would be fabulous.

Hopefully my luck will continue to be on the upswing as opposed to the down and I wish that for the rest of you too!

I am going to go get my hair done this afternoon with my fall highlights and texture.

Looking forward to the break and pampering.

I promise to blog later this week with something non-medical related, maybe even something funny or at the very least, amusing.

Enjoy your afternoon. And I love each and everyone of you.

Yours in Yippy, Yeah and You Guys Rock,



Tuesday, September 11, 2007

No News Yet

Current mood: calm
Category: Life

Currently on my IPOD: New World Symphony: Dvorák

Good evening,

I figured I would title the blog No News Yet in case any of you were wondering if I had heard back from the docs. Nope. Fat Chance. I see the surgeon again on Thursday and really feel good about it. I have decided that I can't possibly have cancer. Having cancer could mean days and days upon weeks and weeks of not feeling good just from the side effects of the medication and surgical recovery. I just don't have time for this in my life so there is no way in hell that I could possibly have it. Right? Let's hope I am right. Not that the people who do have cancer have time for it, but I really don't have time for it. Seriously. I can barely get my errands done on most days much less deal with doctors on a daily basis.

I am sad today as most American's are. I lost a friend in 911. He was a firefighter and I am sure that he went into the burning blaze with determination and a little bit of fear, but today he is remembered as a fallen hero. To Doug..I still think about you.

Yes, we need to remember those who lost their lives in that tragic scene in NY six years ago. Time flies doesn't it. But it is nice to know that most Americans are moving towards full emotional recovery from that day as I see that there are way more blogs on myspace that dwell with Brittney Spears' performance on the VMA awards and Tommy Lee and Kid Rock then there are 911 Blogs. You want a good laugh and a short read, check out my friend's blog: Reid All About It

Reid always has something funny to say. I suggest that after you subscribe to my blog, you go over to his and do the same. You won't be sorry.

Anyway, I have to say good for you America. Grieve for a moment and then laugh at the stupidity of the uber-rich stars.

Right now, I am sitting in my room, listening to Dvorak and typing away, smelling the crisp air outside combined with a little aftertaste of someone's chimney smoke next door. It is about 45 degrees and fall has officially arrived. I love it. It is my favorite time of year! It is about this time, that I miss living in the mid-west. Apple picking, hay rides, etc....but as soon as the snow hits I am once again glad to be in Colorado. I give it another month and I will be posting pics of the snow here.

And to those who are genuinely interested, there are things that are going well in my life...for example, my book, The Burden of Betrayal, is going very well. I am at the 40K word count and I feel as though it has reached the Scene 12 of the story. (Thanks Mike, for planting that term in my head) You know, the scene in which the main character must make the decision to do something about the story otherwise the story will die. The crux of the story, but not yet the climax..

I also have three books I am reviewing at the moment for various sites and another women's sex and health article in the works as well. Not to mention the short story I started yesterday about a boy who loved sushi so much he ate his goldfish, titled: Fish Poop. Kinda inspired by the biopsy my blog from last week to understand this.

As a matter of fact, I should run now so I can continue my literary life for the night before my body decides to sleep. I hope each and everyone of you sleep well tonight in your warm, mostly safe homes, with the computer at rest and your stories drifting through your heads...

Good night.

Yours in Compelling Stories, Complications of Life and Compassion for Those Who Lost Their Lives,


Friday, September 7, 2007

Have the Fortune Cookies Lost Their Minds?

Current mood: blah
Category: Life

Currently on my IPOD: Your Love: Casting Crowns

Good Morning,

Yesterday afternoon, for lunch, a girlfriend and I ordered Chinese Food from a great little place down the street. I needed to have something in my stomach before going through with the biopsy. (More about that in a sec)

We got done with a satisfying meal and it was time to open the fortune cookies. I just can't possibly eat Chinese Food without a cookie at the end. Could you? Probably not, even if you don't want to admit to it.

I opened up a cookie and it said, Your day is about to get a lot worse.

WTF? Is there some disgruntled writer who hates his life because instead of writing that romantic woman's novel about a woman and her dream of becoming the bearded lady in a circus, is stuck writing fortunes in a sweat shop in east LA?

I went upstairs and showered and tried to talk myself into not believing in the power of suggestion. Despite the fortune cookie, by the time I had gotten out of the shower, I had convinced myself that the biopsy was going to be not so bad.

Well, as the cookie version of the Dali-Llama from hell said, my day was about to get a lot worse. First off, the radiologist had probably the worst comb over hair I had ever seen. My goodness, it was actually something that if I was a man, I would have nightmares about. But the only thing that matters is the fact that he should know what he was doing during the biopsy, right?

