While this post contains “nudity,” it’s about blogging and not sex.
I’m sitting on over six thousand words for you. They’re leaves branching off from all the recent times I’ve promised you a “to be continued.” This means a crazy tree in my head that won’t stop growing. The unending metaphors for the words trapped in my head aren’t new. I’ve said before why I started this site, ‘the tornado within,’
“Or any number of turning, whirling, spinning metaphors transforming the inside of my head into a savage merry-go-round. You’ve seen the Dutch angle close-ups of carousel horses, wide-eyed and mid-whinny, set to unsettling organ music. They’re frozen in gallop, a frightening paradox, and none too unlike ideas begging for fruition. It happens that when I am moved, I’m taken over by an unstoppable Monster. So will inspiration deign pay a visit? But then will it overstay its welcome? And round and around.”
But this week, it’s the crazy tree. It’s grafted with the Martian dating posts and the Mulholland post. There are interrelated offshoots of each growing out wildly and pressing against my skull. If I had the energy, I would splice a headshot of myself with dismay on my face and tree branches growing out of my ears. All together I have four other posts minimized on my screen, some of which have been sitting there for a week. The Perfect Man is down there, as is the tally of my brief online dating. There is of course, some snow, and more — a lot more — romance with Mulholland. And then there’s Freezer. Freezer is new. You’ll like Freezer. But I have other ground to cover first.
Naked on Mulholland! ← I’ll lure you with nudity in order to get you to the bottom of this post. That means I’ll address being naked on Mulholland somewhere below.
Early in the Gunmetal Geisha days, I was naïve enough to think it was a good idea to share the blog management system I had devised for myself. And even more naïvely, I thought it would work for me in the long run. Now, I’m still in the short run, and I’ve failed at almost every aspect of my own manifesto:
Posting once a week (occasionally twice) on any weekday but Friday: fail and fail. Keeping the word count around 1000: fail. Reciprocating by returning the visit to every blogger that visits me, in a timely fashion. Or at all: fail and fail! (I’m so sorry about this.)
I still say it’s a decent system. It just so happens that I’m not decent at it. But I have no intention of giving up on the Blogging Dance, since I’m devoted to Gunmetal Geisha and those who read it.
Reading the Blogging Dance for the first time in months, it felt like a fun, quirky, straightforward post written by someone else. A helpful one, at that, and I recommend it. Even though it’ll pretty much advise you not to bother with my blog if you’ve made copious visits to it and I haven’t returned the courtesy. Maybe ignore that part. I have a time management impediment, which I’m working on. In the meantime, think of me, no, not as naked (wink), but as your good deed.
Here’s the most important modification I would introduce to that post:
Don’t make promises. Promises set people up for expectations. If you don’t make promises, you can’t break them. That way you won’t disappoint people, and if you do come through with a promise-worthy action, maybe you’ll delight someone.
Good manners in all facets of life matter to me. They fall under the umbrella of an all-around person of decency — a funny one who mock-lures you with nudity. So it pains me to have weeks in which I’m so pressed for time that I can’t properly reciprocate. I tell myself, I’m here first and foremost to write. Reading is vital, of course, but writing has right of way. (As do naked people, if you think about it.)
I write because I have a passion for it. I write here because the license given by a personal blog offers me an interesting paradigm. I bare (ahem) my frankest self (and resist terrible puns) with conscious effort to reign in self-indulgence, all the while observing craft, style, pacing and minimal use of cliché (challenging at times). It’s a continuous workout, with the bonus of communion, and as it turns out, effective therapy.
But if there were only one reason to do this, it would be self-examination for the purpose of self-betterment. I suppose I could do it privately, but it’s not unheard of that others may get something out of it too.
Maybe people blow smoke up my ass. But what sublime smoke when someone says, “Your soul, passion, heart and intellect are a commodity to society.” What if, at the very least, I had the chance to evolve into the person those words describe? Would it then be okay to write about myself without seeking to constantly justify it? Or am I a deluded, narcissistic attention-seeker? And round and around.
