• Here’s the Story

    I wrote a book called The Forest for the Trees and it’s an advice book for writers. For four years, I blogged every day about the agony of writing and publishing, and the self loathing that afflicts most writers. A community of like-minded malcontents gathered and thus ensued a grand conversation. Now, the most popular posts are gathered in Greatest Hits ( a work in progress) Gluttons for punishment can scroll through the archives. If I've learned one thing about writers, it's this: we really are all alone. Love, Betsy
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All Your Kisses Still Taste Sweet

How many episodes of Law & Order can you watch in a row. I know. It’s a number so astronomical that it’s almost impossible to calculate. How many orange sodas? How many mechanical pencils? Advil PM caplets? Extra large. Impossibly small. In the end I don’t care for feta cheese. Have you ever watched a detective? I have thirteen blackbirds sketched out like chapters that don’t fit. Here is the church. Here is the steeple. Everything you say is a small bubble. Every night as I pass the yellow house on our street I salute a small horse made of iron on the front step. Can I make him drink?

What else is there?

 

20 Responses

  1. Betsy, whoa, girl, whoa! This kind of stream of consciousness is writer mind on a rampage. I (for some innate reason) gotta know where the iron horse came from. Is it really by the yellow house? Inquiring horsey minds want to know.

  2. Revision and more revision and then questions about what to do next as I appear to have lost my agent and my readers are liking the book and I am getting the courage up to query again but wish that the agent I thought I had would read the latest version. What to do?

  3. A baby. A broken chair and a man on the ground. Bleeding elbow, beans and a frog. Orange pillow. Where’s the coffee? I love indoor plumbing. What’s Betsy’s middle name? Benadryl cures all. Your horse has no guts. Have a nice day.

  4. You can lead the Law to Order but you can’t make it think.
    “What else is there?” Everything. That’s most of the problem.

  5. This understanding: Pot is bad for you, they said. Pot should only be legal for those who are sick because it helps with the pain, they say.

  6. Five minutes of one episode is enough law and order for me, ’cause I’ve been in the investigator’s position- hands in pockets, looking left to right, up, left, down, across, near, far, smelling, listening, not touching. Facts, gaps, theories, analysis. Who, what, why, when, where, and how, like Scrabble. You can lead that horse to water, but making him drink is bad business.

    There is always something else, but does it add to the story?

  7. “What else is there?”

    Sounds like you got it covered. Let’s move on.

    • … to this point, where I wake up and reveal my true avatar, and recognize that what else there is includes at least coffee, of which I have not yet this morning had even the good first drop.

  8. Law and Order count = 0
    Orange Soda – Lord, yes, Nehi please.
    Feta cheese – every night I have a salad, or sprinkled over just about anything – except cereal.
    The horse will rust – even faster in salty water, so don’t cry over him.

    On to the “what else is there?”

    That coffee Tetman mentioned. Slurping away and pondering your other comments.

  9. “Words strain, Crack and sometimes break, under the burden, Under the tension, slip, slide, perish, Decay with imprecision, Will not stay still.”
    What else is there?.. Mutability. Sheer mutability. And life measured out in coffee spoons (so much for numbers) — but I’m going for that early morning java. That’s a given.

  10. Yesterday I binged on Food, Inc-type documentaries, and now both the orange soda and feta cheese sound kind of gross. If anyone needs me I’ll be gnawing on the dandelion leaves in our front yard.

    • On another food related note, my husband’s 4′X8′ container garden in our backyard has rendered what feels like an endless supply of cucumbers so large and slightly bent in shape that I cannot pick them without hysterical laughter. Hysterical in that it is me – all by myself in our suburban neighborhood – carrying obscene looking cucumbers from our backyard into the house – laughing as if I’m about to use them for something other than food…which I don’t…not yet.

  11. …a smoky bar, a husky singing voice, a beautiful girl who doesn’t realise how beautiful, a guy in a white t-shirt and denim jeans, the street where no one says hello, the first coffee, the sun breaking through grey clouds just before dusk. A goodnight kiss from an old friend.

  12. Huh? Is this a trick question? I guess I’m not awake yet.
    Next: Errands, laundry, some writing, then wine on the fire escape, with friends at dusk.

  13. love his hand-made bicycles, his 300 dollar piano, his dozen and a half pairs of white high top converse shoes his shit-kicking motor cycle boots; his apartment looks like a black and white film with just a bit of sepia here and there and light brown, my skin on his sheets.

  14. I can watch all of them. Start to finish, Stone to Cutter, Logan to whatshisname. Briscoe, I miss you.

  15. What else is there? Frogs. Lots and lots of frogs. They, uh, leapfrog in the pool and they can’t get out and they die unless I save them, but they fight me, they are so scared of that pole with the net basket at the end. If only they knew that pole was their salvation. It’s me against the frogs only I’m just trying to help them. I’m just trying to help them, dammit. Sometimes they jump back in. Freaking frogs. There are only frogs.

  16. There are too many memories at this time of year: few, for me, are happy.

    On my daily travels, I watch for a tribe of street people living in tents under a highway ramp. They play cards and occasionally panhandle at the intersection, months-worth of trash accumulates nearby. They have also planted vegetables in plastic buckets. Sunflowers, peppers and okra thriving next to a grocery cart filled with mysterious possessions and the girl with the tattooed face staring defiantly at the traffic.

  17. What else is there? Rest. This damn viral infection. The first rain drops in the evening. The sound of them on leaves. Many of trees out there.

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