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Casual Friday, the Straight Flush, Manly Knitting, Awesomeday, and My Brain-Womb

Let me get casual with you for a minute, will ya?

It’s been a hell of a week, though not all bad. It’s just that this one’s a classic tragedy, with all the comedy at the start and the downer at the end.

A week ago today I won at poker. That was a woo hoo moment. My last hand was a straight flush, and if you know poker, you know that is rare and awesome.

Sunday I finished knitting a scarf. I have now completed a matching toque-scarf combo, and I’m pretty darn happy about it. They’re both made out of some very sturdy, very warm wool that keeps my head and neck warm and cozy. (A side note now on the stigma of knitting: Even though we live in a day and age in which notions of masculinity and femininity are blurred on several fronts, knitting – it would seem – is still considered a novel activity for a guy. Several friends have expressed surprise that I knitted a toque and scarf, some men have developed a glazed-over look when I’ve told them, and some women have admitted t.hat my attractiveness experienced a slight increase when they discovered this nuggest of peculiar behaviour. What does it all mean? I don’t know. I just knit, ma’am.)

Let’s skip over two days, shall we? Great.

On to Wedneday, which I will now call Awesomeday because of the awesome mood I was in that day, and because of my activities. I got shit done. Yessir. I wrote up a storm in the morning – 2500 words or so. That felt great. Then I went to an audition at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. It is now the only audition I have ever gone into feeling relaxed and in a good mood. Hopefully it showed. It was for a potential ensemble group that will put on shows in 2016/17, which is pretty far in the future (I mean, there might be sci-fi tales about it), and it would be nice to get a little gift and know I’ve got work down the road. :) Speaking of down the road, as I walked from my audition, I passed an independent book store called Perfect Books and asked them if they’d be interested in carrying my book. They said they were and told me to e-mail them with information. Yay! Finally, I went to a great cafe in Ottawa called The Ministry of Coffee, which simultaneously has a menacing and playful ring to it. I couldn’t help but think the place belonged in a Harry Potter book. I indulged in my favourite beverage and got more words written. Successful day! Awesomeday!

Then came Thursday. Pardon my language, but SCREW Thursday. Thursday brought me a crisis in confidence, doubts about where this second book is going, and then I got my first (sort of) bad review on Goodreads. And sensitive flower that I am, I tanked. I gave up and watched hockey, only to have my team lose in a shootout. Balls. And I went to bed with that “screw it” feeling- and not the good one.

Now it’s Friday, and I’ve put Book Two on hold for a bit because I cannot imagine writing anything good while in this state of mind. Need to take a little breather and get mojo back, because, here’s the thing:

The critique wasn’t that bad. The guy didn’t like the Prologue, and he said the story lacked a climax. I’ll admit, at first, I was like, “What? **** that guy!” because my first reaction is to protect myself and be defensive (of course- don’t we all do that?). Then I thought about it for a little while. In the beginning, when this story was gestating in my brain-womb, I came to the decision that it was only really going to work if it was picaresque- that is, a series of entertaining incidents as opposed to a slow build to a climax. So, there goes that nugget of self-doubt. My story has a bunch of mini-O’s, if you will, or as the French say, la petite mort. And I’m cool with that. The ADD brain accepts and endorses it.

But I’m still sad the dude didn’t like the Prologue. I must’ve edited that thing twenty times…

Ah well, can’t win ‘em all, eh?

I shouldn’t say that… it’s poker night again. But I’m due for a comedic uplift.