Over the summer a beautiful man made me a list of Pink Floyd and Beatles songs to get over my dislike of these iconic bands. The gesture was lovely and I had the urge to send him a list of mine back in thanks for introducing me to the song “Wish You Were Here”. Instead, my fabulous readers, here is my list:
1. State of Love and Trust -Pearl Jam. Best song in the universe, has been since I was in high school. Eddie Vedder’s voice just does something to me on an atomic level.
2. Rebel, Rebel-David Bowie. My favorite bisexual in the whole universe personally wrote my anthem.
3. Tomorrow Never Knows-The Beatles. A favourite game of my neighbor is to play Beatles songs and have me ask who’s this. I love this song more than words can say. I love Ringo’s beats and the lyrics are from the Tibetan Book of the Dead which is in my desk at school. Masterpiece.
4. The Thong Song-Sisquo. I did not know how I lived before this song. Totally ratchet, but I love it.
5. Human Behavior– Bjork. No words can describe the ecstasy I feel when I hear this song. I love the drums and the lyrics. In my debut novel the love interest is Icelandic. Bjork is a strange one and I have always admired her independent spirit. Debut is her best album.
6. Beetlebum– Blur. In college I had a Brit Pop radio program and I opened with this song as often as possible. It is melancholy, but I believe in having a whole spectrum of emotions, not just what is comfortable.
7. Waiting Room– Fugazi. I am a punk rock girl.
8. Fuck Was I-Jenny Owens Youngs. Perez Hilton introduced this song on his website. I think it perfectly captures heartache and the dark humor that develops as a result. “Maybe I’ll be the lucky one who doesn’t get hurt/ What the fuck was I thinking?”
9. Settle Down-Kimbra. It is about not wanting to settle down and live your life to fit society’s mandates.
10. Pure Morning-Placebo. I listen to this song every morning. No words can describe my attachment. It just is. I have no memories for this song in particular, but the opening riff sends me to heaven. Sometimes I like to imagine I’m a Bond Girl and this is my song as I enter a room in my Jinx bikini and shoot down all the chandeliers.
11. A White Tara Kirtan-Various Artists. I had a Thai Buddhist monk introduce me to this deity a few years ago. I try to do my malas as much as possible.
12. Closer-Nine Inch Nails. Nothing needs to be said.
I was having dinner tonight with A, my friend. Our busboy settled into a conversation with us about how hard it is being in your 20s without family or supportive friends. White knuckled is how I spent my twenties. Many lessons were learned and I passed on my wisdom to the kid. He found comfort in two women listening to him with empathy.
On the way home A and I launched in a discussion into the tribulations of being 20 something girls. We had different experiences, yet we had enough of common. I wondered what other people wished they knew when the adult world is both terrifying and delightful.
What do you wish you knew?
What was your biggest mistake?
I wrote this last night before the DP came out. Funny how the universe works. I have an appointment to turn my dog into Courtney Love for the 4th of July fireworks, so I will answer when I get back. Please let me know your experience and I will share mine.
I always thought sculpture was not truly art. It was the dentist/chiropractor of the art world. Met the qualifications, but no one took it seriously. Two summers ago, I went with my London family for two weeks to Paris. My sister-in-law rented a flat in the 16th district. She is type A so we marched around Paris until I thought my feet were bleeding. We came to the Rodin museum and for the first time I became enraptured by sculpture as perhaps the purest form of art. I walked around the house mesmerized by his sketches and pieces. Rodin was a genius and his house is like a portal to another realm. In the garden, my s-i-l and I had lunch. It had been fairly normal, except for a bee that was out to get me, when we had a very honest conversation about life. It was the first time we exchanged private information.
When I think of the Musee Rodin I think of the beauty of sculpture and the communication that allows others into our private world.
If I had the power to enact a simple law it would be that everyone had to think for themselves. People could not hide behind religion, political ideologies, apathy or ignorance. Initially some people would be paralyzed with fear or their brain would hurt with the new activity. In order to make an informed choice, people would have to gather information just as the cavemen gathered berries.
What do you think about the NSA?
Is there such thing as global warming?
What happens when we die?
The saddest thing to think about is we do have this power and it can be taxing. Those that think the most are called introverts and pushed into the shadows, those that barely think get their own reality shows.
