A Restore

I did a restore to my blog website. It said it was from July 2020 but it wiped out everything from 2015 to 2017. Ouch!

Update: Found some from 2016 and reposted. The stuff from later is lost. Bummer.

I’m Not Good Enough

How many times in your life have you said these words?  I hear it all the time with writers, “I’m not good enough to write a novel/short story/poem/book/screenplay/etc.” Many writers have this fear. Everyone has had this fear. If you read bios of Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck, some of their greatest classics would have never made to the publisher if they fell to this distortion of themselves.  There is the classic story of Steven King, after going through so many drafts of Carrie, throwing the manuscript into the trash, only to be rescued by his wife. Not good enough. I’m not saying writing is easy, it’s not, even for the most masterful. There will be times when you will want to throw things, goof off, check your Facebook status, but one thing you can’t do is quit.

I’m reminded of a time when I really wanted to learn how to play piano out of high school. I struggled for years. I didn’t have money for lessons, but I got myself a keyboard.  I knew chords from playing my grandfather’s electric organ, I thought how hard could it be. Playing chords is easy. Keeping the baseline with my left hand was like learning brain surgery. I practiced and started making up songs when I could play. A chance evening of boredom had me watching an infomercial on playing piano changed my life. I sat back down the next day, and things changed. I picked up playing rhythm guitar after.  I played for many years, afraid to go anywhere and afraid to play with anyone. I wrote songs. I wrote a musical. I tried my hand at just about everything except playing in front of people or with others. Cut to age 36. I started a band. Was I good enough? I was about to find out. The first person I interviewed was a lead guitarist, Ron.  Ron was much older than me and he had been playing in bars since he was thirteen and lied about his age. I picked up a lot of what he did, just by watching, hearing. We played together for some years as others in the band dropped out or moved on. I had a ball. Was I good enough? I got the greatest compliment from him when he said I wasn’t, “that bad.”  I tried. I learned. I was good enough.

The moral of the story is if you don’t try, you will never know. What if you had said that as a child learning to walk. We’ve all witnessed children learning to walk and know their first steps are tenuous at best. With repetition, we learn to walk. Learning to talk is the same way. It’s when we interact with others we begin our fears. That’s when we create our doubts that we are, “not good enough.” What is your definition of good enough?  New York Times best seller good enough?  Article in the New Yorker good enough? How about your worthy of your own praise good enough? Isn’t that what we are all looking for?

If you write, you are already good enough. You just have to have some faith in yourself, learn all you can, and don’t stop. Someday you will realize that you’ve always been good enough.

The Life of a Writer

The life of a writer is all about the glitz and glamour of the ‘life.’  We all have limos take us to our book signings just as you would imagine.  We all have private jets to take us to Cabo or Bermuda at a whim. Paris and London are just waiting for us to find out about our next book, with bated breath. Paparazzi are clamouring about our personal lives, with photographers waiting to take photos of us at lunch or dinner with the great directors, seasoned actors or Hollywood producers.  My wait staff does my laundry and takes care of my mansion. I don’t spend much time there, I’m always on the go. You would wonder how I have time to write all my books, I’m releasing twelve this year. It a tough life, but someone has to do it. I too was once a simple dime store self-published novelist, only years ago…

5:20 AM. I was lying in bed for two hours after waking from a dream about a kid telling jokes. I tossed and turned until I had to get up for my job, system engineering at a hospital.  I start at 7, but by the time I shower, shave, dress, feed the cat and kiss my girlfriend, I’m on the road at 6:15.

6:30 AM I’m standing in line in the cafeteria, at the hospital. My eyes still haven’t adjusted to the neon lights above and I’ve asked, “The usual.” Yes, I respond and head for coffee. Just the smell has started to wake my brain cells, but the time I return to the line I’ve had several sips and the partial hangover from last night’s time “out with the boys” is slipping away. Amen.  I get my western omelette and English muffin (the same thing I’ve eaten for breakfast for the last 13 years here) gets covered in garlic powder and oregano before I pay.  I cover the top with ketchup in a smiley face. The two halves of the English muffin become the eyes.

