The rodent comes forth from his hole
Seeking love, adventure all
He holds steady to not exceed limits
To avoid being overwhelmed
He’s ridiculed and criticized
For living in a hole which only
Pushes him deeper down
Until the contents of his hole
Are the new adventures awaiting
Those he felt would help him
To escape his sanctuary
Have in turn become the reason
For solitude and quiet
Now he starts over
With new friends who may encourage
And support him in his adventures
From the poetry collection Men Are Garbage.
I’m sorry I have not expressed my needs, wants, and wishes. I often feel selfish and believe I shouldn’t voice my concerns, but I’m learning that the path to healing requires me to be a little selfish. In the past, when I’ve attempted many different things, I didn’t succeed and believed I just wasn’t good enough. With this attitude, I stopped trying and would get upset when no one did something for me. How could they? I never communicated what I wanted; what I needed. I’ve been angry for so long never realizing I’m the one deserving of that anger.
I learn something new about Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder every day and am reminded that everything I hate about myself is a symptom. These are symptoms I may have the rest of my life. One of those symptoms is the failure to express one’s needs, wants, and wishes. Not everyone can get what they want, but there is a kind of power that comes with vocalizing them. It’s similar to writing down one’s goals. Something about that process makes them real. I won’t list everything I want, but I will try to communicate them more often. That alone will be a struggle.
The purpose of this letter is to make you all aware of the problem. This is my problem that I must deal with, but I need you all to be aware. I hope you will support me in this. I hope in some ways you will help me with this. My goal for the remainder of the year is to express my needs more often. Hopefully, it will not be in a burst of anger, but please take this with a grain of salt and remember that even if I’m shouting, what’s important is that I’m communicating. I most certainly need your patience and understanding as I work through my personal issues.
This is only step one in a journey that will take several years. I don’t expect to be good at it in the beginning. I expect to forget about it now and then, but I hope you’ll remind me. The future looks terrifying, but I’m determined to win this battle as well as the oncoming war. I’ve found that ever when I’m in a good mood I still have an underlying bad attitude so maybe this will help with that. I must say one thing. I don’t think some of you know me as well as you think you do, and I think some of you will not take this letter seriously. If you want to say something you think is funny, don’t say it to me.
I mentioned a few posts ago that I had a short story accepted for publication on Jitter Press. I have recently had another story accepted for publication for another online magazine, Uncaged Book Reviews. As the title suggests, they write and publish book reviews. For their October issue, they were seeking a few short horror stories to include for this Halloween edition. I sent in a story and they’ve agreed to include it in the publication. There is no payment, but it’s great exposure and I’m looking forward to seeing my stories published in different places.
With the publication of my recent work of poetry, “Men Are Garbage,” I felt it had the right social commentary to be considered for The Pulitzer Prize in a collection of Verse. I paid the $75 entry fee and sent four paperback copies of the book to the people who judge works for the Pulitzer. I feel this is a gutsy move and I’m not confident that I have the skill to win. I submitted anyway just to say I did. I won’t know anything one way or the other until next Spring. I am happy to forget about it until then.
I plan to submit some work to a couple writing contests. One of them has not responded to my email with questions about guidelines and things and their deadline is quickly approaching. I may wait on that contest until next year and focus instead on the one for the Tucson Festival of Books happening in March 2019. Their contest submission deadline is the end of October giving me plenty of time. Their contest rules are also straight forward and don’t require me to email them questions. I can just submit once I have the money for the submission fees.
Speaking of saving up for submission fees, I’m working three jobs (sort of) not including anything I do for writing. I am a partner with Starbucks, a stagehand for Centennial Hall (the home of Broadway in Tucson), and I work with local nonprofits and artists with publicity and marketing. I have a full plate and still find time to do some writing. Some of my third job work in pro-bono too meaning I don’t get paid for all those things I do. However, staying busy keeps me from going insane or falling into the darkness.
I’ve also sent my novella to my small group of beta readers. I’ve gotten a little feedback which pointed out I still have many typographical errors to fix. This is why we have beta readers. Imagine if I had self-published this work anyway. I am grateful to the readers I currently have but I am always looking for more. You can find that information on my Beta Readers Page and also search for it on Facebook. Those are the current crazy updates and I’ll have many more. I’m still trying to figure out how to get some VaudVil shows going again. The future looks bright, busy, and exhausting.