checkeredfoxglove

Gone after inspiration with a club, be back for tea

A Couple of Sad Things

I wrote these in high school, when I was really into abusive relationships. (Unlike some people, I actually did understand that these relationships were abusive; I just thought it was hot, and was proud of being messed up. Forgive me. We were all teenagers once.) I still really like them, so here you go: enjoy, or don’t. 

Also, the first one was published in my college literary magazine, so that’s cool.

TW emotional abuse.

POEM: Sharpener (this started out as a joke piece about pencil sharpeners and penises (some guy was being a jerk to me, so I threatened him in a ridiculous way to get him to leave me alone, but it was high school, so it didn’t work), and ended up somewhere completely different.)

STORY: This is the Alphabet (Inspired by this haiku from a haiku generator: around his ass cheeks / and over his low back this / is the alphabet. NSFW)

 

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Did I Mention I’m a Writer?

I mentioned I’m a writer, right? ’cause I am, and I think it’s about time to prove it to you. So: it’s story time!

Title: Someone? Anyone?

Length: ~800 words

Genre: Minecraft fanfic

Summary: How does it feel to be Steve?

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Annual Writing Exercise

Every year for my birthday, I write myself stories.

It’s sort of a birthday present, and sort of a way to push myself. I did NaNoWriMo for seven years, and it was amazing, but I’m just not a novelist and every year it burned me out for longer and longer. So I’m not doing that anymore. I do this instead:

Starting on the 1st, each story is a countdown. I write one every day, and some years I do themes, which are fun but very hard if I pick the wrong theme. See, the theme has to have enough breadth to last me 25 days. The first year, I used numbers. It seemed appropriate, but it was not a good choice. 25 days of stories about numbers start to get a little repetitive. Plus, numbers that size start to get unmanageable  I started with one, solitude; two, slices of bread; three, a table set for four with one missing space. I ended up with 23, people who’ve been laid off this month; 24, dead cats floating down the river; 25, thousand dollars in debt. The more numbers I did, the harder it was to make the next day’s story different from the day before.  

(I guess it was a count-up. )

The next year, I flipped through the dictionary, pointed at a random word, and went from there. The next year, I used a haiku generator, which was fun but too unserious to maintain. I didn’t make the full countdown that year.

I try to finish each story every day. Maybe it’s a bigger story than I originally thought–then I try to finish it early, and expand it later. Once, I wrote 6,000 words. Totally absorbed for six hours, I came out of it exhausted and couldn’t finish a story for three days. That’s okay; the 6k was a fabulous experience, and that’s what this is all about. Aside from the stories I get in the end, most of which are for Me Only because they’re more doodles than art pieces, this is a writing exercise. Some writers work every day. Just a hundred words, just ten words, but something. I can’t do that. I get burned out fast, I get bored. I don’t stop working on the stories, but I do stop writing them for a few days every fortnight or so. I draw for them instead, or sculpt, but I just can’t do brain-work forever. I need to do hand-work or I get agitated. I can’t write every day.

Except once a year, for my birthday.

Privileged White Girl Gets Knocked Down a Few Pegs, or, One of the Ways in Which -isms Suck for Everyone

There was a time in my life when I believed in myself. That time is over. Do you want to know what happened?

What happened was, I got an education. A formal and the coinciding real one. I got an education, and I saw myself fail.

There was a time when I had never failed. I know, I know–I have ridiculous amounts of privileged  and my life has been crazy awesome, more crazy awesome than anyone deserves. But, moving on from my terribly middle-class bitch-needs-to-be-knocked-down-a-few-pegs backstory, this is how I got knocked down a few pegs.

See, I had quit, I had given up, I had lost and I had been dumped, but all that was different. I had quit because it just wasn’t for me, I had given up because I was done trying to do something I didn’t want to do in the first place, I’d lost because the other team was better (which has no bearing on how good I was, and I did my goddamn best and got good and muddy to prove it), and I’d been dumped because of a personality clash. I’d taken a math final and cried because I was too slow to finish all the questions, but I passed. I’d fallen off a horse when she went and cut to the left without telling me, and I got back on. I finished high school. And then I took Social Research Methods.

It was the semester after I took Social Theory, the class that broke me down to tears and catscratched wrists every night for a month because I didn’t understand what they wanted from me. (I don’t own a cat.) What does this mean? What am I supposed to do? I don’t even understand enough to ask for help! I wanted to die on the bad days, to run away and become a waitress named Anne on the good days, and I got through it because I got lucky. I never forgot that my mom loves me, and that that mattered. I got lucky that my mom loves me, and I got lucky that this goddamn self-hate virus never found that file.

And then I had to do it again.

And I just…couldn’t.

It wasn’t that it wasn’t for me. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to. It wasn’t because someone else was better, and it wasn’t because of bad interpersonal fit. It was because I couldn’t face another month wanting to be someone else, on the good days, every night. Because I knew going in how painful it would be, and… if you were offered a black box, and someone said there was a prize inside, that you’d have to dig for it, but it was in there? And you reached in, and it was okay at first, but then it kind of started to hurt, and then it really hurt, and then it FUCK OW JESUS WHAT THE HELL- and then your fingers found something, and you pulled it out praying it was the prize, and guess what? Lucky you! The prize is another box!

But no seriously, there’s a good prize in this one.

If you were offered that second box, would you put your hand in it?

I couldn’t do it.