And this is where my day got a whole lot worse.

I asked him about being able to get the microcalcifications out with this type of biopsy. He said, "What microcalcifications?"

I said, what do you mean what about the microcalcs?

He said, he was only told to biopsy the mass. And he had read the ultrasound reports. I asked him if he had read the mammogram reports. He said no.

Uh..Isn't that your job? shouldn't you have looked at the whole picture before diving into one of my tits with a needle the size of a small child?

He said according to the ultrasound he was convinced that this isn't cancer, but something else, something that he didn't really know how to describe and wouldn't be able to until the pathology reports came back. He then went to look at the mammogram and he said, oh...that's a whole different picture.

No shit, sherlock.

That's what I wanted to say.

The biopsy was a little less than comfortable. And what he did say, is despite the pliable nature of breasts, the tissue inside is actually quite tough. He made a small 2cm incision into the 7o'clock position of the breast and inserted the needle. THANK GOD I WAS NUMB. The needle was enormous and you could watch it go into the breast on the screen above me. Pretty cool.

He had a rough time getting the needle into the breast mass but once he did he hit this button that made a very loud "click" and you could see the needle shoot through the mass as if it was a harpoon. He repeated this about five times. The tissue samples that I saw afterwards looked like fish poop.

Yep, you guys think that breasts are so enticing and sexy..nope, on the inside they look like fish poop.

He said that he hoped that this was fat necrosis and would possibly have an answer for me today. He said he would call me on my cell phone. But if it didn't come back today then I would have to wait until next week when I follow up with the surgeon. Which will be on Thursday. I hope to hell he has an answer for me today. I am already sore and sick about yesterday, why not give me a call today and either put this issue in its place or start me on the treatments I need sooner rather than later.

And then he made my day even more worse than it already was. He said that the bad news was that the tissue samples all sunk to the bottom of the solution. Everyone knows that fat floats. If it was all fat, such as the fat necrosis, which is my other possible diagnosis for this mass, it would have floated along the top of the solution. But all five samples sunk to the bottom. He said that this means that there is some other tissue with the samples which is good and he thinks that they got a good sampling of the mass. But, he was kind of hoping that it would be floating.

I will update you all as I know something. I think if he calls me and tell me that I have cancer I am going to tell him to see a stylist about that comb over. Bitter? Me?

Oh well, all I have to show for what I went through yesterday is a band-aid and a bruise.

Yours in Boobies, Bruises and Bone-Head Fortune Cookie Writers,


Thursday, September 6, 2007

Irrational Thoughts

Current mood: anxious
Category: Life

Currently on my IPOD: Makes Me Wonder: Maroon 5

Good Morning my Family of Friends,

First Irrational Thought of the day: If I don't go to the doctors today and have that biopsy, I won't have cancer or at least the possibility of that diagnosis.

Second Irrational Thought: Maybe, if I emailed all of my myspace friends and told them I was coming to visit each and every one of them, this month, got in the car, took my money out of the bank and couch-squatted around the country, I won't have to ever see another doctor again.

Third Irrational Thought: Denial is a river in Egypt.

Fourth Irrational Thought: Maybe I will just take all of the muscle relaxers in my medicine cabinet and I won't feel anything when they go to maul my tits with a huge-ass needle this afternoon.

Okay, I feel better now that I have gotten it out onto the screen.

Maybe I should write a story about a woman in denial about her life and call it an autobiography.

I have four hours and counting. Will update you all on how it goes.

Yours in Denial, Deep Dish Pizza (which would make me feel a whole lot better if I had a slice right now), and Digging for Answers,


Sunday, September 2, 2007

Carrying on with my Life

Current mood: awake

Currently on my IPOD: Does Anybody Know What Time it Is? : Chicago

Good morning my friends,

Anyone want some eggs, sausage and cheese toast? Come on over.... For it is that time..I'll make the tea too. Sit down and read some poetry after your funnies have been finished and the call to your mother has been made.

Cicily has written you another poem.

Illusions of Sanity

For a glimpse
The illusion
Made into nobody

My eyes could see
yet, have not the visual
Or virtual
I am supposed to be

Air guitar strumming
A song
Into a depth of

Masqueraded thoughts
Turn to reason
Undulating back and
Forth with
Imaginative crimes

Your consciousness
Leaving you
Running back
To the wards in which
Insanity brightens the room

A blue chair between you
And I, singing yet
Sitting in silence
I say
Holding nothing

Out of
Mind and change
Ruminations into
For the absence of mine

Jaded scars
Yours and mine,
we both have ears
Bleeding into the pus
Of your metallic, bitter
Expression driving me

Carrying on without
Reality with violence
Of peace
Commodity of lives

Forced compliance
Nature of mothers
Dreamers no more
Lure another into
A habit of stillness

Have a wonderful holiday weekend.