6:45 AM I’m at my desk stuffing my face and drinking coffee like there is no tomorrow. I’m reading through my Facebook page for things I can post to Online Community Writers and Mifflin Writers Group. Hey, were all writers and we all deserve the chance to succeed. And when I’m famous and rich, I’ll still give back.  I check my email, delete spam. Nothing important to respond to, and I feel truly inferior. I’m planning to work over lunch on my novel, but I don’t even have a clue what I’m going to write about.  This is the scariest of times. Usually, I have some direction, at this point and am chomping at the bit for some free time to write. I’m blank.

7:00 AM – 11:00 AM. I spend time at my day job. I can’t tell you about it without killing you. It’s all HIPAA stuff and I don’t want to go to jail for giving up some protected information. I’ll just say that I’m good, and they are perfect.

11:00 AM I grab lunch as I could down the minutes till I’m planning to write. I create a salad at the cafeteria’s bar, all kinds of greens, carrots, black beans, black olives, a little cheese, croutons, and cranberries.  A scoop of Santa Fe Chicken Salad completes the meal.  Oh, and balsamic vinegarette.   I pay and head to my desk, finish some work before the bewitching hour.

!2:00 I open my draft of Mariline. It’s a good draft and I start reading. I still don’t know where I’m going with it. It’s not singing to me and I’m worried. I put on Radio Mozart and I let his melodies sink in. I’m adding something here and there and suddenly it’s

1:00 PM Make a backup copy of my script. I’m happy I was able to continue, but there is still so much to go. Back to work.

3:00 PM My co-workers and I break for coffee and talk about the things that are bugging us or what new in the cinema.  It’s a refreshing moment to take pause and see the duck that has decided to nest between the buildings on our way to the café.

4:00 PM I’m in my car and I’m heading home. Traffic isn’t too bad. I’m worrying as I speed down the entrance ramp, but I’ve timed it just right, I’m on and heading east.  The windows are down, and the wind is blowing what little of my hair around. 

4:15 PM I’ve gotten the mail and came home to my loving girlfriend. I want to kiss her but with all that coffee my ass will kiss the toilet seat before I kiss her.  I make up for that after I get out of my tie and into comfortable clothes.

$:00 PM Kim and I have been discussing our day and now we are deciding on food or TV.  Television wins out and the ten or so Investigation Discovery Network shows left on the DVR.  Blood, death and murder keep us occupied. I’m pulling out a bottle of Vodka and making a martini while still listening to the announcer talk about more blood, death, and murder.

6:00 PM I heat up some Smart Choice food and make a little side salad, still catching up on those murder shows. 

7:30 PM After all that death, I kiss Kim goodnight, and I go into the bedroom and read for a hour. The book in riveting and I’m really enjoying it. 

8:30 PM I fill my CPAP machine. Kiss Kim goodnight and I try to fall asleep. Audrey, my cat, decides that I’m the perfect shoulder to lay on and sniffs my ear and licks my face. Against her best efforts, I’m out cold.

2:00 AM I realise that Kim is in bed with me as I hear her groan about Audrey jumping across her pillow to get to me. Audrey sticks her bony feet it my arm and side as she settles again on my shoulder. Now she’s licking around my ear, trying, I guess to clean up the hairline around it. I’m trying to fall back asleep but there is something gnawing at me about my book. 

4:00 AM There is a scene that keeps going over and over in my mind.  I have to remember it for tomorrow when I’m working on the book draft.

5:00 AM I fall asleep.

5:30 AM DAMN!  I overslept!

That was the life of this writer not too long ago.

Summer is a Girl

Summer is a girl

Who appears in June

And is of the longest days

And shortest crazy nights.

Summer is a girl

Of parades, fireworks

Of dog days and back to school

Of hot sweltering nights

Humid and unsleeping fights

Of Thunder and rain,

Hail and bore out of

Winter’s laboring pain.

Of starry skies

And drinking fires

Of flies and gnats

And baseball caps

Of roaring waves

Of sand and sun

And rollercoaster fun

Of Panama hats

And thigh length shorts

Of smile and wave

And red wine ports

That leaves you with the autumn breeze

And the fall of the red, yellow and brown leaves

Summer is a woman

That will won’t return

From death

Till winter is through

Until the spring rain has gone

And phoenix season has reborn again

Summer is a girl

Whose left some of her

With you.

