write

A Striptease For You

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I’m in a bit of a rut. You see, the writer part of me wants needs to create things that the blogger part of me doesn’t. Writing is a way of exorcising demons. A cathartic cleansing. An artistic pest control for the brain. Typically, I mold my toxins into little analogies that take on lives of their own, a.k.a. my fiction stories. The problem? I haven’t been writing any new stuff lately. I’ve been busy with the novel and, oh, I don’t know…blogging.

The blog for me is a playground. A very necessary one. I want to keep it that way. I’m honest as shit, self-deprecating, silly, sometimes naughty (okay, a lot naughty),  sarcastic… but I also conveniently hop around the heavy stuff. And that’s okay. I have to look too many of my real-life readers in the eye. That’s a vulnerability I’m not comfortable with. But when I don’t write the heavy shit out, I get stuck.

Beth stuck =  a  f*cked up Beth

I scour other blogs whose innards are displayed for all to see, and I admire the shit outta them. Their bravery astounds me. But I don’t work that way. I’ve tried. Doesn’t mean I won’t try again. But I have to feel it. If I’m going to give you the Full Monty, it had better matter.

Part of what makes my fiction so complex and dynamic (and yes, twisted at times) is that it’s the conduit for everything I’m not able to express any other way.

It’s the metaphorical me. Stripped. Bleeding my soul onto the pages.

Naked.

My blog may be a tease, but I bare it all in my stories.

I like poetry for this purpose. I can be naked, yet shrouded in mist and mirrors. Inference and innuendo. Here is one where I am fully exposed. Can you see me?

Dwellings
Murky basements, web covered nooks hide
forbidden yearnings, mummified.
Music wakes them, songs siren.
They crawl and beg to be
heard again. Breathless
trepidation,
I unfurl.
Set me
free.

You probably can’t. Not totally. But that was the goal.

I’ve got to get the novel put to bed. So you can read it. And so I can move on.

I need to get back to writing. Characters await.

Is writing cathartic for you? Do you write “naked”? How do you see your blog? Do you dance around certain subjects? Your comments MATTER.

**Related Post: I’d like to thank My Inner Chick for her post on blogging without boundaries, which led me to deconstruct and evaluate the struggle I was having, and ultimately help me understand how I write.

Eyes On The Trail

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I’m here, sweat dripping down my neck, fresh off a trail run. Words fight to be unleashed. I obey:

At first I’m only aware of the lack of oxygen in my lungs and intense pain in my thighs. I know it always starts this way. I run through it. I watch only three, maybe four feet ahead of me. Have to look for cracks in the Earth, roots, dips. Missing one could be disastrous.

I surge ahead, turn my music up, pushing through the awkwardness of the start. Waiting for my rhythm.

The concentration lures my mind inward. Focuses it. Feet pound off banks and leap gnarled roots. My peripheral turns to a streaky blur. The pain is gone….I’m in the zone.

And that’s when it happens. The metamorphosis is swift.

I’m no longer me. I’m someone else entirely, in her skin, seeing through her eyes. Scenes write themselves, and I know just how she’ll react because at that moment, we share a soul.

My body rips up the trail like a deer, but my mind is far away. In another world. In hers.

If you ever see me out there, on the trail, and you wave hello, pardon if my eyes seem a little glazed, or the glint of recognition is late to sparkle in them.

They’re not mine.

 

How about you? What gets you in your character’s skin? Music? Solitude? I can’t wait to hear!

Oh, Look…A Squirrel…

That title pretty much sums up how my brain works when I blog. I start off with one simple task, and before I know it, it’s been nine hours. I realized the other day I’ve gotten way off course from what should be my main job right now, but in the process, you know what I’ve discovered?

I Freaking Love Blogging!

I started blogging a few months ago, and to be honest, I thought it was going to be a writer’s blog about the process of editing/publishing my novel with some other random stuff thrown in to mix it up. But I guess that’s not what organically birthed out my blog hole. (That was hands-down the grossest metaphor I’ve ever used. It’s so bad I feel compelled to leave it.) The blog has ended up the other way around, really. I like to write like I talk. I like to laugh. That’s what feels honest.

This is my voice.

The problem is I have a manuscript here. It’s waiting patiently to have its revising finished, or better yet, to be effing published. I have editors that don’t even know they’re on my list to be called upon for pricing and samples. This novel is my everything.

So why am I spending all my time blogging? Because I’m in overload. I’ve read so much information about editing, blurbs, the first 5 pages, what you should do, what you should never do, genres and sub-genres, do a prologue, never do a prologue, AHHHHHH!