Yours in Fried Eggs, Finish Lines and Finite Words in an Infinite World,


Saturday, September 1, 2007

Sorry for the Delay

Current mood: busy
Category: Life

Currently on my IPOD: Girl, Destiny's Child

Hello my friends and family of cyber pixelized happiness,

At the moment I have enormous knots in my shoulders and I don't think that Arnold the "governator" himself could massage these out of me. Tension is building up and I am cracking at every little thing. A sobbing mess for most of the days. But today, I was lucky enough to be able to go into work and hang out with the other plasma monkeys in order to cheer me up.

In case you all didn't read my bulletin, here is the low down of what went on last Thursday at the doctor's office. The surgeon spent a very very long time with me and essentially called my abdomen a hostile environment. I told him that maybe we should send GW in there to see if he can solve the problem since he has done so well with the other wars around this world. Basically, I have diverticula in my colon and that explains my pain and he said might help explain the frequent queasiness too. But, he wasn't going to do anything else unless it started to cause major problems. I said that this was fine by me.

Anyway.. He then went on to the topic of my boobs. He said that the mass, which was reported as 1.2 cm was more like 1.8 cm and yes, looked worrisome. So he spoke with the radiologist who then ordered an ultrasound of the breast. This was not fun. It hurt and I had gel all over my boob by the end. Which isn't something I have tried before, no matter how kinky a gal gets, jelly on the boobs is not fun.

The radiologist said that the mass didn't look good, but didn't look cancerous. I felt instantly relieved and thought that this was going to be the end of my nightmare. I was wrong. He then told me that he should do a mammogram, given the family history and "just to see". I did one view of the breast and went to sit in the waiting room. Then the nurse came out and called me back in again and again and again. A different view everytime. My boob truly felt as if it had been run over by a car. My mom had sent me an email once that said that the only way a woman could ever prepare for one of these is to lie down naked on the floor of her garage and then have her spouse drive over her breast with the car. Yep, sums it all up...

Regardless after a few million pictures, the nurse came our and asked me to get dressed because the radiologist wanted to see me in his office. I went into his office and there were pictures of my breasts everywhere. LOL...Weirdo.. Just kidding, they were the films from the mammo. He said that the first view wasn't too bad but then on the other views he found what he called clusters of microcalcifications. He said that this was extremely worrisome. If you would have seen the look on his face you would have had the instant tears too. I began to cry. After all, looking at this mammo, I realized that this was the same way my mother's had looked by her description. Little tiny pin dots of cancer.

Then the radiologist told me, in his best, Father-Knows-Best voice, not to worry right now, we have to do a biopsy to be sure etc.. I begged, pleaded with him to do it that day, I didn't care if I had to sit in the waiting room until midnight. But due to the holiday weekend, the docs who could do this, including himself, were not going to be available until the week after. So, this Thursday I go in for another round of booby-time.

The biopsy they are going to do is a CORE biopsy and will be guided with a CT machine. He assured me that it wouldn't hurt too bad, after all they would numb up the skin pretty good. LOL.. I felt like asking him when the last time he had his boobs numbed and poked with a huge needle. Hmm.. maybe I should give him a taste of his own medicine. He told me I could get the results of the biopsy within 5-7 days from the surgeon, I have an appt with the surgeon on the 13th of Sept. for the results.

Until then I am not going to be friendly, I am not going to be in a good mood, although I might appear outwardly fine. After all, this is what matters at the moment. I need to be fine on the outside for now.

I just finished up a great book, Lullaby, by Chuck Palachnuik. It, of course, was fabulously out there by the end, not that you should expect anything else from him. Highly recommended. And as for those who entered the contest for the chuck book, I will be reading and responding soon.

Very soon.

Before the shit hits the fan.

I promise.

Tonight, I am going to write. Write with a fury not known to my fingers in quite a while. I am going to also book a masseuse for one day this week to massage the stress out of my shoulders. Out of my day, out of my life for just one hour.

I hope you all enjoy your holiday weekend. Tomorrow is a new day and I can not tell each and every one of you enough, how thankful I am to have you as friends.

Yours in Consciousness, Continuing to Re-Think my Five Year Plan, and Can-Can's.