Panorama of San Bernardino

Thursday, February 21, 2013


One of my favorite Beatles songs is "Yesterday". Although I was always more of a Lennon fan, there is something about this McCartney penned tune that gets me. I am always looking back, both as a person and as a writer, and yesterday does seem far away. But it also seems like yesterday.

We are our memories and I wish I had a better memory. I want to remember every moment of my life so I can put it to paper, but somehow I feel as if I'm not meant to remember EVERYTHING.

The things we don't remember sometimes say more about who we are. I enjoy writing about the absence of memory and the ambiguity of it. In the end, it is my story to tell and frame. Take my high school years as an example. There is plenty I don't remember. I don't remember sitting in class for almost four years until eventually I would leave five credits short of a diploma and take my GED.

Yet, I do remember a lot of ditching in Hollywood and Montclair. Montclair had a mall with a direct bus route from school and once we could drive, Hollywood had Nana's for monkey boots and Tower records.

I also remember a lot of sitting in the quad hanging out between classes and the smell of stolen hits off a cigarette and the dreadful feeling that high school would never end.

But end it did and not in the way I expected with my grandiose thoughts of a Claremont college education being replaced by a GED and a waitressing job (the result of me giving up and sleeping through my senior year).

Maybe that is why the song Yesterday speaks to many. It is bittersweet with regret and acceptance of the past.

And we have to accept the past right? All we have is our memories and our future path.

I didn't turn out so bad after all. It just took longer than I imagined. Imagine, now that's a great song. Told you I was a Lennon fan...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Chair

My mouth is numb. Drool spills out of the corner of my mouth while my husband stands over me with a drill in his hand.

"Raise your hand if there's pain," he says in a gentle voice. I'm always in pain in the chair so I raise my hand.

"We haven't started yet," he says shaking his head. He knows I'm fucking with him.

Did I mention I hate going to the dentist but my husband Adrian, a dentist, cajoles me into regular visits. I am a horrible patient.

I get anxious and my heart pounds as soon as I sit in the chair. It doesn't matter that I trust Adrian. It doesn't matter that I know he knows what he is doing. He's a guy with a drill in my mouth.

Working on me is likewise hard on Adrian. "You're the worst patient," he always says when he gets home.

He's lucky I come in at all.

Earlier, when I sat down in the chair he told me to relax and open wide. I wanted to make a dirty joke but restrained myself. Instead, I asked him if he had noise canceling headphones. I know he doesn't. To further annoy him, I proceeded to make fun of his music. In response, Adrian made a face and took a needle and pierced my gums.

Fuck that hurt, I thought to myself as I raised my hand and muttered, "This is going in the story."

The Year

I have decided that I want to live the life of a writer, at least for a year.  Some things you just know and recently, I have had the overwhelming urge to write full-time.  My job as a public defender is rewarding but taxing.  It doesn't allow me to completely focus on my writing.

Truth is, I need a year.  Just one year to write.  To spend my days thinking up stories and writing and editing.

Is a year too much to ask?

My memoir is almost finished but it needs substantial revising and editing.  There are some holes to fill as well.  Plus, I have other books in me.  I want to write a romantic and realistic and kinda anti-romantic, love story.  I want to write a YA fiction novel.  I want, I want, I want to write full-time.  Before it is too late.

I have grey hairs spouting up on the left side of my head that remind me that life goes quickly.  I am forty plus (don't ask) and the years speed by faster the older one gets.  I think it has something to do with the proportion of time left.  To think about it makes my head hurt.  Yet, I must think about it.  I must remember that I only have this NOW, this life to live and I have my writing destiny to fulfill.

Now I just gotta figure out how to make it happen.