SUN!

little girl outdoorsThe day is beautiful.  There must be something redeeming in that statement but I’m afraid that means nothing while I’m sitting here inside.  I did a bunch of bitching when the weather was no so great.  Last winter was either ice or snow for the most part.  Technically we are still in spring, but it’s a lot more like summer out there and I’m here at home, only stepping outside to have a smoke.  The weather is beautiful.  No rain.  No hail.  The few clouds in the sky are afraid to even show themselves on a day like today.  Only the most brave and puffy are lingering in the spring fresh air.

Most of you are probably screaming through the monitor to get my butt from this house and get some sun.  I have the option of going to a pool for Chrissakes, but I’m still here typing.   Don’t get me wrong, I love the beautiful weather.  There something so simple as to get into my car and not have to worry about whether I will have to have a cover on my skin, or even have to trudge through feet of snow, dig out my car, and pray I don’t become the a tree’s worst nightmare, sliding out of control on ice.  Maybe it’s too beautiful.  Yeah, I’ve set it.  With a week of rain coming up in the forecast, I need to take advantage of this perfect day, or living with the Noah effect will make it all the more precious.

I’ve thought about it.  I really need to get out of here.  But here is my dilemma, what am I going to do?  With all these options what could I do? What would I want to do?  If I lived in Key West, I know what to do, go to the beach.  What else would you do?  Here in mostly landlocked Pennsylvania there really isn’t much to do.  I don’t want to spend money, for what?  Sun?  Most of the time it’s free, assuming there is enough sunscreen on you that you don’t wind up paying for it in the end.   I know that is just my negativity talking, but there is something to be said for stage 3 melanoma to ruin a guy’s day.

Sun has always been a component of my family; picnics, outside parties, etc.  It was the great gatherer; start the grill and they will come.  Hot and sweaty sizzling under the great orange ball in the sky was part of every childhood summer.  There was always a weekend holiday party to be present at.  Meeting the relatives.  Chowing down on food, going home, and lying in bed realizing kind of what it was like to feel like a lobster in a pot of boiling water.   I look back fondly, although at the time I was wonder what the fuck did I do to deserve all this itchy peeling skin in places I didn’t know I had.   If I wanted peeling skin, I could have avoided the sun and put rubber cement or Elmer’s glue on, wait for it to dry and then peel it off.   NO PAIN!

Cars are whizzing by, I can see though my window.   Trees are all green and smiling, are caressing the gentle breeze.  Joggers run up and down the hill next to me.  Squirrels jump and frolic in the high dandelioned grass, playing tag.  A bird just bumped my window.  Mosquitos are even on the job, sucking blood from unsuspecting naked arms and legs.  This could be a great memory.  I could be lying in bed later in the week, unable to get up because of the drearies brought on by the copious amounts of rain thinking of this time, when once I decided to step from the safety of my apartment, to bask in the rays of the great life giver in the sky.  I could, or I could just watch more television.

Spaghetti with Ketchup

english  handwritingI’m so frustrated, I could make spaghetti with ketchup.  Anyone that knows me that is like fighting words, vomit, or like finding out that McDonald’s is dropping the seasonal McRib sandwich again; there is anger, dismay,  a feeling of being out of control.  I’m all about the San Marzano tomatoes, a can of paste, and a cup of wine when I make spaghetti sauce.  Mangled pork, in any configuration, with plenty of barbeque sauce, onions, pickles, etc. should be on the menu all the time. The McRib is like the McDonald’s version of White Castle Hamburgers; I buy them by the sack!   Writing sometimes frustrates me to the point where I feel like I’m writing ‘spaghetti with ketchup’ instead of taking the time to make the good stuff.  It’s a challenge sitting at the computer, setting the focus of my mind, turning on the music, and go into another world for a while.  Writing is one of those things that can be described as agony and ecstasy. Guess what I’m feeling now?  It’s been a whole week since I’ve had the chance since I’ve put the preverbal ‘pen to paper’ but today I had some free time over lunch to go into my special world.  Most real writers have the cavalier attitude of ‘just do it’ and when I’m in that zone, I can crank out words as much as anyone.  Well, not anyone, but at least as good as average literate person.   I can spin a phrase or two and soon I’m looking at the bottom of the page ready to go on to the next.

