Not my fault and not your fault but a land fault.  We went wandering around this weekend along the Hollister, Stanford and San Andreas Faults.  The faults made me think of eating too much pasta and having the seams of my shorts stretched to capacity.  Or zipping a zipper up when it’s not matched correctly when it’s started or when it has a catch and bump in it.  It’s like the earth is busting at the seams in these areas.  Some of the homes and streets show the evidence of the plates sliding.  The sidewalks having a jig in them.  The playgrounds are higher in one spot than in the other.  Porches and steps no longer attached and meeting up.

When we looked up the faults online, we found a lot of information but the most disturbing is that the evidence is usually covered over, filled in and hidden.  I assume that helps those with property in the area to not have gawkers and to ease their property value a bit.  But that seems scary as hell that it can just be covered up.

We saw where whole sides of cliffs have given way, homes crumbled and no longer thought of.  Highways have been moved to be further away while homes lose a little of their yard over time.  Water towers perched up high where no one wants to build so it only makes sense that we’d put some infrastructure there.  Crazy.  But interesting.


The Kid In Me

I was watching the Frozen special on TV last night and at one point, I hear my partner let out a small laugh, which breaks my concentration and brings me back to reality. I wasn’t sure if she was laughing at me or what so I removed focus from the show and placed it on myself. I realized that my mouth was hanging open in awe of what I was watching. I turned in her direction to find her watching me with a loving smile on her face. I returned her smile and went back to watching the TV.

 I don’t know what it is about animation but I love it. I’ve heard the slogan “the kid in me” before but it doesn’t really feel like something in me as much as it’s just me. It sometimes makes me wonder if there’s something wrong with me. I get super excited when new movies come out. We usually go the day they open and sit amongst the hoards of screaming, sticky children that talk throughout the movie but also laugh and cry just as I do. Beyond the incredible stories that they portray, the animation itself is just as interesting to me. It’s shiny and clean and I love it.

 I enjoyed cartoons when I was younger but it wasn’t until Roger Rabbit that I became a true fan of animation. That movie made so many strides in making cartoons for adults. I still love it. How can you not love Roger Rabbit? I repeat the lyrics to this day.

 Then I went to Walt Disney World as an adult and realized I really am just a kid. I don’t know what happened but I don’t think I’ve grown up. Mr. Disney was a genius. He just got it right. I had a hard time when Disney acquired Pixar however. I wasn’t sure that they should be one company but it seems to have worked out. I’m sure they keep the lines drawn between the two companies but from the outside, they’ve done well together.

 It’s been a goal of mine to work at Pixar for a very long time. Probably ever since I saw the first movie from them. I actually did get an interview with them once. I guess that’s my claim to fame. I didn’t even live in California at the time. I wouldn’t mind working for Disney or Pixar. That’s like saying “I wouldn’t mind winning the lottery” though. I just want to be somewhere, do something that I’m passionate about. I’ve seemed to ask “why” my whole life without any answers. It makes perfect sense that we should all do something that makes us happy or it’s all not going to be worth it.

 Animated movies take me away from all the questions and worry and well, reality of it all. I lose myself in them, in the story, the realness and imagination. Whether it’s the kid in me or I’m a kid at heart or maybe I’m just a forever kid, it doesn’t really matter. As Sheryl Crow says “If it makes you happy…”

We Could Be Friends

I was a little put off this morning when I saw on the news that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt had gotten married.  I felt a bit slighted for not having been invited.  I practically know Angie.  In fact, I’ve often thought that we really could be friends.  We have similar personalities.  Well, maybe not (probably not) similar but compatible.  Yes, definitely compatible.  It’s like when you meet a person for the first time and you know instantly that you will get along.  I’m very good at that.  Hell, I don’t even have to meet the person.  I can watch them for a few minutes and sometimes even in passing, I know.  So, I know that Angie and I would hit it off.  Of course, I’d only call her Angie after we’d been hanging out for awhile and I’d asked if it was ok to do so.  I understand her smile.  I relate to the sparkle in her eyes.  I get it.  We could be friends.

