Friday, May 05, 2006

Personal rant, great news, more good news, kitty pictures and a Friday Funny

The fascination with superheroes is a curious one, one I never really understood. Until I realized we create heroes to fill the void in ourselves.

The majority of people have a need to put others up on pedestals. I’m not saying that some people aren’t worthy of that – we all know how I feel about Rankin – but sometimes, we’re reaching for people to admire. And then there’s overwhelming disappointment when our idol lets us down and we’re disappointed.

Of course, disappointment isn’t just with idols. It’s with friends, with associates, with colleagues as well. It comes in all shapes and sizes.

I already think I’ll be dubbing 2006 the year of the void.

I know Friday’s usually my day for humour, but I’m afraid that just isn’t where I’m at today. Even my post about market demands for romantic fiction and the, uh, rise of sex for the over 40’s has somehow evaded the blog this week. All I can say is here’s hoping next week’s a bit more normal at Sandrablabber.

It seems like much of what defined my place in the world six months ago is no longer true. And it doesn’t matter how much you think you want something and go after it – seldom do we think through all of the realities of achieving our goal.

If I could go back in time I’d still take the book deal – it’s a no-brainer. I’d still make a lot of the same decisions that I made. In fact, people often ask questions like, “If you could go back in time and talk to the 16-year-old Sandra, what would you tell her?”

My answer? Nothing.

All the things in my life that I do regret, and there are many, I realize have been woven into the tapestry, they’ve made me who I am today. Do I wish I’d been different sometimes? Most definitely. I wish I didn’t care what people thought of me. I wish just once I’d had the guts to punch back when I got beaten up and to this day it burns in me to the point where I get angry with anyone who tries to push me or my friends around – especially my friends. Do not ever fuck with my friends in front of me, or you’ll see my temper. I wish I’d really understood that so many of the people I encountered in the first thirty years of my life didn’t give a shit about me and were users, and that I should stay away from them.

Sure, I would have been spared some grief if I’d never dated certain boys, never even tried being friends with certain people. But you know what? If I went back and changed all of that, I don’t know where I’d be right now. If I hadn’t dated some real losers, would I appreciate Kevin as much as I do? Probably wouldn’t know how good I have it. In some ways, being kicked over and over again made me more determined to succeed. Twenty years ago when someone told me I wouldn’t amount to anything I believed them. Today, I get an inch taller and get to work.

At least, most days.

The past few weeks have been hell. Frankly, the past few months have been stressful, trying to find my feet, navigating the netherworld between aspiring author and soon-to-be-published, having people treat me differently.

Essentially, all my ‘associates’ have pushed me away. It didn’t matter if they all knew I was working on getting a book deal – once I had it, I was treated like I’d betrayed them somehow. It was this constant needling, some pretty hurtful things that happened, always finding out when things were said behind my back. And that’s been true of “net” friends as well as local associates. February I left my writer’s group after a board member disclosed personal, confidential information about me and then things got ugly. Suffice it to say getting a book deal was like having a target painted on your forehead. In March my mother – whom I hadn’t seen in 8.5 years – showed up, which was quite a shock. And in April… Well, let’s just say that I’m still waiting for the upswing. I’ve been really stressed and really short-tempered lately, and it’s not been good. I can’t wait for it to dry up enough (yes, a bit of snow again this week) for me to go outside and weedwack the hell out of the yard and trim the hedges.

I guess it’s just as well life is quiet. I’m better off talking to nobody when I’m like this because I’m defensive and hostile. Yesterday I got more email from the old writer’s group and I’m liable to take it out on some poor innocent, because I’m just so frustrated.

Some people really suck.

My good friend Alison used to say she thought it must be a prerequisite for writers to lead tortured lives.

I hope I’m earning myself a bestseller, Alison.

So, what am I going to tell myself today that I hope will make a difference?

Don’t give a shit what people think about you, Sandra. Anyone who rushes to judgment without finding out all the facts isn’t a friend. Fuck them.

I’ll repeat that each time I get teary-eyed for the next week and see if it helps.

Echoes of my whole life. When will I learn? If I could pick a superhero identity, I’d be Miss Invincible rather than Miss Hyper-sensitive.

Fuck them, fuck them, fuck them, fuck them, fuck them…

On the great news front
The incomparable Cornelia Read’s debut novel has been named in the
Booklist Online
Top 10 of 2006 list. Congratulations Cornelia! It could not happen to a better person, and I am so thrilled for your success. You ROCK!

Music to my ears!
My book, Echoes and Dust (or Terms of Redemption – title undecided) was inspired by two songs, and I wanted to include some lyrics from one song in the book. I received handwritten permission from Corb Lund himself to include a portion of the lyrics to Five Dollar Bill. Thank you Corb - I’m so excited that I can keep that in the book. You can read the lyrics here - it’s the two verses after the second time the word CHORUS appears, starting, “They wouldn’t stop talking about Canadian rye…”

I thot I saw a putty tat
Kitty photos Handful.
Rebus wrestles Stuart
Another handful
Hope I can fix the digital camera I dropped…

And, because things have been so crappy…
(Courtesy of a friend, who said I didn’t have to name her. So I won’t.)

