Burn Bitter

God’s name used to be honey. Thick. Sweet. A taste that settled heavenly on your tongue and pleased you to speak. You served ever grateful, just for the sip of his name as it uttered from your lips.

Now, it’s a tar. Too bitter – it puckers at your lips. The sludge of it clings and clogs in your throat, bubbles up when you try to speak. One little word, once a sweet balm within your mouth leaves acrid little ulcers along your tongue and spews out like bile to burn cracked lips.

Yet as you lay at Hell’s floor, looking up, up, towards that which you forsook, you speak it still. The agony of it burns just as the deathly aching cold of Hell burns. Will the bitter break and bring sweet succor back to you? You hope it does. You pray it, even if your prayers echo hollowly around you and there’s no one there to care, let alone to answer.

God… God…

He can’t hear you.

God… God…

And your gums melt away each time you say it.

Scorch

You think, when you Fall, that Hell will be a pyre in which your damned and rotten soul will burn. You anticipate the lick of flames against your flesh, searing the skin and then sizzling the fat, scorching the meat before it chars and cracks your bones to coals. You await the embrace of the flame. You want it, need to taste the ash in your mouth and savor how it suffocates you.

For a lifetime.

For eternity.

You Fall to your Temptations, to the weight of your Sins, to the Earth and then below it deep down where wretched souls and the Fallen just like you reside. Heaven’s Light grows dimmer, dimmer, and you think it’s good riddance – it was a false Light, a farce. Hell burns ever brighter and far more freely than the Holy Lie to which you’ve devoted yourself to.

The feathers of your once-proud wings molt as they’re stripped away while you tumble Down. Plumage once thick and lustrous flits away a feather at a time, leaving nothing but a cage of bones that try to shield you from –

The cold?

It’s not heat that that burns your flesh, but a cool cold, cold, frosty, frigid cold that crystalizes icy cold and deathly blue onto your skin. It’s frozen agony and sears your lungs and pricks you and it hurts but it’s not the hellish flame that you thought it would be, not the indulgent fire of life you were promised –

Hell is barren.

It sinks in as the cold leaves you rigid on Hell’s floor, immobile on your back, cradled by your cage of wings. Breath… ragged, breath… puffs before your face as you draw the cold, dead air in. You don’t taste ash. You taste nothing. Your tongue freezes as you breathe – you keep breathing anyway as it turns dead and black in your mouth and the frostbite is almost acrid.

Above – Heaven burns. A pinprick of light. And you haven’t the strength to raise your hand and reach.

Amusing Finds | 06/06/17

I was going through my Google Drive and my One Drive today in the attempt to further organize all my documents and writing, when I came across some ancient treasures – and by ancient treasures, I mean slightly horrifying relics from when baby Paris first started seriously writing.

A couple of things were really old, really poorly handled fan fiction plots. I found three plots for original stories/series that… Well, they’re not very good, but the bones have ability to put some meat on. It reminds me of the fact that I’ve gone through quite a couple of content purges and the fact that there’s material lingering around from… I want to say prior to 2011? is nothing short of a miracle.

Either way – I have some old material to look over, it seems…

Living With a Writer, For Dummies

I’m the only writer in my house. I’m the only person that spends a majority of their day, at a computer, doing work. And I love it. I quite literally quit retail work to pursue freelancing, and I wouldn’t change that for anything.

Unfortunately, that means that while I have the reprieve of not working with the public, I work from home. And no one in my house actually has a job… or a social life… outside of the house.

So, I’m usually surrounded, constantly, by people who do not leave my house and who also do not write and therefore do not understand the concept of being at the computer does not necessarily mean that I am doing nothing and that, yes, my being at the computer for 10+ hours a day is actually work and perhaps I should at least be left alone for a portion of those hours.

And it’ll happen in bursts. In the middle of a really, really good writing stride, only to be interrupted. Be it others in my house being rowdy themselves, or trying to have conversations with me, or… whatever whim of the hour is. Naturally, I have to respond, because the rules of social convention dictate that when someone speaks to you, despite doing something of Importance, you must respond. And give them time. Etc. And then I have to get back in the groove to be interrupted again. And I’m certain it’s not malicious, but it tends to be obvious when it happens multiple times a day that my agitated social cues are not enough to convey that hello, I am doing the Work, so talk about our inclimate weather to a person who cares and who isn’t in the middle of trying to make a deadline.

It’s a frustration that I imagine other writers face, where their efforts and their time are not respected, simply because people don’t understand that, huh. We’re actually doing work and putting in effort something. And I think for the most part, people don’t understand that writers, like other workers, need time and space to do their work. Writing takes effort and energy and constant interruption does nothing but impede that.

So, maybe you live with a writer, and maybe you’re possibly guilty of accidental interruption. And maybe your writer friend/roomie/relative/lover/partner is a bit like me, and tries to avoid confrontation as much as possible and is just letting it slide (while venting about it on the internet, lovely , or maybe they’ve tried to talk to you and you still don’t get it. A few tips.

