refrain

Jessica said this, about my anaphorafixation:

Also: “anaphora” sounds a bit like a prompt I’ve been toying with lately: “refrain.” Been trying to connect the idea of something you hear repeated in a song that moves you, with the idea of something (or someONE) you keep coming back to.

refrain2

I’ve been dreaming lately about somebody I used to know. A boy. An if you love him let him go type of boy. An if you love yourself you’ll let him go type of situation.

There’s such a tension in these dreams. I know the way things unfold; I watch them from the now knowing everything that comes after. In my dreams I choose to stay, to live it out again, to relish it, with and without hope for a different outcome. There’s still all this love, pale upon waking, this longing and misplaced certainty. And there’s the me who is watching the dream and wincing, but who knows that it’ll be okay.

I wrote a poem about it once. It was the first poem I ever wrote after knowing Crystal. I wrote about how I was certain like the sea, how the way I felt about him was like having my feet in wet sand, ankle-deep, being pulled. It was the only time I’d come close, really close, to knowing what it’s like to feel in love.

It seems pretty silly now, honestly. (It seems, sometimes, like the surest thing I’ve ever known.)

I tried to reach out to him recently. I wanted to apologize for something I’d said. I could have said it months ago, and I didn’t. But this situation was my perfection combination of definitions. A refrain, this person I keep coming back to; to refrain, to stop myself, for my own good.

refrain1

I met Crystal at an odd, sad moment in both our lives. We were both so young and heartbroken. We’re still pretty young, and we’re probably still heartbroken, sometimes, but it’s a little different now. She would come over to my apartment, a nicer place than I could afford, which was always lit in red and gold even though the walls were stark and bare. We’d drink a giant bottle of wine and scribble things down and cry. Twenty-three is a good time to be that way.

Of course it wasn’t always pretty. There was one time that we drank this awful passion fruit rum another friend had given me as a housewarming gift. I finished most of the bottle and promptly puked it all up from the top of my bed, which was lofted over the sofa. Crystal cleaned it up and made sure I fell asleep and in the morning we ate snowy pastries from the bakery around the corner. It had been there for a hundred-and-three years. It had probably seen generations of hungover girls short on sleep and seeking a sugar high, the only people who could save each other just by letting each other be, and by witnessing each other write it down.

I interviewed Monica Byrne about The Girl in the Road

9780804138840_custom-2db3dd196e9404af7d78ed7129bbccff56252bf3-s1200-c15Way back in January, era of cold snowy misery, I read The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne, and it blew me away. You may remember me flailing about it here. Well, it seems I’m getting kinda good at this being-a-working-writer thing, this leaning-in, pitching-like-a-shark thing, because when I learned that one of my friends, Laura, actually grew up in the same town, instead of feeling awed and shying away, I said “Hey! I’d love to interview her.”

And, readers, I did.

Continue reading I interviewed Monica Byrne about The Girl in the Road

gyno horrorshow

Hey, look. I’m quoted in Women’s Heath Magazine!

Some other fun things that are cervix adjacent:

Continue reading gyno horrorshow

Send me to Germany!

Photo on 4-15-15 at 10.05 PM #2So do you remember how, way back in December, I posted about how I’m going to be studying with Roxane Gay in Germany this summer? The time is nigh to figure out how to fund that. Thus I have created my first ever GoFundMe. Please take a look at it and throw some pasta my way, if you can!

Here’s what you’d be Internetly slapping your hard earned money down for:

I write about my experiences. I write about feminism, and misogyny, and surviving sexual violence. I write about how freaking awesome and brilliant and strong girls are, for the awesome/brilliant/strong kid I was, for the awesome/brilliant/strong kids I haven’t even met yet. I write about the tough-as-nails women who raised me.  I write about sex in all it’s silliness and sultryness and joy.

I also write about fairy tales, and zombies, and mermaids, and superhero chicks who save the world a lot. So if you like any of those things, or if you just like me, please consider throwing some dinero my way.

If that sounds worth it to you (and I hope it does), please (if you’re able to!) help a lady out.

Also, as a thank you for your kindness and generosity, I’ll send you post cards and letters and trinkets and sketches of topless mermaids and personalized stories and poems written just for you, if you so desire.

