I always look forward to October, the month when the world --the western world--celebrates the occult. I have been a fan of witches, ghouls, eldritch, and the macabre forever!
October 2018 was no exception. I looked forward to it, and even the black cat that slipped across my path on Halloween night got me excited.
It was bad omen, of course. Exactly a week later, I experienced the worst tragedy of my life.
My mom slipped from the world.
Every day I wake up and think about the circumstances -- how I could've prevented it, and all the things I did wrong, like being upset she was sick, again, and also not taking her to the hospital in the morning.
I was stupid and selfish, and wished we did more together. But all that has passed. I have no magic wand or time-traveling contraption to return to that day in November 2018.
This October feels sober.
I have all the same feelings of excitement, but they are muted. Each time I allow myself to feel joy, my guilt, pain and sadness stifle that joy.
As the one year anniversary comes up, I admit, I still don't know how to cope.
But I have been dong so for nearly a year and will try ...
I think too much ... about everything
... will I die alone?
... is the end of the world near?
... when does middle age start?
... am I an impostor?
... will I ever get a traditional publishing deal?
.... am I a real or good writer?
... do I have a good personality?
... am I intelligent?
... do people like me?
... why don't I do something good with my life?
Sometimes my doubts creep up. I want to brush dirt off my shoulders but it's hard.
Staying positive? I cling to little things.
The last couple days I'd been on high thinking I got this ... and I didn't have this (received some great feedback about a short story and was convinced it would be accepted). Received the rejection this morning. I stop investing in things. No longer hold my breath and keep my fingers crossed. I was once accused of not being "passionate." My response (which of course I kept in my head): I am so used to be disappointed I didn't want to run my anxiety up only to be deflated). Of course, I no longer know how to be happy when I receive good news.
Sometimes, I wonder about me ... and where all this is going ...
The rejection says "I kept the reader at bay when it comes to the character's reaction". The story of my life. I am terrible at expressing feelings ... just terrible. I empathize and think, think, ponder, cogitate, worry ... but I just don't express OUTWARDLY.
My characters are criticized for lacking agency, motivation, expressing themselves or simply being plain flat. I love big concepts but don't think I express them clearly.
Been reading about "sociological" writing versus psychological. Supposedly, Game of Thrones lost the plot in season 8 when it abandoned the former for the latter. Ideally, a writer needs both to be good at STORYTELLING.
I try to do both, but ultimately I prefer plot and structure over either but don't do it well.
I wonder if I could ever write an intelligent piece of fiction ... NK Jemisin's The Broken Earth trilogy, for example.
Do I have the psychological grasp of the sociological structures that impress upon people to churn out such in-depth storytelling?
I often accuse myself of "tired/lazy" writing ... when I write despite being too tired to care/focus.
Writing criticisms I frequently receive: complicated plots, staccato sentences, wordiness, "elevated" writing style .... which I blame on my general love affair with Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Shakespeare ... I was a pretentious child, who rather liked saying "I shall" versus, " I will."
Sometimes I wonder why I attend writing groups...
Recently listened to a man rant about his older co-worker whom he believes is just showing up to work because he likes the companionship of his co-workers and having something to do, socially.
. I considered quitting writing groups after my mom died last November. And sometimes, especially after a rejection, I think I should give up writing ....
But I have nothing else.
I am not a cross-stitch, crochet-knitting, sell stuff on e-Bay and Etsy type. I can't learn pottery, and I have yet to show up to my soap-making and kickboxing classes (I am still making promises about better weather and stable finances. My older brother says to just do it).
And what will I do with myself?
Watched sick-flick film with Maisie Williams (Arya Stark): she has another "bucket" list in it.
I don't even think I am the "live like you are dying" type. I'd just mope and sink into my shell, convinced the universe really hates me.
Speaking of the universe ...
Some times I wonder ...
Been listening to a lot of physics podcasts lately ... my dream profession had been Astrophysicist. I got intimidated by high school Enriched Physics and dropped out ... fearing I would fail, anyway.
I regret it ... and not pursuing math beyond the 12th grade.
File on my list of life regrets
Master's or PhD
Better relationship with my mom
Life feels like it's running away .... I want a time-loop do-over until I get it right.
Life's okay ... some times.
But sometimes ...
The last month has been hell for me, the worst, heart-crushing experience of my life. I lost my mother, and there's no magic in the world that can bring her back, no spell to cast to undo the ravages of time and death, the destroyers of worlds. It's hard to move on, not while I'd prefer to crawl away from the world and sleep it off. I have little energy to write, and am confused and resentful that the world keeps moving without my mother.
I am haunted by her memories, woken deep into the night by her calling my name, and stuck in the psychological torment of "what if". I hid my writing from her. She knew I wrote, but never truly read any of my work, and I regret wholeheartedly all the missed opportunities, hugs, and communications, and there's now no way to re-do these never-moments. All of my tomorrows are not worthy enough to regain the 40 yesterdays and counting since she was here.
I'll have to find a way, even if the things I love are bitter and useless to my existence in the current time. It's what my mother would've wanted. Always and forever!