I’m not sure if I’m just delusional or what but I think this a lot.  It hits me square in the face when I relate to someone.  It’s a heartfelt feeling.  A relation that’s so strong that I have to believe it.  It started one day as a joke though.  I was listening to an artist who I’ve come to love and said “I could be friends with Howie”.  That’s Howie Day I’m referring to.  My partner and I shared a laugh at it.  But it wasn’t long, after I thought about it for a few minutes, that I said “No really, I really could be friends with him.”  She asked what I thought would be in it for him.  “Friendship” I answered.  She laughed again and asked why I assumed he’d just be my friend.  “Because we’re so much alike” I answered.  I don’t just listen to his music, I feel it.  I’m sure lots of people say that and probably about their favorite artists but he just seems down to earth.  We could be friends.

It makes me wonder, if famous weren’t famous, would they be different?  I’m sure they would.  I would guess that they have to put up all sorts of barriers and walls to protect themselves.  That really sucks.  I don’t like being hurt and I’m not famous so I can’t imagine what bad people could do to famous people.  It must be hard to trust anyone.  I’m pretty gullible.  Well, not horribly so.  Like I said, I usually know when someone is bad but sometimes I’m tricked.  I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and that’s bitten me in the ass a few times but that’s ok.  It’s life.  I wouldn’t go after a famous person just to take advantage of them.  I just want to be friends, provide support, be there as a friend should be.

It’s not every famous person though.  I couldn’t be friends with Cherlize Theron.  She frightens me.  She’s in the same realm as Angelina but on a different scale.  She’s so intense that I would never be comfortable around her.  I couldn’t be friends with Ellen Degeneres.  I love all that she is and does but she’s too hyper and scattered.  I couldn’t handle the constant chatter and lack of focus.  It would be like trying to pet a cat that’s chasing a laser light.  I couldn’t be friends with Sarah Mclachlan or Alanis Morrissette because they’re both too crunchy.  If I want a cheeseburger, I don’t want to hear about GMOs and slaughterhouses and whatever.  I just want a cheeseburger.

I could be friends with Jennifer Lawrence.  She’s quite a bit younger than I am but I love that she’s just herself.  The same is true for Julia Roberts.  She used to be really down to earth and I think she still really has it in her but the people that take advantage of others have forced her into being someone she’s not most of the time.

I’ve met a couple famous people.  I met Rachel Ray at one of her book signings once.  She was very nice.  We could be friends.  I’ve met my idol, Pat Benatar many times.  She’s larger than life to me.  I just stand, paralyzed, every time I meet her.  And then I cry afterwards.  It’s just too much.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t be friends.  It just wouldn’t work.  I want to be comfortable with my friends and not in meltdown mode every time I see them.  I’ve often pictured myself sitting with her and Neil (her husband if for some reason you didn’t know that!) at their kitchen counter in their home having some pasta that Pat just whipped up.  Shooting the breeze.  Hanging out.  She may belt out a song or a few lyrics as she wanders around her kitchen.  Neil accompanying her with his acoustic guitar as he munches on the pasta as well.  But I can’t say that I’d ever get to that point with them.  I got Lisa Marie Presley’s autograph once.  I’m not sure if we could be friends.  I’d like to think we could.  She’s genuine and so appreciates her fans that I think it would work.  I met Whoopi Goldberg once in New York City.  She was so down to earth and likable.  It was a million years ago just as her HBO special was coming out.  She kept saying that she knew my brother but he’d never met her.  It was awesome that she spent time talking to us.  I think Whoopi might be in a different league than I am.  She would want to talk about world events and I don’t know too much about what’s going on.  I have a hard enough time keeping track of myself much less the goings on around the world.  I met Ru Paul.  I love him.  I’m too crazy about him to be his friend.  I’d be giving him googly eyes all the time.  He’s so handsome and so beautiful that I would be forever distracted and not be able to be there for him when he needed me.  I have met Howie a few times after his shows.  I just stand there and then talk a mile a minute about how great he is after I walk away.  I have a starstruck personality I guess.  Hmm, makes me wonder if I really could be friends with them.  I think it would just take time.  They’d probably need some space too in order to figure out that I’m the real deal and not some lunatic looking for something.

My friend said that she would find it hard to be friends with an actor or actress because how would you know when they’re acting – it’s their job.  I would know.  You can tell when someone is being fake.  I’d be crushed if they hurt me like that but I wouldn’t be friends with someone who was capable of that.  It makes me wonder if famous people have non-famous friends.  I wonder if they have friends at all?