There you have another example of a post going where it wants, because I assure you, self-doubt was not one of my preferred topics of discussion. But the self-doubt stays. On Gunmetal Geisha, I don’t break the covenant of letting writing exist as it chooses. After all, I won’t have that license anywhere else meant for public consumption. Let the post sink leagues below as long as it comes up for air under tree branches. Still, I’m on the verge of deleting the naked bits — not for their nakedness, but for their jarring jump in context.
Eh. The nudity stays. What’s more bold than nudity?
Right. There’s just no graceful way to get back to the crazy tree after that jumble of covenant and flesh. I have no segue to get me back on track for the real purpose of this post:
As a person who can be locked in a room for a hundred years and never run out of ideas to write about, it’s ironic to announce I’ve taken on a writing challenge designed for those who need prompts in order to come up with topics. Hear me out; my reasoning is sound.
In the month of April, I’m to write a post every day except Sunday on topics beginning with a letter of the alphabet. That means a total of twenty-six posts in one month, from A to Z topics. They’re not suggesting more than 200-500 words per day, so it’s not as daunting as it sounds.
And why is this at all a sane choice for me, while I’m in school full-time, shooting and editing a new short film, and writing term-papers? Because it confines me to brief but frequent missives — the opposite in fact, of what I’ve been doing. But more importantly, it confines me to arbitrary topics based on letters of the alphabet, rather than my constant mental loops. It’s precisely because I have a bottomless well of little ideas that don’t know where to go that I’ve decided to participate. I view it as a decluttering process. I’ll get rid of twenty-six little burdens that don’t have anything to do with the rest of the GG garden. I can only imagine the result to be liberating.
Am I promising to make it through? No! But heads up to those of you who receive email notifications: you might end up with GG in your inbox every day. Don’t get tired of me, it won’t be spam. It’ll be a careful cutting of some overgrown exotic vegetation.
That gives me two weeks to prune the crazy tree — you know, the four posts minimized on my screen right now. Those are coming at you willy-nilly — two a day, or one every day. So look for them, because I really was naked on Mulholland: Maybe I ran out of gas after drinking lots of water I could no longer hold, or maybe it was pitch black and I partook in R-rated activities with my boyfriend, or maybe I got skunked and had no choice but to shed my dress. You’ll find the true answer in one of the upcoming posts. Promise. (Yes, I made a promise after telling you not to. It’s a purposeful choice.)
[Edit: To date, I’ve had three complaints that I promised (← There’s that word again. And this one →) nudity in this post but didn’t come through. I beg to differ, I promised “nudity,” and the word is indeed — rather shamelessly — scattered throughout the post. If that pisses off the literal in you, fortunately there happens to be an exposed breast, nipple and all, right on top of the page. Or did you miss Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s ink drawing?]
- If you don’t make promises, you can’t break them.
- That really means, a promise made is a promise kept.
- This post exists only to get you to read the upcoming ones.
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Dear crazy tree – keep growing; I’ll keep reading.
Yes ma’am. (As if I could help it…)
FIRST Comment!! (ask your little friend lizzi!)
Ha, no, she beat you!
More comments later, headache now. Saw a lot of myself on this post. No wonder I like you. (Yes, that’s a very self-aware narcissistic statement)
My dear, you and I could bat the same ball back and forth, which means it’s almost not narcissistic (because it’s mutual).
I’m a follower of your blog because of the “naked”, raw candor in your writing, Gunmetal. So few have the courage to really put something out there from their soul and say “this is me”. You do every time. Or at least that’s what I see, hear and read. Looking forward to your posts. And you can cross the letter ‘P’ off of your list = Promise 🙂
And you comment with such openness in return — that means the world to me, Mike. I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it. Thank you.
Whoa. I had to read that twice. And right on.
Well, thank you.
