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Monday, October 15, 2007

Thanks for visiting. I am no longer updating Notes to Self. I hope you'll join me on my current website, PlantingDandelions.com

Downpour



Nearly every morning of every day, before the sun comes up in the east kitchen window, before the coffee machine is done spitting and sputtering, long before I get dressed, I am at my ibook, pitching, querying, hustling.

I email editors and agents with painstakingly crafted queries. I send essays around to anyone who publishes them. I solicit advice from people with connections and experience. I stand at the edge of a chasm flinging bits of my soul into the void, and listen with breath held, for a plink.

The plinks are as rare as desert rain.

I tell myself to just keep going. Not to take it personally. But after a while, the silence starts to whisper things to you. Things like, not good enough. Things like, who cares?

Did you think you were somebody? Oh, my dear.

Most days I can shout down those voices. Oh yeah? I list my publication credits, my loyal blog readers and wonderful commenters. I point to all the people in the world getting paid to write their stories, from the barely literate to the sublimely talented. Somewhere, in between, there's got to be a place for me. Why not? Why not me?

Pffffffttttt, I say.

Lately, I'm finding it hard to stay defiant, not to take it to heart. For a cluster of reasons, personal and circumstantial, my tank has gotten very low. There isn't enough gas in it to muster a pffffft.

In addition to trying to get more of my essays published, I've begun a memoir of my relationship with my father and my place in his world. It's about growing up as a girl in the midst of male artists. About casting off their projections and escaping the seductive role of muse, to claim my own voice. That surely has something to do with my feeling so vulnerable and desperate. I read once that every writer has a book they are afraid to write, and this is mine.

It's deep mining, and I don't know that I can do it in between work and kids, the way I hammer out the essays. I'm afraid that our financial circumstances will soon dictate that I get a full-time, outside job, and that writing will have to be relegated to hobby. I could probably continue to blog from the sidelines, and I personally know people who have written novels in the hour between waking and driving to the office. But I'm not one of them. It's not just about time; it's about interior space.

You know that commercial for Disney World where the kids wake up in their beds, hearing the approaching hoofbeats of Cinderella's glass coach? I saw it last night, and tears welled up in my eyes. Because I want so much to believe that my dreams are also speeding toward me, through this dark night. And even as I confess this to you, I'm afraid for you to see the childish nature of my fantasy, my wild hope that someone will see something worth nurturing here, and give me all the time, money and guidance I need to bring my ragged and homeless stories to the ball.

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20 Comments:

Blogger Who She She said...

I wish I could help you see it's not childish. It's brave -- so brave. And you're so brave, even when you feel like you're not. The hardest thing in the world is to be true to the voice you hear inside and not succumb to the voices of others (including the false Judas who whispers you're not good enough -- YOU ARE). Listen to me, talking like I have the answer. I don't. But you have something of worth to say. I've taken away so much from your blog. If it means anything to you, your writing means a lot to me.

9:45 AM  
Blogger Abbey said...

You are one of the most talented writers that I've seen, and I read quite a lot. Your writings have made me laugh out loud countless times, but they've also brought me to tears. Have faith: you have stories the world wants to read. Trust that if you love anything enough, the money will follow. Thankfully, that is how the Universe works.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Miss Eliza said...

oh, honey...

my heart yearns in the same way and your post brought me to tears. Hang in there, my friend - you are a beautiful, talented writer and I can't wait to read that book. As a downloadable poster from jen lemen's site says, trust is letting go of needing to know all the details before you open your heart, and trust is daring to believe that the light inside you needs a chance to shine bright. she's been on a similar journey, too. You are not alone!

10:38 AM  
Blogger Jennie Thomason said...

This is such an incredible post, with incredible heart behind it. I wish for you dreams coming true and then some. Thank you for writing this.

10:48 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

This is my second time at your site. Ring of Fire really resonated. Blogodarya (Bulgarian for thank you). As for this blog: because I am going through something similar, is that besides all the You-are-brave-and-you-can-do-it-andt-hisis
the-cycle-we-all-know,my other thought is this: Look around your life. Rate your pleasures and "glories" (as I like to call them) and your obligations. Is there something in there that you're doing, but you're heart is not into? Something which you think you couldn't possible quit/stop but actually could? I've found there usually is. Now, granted, I'm not a mother. Yet. But it's something to think about. An outside perspective is so hard to achieve, but so powerful. Andrea www.glory-ho.com

10:56 AM  
Blogger jenB said...

Kyran, you ARE something. It will happen and someone will take notice.

love jen

11:14 AM  
Blogger blackbird said...

If it seems like the world doesn't believe in you, you must believe in yourself.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Katherine Gray said...

Yes, you are brave. You are brave just for writing what you write about, nevermind that it's some of the most poetic, well-crafted writing *anywhere.* I am all about supporting people and cheering them on, but know that really, I am picky. Very critical. I don't say "best" unless I mean it. And you, sweet woman, are one of the best writers I've ever read.

And actually, before I even read this post, I came here to tell you about the response my friend had to Ring of Fire. She's going in marriage and family counseling and she said this:

"And thanks for the story. It so captured the relationship between the big and small aspects of marriage, of conflict, or therapy: the incremental shifts that add up, how one can find bounty in scarcity... well told."