My law would be punishable by taking away the people who do not think television set and hand them a real newspaper for them to read.
My biggest challenge has been writing a book in exactly two weeks. It would be a self-help book. My twenty-year old ghostwriting client gave me an outline to follow. He chose topics that only such a younger person would. Always think positive and focus wins every time. Although I did not agree with every single thing he said I accept the project. I did not exactly know how much it would take over my life.
For a week I woke up every morning drafting in my head and remembering stories that would fit into my client’s outline. It was something hanging over my head until I sat down to write. If I wasn’t working on it, I was just about to. The deadline was looming and I was not even halfway done. So I had to set up a work area in my apartment and sit there for at least four hours a day. Five days in, I purchased a wrist brace, a keyboard pillow and a butt cushion. This was not fiction, so I could disguise my opinion much easier and the words could gush or trickle depending on my mood. A self-help book was a new adventure for me. One that I would never have taken on myself. Ray Bradbury found them a poor substitute for actually reading and I find some patronizing and simplistic. Still, I found myself actually enjoying the whole advice giving vibe.
By no means am I an expert in mental health, but I have had plenty experience in life. Losing parents, losing friends, break ups, searching for friends, trying to stay gainfully employed, having your heart broken so many times that connections are scary, keeping hope alive when doom is easier, and other things. Fiction has always been my first love and now I was cheating on it with reality.
Then the deadline suddenly was way too close. I had not wasted time, but had not lit the fire under my ass needed to write a book in two weeks. My first book took me close to five years to complete. It was a lovely two week affair with non-fiction. However, I had to end it and quickly. Yesterday I woke up early for the summer and made my couch as comfortable as possible. I layered on pillows and got a gallon of water. I had 12,000 words due in 12 hours; it was go time. Procrastination was not my thing, but I was never going to get it done unless I bit the bullet and sucked it up. I wasn’t sure how I would respond to the pressure.
Ideas stalled at first. I had to write a thousand words an hour to deliver the goods. I had to research different topics and write as if I was on fire. Some of the ideas I could not wrap my head around like showing genuine interest in every person you meet tripped me up. I goggled a few ideas and took off. Just because it was my view that you should only like the people you do otherwise friendships become shallow were obsolete. This was about the client and I had to get out of my own way. Luckily, my hands did not ache and for hours on end as I wrote. I kept track of track by posting my progress on Facebook. My “friends” must have been confused but I needed to gauge my progress. A thousand words an hour became my goal and as the day wore on, I was able to bring it down to forty-five minutes.
Then my nephew came for a visit. When he is around, he is priority and I stopped my writing. He said I looked like a woman possessed as I nested on my couch, engaged in my own speed writing contest. As midnight neared I became on edge. Never one to miss a deadline, I feared this might be the first. My client did not contact me, but another one did wanting a huge chunk of their piece done by Sunday night.
Right after this project another awaited and then the phone rang. Another client rang and wanted to discuss a project. I begged him off telling him I had another deadline and would call when I was done. It is a general rule to make each client feel like the only one, but today was not the day for that. Every one had to be a hostile stranger today.
Around one o’clock, I was done. My eyes were sore and my brain was crispy. The television had not gone on all day. I had been strangely peaceful as if my nervous energy had direction for once. Coming down off the writing high was tougher despite my complete bodily exhaustion. I had not moved all day and I likened it to flying to Thailand non-stop; you want to move, but you have to stay in your seat.
I read about Kim Kardashian’s bad maternity wear choices on the dailymail.co.uk to calm down. My brain needed fluff to stop the rush of ideas and stories still running around. It worked and I was snoring within thirty minutes. My mind had finally gotten the release it craved after so many weeks of running on toxic energy and panic.
I learned that I can be a prolific writer and if I need to punch out a fiction book in a month, I would be able to do it. My only secret is sit your bum on the couch and decide to do it. There are no shortcuts. It helps tremendously if you have already written a book and your mind has a blueprint. If you are a writing virgin, then just go for it as well. It was an empowering day, one I may repeat as the projects miraculously line up as if the universe has been waiting for me to stop torturing myself with self-doubt and start seeing that my energy has a purpose- to create.