Wednesday, December 29, 2010

'Cause, If You Feed Me Seymour, I Can Grow Up Big and Strong

At this time of year, it is inevitable that we start thinking about the past year. What went right, what went wrong and how we would have done it differently. I've spent the last few weeks doing just that. I'm not really good at resolutions. It always seems too much, too vague and too easy to back out on when the luster of fresh willpower has worn off.

I know I need to lose some more pounds. I know that I need to stop mindlessly eating when I'm bored. And, it wouldn't kill me to try and stay calm when technology decides to take a break or die all together. But, I've been thinking about something bigger, something more insidious this year.

I have a tendency to really beat myself up when I make a mistake. Not just for a little while, but for protracted and painfully long periods of time. Nothing, it seems, can shake the recriminations out of my head. Sometimes, it can be a mundane mistake, something of seemingly little consequence that I build up in my head to be epic and awful. But, more often than not, it is something bigger than a simple misstep that takes the wind out of my sails.

It often involves me screwing up something I care about, or screwing up with someone I care about. And, it is always, always, always something that I can't change, without a time machine or Superman turning the world back. The frustration of those fact mixes with my feelings of stupidity and I can spend days being eaten alive by my mistake.

It accomplished nothing, except to get me to vow to never, ever, ever in a million years screw up again. Of course, as I am not perfect, this vow doesn't last too long. Then the process repeats itself. It takes up so much time and energy. If I could have that time back, I could write a million stories. If I could have that energy back, I could run a thousand marathons (or some physical activity I could actually complete.) But, instead, it just keeps taking everything I give it and grows bigger and stronger.

This phenomenon is also true of things that annoy me, drive me crazy, but are also out of my control. People in front of me in traffic moving so slowly. The folks in my neighborhood who put out their recycle bins in the middle of a windstorm, not caring that their garbage will then make its way into my lawn. People in general, who just don't seem to give a damn about their impact on other people. These situations take up so much of my energy too, and I'm sick and tired of letting little things like this drive me to such distraction.

While I was thinking about these issues, the movie Little Shop of Horrors popped into my head. Audrey Two seems the perfect metaphor for this problem I have. Being impossibly hard on myself needs constant feeding or it will die. And, it wants my blood, sweat and tears to keep it alive. My negative thoughts about others needs the same thing. They can't annoy me if I don't give it my energy, and I allow them to bedevil me much more than they should. I feed it, so ultimately, I am responsible.

So, in 2011, I am going to let my Audrey Two die. I'm going to stop feeding the blood-sucking plant that lives in my brain that wants me to kill Steve Martin. (I know I'm going a long way for this metaphor, but stay with me, I'm bringing it home)

I want to stop giving all my power away to things I can't change. I want to stop torturing myself, in order to teach myself a lesson. I keep thinking if I suffer enough, one day I'll be perfect and all will be well. But, it's not true. It will never happen. So, to that end, the cycle needs to be broken. And, my metaphorical Audrey Two must perish. And, no fancy songs about feeding it will make me give in any more. So to speak.

In 2011, I want to free myself from this burden, to let myself off the hook a little bit more. And, to spare myself the hours spent in wallow mode, trying to undo the past. I thought a little tangible reminder was in order, so enjoy the following video.


Monday, December 27, 2010

But, These Things Don't Come Overnight

This post should be my year end wrap up, but somehow, I'm just not ready yet. Trying to sort through my crowded brain has been tougher than I thought. So, maybe I'll just have to write the year end review piece by piece. But, before I do that, I thought I'd stick with tradition and start my week with a little Man Candy. The rest of the week, I'll wrap it all up. But, I'm just not ready.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Please Have Snow and Mistletoe

I'm leaving soon for the mothership to celebrate the holidays, but I just wanted to stop by and wish everyone a wonderful and fabulous Christmas!! I'll return next week with the year-end wrap up and some more delicious Man Candy.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Of Course, I Do Remember

Gosh, I did it again!! I forgot all about my Man Candy obligations. I'm starting to feel bad. But, worry not. I'm here for you. Here it is, and I'll be back later with more good news!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Sun To Shine By Day and All The Stars At Night

I realized this morning that I forgot to put up my Man Candy for the week. How thoughtless of me? It is amazing how time has gotten away from me lately. The fact that 2010 is coming to a close has staggered me. It just doesn't seem like it's time yet. I'm not ready.

I haven't made any plans for the New Year. I haven't taken stock. I haven't had a moment to think about what has transpired and what I have accomplished. I want to do all those things, but I just haven't yet. But, I will.

Just a heads up, Ultimate Uniforms came out yesterday too, and it features some amazing authors as well as my story, End of the Line. Just check out the line-up. Chrissie Bentley ; Shashauna P Thomas ; Garland ; Thom Gautier ; Rachel Charman ; Landon Dixon ; Courtney James ; Lynn Lake ; Beverly Langland ; Tara S Nichols ; Sadie Wolf ; Cyanne ; Elizabeth Coldwell ; Sophia Valenti ; Charlotte Stein ; Sommer Marsden ; Lily Harlem ; Heidi Champa (Me!!) and Teri Fritz.

Just as soon as I'm done fantasizing about somewhere warm. Like where he is.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Choking on Salt Water, I'm Not Giving In, I Swim

Just thought I'd stop by and mention that Skater Boys, an excellent collection edited by Neil Plakcy, got a good review at Three Dollar Bill Reviews. My story, Deep End, gets an great mention as well. In case anyone was looking for a last minute gift idea for that person in their life who loves skaters.

As you were.

Monday, December 6, 2010

You Don't Make No Effort, No Not Like You Should

I've been really lax with the blogging lately. Sometimes, I think it's because I just don't have anything to say. Other times, I think it's because I'm just lazy. I think that is something I should work on in the new year. I'm not quite ready to do my year-end stuff yet, but I'll have to file that away for later.

On the positive tip, Ravenous Romance is celebrating the season with The 12 Hot Days of Christmas, which features my story, 11 Pipers Piping. For some hot man-on-man action this Christmas, check out Big Holiday Packages from STARbooks Press, which contains my story, Can't Wait Until Christmas.

There is more good news coming, and as I said before a little end of the year review and reflection. It is so hard to believe that 2010 is coming to a close. It has been a crazy year. Once I organize my thoughts, I'll talk more about it. Until then, enjoy the Man Candy. I know I will.