There is a flip-side to all of this – possibly.  What if I’m already friends with someone that becomes famous?!  I suppose that’s a different story altogether.  I do happen to know an upcoming superstar.  Her name is Regan Mason Haley.  She played Tracey Atkinson in the National Tour of the Broadway musical Billy Elliot.  We are friends.  But it’s not about becoming friends with someone famous.  It’s about being friends with someone you know you’d get along with, who just so happens to be famous.  For now, I suppose I’ll just make friends as it happens and not worry about it all.

Mo’ Money

I went on a job interview yesterday.  It was my first non-tech interview in so many years that I can’t remember.  Maybe twenty-five?  So, yeah, I felt old.  I met a young girl outside and we went in together.  We were two of the 18 total that showed up for a job that’s paying just over the poverty level.  Most were in suits with fresh haircuts and shined shoes.  I wore jeans.  I almost wore shorts.  Who wears a suit for a just above minimum wage job?  Then it hit me that these people were taking this job serious and I wasn’t.  I felt bad.  I wanted to leave but I didn’t.  I took out my reading glasses so I could see the papers that were placed in front of me.  I was relieved that the guy to the left of me did the same.  The newly graduated college kid on my right that I’d walked in with didn’t need reading glasses.  I’d already filled out the application and taken the test to get to that point.  We were given our applications to review to ensure that they were filled out appropriately.  More than half of the room either hadn’t filled it out or didn’t know how.  It was like watching a reality show.  I don’t know if I’ll get a call back or not.  I’m on the fence of whether I’d accept it or not.  I feel like I have an obligation to everyone that knows me to get a food job.  I’ve applied to a few tech companies only because I feel like that’s what I’m supposed to do.  I’ve had a couple of companies interested but I usually talk them out of considering me.  Hahaha.  Makes me laugh now thinking about it.  If this job was food related, there would be no question that I’d take it.  I wouldn’t mind starting at minimum wage just for the experience but it doesn’t seem to be happening for me.  Everywhere I turn to try and get into food, I hit a road block.  It’s bizarre actually.  I’m being told that it’s not the right thing to do and as I’ve always done, I’m giving the forces the finger.  A friend would ask me “how’s that working out for you” to which the answer is always “not so great”.

So, I write because I am falling ever more in love with it.  I write little notes to myself incessantly about things to write about.  Thoughts, stories, personal, fiction, non-fiction, whatever.  And we’re still working on my book.  We’re still almost done.  About 10 more chapters to edit.  The cover art is on my floor.  I’ve been photographing it over the weeks trying to get it to fit and look ok on a book.

I got another rejection from a publisher today too.  It’s ok though.  Funny that I think whatever is going to happen is supposed to happen with the book but I don’t think that way about anything else.  I think I tell myself that so I don’t throw the book in the trash.  I keep telling myself that if only my friends and family buy the book, if it’s a complete flop, it’s ok because I did it.  It was a goal.  It is a goal still at this point I suppose.

So, I applied to a couple more (food) jobs today for fun, wrote a query letter to a magazine and have been working on a story for that.  I’m kinda bummed now though.  I was cruising along with the story which has a requirement of 3k to 10k words and I’m at 1600 and some change and it’s coming to an end.  Poop.  Maybe I’ll revisit tomorrow or when the editor is editing.

I wrote on my application for the job yesterday that I’m a writer.  It was the first time I’d called myself that.  I had an eye doctor appointment the other day and the technician asked how long I spent behind the computer.  I said at least eight hours a day.  She looked back down at my paperwork and said “It says here that you’re unemployed”.  I looked at Chris and smiled.  Chris said “She’s writing a book” because I didn’t know what to say and was secretly thinking to myself, so what if I just sit and surf the internet all day.  I started to smile just thinking it and wondering if she’d said that to other deadbeats.  Oh wait, am I deadbeat?  I wanted to crack up for some reason.  The technician said, “Oh, you’re a writer” to which I got a huge smile on my face.  So, I figured I’d give it a shot and put it on my application.  The interviewer said, after looking at my application that said I’ve been a writer for the past year, “You’re unemployed so you can start right away?”  Bubble burst.  I said “Yep”.

But, I came home and am writing.  Writing.  Writing.  It’s what writers do.  I’m starting to like this blogging thing.  It’s like a diary or therapy session with no one listening.  Hahaha.