The Shit List

Sometimes when shit happens, you want to be able to articulate the experience more than just you've, taken a shit. Here are some shit definitions to help you explain the situation better to your friends and family...

Ghost Shit
You know you've shit. There's shit on the toilet paper, but no shit in the bowl.

Teflon Coated Shit
Comes out so slick, clean and easy that you don't feel it. No traces of shit on the toilet paper, you have to look in the bowl to be sure you did it!

Gooey Shit
This has the consistency of hot tar. You wipe your arse 12 times and it still doesn't come clean. You end up putting toilet paper in your underwear so you don't stain it. This shit leaves permanent skid marks in the toilet.

Second Thought Shit
You're all done wiping your arse and you're about to stand up when you realize've got some more.

Pop a Vein in Your Forehead Shit
This kind is the kind of shit that killed Elvis. It doesn't come until you're all sweaty, trembling and purple from straining so hard.

Right Now Shit
You better be within 10 seconds of a toilet. Usually it has its head out before you get your pants down.

King Kong or Commode Choker Shit
This shit is so big that you know it won't go down the toilet unless you break it into smaller chunks. A coat hanger works well. This kind of shit usually happens at someone else's house.

Wet Cheeks Shit
This shit hits the water sideways and makes a BIG splash that gets your arse wet.

Wish Shit
You sit there all cramped up and fart a few times, but no shit!

Snake Shit
This shit is fairly soft and about as big around as your thumb and at least three feet long.

Cork Shit (Also Known as Floater Shit)
Even after the third flush, it's still floating in there. My god! How do I get rid of it? This shit usually happens at someone else's house.

Mexican Food Shit (also called Screamers)
You'll know it's alright to eat again when your arsehole stops burning.

Beer Drunk Shit
This happens the day after the night before. Normally your shit doesn't smell too bad, but this shit is BAD. Usually there's somebody standing outside to use the toilet. This kind of shit also usually happens at someone else's house.

The Frightened Turtle
The kind of shit that just pokes its head out then quickly goes back in

The Bungee Shit
The kind of shit that just hangs off your arse before it falls into the water.

The Ring of Fire Shit
The kind of shit where you eat really spicy food and your arsehole feels like the inside of a cigarette lighter.

The Crippler
The kind of shit where you have to sit on the toilet so long your legs go numb from the waist down.

The Big Bobber
The kind of shit that no matter how many times you flush it always floats back to the surface.

The Shitty Shitty Bang Bang
The kind of shit that hits you when you're trapped in your car in a traffic jam.

The Incredible Hulk Shit
The king of shit that sits in the toilet overnight and mysteriously expands to twice it's normal size.

The Jack the Ripper Shit
The kind of shit that yanks out the hair of your arse as it pushes its way out.

The Party Pooper
The giant shit you take at a party. And when you flush the toilet, you watch in horror as the water starts to rise.

Dirty Bowl Shit
The kind of shit that comes out in a million pieces a second, reminiscent of an avalanche - but with rocket propulsion, and splatters all over the toilet bowl.

The Windy City Shit
When you sit down, and fart for so long and hard that you no longer need to take a shit.

Oh Shit! Shit
You shit so much and wipe your arse so furiously you run out of toilet paper and you say OH SHIT!

The Never Ending Shit
It's the shit that keeps running out of your arse like pee, and just when you start wiping your arse your stomach gargles and splash, more shit runs out. This always happens after eating at Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Ouch That Hurt Shit
The type of shit that leaves you feeling like you just hopped onto a bicycle without a seat. Sensation usually lasts hours.


JamesO said...

That's a whole heap of shit, to which I might add:

Nutty slack - use your imagination.

I used to have a T-Shirt with 'Never, ever bloody anything ever!' written on it (a quote from The Young Ones if memory serves). That's a great mantra to live one's life by. But 'fuck them, fuck them all!' works too.

At least you have kittens. Nobody can be all sad when they have kittens

Stuart MacBride said...

And Stuart is by far the cutest! Mmm, Kittens...

Amra Pajalic said...

I can relate to the whole writing group in-bred bullshit thing. There's something about getting a bunch of people together and the fucking politics explode. I found that the competitive environment was affecting my writing detrimentally and dropped it. Since then I've been writing on my own with only one support person who's a friend and writer and who I'd trust with my life.

At the end of the day protect yourself, fuck them off, and smile. You've got a book deal, they don't so just do the "Na, na, na, na," dance around your living room. Don't react because the biggest insult you can give is to ignore them and through that demonstrate that they're not worth your time.

On another topic, Bonnie is a fucking genius. That is the funniest list I've ever read and I'll be sending it around to all my mates. Hysterical.

Steve Allan said...

Buck up little camper. Things will get better.

Boy Kim said...

I can understand your anger. If anyone was to fuck with any of my friends I would expect them to have the decency to do it somewhere a little more private.

