I wrote a story at the end of my Winter Break. It's 31 pages and 7,600+ words. It's called "Jesus Watched." I don't know why I started writing it, what prompted me, or why it went down the road it eventually went down. It's about a drug-addicted prostitute/single mother who was molested as a child, and she does something horrific at the end to her own child, and yet maybe it wasn't that horrific after all (or maybe it was) (I like stories, and so I write stories, that don't have a nicely packaged and neatly tied up ending--I don't think Life is like that, and it feels more real.)
It has one completely reprehensible character in it (her pimp), and a lot (I mean, a LOT) of swears. What is the matter with me?? I look so sweet and nice on the surface! What is going ON???
Speaking of swears, crazy endings, and what is going ON?? kind of questions, I read online today (that's always a red flag, isn't it? The words "I read online today") about Shia LeBeouf. Have you heard about him? Before I get into him, please know: I try to only believe 20% of what I read online (I just pulled that number out of my butt; I actually don't know what the percentage of online stuff I believe is) (but it's not over 50%), particularly from cultural icons and bastions of responsible journalism like the New York Daily Post. Ditto for news shows (yes, all of them, but especially FOX News). And, sadly, even news magazines and newspapers. (O Journalism! Thou art in a death spiral of declining integrity!) I think to get at the heart of the real story now, you have to cull your information from a myriad of different sources, from all over the world. And who has that kind of time? Really: who has it?
At any rate, Shia (allegedly) pulled out his own tooth on one film set (method acting), dropped acid on another (extreme method acting), and he's plagiarized somebody I've never heard of but that doesn't matter anyway because plagiarizing is gross, really really gross. He does a lot of apologizing for his actions in sky writing, too. Which I actually kind of love, that he does that: sky written apologies. Except the consensus is that when he does these sky apologies, he's being very passive aggressive and sarcastic about it. (Which I also totally understand--he's clearly in my tribe. I get Shia LeBeouf. I just don't want to stand next to him too closely.)
My point with all of this is that I may have to write Shia into a story somewhere as a character (and he is a character, in and of himself, I'll note). I think in my blog entry about the parrot in the nail shop the other day, I did note that it's always a better idea to keep your crazy under wraps in public locations...lest you wind up in some unpubbed writer's story. I mean, don't worry--I'll change his name. No one will know! Unless he reads this and gets upset about being used as character fodder for some unknown writer chick's story. And if so, I'll just remind him about the perils of plagiarizing and all that, and I'll throw karma into our conversation as well. (That's my Plan A.) (I don't have a Plan B.)
Here's my other point (and the reason I'm writing this): I need to submit 8-10 pages by 5:00 pm Monday evening via email to my writing class classmates. I have a WHOLE story written, and could use it. I could whittle it down some, hone it, and send it out in two workshop pieces (Monday is Workshop Piece #1). But it's a very uncomfortable subject, raw kind of stuff and I feel deeply self conscious submitting it. These are not people who will judge me; these are kind, lovely souls who will understand, or at least try to. But I still feel really self conscious. I think if I had facial piercings, a neon blue mohawk, and a neck tattoo, I wouldn't even think twice about this (because, most likely, the story would be autobiographical and/or I'd already exist on the fringe of societal normalcy, and when you exist on the fringes of societal normalcy? Who flippin' cares?) (See: Shia LeBeouf's foibles.)
Or I can just write a whole brand new story, in two days. I just need to squeeze in some time, is all--but when? When? (she cried). One of my students is in the hospital (it's very, very sad--please don't ask me about it, or I'll cry) and tomorrow I've scheduled myself to take her some cards her class friends made (I read these, sitting on my classroom floor late this morning, and I was in tears--I have some big-hearted, kind souls in that room) as well as a few little presents from me. And then there's grocery shopping. And folding laundry (maybe--I've turned into a terribly reluctant laundry folderer). And other household/parenting stuff. Oh, that's right! Yes, I have a 5 year old. A busy, busy 5 year old who is really, really LOUD. And busy. And incapable of independent play, which is so weird for a person whose imagination is improbably wild.
I may just have to bite the bullet and submit the swears. *sigh*
Oh, never mind. I can just hear myself making excuse after pathetic excuse in those last 2 paragraphs. I'll figure it out.
....okay, so that's it. I'm done now. Never mind me. You don't have to stay here or anything. You can return to whatever far more important thing you were doing before you clicked over here to read my inane, pointless brain ramblings. Go! Get out of here! Go live your life, and be happy! I'll figure it out.
But first, I'm going to start following Shia's tweets for character development ideas.