Friday, June 18, 2010

Returned; xTx does not rhyme; What I Want You To Tell Me (and also, not tell me)

I'm back. Bet you didn't know I was gone.

But I was! We went up north for a few days.

That second pic was taken at a viewing station at Fish Point, a wildlife refuge. For me, it was the highlight of the trip. We forgot our bird identification book and binoculars, but that was fine -- we were surrounded by dozens of different types of birds, including some magnificent white cranes. Also, just down that trail lie the remains of some large-ish creature. Weasel? I only had two legs to posit that guess. Certainly wasn't a squirrel. I can't help it; I'm fascinated by the remains of dead animals. Also found bullfrogs and a variety of small toads and frogs, turquoise blue dragonflies, some gorgeous little honeybees feeding on what we'd call marsh rose back home, deer -- lots of deer -- but no snakes. Bit disappointed we didn't find any snakes.

This particular area is 3700 acres, and honestly, I think we had it to ourselves. I can't believe that people live within an hour of this, two if you live in Detroit, and they're not out there, taking advantage of this amazing place. I was overwhelmed by the amount of wildlife. We couldn't go five feet without seeing some extraordinary sight. We found nests and watched mommas and daddies taking care of little ones, watched swallows grab insects out of the air, saw birds in just about every color, watched the white cranes apparently having a meeting at a small island a little ways off (they came from every direction, circling and landing -- probably about half a dozen -- what were they doing???), chased butterflies, chased birds (if I saw a crane land somewhere close, I took off with my camera), and just generally had a fantastic time. And this is free! What an awesome experience.

We went to the beach, and yes, I've got a jacket on. Always cold, I am. We toured areas marked "Residents and Guests Only," just to see how the other half lives (um... brilliantly well, despite the economic downturn) and picked out the houses we'd buy if we won the lottery. We ate lunch on a deck overlooking a waterway that led to the lake, and watched boats come in and out while we had lunch. We went antiquing, and we did buy one item. That will be in another post. Suffice to say, it's fucking brilliant. And we spent several hours, at least, in our hotel's indoor heated pool. We brought our own Power Rangers, Mystic Force ball. I haven't laughed that much in ages.

So that's it. Incredible few days away, much needed, and they did the trick. I don't usually do this, go away for a few days. I'm glad I did, and we'll be doing it more.

Maybe the best part was doing it all with my best friend. We're coming up on 12 years this August, and I love him more than ever. FYI -- this little getaway was his birthday present. It could be an annual tradition.


I haven't written nor read anything in two weeks. I go through these times. Now that I'm feeling refreshed and finally in a good state of mind, I'm ready to start again. But I feel as if I need practice. Like I'm an athlete who's out of shape. So, I'll be catching up on my reading -- online zines and Joe Hill's Horns -- and writing a little bit every day. I did read the first three chapters of Horns this morning, and it's got promise. Hill writes his protagonists with such a solid voice. I thought HSB grabbed me more right out of the box, and from reviews, it seems that this one suffers a bit from sophomore slump, but we'll see. Chapter One is one of the most brilliant openings I've read in... forever.


Speaking of catching up on my reading: I come back and find out that xTx has got two poems in the new issue of Pank. And that the first one makes me crawl on my hands and knees and drool. And that it makes me want to bite her. And leave bloody bite marks all over her. Because that is love. See? She says so.


And that also, BookEnds is again talking about social networking and your online presence. I reined myself in last time I mentioned this discussion. Actually, I just mentioned it and hoped that people would go and read. This time, I'm putting in my two cents. Social Networking and Your Online Presence, Part Two.

This time, Jessica is asking what you want to see from an author, online. Blog? Twitter? FB? And what should they post about or not post about?

Me? I want you to entertain me, make me curious, inform me.

I don't want you to talk about your personal life, unless it fits into the above categories. I would, however, care if you wrote something that made me want to bite you all over. I care if you write something that makes my heart hurt. I care if you tell me where I can find something that will make me go crazy and run out into the yard and eat handfuls of clover. I want to know if you went crazy last night and climbed your neighbor's apple tree naked. Or if you fucked your husband for the first time in a year and found it was like fucking a stranger. And then did you have some homemade ice cream? Go ahead and embellish. Real life can be simultaneously the most mundane event ever to occur and nearly supernatural. Walk that line, rip it up, show me that line.