Cathartic Pruning

I find that I love pruning.  It can be anything outside really that takes forever but displays a completely different look once done.  For example, we have a neighbor with a magnolia tree.  The giant, shiny leaves drop constantly so I get to go out and methodically pick each one up.  I do this about every other day.  I hate them because they’re so unsightly but I really don’t mind picking them up.  And once I’m done, it looks so much nicer in the yard.
I never really realized that I liked this sort of thing until I got an AeroGarden kit and started growing herbs and veggies in my basement.  Once they’d start to get so overgrown that they were growing out of the vessel, I’d go down and snip, snip, snip to my hearts content.  I found that I really liked it.  In the blink of an eye, an hour would pass with just tiny scissors and a small plant.  Makes me think of the bonsai pruners.  But I’m not like that at all because I really don’t know what I’m doing.  I go out and snip off the dead parts.  If the tomato plant has gotten too big or too overgrown, I just start cutting it back.  It comes back so I suppose I’m doing the right thing.  I just spent two hours trimming my tomato plants, lime tree and roses.  And picking up the magnolia leaves.  I’m able to lose myself for awhile.  I just can’t start it if I’m supposed to be somewhere at a specific time.
I got my third rejection today.  It’s ok though.  We’re making good progress on the last edit so we can possibly move forward with self publishing soon.  Maybe it’s just the cathartic pruning talking.

Rejection 1

I got my first rejection yesterday.  I found another publisher that required just a query.  I emailed them my query and within minutes, I got a rejection.  The reason stated was “our memoir program is dedicated to celebrities“.  It reminded me of a book I saw in the airport the other day.  It was a “non-memoir” as noted by the author because why would anyone give a shit about someone that wasn’t famous.  It stuck a pin in my balloon but as I read further, wondering what the book was really about, it was about this person’s life but in a cynical, non-interesting, barrage of bullshit.  It still seemed like a memoir of sorts to me.  Maybe a collection of thoughts which I thought would be better as a blog.  The writer had a technique however, that I didn’t care for.  I put the book back on the shelf.

I want to self publish but I’m afraid my 5 friends and family will buy it and that will be it.  I think I need the expertise of a true publisher in order to get it on shelves and advertised properly.  What’s strange, well, maybe not so strange, maybe more disturbing, is that I have a very small list of publishers but several pages of agents listed.  Many publishers will only consider queries from agents.  Going through an agent means that there’s another person in the mix that has to be paid, taking a cut of the profits.  Considering I’ve quit my high-tech job for this, not so much do I want to bring in another party that’s going to take at least 15% off the top.

And then there’s the waiting.

As luck would have it, I got an email from a short story publisher that I’m subscribed to for the next contest.  I decided to sit and burn out something to submit.  While I was there this morning, saw a link for writing conferences.  When I did a search, I found a website that had a list of publishers.  I’ve found a giant list of them and have been going through them this morning.  I’ve sent another four queries and have only gotten through half of the B publishers.

While doing all the research of the publishers, figuring out which ones are good for memoirs, what the requirements are for a submission, etc. I found one that offered 20% royalties.  20%?  Oh my god.  I’m still submitting but I think this is futile.  I’m reconsidering once again going traditional publishing.  I feel so wishy washy.

Two More

Well, I’ve queried two more publishers.  I’m going about it methodically.  I sent out two queries to publishers that required queries only.  I’ve not heard back from them and today marks the required 3 month timeframe.  I guess that’s my answer from them.  Last week, I sent to two publishers that required a small portion (50 pages) of my book.  I just hate sending my entire book to a publisher.  Sure, I understand it.  They want to know the whole book.  I think I would want to see the whole thing but I figure I’ll go to them last.  But that will be my next step.  In another 3 months.

I did copyright my work before sending any of it out.  Not that I think they’ll take my story and sell if for their own but you never really know these days.  I was happy about copyrighting it and more happy about sending out samples to two more publishers but I can’t help but sit here now and wonder what I’m doing with my life.  Maybe I’ll start on Part II.

Intro Post

Well, Hello!  Thanks for checking out my blog, Manic Musing!  I’ve come here because I recently finished my very first book and after writing constantly, day in and day out, I’ve found that I miss it.  I’m thinking about starting book two but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.  Writing a book is so much more tedious than I ever expected.  Well, it’s not the writing that’s tedious, it’s the getting it to people part that’s a pain in the ass.  I’m just about finished with my first round of edits.  It’s suggested that three passes are made before sending it out for consideration.  Actually getting it published is yet another hurdle.  I’ve read that the experience is horrible.

But, for now, I thought I’d share some thoughts that come into my head, my view on things, those sorts of things.  I can’t wait to chat with other writers, bloggers and friends in this new forum.