  1. Work time is sacred. Respect it like you’d respect any other job that requires concentration and personal time.
  2. Our offices or office spaces or work spaces or wherever/whatever we’re using as a place of writerly harmony is not a free-for-all. You wouldn’t burst into the Oval Office willy nilly just because you wanted to talk to the president for a second, don’t come in our spaces when we’re doing our thing.
  3. Standing behind us to watch what we’re writing is creepy… Just don’t do it. You can always just ask what we’re working on later.
  4. If we’re quiet/not responding to you immediately/etc., it’s not because we hate you, it’s because we’re working.
  5. The ‘lol you have it so easy what with sitting at a computer all day’ and comments of other variations are truly, wholly, unnecessary.
  6. Yes, working at a computer all day is real work.
  7. Yes, writing is real work.
  8. We’re working, I promise you.

Pretty

He’s pretty. Delicate. Milk and honey skin that’s soft to the touch and you know he’ll be sweet to the taste when you get your teeth in him – and you will. There’s no doubt that it’ll happen, that you’ll give in, and he’ll let you because he’s a good boy and what you want from him is yours, yours for the taking.

Because you’re allowed.

Because he lets you.

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Embrace Your Garbage First Drafts

Your first draft is garbage.

It’s going to be garbage.

It’s supposed to be garbage.

Sit the fuck down and write it anyway; stop trying to fix something that hasn’t even gotten to the fix it up stage yet.

This is advice that I wish I was given when I first began writing, and then again when I turned to writing as a serious career choice. It’s advice that is so invaluable, that I have it as a sticky note on my computer, so that when I’m sitting down to write, and I try to re-read and edit as I go along with it, I can read it, yell at myself internally (or externally, some days I need the extra kick to my face) and let whatever garbage I’ve put on the screen stay there, until I’m done with it.

20170603_164842

The aforementioned sticky note. Not really verbatim, the message is still the same.

I’ve talked about it before, but I have an extremely debilitating habit of editing while writing. To the point that it’s hard for me (read, I have yet to actually do it. RIP at the last four NaNoWriMo attempts) to get through chaptered pieces because I can’t get a chapter actually written – I’m too busy trying to perfect it rather than move the fuck on and finish the damn book. Which… is a problem. You actually have to get through step one (the book) before going to step two (gutting the book.) It’s something that lends rather well to the bulk of the writing that I do, which is shorter pieces, generally in prose, but it doesn’t work very well when I’ve an idea that works better as a novel and I’m sitting here at my computer still playing around with the first two thousand words of a manuscript that should eventually get to around eighty to a hundred thousand.

Que me smacking myself in the face, because I suck.

And the thing is, it’s not like it’s just me. So many other writers that I’ve met or talk to have the same issue – or, in variation, they get through the chapter, but then they’re stuck, because it’s not perfect and they can’t move on to chapter two since it’s not perfect, and they’re stuck there, editing, tweaking, poking and prodding.

And nothing gets done. Not a damn thing. Suddenly you’re looking through your writing folders and you have about fifty WIPs and your notebooks and loose-leaf papers are full of half-finished snippets of something that could be great if you’d just cool your ass and write.

It’s rather frustrating when you sit down and think about it. For me, it’s a lovely little combination of anxiety, perfectionism, and a very fine dusty sprinkling of inferiority complex that demands that I try to make the first draft as impossibly perfect as possible on the first go – or I’m not a real writer. In fact, I’m the worst writer. I’m terrible. I should just quit because ha, I obviously don’t know what I’m doing if I can’t write a best seller on the first pass.

Thing is, I (and others with this same, persistent, asshole of a problem) need to get over it. Or rather, ourselves. Tough self-care. Remind ourselves that most authors don’t bust out best sellers on the first go. If they do – fuck them – but also, they’re probably either highly experienced and have done this a few good times, or they’ve made a contract with an Eldritch horror to gain their superior skills. Your pick.

Point is – stop getting in your own way when it comes to your writing. You want to do the thing. Do it. You can toil and labor over revisions after you’ve got something to revise, and it’s definitely not in a manuscript that isn’t even finished yet.

June Goals | 2017

This month I’m taking a page out of Jenna Moreci’s book and holding myself accountable for my writing and general writing goals – publically. Though rather than keep track of myself quarterly like she does, I’ll be keeping track of everything monthly (mostly because I know I’ll keep up with nothing if I try and do it quarterly. I’m awful.) The intention being:

  • Public humiliation for failed goals serves as a motivator.
  • Success with goals breeds continued success in the future.
  • The last inch of perfect organization for myself is reached and I’ll actually be keeping up with the 500 thousand things on June’s to-do list.

So –

  • A blog post a day. Habitual content creation, etc., etc.
  • 1,000 words minium of original writing a day; at least 30,000 words towards the current current WIP story by the end of June.
  • Have Tumblr set up and linked to this blog.
  • Have Patreon set up and ready to launch for the Fall.
  • Wrap up last month’s unfinished projects; can projects that I’m never going to complete/don’t feel like writing on anymore.
  • 15 shorter pieces through the month of June.
  • Steady commissions coming in.
  • Consistent client work.
  • Daily reading.
  • Don’t stress.

We’ll come back at the end of June and see how well I’ve actually done on all of these.