I’m kind of a study-junkie. A perfectionist. I take advice very literal and to heart. I’m thirsty to learn from the people who’ve done it before me. But it’s all been too much, and has literally paralyzed me from moving forward.

So I’ve been falling back on my new love, blogging, which conveniently takes up all my time, and has become a great excuse to avoid something else, something far too overwhelming.

 Enter the *Writer Whisperer*

This is what I’ve dubbed a friend of mine, unbeknownst to her (until now), who I had lunch with her the other day. She basically said, what the fuck have you been doing and why isn’t this brilliant book published yet? (She actually used the word brilliant, just so you know. Ironically, this is the same woman who told me to start a blog.) But you know what? She was right. After talking to her, the weight lifted off my shoulders.

I have 5 beta readers who already told me any integral changes I needed to make. I have to STOP obsessing over it. My novel is written. And it’s good. I just need to clean it up and get it to a pro editor. Let them figure out the rest.

That’s precisely what I’ll be spending more time doing for the next couple of weeks. Wish me luck. I’ll need it.

*Oh, and the last post I wrote about the Fall premiers? Come talk to me in comments as you watch during the week. Let me know what you’re liking/not liking!  (On The Voice…did you see my ex-almost-fiancé’s sexy beard? Me Likey! #TeamAdam)* —that “Oh, Look…A Squirrel…” moment was brought to you by Beth Teliho, the most easily distracted writer on Earth. Maybe don’t write her about TV. Yes, do!

Did you always know your blog’s voice? Does blogging take up more time than you expected? Is it your first love or do you write other things, too? I love hearing from you!

Blogging Takes Big Hairy Balls

I know what you’re thinking. Why does blogging take balls? I’ll tell you why. Because you’re putting yourself out there. Big time. You’re holding a neon sign and saying, “Hey world, here I am and all the crazy shit that goes on in my head! Do you like me? Press that thumbs-up button!”

Some days your post may be funny, other days it may be more thought provoking. You never know which your followers will respond to. It’s all a big risk, but you can’t write for some supposed, abstract expectation. So you write what’s in your head and in your heart. You squeeze your eyes and say a little prayer that someone out there in the blogosphere gets you, and you hit that publish button.

To some people this may be a risk free endeavor. People who are comfortable being in the spot light. “Here I am, take it or leave it” type people. They put it all out there, lay it all on the line to be judged or loved. Easy peasy. I admire the shit out of those people.

But that’s not me. Not by a long shot.

I’m more of a “waves from afar, hope you like me but if you don’t then I probably need to apologize at this point” type. Have you ever played that game – that what Friends character are you most like game? You probably have. So keep in mind who you think you’re most like, but then ask someone else who knows you well which character they think you’re most like. The answers won’t always match. My friends all said I was definitely Phoebe. I’m assuming because we’re both blonde and dingy; good natured and a little eccentric. Know who I always related to? Chandler. I never related to any of the girls – they were way too together for me. I related to the shy guy who never knew where he fit in. The sometimes awkward one who used humor to get himself through life, or to cover up when things got too real.

I’m fiercely private by nature, but trying very hard to learn to be more open. It takes tremendous effort to quiet the negative voices in my head and gather the cajones to write. I’ve found this is infinitely easier to do with strangers, however, so blogging is good practice for me. There is a comfortable buffer in sending your words to people you never (or rarely) see. Conversely, handing my novel over to beta readers, whom I know personally, almost made me physically ill. I would have rather paraded naked in front of them. I did it, though. I gave them my novel because I want it to succeed that bad. I’ll do whatever it takes.

So why the hell bother with a blog, Beth? Because I need to, desperately. It’s strangely cathartic. It fulfills some sort of innate writer’s need to share what’s in my head. If I don’t satisfy this call to action, I’m going to end up that crazy lady under the highway that talks to invisible people and shows her boobs to strangers eats paper. And you know, you know, I’ll have like a hundred cats. So I’ll continue to use this awesome, crazy, strange venue to purge what my muse wants to create, and with shaky, tentative hands I’ll offer it to you.

This is what was in my head today. I’m scooping my big, hairy balls over to the side so I can reach the publish button. If you enjoyed it, hit that damn like button and let me feel the love. Even better, comment and tell me which Friends character you think you’re most like. Did it match what others thought? Are you a blogger? Let me know if it takes big hairy balls for you to blog too. You can use a different analogy if you want. Jes sayin’. If you’re not appreciating the testes visual. If you are, you’re welcome.