I think promises are very important in relationships.
Promising my dates that I’ll be the least perfect date they ever have guarantees to leave them smiling after each future one. If I should fail in that first promise then I promise to keep trying until I get it right.
This seems to work well. By the time my dates have this figured out we are usually both naked, and occasionally that even happens while we are together!
Yes, I would say, that’s a good kind of promise; you can’t really lose!
I suppose it’s ok in theory…truth is I haven’t dated in years, so I haven’t “won” either!
It’s a sort of winning — no fights, no disappointments…
No way – being out of the game is the biggest loss, but at least when I write I can’t to referee a bit, not to mention make some new rules along the way . . . more like “guidelines” as they say in the movies.
Oh BOOM 😀
When you call me ma’am, I don’t feel remotely 17 any more…
Yeah, but it should also make you feel some power, since I’m going to listen to you and keep writing…
Oh, I have no doubt of that, though I feel it’s far more likely attributable to the inevitability of the crazy tree, than any ‘power’ on my part, per se.
Fine, fine, I was just trying to justify the “ma’am!” You’ll be back to seventeen on Friday.
I had my hair cut. Apparently I look even younger now. Perhaps I shall be 16.
I do *like* your crazy tree, if that helps 🙂
Gunmetal Geisha Topiary! Can’t wait to see the results.
Me too, Paul, me too!
Gigi (because: http://youtu.be/1-7W-7qP-ks) I meant to say more last night, darling, but I was truly laid up with the worst of headaches.
A while back, I actually sat down with pen and paper and drew up a weekly schedule. Something like “Monday, Helena story, Tuesday, work on novel, Wednesday Friday Fictioneers, Thursday Swamp story and Friday Helena story and catch up on reading.” (And then I fit in some other stuff that would allow me to be my alter-alter ego as well.)
On paper, it all worked fabulously. For about three days.
I’d gone so far, however, to set up reminders on my calendar, so now, every day, I still get a ring on my phone reminding me that it’s time to work on my novel, or write a Helena story, and so on.
I have come to realize that I don’t work well in a schedule — and while it’s good to have discipline and sometimes force yourself to at least stretch your writing muscles on a regular basis so they don’t atrophy — it’s best to KNOW THYSELF.
I work best in spurts. In all things. Do you know that over the past three days I wrote over 12,000 words? Now, I may write nothing today (probably not, as I’m bombarded with work) — but that’s okay. Anything I wrote today would likely be written under a myriad of distraction and would likely lack any real focus.
I’ll be looking forward to your experiment, but promise not to beat you with a whiffle bat if you skip a day or two — and that’s a promise I can keep!
See on the Sunset Strip in my dreams, darling. (Or perhaps doing some shopping in all those great little back alley shops in Venice Beach – better bring our credit cards.)
Knowing thyself is key; you are right, of course. In theory, for me, writing far less words should make it easy to do so frequently. I’m banking the brevity on the fact that the posts would be “off-topic.” We shall see. The schedule thing — eesh. When you put it that way (“schedule”), it does make me wonder if the experiment might be a bust from the start!
Wonderful version of the song, thanks. And I do hope the headache was a fluke and not anything you experience regularly. I’d like to think of you in the shops on Abbot Kinney in person, rather than in dreams. Finally, the novel sounds delicious, just by the fact that you’re the one writing it.
Off-topic. That’s how I feel when I write about music or something — I can whip one of those puppies up without even thinking about it!
Sadly, the headaches are frequent friends. Sometimes I have more bad days than good — if I ever disappear for a while, that’s why.
I’m very sorry to hear that. Migraines?
Yes — plus what boils down to chronic sinusitis — caused by ??? certain foods, MSG, spicy foods, and more ???? Every time I think I get it isolated, I’ll get another headache and wonder all over again what it is that gave it to me. To add injury to insult, taking painkillers (ie. sinus meds) will work for a couple of days, but then I get what amounts to a chemical hangover that is (I kid you not) 10 times worse than the headache was.