If your writing sucks, maybe I won't care if it's about how you heard the ice cream truck and you chased it down the street and then realized that you're 42 and out of breath and you left your wallet in the house. That would actually make me laugh my ass off. So please, go chase some ice cream trucks. Just to entertain me.

And also, octopus videos and essays and haikus and porn and sculpture (did I say porn???) and art.

Also, if you're one of those authors who enjoys talking in-depth, ad nauseum about your writing process and your characters and your "muse" and on and on and on about stuff you wrote previously -- no, thank you.

Entertain, inform, provoke my curiosity. It should be provoked. It's been lazily sunning itself in a corner of its cage lately. Yes, I used an adverb! Fuck off! I like it! I like it muchly!


Long post is long. RSB is back from mini-vacation with a mini-hard-on for words again. Yay. No more ED. Now, another margarita for me and I've got some belligerence left that still needs spilling.


  1. Ahhh--the beach! I can just feel the water and sand flowing between my toes! I miss that!

    You are really refreshed from this minivaca! I can tell, and I am glad you got lost for a few days! It does the mind and body and soul good!

    And I think the crazies thing I have done lately is race across the pool, on those sterofoam water 'noodles' against my sisters, splashing and hootin and hollering like little girls. It was a blast.

  2. I did a thing that made me feel like I was five because when I was little I used to save everything. I walked home from work and on the road was a big, green caterpillar being attacked by about twelve ants. It grossed me out and I couldn´t stop watching it and it made me cringe on some profound level so I couldn´t leave. I took a stick and poked the caterpillar because I hoped it was already dead, but it wasn´t and it sort of rolled and swayed pathetically and I saw it from all angles and realised it wasn´t even hurt yet. Then it became my responsibility because now I was aware of its situation and I had the power to change it. I chased away the ants with my stick and in doing so I killed some of them, except it didn´t feel like killing, it felt just like breaking an object and I marvelled at my own ability to side with the caterpillar, to identify so completely with a being I knew nothing about and was really quite repulsed by. Is that who we are? Programmed to solidarize with whoever, whatever is in a vulnerable position? Or was this just a reaction emerging from the naive and undeveloped embryo of empathy that lingers in every human brain and are to be refined in order for us to become mature adults?

    The last ant had its jaws buried deep in that lush green flesh and it was disgusting, the way it fought, even after I squashed half of it. I was all sweaty when the ants were gone, and stressed out, because I didn´t want to be seen, I felt so embarrassed, and anyone could come at any time. I also needed to move the caterpillar before the ants returned. I tried to lift it with my stick, I didn´t want to touch it, but it saw that as a threat and managed to roll away every time. The stick felt dirty in my hand and I wondered where it had been. I started to become sort of desperate, I was afraid I´d hurt the caterpillar and then it would all have been in vain, and I felt angry with it for being such a stupid, gross thing. Finally I braced myself and lifted it with my hand. It felt just like the caterpillars from my childhood summers, funny, I found them cute then. I threw it in the grass and went home to wash my hands, angry with myself for interfering, angry with the insects for displaying their ugly actions to me. And I wondered if that caterpillar went on to attack and eat someone else.

  3. Hello, I found you from Bryan's blog. Your honesty is disturbingly! refreshing. Ahhhh. There is something so liberating about just saying it. My lizard brain is such a behemoth that when I want to say fuck, it censors me. And it's all downhill from there...

    Thank you for an insightful post.

    ~that rebel, Olivia

    And Asuqi, omg, your comment. I so empathize.

  4. I cannot, in good conscious, encourage you to say fuck. However, in naughty conscious, I ask you to please say it more.

    I used to blog elsewhere and had loads of friends/watchers/followers. I censored myself all the time and put on a happy, non-offensive face. Now I'm here and there are far fewer people reading and I feel free. Lizard brain rules.