In my most recent writing course, the professor asked us to contemplate how we reach readers. Hmm… Well, beyond classwork and Facebook posts, I barely do. You see I’m merely a part-time author who battles time, persistence, and focus. I know a solution is to follow a writing routine. Well, I got a better chance of seeing Jesus in a floral robe strolling the beach for shells and leaving footprints in the sand than I do sitting down daily to write creatively.
It stresses me out that I find time for many self-serving habits besides writing. Eating, praying, and loving: check, check, check. I also enjoy journaling, working out, scrubbing toilets, and reading. Sometimes, I pretend I’m studying while researching online deals-of-the-day. That leads to a lot of clicking and eventual ogling over shoe websites like soft, leathery porn. This exhausts me to the point of napping, buying another ebook about better writing habits, and/or pairing some red wine with Goldfish Crackers.
Creative writing is not my habit. Thinking about writing is. I’ve lost my groove to make the pen move.
You know what else I lost? My muse. When the Covid-19 quarantine began in mid-March 2020, my muse socially distanced herself from me. She was wearing a cute floral dress with red boots when we last hung out. Her thick blonde tresses are now probably longer and grayer unless she found an underground beautician. Anyhow, I doubt she’ll come back to me when we shift to the least restrictive Green Phase in Pennsylvania. My muse probably dumped me for some unmasked, writing warrior. Someone worthier with style, a voice, and confidence. Someone who is lyrical, wise, and authentic. Someone who can balance humor and poignancy. Someone who is oh-so-perfect and, well, ahem, you know, writes.
Muses are old fashion and like writers who write. It’s so stinkin’ hard to keep a good subconscious happy these days.
What can I say? I write on clouds with invisible ink, double spaced of course. I don’t mean to. Honestly, I prefer loose leaf paper scrawled with a green Bic or a screen typed in Times New Roman size 12. The words don’t just show up there though. I can’t snap my fingers to fill the page. I’m too busy misusing them by popping my thought bubbles.
It goes like this: A memory or story bubble appears, and then another one just as worthy arises. Then comes another, and on and on, until a bunch of floating iridescent balls fascinate me to the point of confusion, clutter, and chaos. I give up, bursting my own bubbles that end up threatening me with both possibility and emptiness. I clear the air, poking plots with my index finger. Pop. Pop. Pop.
Are there sponsors and programs for bubble popping people like me? Authors Anonymous?
I tell myself anonymity isn’t bad. I like being unpopular. Surely, I can become an extrovert who thrives when muted. I keep telling myself these things. Then I come back to this keyboard wondering who I am as a writer. Dear reader, do you know? I wonder if you even know my pen name? It’s D.S. Lucas. Do you know my real name? No, it’s not Sunshine. It’s Donna. Donna Lucas. Better known to myself as Dammit Donna. And, although, I address Dammit Donna daily, she is not my muse.
My muse is Ladonna: fancier, more refined and classy. I know. So many personalities to keep up with. Simmer down, Sybil. Stay focused.
As for blogging as Part-Time Sunshine using my part-time nickname, I started this gig to write more. Although it’s a joyful relief to share, lately, I am uncommitted. I am cheating on myself by having these one-night stands with my own brainstormed ideas. By sunrise, I end up walking away with nary a goodbye. I screw around way too much. Dammit Donna! Word Slut!
Excuse my filthy behavior and language. I need to go back to fake swearing, like replacing numbers for curses. Perhaps, clean up my sixty mouth a little to reach some readers.
Readers… Let’s consider publishing. It’s frightening and daunting. I don’t promote myself via marketing and all that stuff. Blah! Besides two publications and a part-time blog from a part-time sunshine what’s there to say?
Dammit Donna! You do have things to say. Just do it. Quit talking about writing and just mother fiving write.
Ugh! I really don’t want to hit the red WordPress publish button right now, but I am making myself.
No sooner I mentally committed to sharing this post, I caught a backyard view of a blonde in a floral dress. Could it be her? Her shoes are red! Yes! I opened the window and sang to her, “La La La La Ladonna.”
She stomped up my driveway and the green Bic pen securing her bun fell out. She had a bad case of the frizzies. She yelled, “Stop judging my hair.” She certainly needed a good haircut and root touch up. She always knows my thought bubbles.
“You look great,” I lied. She looked a pandemic mess. Beyond her head, her dress was dirty and boots scuffed up. I wondered where she had been the past couple months.
“Dammit Donna. We have work to do.”
I didn’t realize how much I missed her. I handed her a brush and she gave me the green pen. We got busy.