I have no idea if this means anything special, but know that my friend is just as discerning as I am. And she thinks you're great, too.

Ah...I wish I had magic words for you. But I don't. Just keep being brave like you are.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Please keep going. I stumbled across your blog a few months ago and have since found it so inspirational both for my blog and for my own secret writing. You're a fabulous writer, the kind of writer that other writers (me) wish to be.

4:12 PM  
Blogger Jonivan said...

I was going to try to leave an inspirational comment (if thats possible) but I think that the 9 previous ones from people who seem to honestly care should help somewhat. I feel that I can somewhat relate (maybe not on the same scale) but relate none the less with my music.

I agree with JenB and Susannah above.

If you get a chance I respectfully request (Ma'am) you to check out a group called "Band Of Horses"
and a song of their's called "The General Specific" if you dont already know of them that is. (no pun intended by their line) "what the writers say means shit to me now". They are on my friends list
if you dare venture to the mall.
www.myspace.com/animalsound

-Jonivan

5:04 PM  
Blogger Geoff Meeker said...

Kyran, do you remember writing this:

“They are two years and four days apart, and they are so close, living with them is like watching a pair of fish swim beneath the surface of a pond. You think you can see where they are, but there is a refraction principle. They move in a world all their own.”

I’ve been working as a writer for 25 years, but have yet to compose lines like that. Your writing is candid, vulnerable, heartfelt and brilliant.

Never give up.

(And I think your memoir of growing up in your father's world will be a fabulous read. Do it.)

8:14 PM  
Blogger Jen K-C said...

If you have to go to work I don't believe it will kill your writing spirit, you will adjust and fit it into your life. You are the writer, a job is just a need. Your spirit will guide you. Write the book, I will read it, buy it, buy more copies and give it to others!

I am sending you warm thoughts and lots of love.

8:20 AM  
Blogger lenniekat said...

You consistently amaze me - in writing and in 'real time'. You have an incredible way of turning impossibilites into inspiration - I have faith that you can take these tough times, ferment them, and make the sweetest wine - all in good time, K...

8:31 AM  
Blogger Susanne said...

I read your blog religiously and am constantly trotting your posts in front of my husband's nose with a "you *have* to read this!!" because your writing is eloquent, evocative, hilarious, and inspirational in the extreme.

You have the ability to make me laugh, think, and cry all in a single essay and you do that very consistently. It seems sort of the dumbest thing in the world that you don't have a column in some magazine every month.

9:47 AM  
Blogger Jessica @ A Bushel and a Peck said...

Please don't give up. I read your blog for inspiration, and your words are always beautiful. You will get there, and I am constantly impressed with your bravery in following what you love and believing that you can make it sustain you and your family--financially or otherwise. You are damn good, better than good. Chin up.

2:57 PM  
Blogger jen lemen said...

i'm so right there with you on this one. if there's no happy ending to this cinderella story, someone is going to have to pay in addition to giving me a permit to have a giant fairy tale book burning. it's got to happen, got to happen.

write your little heart out, girl. all this drama you're going through now will be great fodder for talk show circuit sofas.

xoxo

7:55 PM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

I also adore your writing and every day when I get home from work I check hopefully for another one of your wonderful stories. You are so warm and down to earth and your writing always makes me feel better--I just wish I had an ounce of talent to write something to make YOU feel better! Unfortunately I am also struggling with similar issues as you, wondering where exactly my niche is in this world--that starring role I've always dreamed I would possess--but even though I don't have the right words to say, I can say I'll pray for you that God will give you the strength to get through these difficult times with your hope and faith still intact so you can continue to bless at least a few people with your truly amazing talent. I really do think God gave you a wonderful gift in your ability to write so beautifully. Just trust Him. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid," John 14:27.

9:30 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I felt compelled to write a comment this time. Your blog is a beloved daily stop of mine when I have a few precious moments on the computer. (kids!) From the first time I stumbled upon your writing, I was hooked. You have an effortless way of speaking to people, really speaking to people, just with your own experiences. I almost feel like I'm invading your personal life but can't stop reading, for I feel like I know you personally. You can't put a price on doing what you love. Please keep on truckin'. Your glass coach will come. And your "fans" will be hitching a ride!

2:29 PM  
Blogger onward and upward! said...

I second Jen-K.C. An outside-the-home, non-writing job doesn't necessarily have to hamper your creative life. At all. It's all about positive attitude and perseverance, and it sounds like you have a lot of both.

And second, real-world interactions with other people can provide for some rich writing material.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Kyran,

I read often and comment less often but that's because I always feel that every comment would read the same: beautiful writing, wonderful metaphors and imagery, an ability to captivate even when my attention span is SHORT. I read your blog and think, "now that's what I'd like my blog to be like."

And remember this: the best advice I've heard so many writers give is to keep writing, keep sending. Your writing is beautiful and makes people think -- about how to see the world, about relationships, about themselves -- so just keep writing and sending and it will definitely come. I know it will.

Julie

7:59 PM  

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