last week, this morning #10
do you love us?
I wanted to capture the pieces that made me think and feel, and put them in one place where you and I would be able to refer to them for years to come.
Welcome to that place.
Last week, I spent too much money, I did too little exercise, I ate too much junk food, I drank too little water, I spoke too much, I wrote too few words, and I beat myself up over all those things.
Let me go grab some chocolate before I continue.
I read some wonderful, interesting, thought-provoking pieces on and off Medium this week, and thought about them but didn’t write about them.
I thought about how undervalued I feel as a freelancer in the creative industries (our cool name for it). I mean, some indie writers will pay their hairdressers more for a style-cut and colour than they want to pay me to edit their 50,000-word manuscripts because I can pay someone in India ten bucks for that. Businesses consider me a member of their admin team, and want to pay me the same rate as their fresh-from-senior receptionist—the one they don’t trust with the outgoing mail, yet. But you just write words. I can write words. But you don’t write words, buddy. You tried, and it was too hard to write the right words. Why don’t you get your receptionist to do it?
Some days it feels like society wants me to do the work and then decide later whether or not it wants to pay me, because, after all, whether or not it’s good is a subjective judgement. Our publishing industry loves to remind us of that fact, continuing to publish authors they know will sell, when a body of phenomenally good literature goes unpublished (or, hopefully, self-published).
And there’s always someone willing to go cheaper. We know it’s not cool to undercut others’ rates. We know it devalues our services. But no one can live off this income anyway, so we all do it part-time and, when we do it for love, is getting paid anything at all just a blessing? Wrong. But perhaps we’ve gone too far down that road.
Perhaps we’re too broken to fix.
Here are some stories that are not broken, that need no fixing, that are just perfect the way they are, that need no validation from publishing houses or literary critics, that are well worth your time. Enjoy.
Perfect, by Heath Houston
Without a doubt, this is the sexiest thing I read all week. It’s just perfect.
Raindrops, by David Collante
To me, this is what a haiku should be, capturing the natural elements and their impact—note the clever word play in the final line. Yes, more of this!
This writer breaks my heart over and over. I read her work and I think no and I think that is wrong. I don’t think she is wrong—she is writing her experience. I think it is wrong that when she speaks such awful truths, she’s speaking the truth. (Come on, human race, get your shit together, will you?) That’s why she breaks my heart.
On a lighter note…um, what the fuck just happened? And how did I end up at the end of this story without a plate of cheese scones and a pot of tea in front of me and my people? Okay, I best go start over from the beginning of this chuckle-inducing recipe by Jules, and hope it works this time.
Let’s continue the food pairings and grab some wine here. This poem is wine and it is not wine and I am in the bottle and I am in the moment and I am lost in this poem and I am loving it. And I am making no sense at all, so you should just click through and read it for yourself.
Even the subtitle of this piece feels like part of the story. This triple haiku reads simply, and it reads well. Very well, indeed, and still keeping on my apparent food theme. For those who love the detail in nature.
If you share your writing, then someone has probably told you to ‘show, don’t tell’ and you’ve probably responded by doing what I do, and writing it like it’s a movie. That can produce great visuals and dialogue but showing is meant to include what we experience with all our senses. Wild Flower had me at the cut grass…and I’m allergic to the stuff. Here are words that know how to show. (And then check out The unfamiliar is my familiar.)
This is not the best-written piece on the internet this week. Nor was it the best back in April, when it was written. I don’t even like the title all that much, because it doesn’t fit with my definition of art. But I liked the content, because it made me think, especially in a week where I decided to not attend a slam poetry workshop/audition for a very simple reason:
I don’t believe art should be a competition.
We don’t ask five accountants to pay $20 each to do our tax, and then award the best one $100. Nor do we ask five builders to build us a house, and then only pay for the house we like the best. Not the best house, but the one we like best. It’s bullshit, and it’s the same reason I’ve decided to enter no more writing contests.
The Usual Ritual, by BHD
This piece creeped me out a little, because I drew the only logical conclusion: BHD has been spying on my morning routine. Then I realised I’m not the only one. Phew. I hope your cleaning went well, BHD :D
Elegy, by Tamyka Bell (yes, me)
Oh, I am so breaking the rules here, and I just don’t care. I mean, you can totally skip this one, if you prefer. But I am proud as punch (whatever that means) over this one. I decided to write a fib poem, which is a form I’m exploring at the moment for a book project, and I wanted to write something about my Opa. I was happy enough with my first draft, but then I found a little taste of rhythm and rhyme within the lines and worked them hard. I finished it thus:
If you enjoyed last week, this morning, check out other weeks, and don’t forget to recommend your favourite pieces so others can find them, too!