Monday, January 13, 2014

Some Words for 2014

I’ve many times been asked, “Why did you move to New Orleans?”
I answer, “I moved here to write.”
I’m asked, “What do you write?”

And that is where I falter. I know what I used to write. Blogs, poetry, sometimes short stories.
But then I stopped.

I’ve oft penned posts and blogs in the New Year resolving to be more productive, to get back to the reason I moved to New Orleans, to get inspired and finally win that Pulitzer Prize I’ve coveted since my teens. But no amount of telling myself I have to do it has led to me actually doing it.

This week I’ve been doing some painful introspection, and I’ve come to some enlightening, albeit very harsh, self-realizations.

1.    I’m lazy. I wage a constant battle against inertia, and mostly seem to lose. When at rest, this particular object, me, will stay at rest. After moving to the Marigny last year, it was easy to fool myself into thinking that I’m not lazy because I walk a mile and a half to work each way every day through the French Quarter, in the cold, the heat, and the rain. I’ve never cabbed or driven or taken a bus to work. I have a car, but I love the walk. I love to pop in on my friends who work in the Quarter after work or on the weekends and have a drink or two with them. And there I stay. I love my friends. I love people and being social. I love being out. But once I’m there, I find it hard to convince myself that it’s time to go do something else. I’m fabulous with excuses. “No, I don’t want to go to the movies now because I’ve had three beers and then I’ll just have to pee every ten minutes throughout the movie.” Yeah, that’s me. “No, I don’t want to go to the Barataria today because I’ll lose my parking spot and it’s right in front of my house. I’ll just stay home today.” That’s me too.

So my first resolution for 2014 is to get the hell out of the French Quarter. I love it, I do, but it’s a vacuum from which I have trouble escaping. I will still pop in on my friends from time to time, but I’ll tell them to send me home after a drink or two. I’ve got shit to do. I’ve got people to see and places to be and a city to rediscover, and perhaps remember why I came here in the first place.

My second self-realization was a much harder one to come to and a much harder one to face.

2.    I’m angry. I’m angry ALL THE DAMN TIME. And most of the time I have no idea why. As a writer, I’ve always been prone to dark moods. As an oversensitive poet, I’m easily broken, though most wouldn’t assume that, as I tend to be snarky, sarcastic, and, let’s face it, amidst all this sweet Southern hospitality, a Yankee bitch. Hey, we all have our defenses and our walls. But somehow I’ve always managed to channel all that oversensitive bullshit into my writing. The problem is I’m not writing anymore. So I’m just getting angrier. And all of those real or imagined slights, no matter how big or how small, have just been festering and reproducing to give birth to the unstable ginger rage-beast that now dwells quite comfortably inside me . . . probably in the nicely sized space where my soul should be.

Some might argue that that doesn't sound like me at all. They'd be wrong. I don’t scribe all my internal diatribes to the populace on social media, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have them. Trust me . . . I do. And they’re terrifying.

So my second resolution for 2014 is to stop being a raging, insufferable c*nt. To learn to let go of the little things that don’t matter and shouldn’t continue to annoy me. To take another look at the world around me and re-evaluate my relationships with the people in that world—some of which have begun, some have ended, and some done both, several times, over the course of the past year—and how I treat them.

I had half-convinced myself that I was all out of words. That I was all out of inspiration. That I had been so long absent from the things I love that they had all dried up. But these are some words . . . the first of 2014. They’re not pretty words. They’re not poetic words. No one will call them brilliant or genius, and no one may even read them. But they’re my words. They’re words that I practically ran home from work to write down because I could feel them boiling to get out.

So I’m not going to say that I’ll write more in 2014. I’m not going to wander through a desert looking for a particular grain of sand without some plan. But I’m hoping that resolving to make a few healthy, necessary attitude adjustments will mean a happier, healthier, more productive VoodooRue in 2014.


Paula Pixie said...

Very moving and very well said! I know all too well where you are coming from with some of this and I've got your back all the way! Love yoo Roo!!!!

Voodoo Rue said...

You're the best, Perla! Love you my soul sister!

Anonymous said...

Or perhaps, when you write you bleed too much, let too much show, reveal more of you than you intended. And heaven forbid that you be a bit too vulnerable where no one expected...that frightened little child and her nightmare. But you're too good a writer not to write. You create magic with's a gift...use it or lose it.

Drake Toulouse said...

Hey this post a couple of weeks ago and it really made me think, what I was missing, how I had stopped the blog and only been working on the second novel. A lot of anger explained. Thanks for the inspiration. Much, much appreciated...keep writing and best to you...