Explaining the Strange Behavior

Tampons, Trials, Babies, Gay Marriage, Books–Oh yeah. It’s a Grab Bag!

I have many thoughts and not much spare brain resource, which means I start writing blog entries, then do the internet equivalent of crumpling them up and tossing them in the trash can. There is not so satisfying a bump sound, though, and I don’t get the joy of actually seeing the wad of paper arc into the can. I’m a writer. I find great comfort in seeing crumpled balls of paper overflowing from a trash can. That means the process is working.

Granted, I quit writing on paper over a decade ago.

So here are some random thoughts about things that I have taken very seriously. I ask you to forgive the poor structure, as I am writing with raw nerves and am utterly lacking in any poetry:

1. Tampons being verboten in the Texas Capitol
I have heard the reasoning behind why potential and potentially meaningful projectiles were confiscated from citizens trying to attend a vote on an extreme abortion measure in Austin. Those reasons may (or may not be, depending on how upset you are at the idea of a Senator being smacked in the head by a wrapped tampax) be valid, but the execution was flawed with a capital FLAW.

I’m not even going to get into the controlled handgun license issue, which has a lot of people upset. I have been focused on the fact that had I appeared at the Capitol doors while menstruating, I wouldn’t have been able to go in after they took away my feminine products because I need that stuff. If you take away my panty liners, we’re going to have a problem with your chairs. So, as a woman, I would have been barred from participation.

I cannot express to you how I despaired over this. I have tried, and tried to put it into words, but I can’t seem to knit anything around this bubble of despair. It is just naked, raw hurt and disappointment that officials would bar me from participating in government because of my gender. –and maybe you won’t get this if you’ve never had a bad period, but you have to trust me that if you take away a woman’s sanitary napkins, you are being demeaning, ugly, and unjust– You just can’t do that. It’s wrong.

I told my [horrified] husband that if I could spontaneously menstruate, I’d have driven to Austin specifically to bleed on something. I am not ashamed of my uterus, and no “official” is going to bar me from participation by trying to humiliate me into submission. I’ll ruin every pair of light colored pants I own before that happens.

2. George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin
This is one I feel like should have been cut and dried. If you kill someone who has entered your personal space and threatened you, I can see there being just cause. If you kill someone you have pursued, and whose personal space you have entered, I don’t see the just cause.

You break into my house and I shoot you, that’s fine. You look like you might fit the description of someone who broke into Susie’s house, and I chase you down, yell at you, engage in physical confrontation with you and shoot you…well? Come on. I started it. If I start it, do I get to kill you when I don’t like how it’s ending up?

It’s how I feel about people who climb into the tiger enclosure at the zoo. If you throw yourself at the tiger–who is at least KNOWN to be dangerous–and are then surprised when the tiger defends its territory and starts to eat the hell of you, killing the tiger isn’t the solution to the problem.

There’s no happy ending to this, though. Whether or not Zimmerman ever spent a day in jail, a child is dead. A Skittle eating, best friend having, hoodie wearing, loved child is dead. Eye for an eye doesn’t change that. No court in the world could change that.

I am disappointed that charges were not filed differently, to impress upon Zimmerman the cost of his own stupidity, but that’s done. There’s always civil court. That’s where OJ bit it.

3. Royal Baby
I really need for this Royal Baby to be born because it will make me all kinds of ridiculously happy. I have been in love with the Royal Family since Shy Di first came to my notice on her engagement to Prince Charles. I was 11, and she was a beautiful princess–it was also quite a shock to find out that not all princes were handsome. Rude awakening, frankly.

I need that baby to hurry up and get here.

4. Gay Old England
Some happy breaking news out of the UK, not involving heirs to the throne: The Queen signed off on the Gay Marriage law, and it will become legal in just a small matter of time. Equality! Justice for all! Huzzah!

Just think of the economic boost. Just think of how much busier the wedding industry is about to be. Love who you want, kids. Be happy, and be equal.

5. Rolling Stone cover
I am DONE with Rolling Stone.

6. Artistic Emotional Roller Coaster
I’ve been writing, writing, writing, editing, writing, editing, working on queries and making submissions. Writing is easy for me. Editing isn’t hard. Writing queries is painful (thank you, Arwen, for easing the pain), writing the synopsis for submissions is excrutiating.

You’ve spent however long birthing this brain baby, and you go through all these various emotions during the process: Pride, excitment, worry, upset, fear of failure, fear of success, hope, despair. You worry your work isn’t good enough. You worry that this thing you love isn’t what you’ve cracked it up to be.

Then, once you’ve gotten it into the shape you prefer (and given it to people whose opinions you respect and asked them to dent it up, and then reshaped it according to their sagacious suggestions) you have to boil it all down to 3 paragraphs that 1) Tell what the story is about, 2) Tell why the story is different and marketable, 3) Tell why YOU are different and marketable.

That’s bad enough, but then you have to write between 1 and 3 pages summing up the entire manuscript. You have to tell the whole story in a way that is interesting, entertaining, and engaging, giving away the whole plot, without being so explicit that the reader of the synopsis doesn’t feel the need to read the manuscript. I think most writers would tell you that if they felt it possible to write the whole story in 3 pages, they would never have sweated blood over the 213 pages the story turned out to be.

THEN, when you’ve written your query and your submission, you start casting it upon the waters. Messages in a bottle: Please love me! Please want me! Please validate me! Please tell me that I wasn’t wasting my time!

I grew up auditioning, so I know that a rejection isn’t personal. A rejection only means, “This doesn’t fit.” Like a cute dress. If it doesn’t fit, you don’t buy it. You may love it. You may agonize over wanting it. You may nearly talk yourself into letting it hang in the back of your closet until you lose 10lbs, but if it doesn’t fit, it won’t work. I’m sending my cute dress out to publishers and agents, and if it doesn’t fit, they are going to have to tell me no.

But it’s going to fit someone. Even if that someone is me, and I end up self publishing.

Still, I have exhausted my adrenal glands with all the Up Down of the process.

Aren’t you lucky I blog? Ha!

2 thoughts on “Tampons, Trials, Babies, Gay Marriage, Books–Oh yeah. It’s a Grab Bag!”

  1. Thank you, Lane. I don’t have words for how I feel about the Texas Capitol issues. I’m glad someone has words to say what I am feeling.

    1. I’m glad you thought those were words, Katie =) I am still crushed over it.
      You know, I’m an educated, middle class, white woman, so I swan around in a bubble of privilege without ever thinking about it. It was a nasty shock to be pied in the face by my “real” standing in society.

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