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Nude Butt. Eh, you could do worse.

So I handed in my story today. Or rather, the massive revision of the baby story that originally appeared on this page awhile back. Someone once said that short stories are never really finished, just abandoned and I will tell you that that story was definitely wrapped in plastic and thrown into a back alley dumpster. And then it started bugging me again, because sometimes there are lines that you just love, lines that you can’t even believe that you wrote yourself and you just can’t keep from mentally masturbating over what a fucking genius you are to have written that line and why has the Catholic church not contacted you to buy the rights and have those glorious sentences painted over the Sistine Chapel, in bright magenta paint? Why? Hmm?

So, yeah, anyway, it bugged me and I rewrote it and then rewrote it again, then completely took the entire thing apart, highlighted big sections of text that made me roll my eyes and then right clicked and hit CUT with absolute disdain for my melodramatic sense of plotting, then pieced it back together like a patchwork quilt. Or a Picasso painting. And then I played with point of view and wham bam, something not too bad. And still, those glorious sentences that the entire piece is hanging on, like some gigantic word mobile crafted on a bent wire hanger. Lo how I stroked my pencil like a teenage boy who just accidentally touched the head cheerleader’s breast.

And then my teacher got sick, so I had another week to play with it. And actually, I didn’t plotz all that much. I made the slightest of tweaks, juggled some words around, changed one important word in the final sentence, which removed another piece of evidence wherein I grab the reader by the scruff of the neck and smush their nose in the steaming pile of plot device. So aside from the one word change and adding a few more paragraph breaks, I was pretty satisfied with the finished product. Certainly this was a good sign. Certainly this must mean that the story was meant to be salvaged from the deep dark recesses of the My Documents folder. Certainly that must mean that the story doesn’t suck. Yes. I was feeling good. I liked my story. In fact, I was proud of it.

Until I handed it in. Now that it is out of my hands, it is complete shit. It is so shit that I can’t even believe I wasted paper on it. The voice is too distant, the language is stilted, and instead of coming across as surreal, the narrative is flighty and wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. I suck. I am the suckiest writer that ever sucked.

I go through this every time with everything I write. I’m never certain that what I write is going to be decent. I second-guess myself all the time. The stuff I’m sure of? No one likes it. Even on this diary, I can’t even begin to tell you how many things almost never got posted. The Uterus entry? My finger hovered over the Post button for an eternity as I decided whether it was the most hackneyed thing ever or that maybe someone would find it funny. Same thing with History. Almost never saw the light of day because I thought I was the only one who would get it. Or that it was too sentimental. Too Hallmark channel. Too something.

I looked around the room tonight in class and realized for the first time that there are more men in my class than women. This is somewhat unusual. Every English class I’ve ever taken has usually contained more females than males. Then I did a mental count of the last class and realized that there had been more men in that one too. Actually, four of the six females in this class had been in the previous one, so in all, there are even fewer females accounted for in that sampling. In fact, the entire program has more men than women in it, and very few female professors too. And then, while discussing markets in class, my professor read a list of writers published by a very prestigious lit journal and they were all men.

Huh.

I think that’s the problem I’m having with this story right now. It’s a very feminine voice, about feminine things. There’s an old adage about children’s lit in that you should always write a male protagonist because girls will read a story about a boy, but boys won’t read a story about a girl. When I try to think of ‘much loved classics’ with female protagonists, I come up with the cast of Little Women (which is arguably only loved by girls) and Fern in Charlotte’s Web. Except that really, Fern doesn’t play into the story at all and our protagonist is Wilbur. There just aren’t many boys reading Little House in the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables. I wonder if boys ever read Ramona The Brave or if they just stuck to Super Fudge.

So now I’ve decided that the workshop is going to hate the story because it’s a girly one. And the sex scenes are both feminine, in either a submissive way or a romantic ‘lovemaking’ (a term that makes my teeth crawl, by the way, as though it’s an aisle at a craft store or maybe you’re dressed in historical costumes and dipping heart-shaped candles into buckets of love juice’ gah, grossed myself out) sort of way. And now I hate it all the more because I totally should have cut the whole weird schmoopy scene, but I needed to show the psychological division for the protagonist and, oh shut UP already Weetabix. Start talking about boobs already.

Oh, speaking of sort of not that, yours truly will once again not be accepted to Milwaukee’s writing program, as her application was never even considered due to ‘expired’ GRE scores. Per Dr. Frank.

We here at Dumber Than a Box of Rocks invite you to invent creative curses for Dr. Frank. We are fond of curses involving boils on indelicate areas, but please do feel free to express yourself. Extra points will be added for entries in haiku form.


Tonight at class, I had a BLAT, which is a Bacon Lettuce Avocado and Tomato sandwich. Actually, I had half a BLAT and also a cup of alphabet soup, because hey, if I couldn’t write compelling words, maybe I could ingest them. But I ordered the BLAT just so I could say ‘Cup of soup and half a BLAT’ It’s a great sound, that word. BLAT. A trumpet muted with a wad of wet cotton. A nineteenth century device used to paint pitch on roofs. The sound of a sheep getting hit by a speeding truck. I’m BLAT and I’m proud.

The BLAT tore up the roof of my mouth. Also, they put mayonnaise on it, which I always forget exists in the world. I’m not so pro-BLAT anymore.

In other news, after I got home last night, I cleaned out my car because it was the first time that I’ve had time to do it and I was pretty wired from the drive home. It was 10:30 at night and it was four degrees outside, with a wind that the local meteorologist described as ‘biting’. I am including this here to remind myself that while it would seem like an opportune moment to complete such a task, it surprisingly was not.

Also, note to Weetaconventioneers: my favorite sign is back. You see, there is on a really seedy strip joint on Main Street, a peak into what I believe must be the psyche of a certain segment of the population and it is this:


Nude Butt
Nice

Factual. Short. To the point. And also an editorial comment. Nude Butt. Nice. This has been lettered on this particular strip club off and on throughout my life. Nude Butt. Nice. Sometimes it goes away for years at a time, only to return, like a forgotten friend. You know what you’re going to find inside. Nude butts. Nice ones. Nude but nice. New button ice. Newt but Mice. I sing it in my head whenever it returns, usually to Wagner, but sometimes to Madonna. The nude butt does not need a prop because it is nice. Not ‘very’ nice. Just nice. It’s a cup of warm tea kind of butt. It’s the kind of nude butt that you’d take home to Mom.

I’m off to do Con things now. Have a lovely weekend. Secret message to the Green Bay bound (Set decoder rings to A4): Dwirr@

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