I mean, I'm not a prood or nuffink, but I really don't need to be seeing that.

Sandra Ruttan said...

James, I like that t-shirt slogan. Maybe I should make me a t-shirt!'re so vain!

Amra - I've been reading all your posts this morning. Wow! I'll just reply here to say that you're right, Spinetingler did start from passion and had nothing to do with self-promotion. Same with the blog. Of course they help now, but I don't just do stuff to promote myself. I do what I love to do. End of discussion.

Sorry to hear you went through problems with your writer's group - sounds like we've ended up with the same philosophy in the end. And yeah, Bonnie's awesome. She sends me all the jokes too rude for her blog so I can use them!

Thanks Steve. Now a Howard Jones song is running through my head!

And yeah Kim, I don't need to see any of my friends fucked. You just take that to a private room and close the door.

JT Ellison said...

Oh shit. Oh man. I am laughing too hard to type.
Okay, I have things semi back together. That is the funniest list ever. Nothing like a good scatalogical joke first thing in the morning.
I had a horrible first writer's group experience. Our leader felt he was able to read aurus, and was the most horrifically critical person I've ever met. Nothing anyone did measured up to his psychic standards. His comments were downright cruel.I never submitted anything for fear of being torn to shreds, and left after a month. He was a bloody tyrant.
Then my current group invited me. Talk about night and day. There are other writers out there who will support you, who want you to succeed, who want NY to darken your doorstep. As for the rest? Screw them!
Hope your day goes well!

Cornelia Read said...

Sandra, YOU rock! And remember, I've *always* got your back.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Thanks for reminding me C - I was wondering where it had gotten to. Been awfully hard to get my head, arms and legs coordinated without it.

Thanks JT - I'm glad there are some places out there really good. And until then, I'm whistling "screw them, screw them all!"

M. G. Tarquini said...

Oh the 'don't fuck with my friends, or I'll rip off your face thing'
heh heh heh.

And I'm kinda interested in what kind of hits you get for using the f-bomb and shit so much in the same post. Also toilet.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Why do you think I posted this?

Next week it'll be all sex, porn, dildos and smut. Then I'll really see some traffic!

And if that fails, I've been hit before for 'horsefucking'.

anne frasier said...

writing groups can be toxic.

do you need to hire a hit man?

or woman?

Sandra Ruttan said...

What's your fee again, Anne? You're giving me some ideas!

Erik Ivan James said...

You could always send them a copy of the Shit List. The funniest I've ever seen.

Brett Battles said...

All my co-workers are looking at me and wondering why I'm laughing so hard to myself. Damn potential harassment violations!!!

That Shit List is the best.

Spinetingler Magazine: Online Reviews said...

Think they might laugh to death, Erik?

LOL Brett! Yeah, Bonnie sent me the best list ever. I'm sure she'll be thrilled to see how much everyone appreciated it.

anne frasier said...

Sandra, it's still a case of Molsen and 10 Mr. Bigs.

angie said...

Ya know, the next time someone's nasty, just imagine which item on The Shit List best describes them...

Never quite figured out where the need to be mean comes from. Great stuff in fiction, less fun in real life. Nice to know at the end of the day the shitheads still have to be themselves & you get to be you.

And damn, Anne, I'm hoping that's your "friend" price!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Yes Angie, it's a bit of a worry, isn't it?!

But Anne, I'll be in touch about negotiations!

Andrea at Lochthyme said...

Sandra, they are idiots. You have a book deal and they don't so they are jealous...I just can't believe some people but I guess in the end it shows you who your real friends are. Real friends lift you up not try to stomp you into the mud. So just tell them all to take a long walk on a short pier. :) Or else tell them to take a look at the shit list and figure out which one they are. :0

Bonnie Calhoun said... are too cute girlfriend! If anybody messes with you , you let me know...I have ways...and that is a list in itself!

Dana Y. T. Lin said...

I'm. Speechless. I come back from vacation and this is what I get? Shit!

Mary said...

Sandra, these people either feel threatened by your achievement, or are jealous of you because you have achieved something which they can only dream of. Don't let your insecurity drag you down - they're tossers and don't deserve a milli-second of your time in worrying about them and what they think of you.
You've worked hard for what you've got so far, and I'm sure that there are lots more good things coming your way - you deserve it.
Go girl!!

Erik Ivan James said...

Well, maybe. At least it would be a humorous way to say to them, "Eat my shit!"

Daniel Hatadi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Daniel Hatadi said...

One of the most effective insults I've used on anyone is the truth, in the shape of the words, "I don't have any time for you."

It works really well on people that simply want an audience for their putdowns. The kind of people that feel better only because others are below them.

If someone is unhappy about your success then you don't want them around.

Keep at it, girl. You're on your way.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Andrea, Mary, thanks. I keep telling myself that...

Bonnie, you're just one surprise after another!

Dana, LOL! Yeah, you came back just in time for me to crap all over you.

LOL Erik!

Daniel, thanks for that - I'm going to try it. I'd tape it to the mirror to remind myself every morning but Kevin might take it wrong.