The writing of a thousand pages starts with a single chicken nugget.
‘Do people with blue eyes like…. even have a soul?’ Probably my favorite question ever asked me by a Japanese person. It’s like, heck should I know, I don’t have blue eyes? >___>
Warning: Mucho not orderly post.
Once a long time ago when I was still making sushi, I got really plastered at the restaurant Christmas party, so of course I blacked out and didn’t remember anything of shenanigans that ensued. According to J, on the tram-way home, I announced I was sick and forced him to get off with me and we walked the several remaining kilometers in subzero temperatures rivaling the winds of Satan’s Lair. At some point, I supposedly got so belligerent about the cold, I tried to walk up to any foreign door and open it. J had to dissuade me–don’t open that, he said, that’s not our house. But I’m so cold! I whined. (Supposedly. I’m not much of a whiner, so I question the reliability of the narrator here.) ‘If we can’t open those doors, just open something! I’m so cold, I don’t care what you open, just open it!! Just open anything!’ Poor hapless J, in the middle of the night, freezing his ass off and stuck with a wasted wanker, proceeded to take off my backpack and open it at me. ‘Look,’ he said with the patience of a thousand Ghandis. ‘I opened this. It’s open.’ Supposedly, that calmed me enough that I was able to walk the rest of the way drama free.
The next morning when he relayed all this to me I was like ‘Jesus Christ, sounds like I was drunk as fuck. How did we even make it home?!?’
J: One step at a time…
One step at a time…
You know, I always thought what was hard was simply doing something. You do the thing, the first time it’s hard, but then after that, since you know how to do it, it’s okay. The realization slowly dawning in me of late though is that actually, what may be the hardest is not just doing something…
…but doing it AGAIN.
The first time, you don’t know any better. You bound into the experience bright eyed and ready for anything, like a Husky puppy plunging into a bank of snow.
Learn a language?
Write a book?
Have a kid?
Fuck it, why not? I’ll try anything once!
The second time, you’re like a cat on ice. Oh no. Oh no no no no NO, I DID this shit once and I waded through to the other side, and yes. Hooray and yippee—but could I do it again? Do I want to?
My mom: When are you going to have another kid?
My mom-in-law: When are you going to have another kid?
Me: When Santy Claus gives me a one hour private lap-dance, that’s when!
Honestly, when I see people on the train with more than one child, I’m like O_O. From what reservoir of Voldemort magic did you dredge the strength to do all that again, like….. DON’T YOU REMEMBER?! (Also what I think about anyone who has done more than one major project…..) But of course, it’s not that we don’t remember…
I have started my second graphic novel and while on the one hand, it is wonderful to have this whole body of past mistakes I do not have to make again…. let’s just say, I’ve been listening to a lot of Eminem to stay pumped.
Let me be clear, I hate misogyny and homophobia, but right now what I need most in the world after an unlimited supply of hugs and hotpockets and black coffiee and blacker ink is for someone to yell ‘get the fuck off your punk ass pussy bitch ass and grab a pencil’–to a catchy beat. Sometimes, I play good cop bad cop with Eminem and 2pac, and when Eminem gets too harsh, I put on something like ‘Changes’ or ‘Keep Ya Head Up’, which always makes me choke up (I swear, over the years, I have heard those two songs hundreds of times and my throat still closes when I hear them…) I think, Fuck… these people (and of course many many others) used their raps to change their own lives–and they made successful albums again and again and again. Not every song of theirs is great, and some albums are better than others, but they had the fortitude to go back at it when they could have rested on their laurels and I find that incredibly inspiring. They had their negative distractions (demons) and positive distractions (family) and they did it again.
Art and writing is my therapy, so what to do when you need therapy about your therapy? I go to J.
‘I don’t think I can do this again,’ I say to him as I lay face up on our bed with my eyeballs sweating.
You know those people who are disgustingly good at everything they do and there are all these careers you could envision them being really successful at (besides the career they already have and are successful at?) Meanwhile, you’re shining bright like a potato? J is one of those people, and not only could he be a smashing masseuse or male prostitute, he’d make a damn good therapist too (and if he combined them, oh my god, what a trifecta, therapy while you get a massage and then a happy ending?! He’d make a motherloving KILLING.)
So anyway, I was staring at the ceiling and he was being my personal pro bono therapist and he gave me some wonderful advice which was: Don’t think of it as a whole project. Treat each chapter as it’s own project. That way, when you are done with one chapter, you can consider yourself ‘done’ for a while and do something else, if you need to….
It’s too overwhelming to walk the whole six kilometers home drunk, so just walk it home one step at a time. One chapter at a time.
I broke it down further, I started to think of it in terms of pages. In terms of panels. In terms of single lines and drops of ink. One after another. After another.
My honesty’s brutal
But it’s honestly futile if I don’t utilize
What I do though for good
At least once in a while so I wanna make sure
Somewhere in this chicken scratch I scribble and doodle
Enough rhymes to
Maybe try to help get some people through tough times
But I gotta keep a few punchlines
Just in case cause even you unsigned
Rappers are hungry looking at me like it’s lunchtime
- Rap God Eminem
The entirety of the song ‘Keep Ya Head Up’ by Tupac
Sandwiched between the wisdom of guardian angels J, Eminem and Tupac, how can anyone go wrong??
They can’t! And thanks to them, I have finished my first chapter…! ::dances::
You two, dear reader, if you’re out there struggling with something big, I encourage you to chunk it up, destroy the pieces, murder the verses one by one!
[So sorry though, mom, I am still not having another kid.... >___>]