I guess I’m a little concerned.  I’ve been revising my new novel Mariline, and I’ve been making some major changes.  Yes, it worked fine the way it was, but ‘fine’ is just not enough.  I want people to ask questions, wonder, want to rip off all their clothes, punch their neighbors, and scratch their head.  I threw out the last 10 chapters and rendered an entirely new ending.  I think it’s really come together.   I’ve cut scenes.  I’ve edited down others to make it streamline, accessible, and clean.   It gets right to the story, it doesn’t wait around for things to happen.  It has morphed from a scattered NANOWRIMO novel of three years ago, into some monster of a thing.   I think will make a statement, and that statement has an explanation point at the end of it, along with some choice verbs and nouns.   I have to say that because what kind of writer would I be without some braggadocio?

So between having to go the distance like a bloody and beaten prize fighter, and adding more pertinent scenes, I’m staring at a chapter trying to eke out some content. The flickering computer screen is filled with swirling words; some that make sense and others that are merely there as placeholders for others.  Like a sculptor or a painter, I see the medium before me, ready to get my fingernails dirty and my hands all full with slop, hoping not to pull or paint over the beauty and thus make it ugly, losing the meaning, the purpose, the value.

There is a tight rope a writer travels over when revising.  You need to keep fidelity to the story.  You need to keep it tight and clean.  But you also have to know when your poetic bullshit is too much, no matter how much you and the Gods have told you they love it.    Bring back McRIBS!!

Author Kimberli Michele

Blogged by author EJ Eisman
Author Kimberli Michele







/

Author Kimberli Michele talks about writing, about herself, and about her literary inspirations.

https://www.facebook.com/kimberlimicheleauthor

http://kimberlimicheleauthor.wordpress.com/

When the Interns Are Away

 

black coffee and a bookI’m stuck over the summer without my right hands.  The kiddies have left and I’m am up to my own to answer these questions posted to the comment section of my blogs.  I warn you, they may not be as witty as I’m able.  I’m holding back funnier stuff for a later date and time.

  • When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get three e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks a lot! fiscoe@gmail.com, xjsghpboepz@gmail.com

  I have looked into this, and no. There isn’t anything on my side to take away this nuisance. Let that be a warning to all of you…

  •  I don’t drop a leave a response, however I looked at a lot of comments on %BLOG_TITLE%. I do have 2 questions for you if you tend not to mind. Is it just me or do some of these remarks appear like they are written by brain dead folks? And, if you are writing at additional online sites, I would like to follow you. Would you post a list of all of all your social pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile? wcbfcz@gmail.com

I’m glad you spend the time looking through “%BLOG_TITLE%.”  “%BLOG_TITLE%” one of my favorite posts.

Brain dead folks? I think the PC word would be sentenced handicapped. Not knowing where they are coming from, as not everyone here is from New Jersey, I don’t make so many limitations on my praise. A pat on the back is a pat on the back, and a kick in the ass is, well a boost into next Tuesday. I could list all my pages, but the links are on my website http://www.ejeisman.com and right here on the blog site. Look on the navigation bar, you’ll see where you need to go.

  •  Hello! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good gains. If you know of any please share. Appreciate it! wtdcuarva@gmail.com

I have no clue. Oh, wait…

  • Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword….wait there’s even more Now what if i told you there was a simple WordPress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That’s right AUTOMATICALLY, just watch this 4minute video for more information at. Seo Plugin    ddchnnfc@gmail.com, ibjxujl@gmail.com, rcjldt@gmail.com, sorbxliwf@gmail.com, gejetuwn@gmail.com, dnploafwg@gmail.com, foywtuixkkj@gmail.com, egbanb@gmail.com

 I don’t know if it is any good but there are a bunch of people pushing it.

  • Hi there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading through your articles. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics? Thanks! qbtytgrw@gmail.com

Hmm, who would want to write like me?

