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A Little More Success, A Little Less Failure

Dear Phantom Reader,

Hard time finding words. Working often ten hour days for past two months writing EFL lessons for school in Vietnam. Good in some ways because had hole in my bank account so deep I could have struck oil if lucky, but almost never lucky. Poor me! (Did win pair of show chickens at 4-H raffle in 3rd grade. RIP, Everett and Helen. Best. Win. Ever.) Bad and other ways because leaves far too little time for creative writing and miss it so. Read through stories and worlds are so far away, flaws screaming out but no real time to tinker.

But on the horizon, hope. Only one more month of crazy schedule, then more time, more writing. Am lucky person, really. Middle class white woman in West, living in Social Welfare State, 11 years happily married, two healthy kids, healthy husband, healthy self. Beautiful, rent-controlled apartment in Kreuzberg with run down kitchen and too small bathroom, but still. This is privilege. Am blessed. Don’t forget.

Ok, let me write in full sentences for a minute before I get back to writing lessons for pre-teen English learners in PPT. 2018 is coming to a close and, hot damn, did it ever go by quickly.

What are your dreams and desires for 2019, dear Phantom Reader? I know what mine are: A little more success, and a little less failure. I mean for my creative pursuits, of course.

I have several stories out there, living in the slush or signed up for competitions. I applied for the fellowship at A Public Space again and a spot at LitCamp. Jonathan Lethem and Dana Spiotta, two writers I greatly admire, are on the faculty, and I’d love to get the chance to meet other writers such as myself, scribbling away, dreaming of that bedbug status, if they haven’t achieved it yet. Plus, it’s being held at freaking Esalen. It would be worth going just for that. Anyway, I have (literally) just enough frequent flyer miles to fly back to Cali for free, which seems like a sign. Wish me luck.

But writing this post, taking just a few minutes away from my heavy workload, made me remember what I really want for 2019 is more time to lose myself in stories and songs, to explode onto the page, to entertain and never lose sight of the line. Success, schmuckcess. It’s the doing that actually matters most.

And this, my friend, is something I’ll have back once this crazy project is finally done at the end of January.

Life is, indeed, an archipelago of small pleasures. I’m glad I at least know which islands are mine.



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