I walked into my professor’s office on the day of the final, and said, “I’m not turning in a final paper.”

She sort of… gaped at me, her eyes bugging out like the oversized glass beads on her classy and expensive necklace, the kind I would now never be able to afford, and she said, “What?” and I said, “I’m not doing it.” And I walked away.

And that night, for the first time in months, I didn’t want to die. I didn’t even want to run away.

And the next day I saw that I had tried my hardest, and gotten fucking nowhere. I’d gone backwards, actually, because even though I failed the class, I still had to pay for it. And if I ever wanted big, expensive, handmade glass necklaces, I’d have to take it again. I’ve always known that I can do anything if I just try hard enough, but I tried my hardest, and I still couldn’t do it.

And I still don’t want to kill myself, and that’s nice, I guess. But I don’t really feel like my life means anything, anymore. If hard work and perseverance aren’t the source of what I have, then what is? Luck? If it’s luck, then nothing I’ve done, nothing I ever will do, comes from me. My integral worthiness isn’t what got me here. I got fucking lucky. I knew I had a lot of privilege, and I knew what that meant for other people, but I didn’t really know what it meant for me. What it means is that most of my achievements have nothing to do with me. I don’t actually have to be very much in order to seem like all that and a bag of organic lightly-salted kale chips. And that’s great and all, from an external perspective, but internally? It doesn’t feel very nice.

So I don’t feel especially capable right now. But I’m just gonna go ahead and say fuck it, I’ll go through the motions, maybe I’ll get lucky again.

Maybe believing in yourself doesn’t matter. I failed when I believed in myself. Maybe I’ll succeed this time, even though I don’t.

(The second time around, I passed the class. And guess what?

There was another box.

Fuck.)

What Should You Call Me and Other Facts

Hi, I’m Foxglove, writer, artist, and handcrafter mediocré (say that like you’re saying “extraordinaire” and it fits). I’ve written seven novel-length pieces of fiction and two novels, one of which is undiluted crap, the other of which is a romance novel in disguise, and also crap. I’ve all but given up on the long stuff—see, I don’t do subplots or sideline romance. I like my stories to get to the goddamn point, thankyouverymuch, and novels just don’t do that effectively. Or maybe I’ve just been reading too much Stephen King*.

My favorite stories contain sickly little street rats who get taken in by attractive older benefactors, dry historico-geographical descriptions of the setting, fallible young ladies who take responsibility for way more than they can really handle (and then go and handle it YAY LADIES), or spaceships. Therefore, my favorite books are: an extraordinary number of tawdry gay porn novels, Woman of the Iron People by Eleanor Arneson and Cards of Grief by Jane Yolen, Acorna by Anne McCaffrey and Margaret Ball and the Newsflesh trilogy by Mira Grant, and Pebble in the Sky by Heinlein (I skip the sexist parts; women have about three paragraphs in the whole book, so it’s not that hard). This list changes frequently. The truth is, I don’t actually have specific favorite books, just full-on wall-mounted bookshelf of My Favorite Books. It’s large. Humans are mostly pretty gross, so I read books instead.

My favorite colors are Tuscan Red, Burnt Ochre, Peacock Blue, and Sunburst Yellow even though I don’t like yellow very much, because Sunburst Yellow comes out different colors depending on what you put it on top of and that is cool. These are also really excellent skin colors, which is mostly what I use them for, because enough with the white people, man. As a white person, I’m sick of us. We’re like an invasive vine or some shit, and I’m tired of this boring peachy-cream color. Plus, blushing is hard, and my white people always come out sunburned or zombified (green shadows. Bad choice).

Though I draw normal-range dark skin most often, I have three favorite skin colors, which are: Have You Ever Seen the Sun You Look Seriously Ill, I’m Not Sure Humans Actually Come This Dark, and Are You Literally Made of Copper For I Am Certain That Humans Don’t Come in That Color. As you can imagine, many of my sexy characters are not regular humans, and are in fact A) gene mods or B) magic. One of them is the copper-plated figurehead of a crashed spaceship who is also a robot and a navigation AI. He is very good-looking and that’s pretty much all I know about him at this point.

So, I’ve covered favorite books, favorite colors, I’m not that into music, and… I think that’s the gist of the usual introductory post. In summary, I’m a middle-class white American lady who is hopefully going to get her Anthropology undergrad degree this year if she doesn’t fall apart again (yay hereditary depressive tendencies! If I keep eating like a good girl it won’t become full-blown depression, but oh boy is that hard!), and then I’m going to work fast-food because it’s easy on the brain and I like it, and eventually I’m hoping to become a midwife**. Then I can join Doctors Without Borders or something and help train midwives in the places that need them most, like the Kirgiz region in Afghanistan (which, you guys, go read about it, it’s sad/cool, and also their sheep have giant adorable boofy tails). I am primarily a writer, but in order to be a good writer, I’ll need Experiences, and those are the kinds of Experiences I’d like to have.

Big dreams.

 

 

*I actually like Stephen King most of the time, I just find him incredibly frustrating when he throws in totally interesting nonsense that never quite fits with the rest of the story, because he was stoned. Maybe I should read some newer stuff, from when he wasn’t stoned the whole time.

**I am 95% down with obstetricians, but I don’t want to be one. I couldn’t handle the risk of cutting the wrong organ and killing someone. People with guts like that have all my respect but I am so not that person.