So yeah… I’m amazing! I work through the pain! (Don’t feel very amazing, though.)
Ugh. So sorry to hear. I suppose you drink tons of water, eat lots of raw / unprocessed foods, exercise, and do your best to get decent sleep and all that? I’m a big believer in preemptive health measures.
That is the new regimen I’m beginning, much as I hate having to give up some of my favourite foods. But I figure there’s no MSG in an apple or an orange.
I just had a wonderful salad with some Balsamic vinegar dressing, and some sort of Moroccan vegetable soup that was delicious.
Excellent. And You’ve made me hungry.
Thai food. Curry. Ahi tuna sashimi. Fish tacos. (Just anything but Pink’s, darling — tell me you don’t eat at Pink’s)
No darling, I’ve been here for fifteen years and not once.
I got dragged there once, and never again.
I love the tree metaphor. I so get this. But I’m a little upset I didn’t see any nudity. You said nudity. Don’t tease me, woman. 😉
So true about not making promises you can’t keep! On my about page, I used to say I’d post three times a week. Yeah. I edited that shit out. Also, I’m perpetually behind on visiting blogs who commented on mine, or who are in my reader. I think I follow about 1,000,042 blogs, so that’s a problem, unless you’re unemployed and live in a tree, (I want to live in a tree. Just so you know. That’s my dream home) and have no kids, no husband, and no responsibilities. So I just stay behind, making my way to people when I can.
Looking forward to your upcoming posts, tree-girl.
Haha, I put “nudity” in quotes so as not to misdirect too much. But to be fair, there is both “nudity” and nudity in the post: There’s a perfectly exposed breast in the artist image at the very top. I’d say that fulfills my “promise” of nudity, no?
I’ll take it. 🙂
Of course I realize I am that unemployed, unmarried, childless tree person you speak of, and yet I still don’t have the time! I don’t know how you do it.
I haven’t come through with a lot of my promises either. It’s ok. I’ll get there. Life has a way of interrupting intentions. You’re still writing, and this one is amazing! Good luck with A-Z April. It’ll be quality, no doubt.
Thanks so much, Melanie. Have you ever done any of these one-a-day deals?
I did NaNoWriMo in November, so not a one-a-day challenge, but I still wrote everyday. I thought it was beneficial. It challenged me in a way I hadn’t challenged myself.
Good luck with all that GiGi (Helena’s fault) I know as soon as I schedule something I am completely stuffed, like I was with my last piece which took weeks to get out of me. I hope this has the desired freeing effect. I hear you on reciprocating, it’s hard to know where to draw the line. I’ve ended up being diligent with those who are diligent with me and I let myself off the the hook with everyone else…still feels like I’m missing out. If I’d followed Beth and all her blog sisters/wives example and done a 21 Irrational Loves post I’d have definitely listed you as one of my irrational loves.
I’m thrilled to be on that unwritten list!
*blushes behind beard*
Wait . . . I was promised nudity.
I’m totally with you on promising posts that don’t deliver. Not in quality you understand, but in actually being posted. I’ve promised my reader(s) plenty of times I would post more often, only to find myself with pen to paper knowing I’ll never copy it over.
I’m looking forward to having my inbox flooded in April with your musings.
Yes, you were promised “nudity” and you got it! In fact, there it is again in my first sentence to you. But if you want a more literal representation of nudity, check out the image at the top of the post. See the breast?
How do you feel about writing your drafts straight into the computer so you don’t have the added task of copying? Maybe by eliminating the handwritten step, you’d be more motivated to perfect and post the draft.
You’re a clever minx, inspiring and verbose but restrained when necessary.
I do write straight to the blog, but that can never compete with the romanticism of pen to paper, at least in my mind. Also, there is no way to perfect writing, only getting it to the point of “acceptable for publication – for now.” I’ve never not revised a post multiple times post-publication.
