Too Hard to Fit the Mold

I want to be a writer and actually spend my time writing. I want to have a journal in my bag wherever I go, just in case I get inspired and have to write it down THAT VERY SECOND! I want to gaze off into the word-space of my mind and make people feel really awkward because it looks like I am staring at them. I want to sit in a coffee shop with my laptop for hours sipping at a single red-eye after having completely devoured the one pastry I decided I could afford that day, taking up a table for four with just me and my writing materials. (not really the last part. I think it’s stupid when people do that.) Basically, yes, I want to be a stereotype.

Boston is not really helping me out with this. If you’re reading this and you live in boston, tell me something – do you know of a single coffee shop in the area that’s open later than 7? Because, as I spend most days at work, evening is the only time I would be able to do this. Sometimes, when I leave work, I think to myself, “I would really like to get home, grab my laptop, go sit in a cafe with a cup of coffee and just write.” 

The two coffee places that are near enough to make this a reasonable pursuit are Cafe Ula at the Sam Adams Brewery and Caffe Aromi on Centre St. (Just in case you were having trouble stalking me, I thought I’d give you a hand…). Aromi closes at 6, which is around the time when I get there after my 1-hour commute. Ula closes at 7, sometimes 8 maybe, but usually 7, I think, and that leaves barely enough time to get in there and order something after getting home. 

I suppose it’s always possible to take my laptop to a real restaurant and sit down, but until this is an established convention, I will not be the weirdo who tries to maneuver dinner with a huge laptop at one table. (That is my other mistake – the huge laptop.)

So I could only live my dream of being a coffee-shop-writer by doing so during my scant time off from work, when I have to do important things like grocery shopping and sleeping in, or by bringing my laptop to the office with me. Crowded T, possibly crowded bus, giant and kind of heavy laptop, hour-long commute… yeah, that sounds like a lot of fun. 

Basically, until some circumstance or other changes, I can’t be the stereotype I want to be. Can you believe this shit? 

The Writing Life

Sadly, I don’t have any new work to post at the moment. I still haven’t written more in Helen since my last post, I’m only halfway through my latest short story, and everything else that is fit to see the e-sunlight will not be posted on this blog unless it’s rejected everywhere I submit it. With these unfortunate circumstances in mind, I’m afraid I’ll have to settle for posting writing-related personal news. Such a disappointment… or is it? I hope not.

 

As I was reconnecting with sites to which I had planned to submit writing, but had let fall to the wayside while I attempted to figure out life in Boston, I realized that it’s been a long while since I submitted anything. Luckily, I have now submitted one story to multiple literary sources, and I have plans for continuing submissions. Could this be it? Could this be the true beginning of my self-marketing endeavors? I have submitted writing before, but in a few-and-far-between manner. Never simultaneous submissions before, and never so close together even for different pieces. I’m excited about it. Even if these particular publications don’t opt to include my story in their collections, if I continue this way, something is bound to be published somewhere.

I have to admit that I have never felt so much like I have written stories that are truly good enough to submit to publishers, literary magazines, and/or contests. When I look back at a story I submitted to a contest 4 or more years ago, I shake my head at my naivety in thinking that it had a chance at winning. The writing was good, but the story was grossly incomplete. Now, I read the bios of the authors of pieces in online magazines and grimace to see all their publishing credits. It does make it seem as if you can’t get published until you’ve already been published – but that is just not true – there’s no way it can be true – and I refuse to believe it, or let it stop me.

I finally finished reading The Tale of Murasaki a week or two ago. It was a very good book, and I’ll leave it at that for now. I’ve just started reading Life of Pi, and although I know I’m late to the party (and I’ve only read about ten pages so far), I’m looking forward to finding out why everyone likes it so much. I’m considering writing a review of it when I’m done, just so I can pretend that I can actually spend time doing the things I really like to do. (e.g. Write critically about literature.)

My most recent peeve: I really, really need a workspace. I don’t have a desk, and if I did I would not have a place to put it – there is little enough space in my bedroom without adding more furniture, and no room anywhere else in the house. I could set up in the living room, where there’s an enormous table, but that table is usually covered in things and there is too much to distract me in the living room, like the television and the new feline addition to the house (she’s tiny and might have kitty ADHD). There are a few cafe/restaurants that have wifi and would possibly offer something like desk space, but as I am still very much unemployed, I cannot afford to use Panera as my office. What little money I have left would disappear in no time if I did. Now, it’s not that I absolutely can’t get work done while in a half-sitting, half lying-down position in bed with my laptop resting on my thighs – on the contrary, I’ve proven that I can. However, I would be many times more comfortable and productive with a work area, desk included, that I could depend on. If I had money, I would even consider renting office space. That, of course, would require a much more reliable income than what I’m likely to make outside of a full time job, where I would most likely have an office anyway.

Thanks for reading my ramblings. I suspect that, if you’re anything like me, you would rather read the creative pieces than blog posts about the writer. But then again, we live in a society that tends to be very interested in other people’s personal lives, so who knows. As you’ve born with this post, I will try very hard to have some creative work worth reading ready to post by the end of this week.