Ways To Be Sad: A Thesaurus

Gravity

There is external gravity and then there is internal gravity, the gravity of the guts. External gravity is always there; internal gravity spins up, like that ride at the amusement park that pins you to the wall. You might not sink when it hits, not visibly. You might not even brace yourself for a moment on the shelf of fancy jams in the grocery store. But inside, the gravity is too strong for the narrow scaffold of your body to hold. Inside you’ve crumpled dramatically down and you’ve taken the jam shelf with you.

Usage: “I know the jam shop is only a few blocks away, but I’ve got gravity.”

Jess Zimmerman, over at The Hairpin

My “Leaving New York” essay (sort of)

A friend of mine expressed concern yesterday that my going part-time might be a Bad Idea, life-wise. Either way, it’s in the works starting next week, so Good Idea or Bad, it’s happening. I’ve made arrangements for when my lease is up so that I’ll be in a place where my rent (amazingly) will be only $500/month. In order to do this, I’ll be living on Long Island, which is perhaps not ideal, but honestly it’s better than sleeping on the couch in my parents’ apartment. (No offense to my parents at all! They’re super supportive of my writing — they’re actually my first readers for my novel — but for whatever reason, it is almost impossible for me to write at home.)

The friend who I’ll be staying with once my lease is up has deemed the move I’m making “downsizing,” because she is an accountant and also the most grown up person I know. This makes the move seem much more official and much less frivolous. My friend who is concerned for my future/my choices, is concerned because:

  • I’ll be far away from the city, from the people I want to be around and the things I want to do,
  • By being at work only half as much as I am now, I will not be “engaging with the world” as much,
  • No one can write for hours and hours,
  • I will have less pasta/dinero/moo-la/cash/$$$.

Oddly, though, these things (with the exception of the money bullet) are precisely why I’m excited to make this move.

Continue reading My “Leaving New York” essay (sort of)

CHECK IN: WriMo Week 1

Hello, WriMos! How has everyone’s first week been?

I’m still about 4000 words behind — it’s been a rough week — but I’m not worried! I wrote close to six thousand words today in an attempt to catch up, and I may still have another thousand or so in me. We’ll see. I’m holding fast to Hemingway’s “write drunk, edit sober” rule and I’ve had about half a bottle of red wine, which I’ll probably regret in the morning. Oh well.

Today I’ve written about:

  • two girls in Brooklyn intent on doing a horrible spell on their friend (partial draft)
  • the beginnings of a personal essay about the summer my grandmother passed away (shittiest of shitty first drafts)
  • the first draft of a fairy tale about an asexual princess (first draft; flash fiction)

I usually try to commit to a single NaNoWriMo project, but this year I’ve decided instead to go with short stories and essays and try to generate as many first drafts as possible.

What’s everyone else working on?

Rules for WriMos

Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don’t whine. Margaret Atwood

So here we are, Day One of NaNoWriMo 2014. It’s 2pm and I haven’t yet started, and I’m fighting the urge to take a nap. But if any day is a good writing day, it is this day. I’m sitting in the solarium. I like using that word, it makes me feel fancy. Really, though, it’s my living room that used to be a garage until the landlord replaced one and a half walls and also the ceiling with glass. I’m listening to the rain and to my brother pick out scales on his guitar. I’m wearing a fleece onesie, the way adults do.

Treat writing as a job. Be disciplined. Sarah Waters

In two weeks I’ll be going part time at work. My lease is up in March, and I’ve managed to save up enough over the past few years to do this relatively comfortably for the next three months. Lucky, lucky me. Then I’ll likely be moving to cheaper accommodations — a room of my own in friend’s house on Long Island — so that I can continue this writing thing. Or, so that I can finally begin to the devote the time to writing that I’ve always wanted to, that I’ve always been meaning to, but that practicality, back up plans, Being A Grown Up, and generally just being a little bit of a chicken, got in the way of. I’m nervous. Part of me isn’t sure if this is the right thing. It’s the part of me that is bitterly full of self-doubt, who thinks this is a vain and foolish move, who can’t believe that I’d have the audacity to try to take myself seriously.

Well, she’s gonna have to shut the hell up for once.

All that matters is what you leave on the page. Zadie Smith

Welcome to NaNoWriMo 2014, everyone! Good luck!