Agreed: no perfecting, ever, and yes, I also revise every single post endlessly even after publication. In fact, I added in an “[Edit:]” at the bottom of this one just for you (and Beth and Clark), not three minutes ago…
I’ll never be satisfied with anything I post. Glad to hear I’m not the only one.
I have nominated you for a Liebster Award. Come check it out! http://historyofawoman.com/2014/03/19/the-liebster-award/
I don’t mind if you never visit or comment on my blog. I read your blog and comment because I am mesmerized by your prose. May you never stop sharing it with us.
I very much enjoy your unique voice and hilarious take on everything, so I have no intention of staying away from your blog! I’m always “late,” rarely “never.”
This is so great I can’t wait to read more! Thank you
Thank you, where did you come from?! I read some of your impressive work just now and can’t believe I hadn’t seen it before.
I nominated you for the Liebster Award. http://cursitivity.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/wait-again/
You are so funny– but I totally relate to this crazy tree growing out of your head. I also relate to the promises and plans aspect of blogging… It’s easy to get caught up in a feeling of constantly failing to uphold some ideal you’ve set for yourself when it comes to posting schedules, visiting other blogs, or word counts (a constant fail for me). That being said, I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ve cooked up for us in the AtoZ challenge… and if you can keep them short 😉 I just know that I’m absolutely incapable of short posts! I try and I fail on a constant basis.
Ha! They’ll have to be short or nothing, just for the sake of my mental and physical health. The one long post a week swallows much of my life as it is. The A to Z is supposed to help with that, but then, I’ve been known to do things ass backwards… It’ll be an interesting experiment, that’s for sure. I do admire your resistance to it, though!
This is such perfection. It states every last feeling and thought I have. I stay in a perpetual state of being behind but eventually I guess the effort is what matters. Hopefully folks understand since they too must run the same endless loop. In my case, real life is to blame, although that is really not the right word to use. I just happen to think that, at this point in my life and in my kids’ lives, watching them do what they do is the priority. The writing comes second. Thankfully, when it gets done and I engage, I think I do okay. Great post, GG! Happy to have found you!
The only thing that sex sells is more sex.
[…] So after going through all that pain to have a baby, you would think my poor Mom deserved a sweet, cuddly baby to hold. But no, I would have none of that. Fast forward to my infancy/childhood and imagine her dismay when it turns out I am not a touchy-feely, cuddle baby. I did not like to be cuddled, held, rocked, hugged or restrained. Just feed me and let me nap, thanks. My first growls were “Put me down”, “Me do it “and “Don’t touch me”. If you tried to pick me up I would immediately go into a strychnine arch. I found it particularly effective to stiffen my back and dig my feet into my Mom’s soft parts for a quick release. Juxtapose that with the limp noodle routine and I could usually be left alone for a while. And then there was the time I knocked out my Mom’s front tooth with a head butt (in my defense there was no malicious intent). The list of my obnoxious behavior goes on but you get the picture. I was a force to be reckoned with. In hindsight it was probably a good thing she had to suffer so badly to give birth otherwise she would have killed me. Shit, I would have killed me. I still need a HUGE personal space and am possibly the only person that gets MORE tense from a massage, at least from a stranger. I don’t like getting my hair cut or nails done either. When someone reaches out to touch me I have to fight my natural instinct to recoil. I know, weird right? So now I am sure you are all thinking, what about sex? OK, who doesn’t? Sex is different for me as in I compartmentalize sex as a different kind of touch. Someone has to be pretty special before I let them into my personal space so sex has served as an internal barometer for a higher level of love and trust in my life. Does my lack of physical affection make me an asshole? Some people might read it that way but no, I am an asshole for different reasons to be discussed at a another time. Again, I digress, but I snuck sex in there at the end to hold your attention (I’m a quick study Gunmetal Geisha, see “Sex Sells and Most of the Time It’s Irrelevant“). […]