Do I? Look above any you will see the link for Twitter. I would be honored for you to follow me!

  • Hello would ʏou mind letting me know wÒºich wеbhost you’re using? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 differеոt broԝsers and I must say this Æ„log loads a lot quicker thеn most. Can you reсommend a good hosting proviÉ—er at a reasoÕ¸able price? Kudos, I aÑ€preciate it! warnerives@gmx.de

I don’t know if their price is reasonable but I have my website through Yahoo. I’ve used it for many years and while I’ve been frustrated with it sometimes, it does a decent job for the most part. With the package, I have MySQL and WordPress (for blogs).

  •  My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find most of your post’s to be exactly I’m looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content to suit your needs? I wouldn’t mind creating a post or elaborating on a number of the subjects you write regarding here.  Again, awesome web site!   carmenproctor@gmail.com

Thanks for your high praise.  I do welcome guest bloggers, as I did for Karen Cole on 1/25/2013.  If you have something you’d like to talk about, regarding writing or related field, send me an email  ej@ejeisman.com.  I will review the article and if it fits within the parameters I’ve mapped out, I would be happy to post it. 

Thank you all for your comments.

The Interns Are Restless

girl gesturingIn that momentary, abyss between light and light again the next day, some people call it night, there was something extraordinary that happened.  Perhaps TMZ was too busy chasing down Solange and Jay-Z hoping to get another pugilistic exposition between them or they would have covered this ground breaking news here on the home front.   After months of denying any involvement, when, yes, it was painfully obvious that there was some indiscreet meetings, close working, and maybe even some physical contact, whether it involved the old “in-and-out”   is still unclear, but  two of my interns are now officially dating.  Their Facebook status’ have been changed.  There is no backing out now.

The beacon of Facebook blinded me this morning with their cheery notification in the form of a heart and their two names, we’ll call them Miss X and Mister Y and the promise of a commitment, at least until they read this blog, for all eternity.  Just like Ma and Pa Eisman, when they made a solemn oath over a few too many and a high school stick pin, they will be counting on their future grandchildren to be taking care of their diapers when they are old and feeble and drooling onto their bedclothes.

So when did this start?  What magical concoction between the two could ever have brought them together?  Vodka?  Gin?  Jack Daniels?  Beer?  Wine?  Love?  Nah, it could only be chemistry!  Like a bad date from eHarmony.com, they were brought together working for me;  editing, researching, and making bad jokes about each other.  Working close under this high stress, super-heated cauldron of drudgery would have been enough to make crystalized form of zirconium dioxide, but with the proper alignment of each of their charcoal atoms, they have become this diamond in the rough.

Happy?  Of course, I am happy for them.  I wish them well.  It couldn’t have happened to a better couple of insanely good looking people, although I am noting a hint of jealousy from the one remaining, who we will call Miss Z.   Miss Z and Mister Y, all though they didn’t know that I know, but I know, had had something before.  Does that make Mister Y as man-slut?  Yes, absolutely!   She and I knew about Mister Y and Miss X, before they knew, or were even speaking about it, let alone making the great Facebook commitment.    Miss Z had her cry.  She’s let Mister Y go, and now they can still pretend to be friends, although,  I’m sure she would surely put a fish gutting knife in his ribs as much as give him the time of day.  As pleased as I would be to see such a graphic display, I’ve made sure that that all sharp implements are kept under lock and key, or evacuated from the building before they arrived for work this morning.

Two more weeks and they will be free of working for me, so why make such a commitment now?   I’m really starting to think it was as much as a statement of “screw Miss Z” as much as statement of love between Miss X and Mister Y.  In two weeks they will be on to their next adventures as interns as they make their way through the education system.  I wouldn’t even be writing about this.  I’d have to think of another topic, like socks, instead of relaying this juicy bit of workplace indiscretion.  Perhaps it was tempting immortality.  They could have been just a couple of college students that fall in love, and that was it.  By stating now, they have this blog written about them.  When they get old they can show it to their children, and their children’s children, and be reminded about their moment of dedication to each other, and thus making their love immortal, even if their Facebook allegiance is finite.