Successfully Failing ch2

Not many people get my poetry, but it’s my style, and that’s such a cop out… I’m ok with that. Poetry has always fascinated me. My Mother gave me a poetry book from her childhood, when I was a kid. Held within the contents of the yellowed, brittle pages were the works of pretty much any popular poet that comes to mind. I loved getting lost in it… twisting through words… engulfed in the faded black ink.

When I was 17, I was introduced to the work of Charles Bukowski… by a middle aged, reclusive junkie, with a brain injury that caused him short term memory loss. Bukowski some how took stale and raunchy, and made it magnificent, even sexy. For me it was like beer and cigarettes… an adapted taste… the more I had… the more I enjoyed the bite.

Literacy had always been one of my strong skills. But when it came to school, I was lazy, I never handed in more than a scribbled out, first draft. To this day I still don’t know proper formatting, punctuation, or grammar. As I am sure you may have noticed.

I had always written though, secretly, for the most part. I have notebooks, and paper scrap filled boxes, strewn with my scratched out poems and words, that have rarely seen the light of day. When I sat down to write my book it was uncomfortable, so uncomfortable. I was 29 years old and I had no idea why the red squiggly line kept appearing under the word ment (meant). I had no problem laying down content, but it was riddled with errors. Errors that a fifth grader could have spotted.

Nevertheless, I spent every free second with a marble notebook and pen, determined to make something worth reading.

After about a month of grueling through the dredges of my conscience, another week poking at a keyboard… I finished it. Now what the hell do I do?

I began researching publishing, self-publishing, literary agents… realizing I was in way over my head, and way under qualified. Just as I considered retiring my new book to the graveyard of my many other scribbles, I came across an article about blogging. Blog? What the hell is a blog?

I’m still not really sure what a blog is, but it seemed like a good idea, a good way to get my work out there.

Entering the world of blogging was pretty exciting to me, it was all new. It was more than just writing, it was creating a space. A functional, interactive space, with my work. I was forced to learn, about widgets, and all sorts of crap, that I still don’t really understand. It was frustrating, at the same time it was like an awakening of another side of myself.

I called my blog LPS and the Little Black Cat. Don’t laugh! After punching out a few “Blog Posts” all I had to do was sit back and wait… so I thought. I woke up the next day like it was Christmas morning, doing kart wheels to my computer, I could not wait to see how many hundred views I had gotten. I got 2.

Man it felt like someone punched me right in the excitement box, my heart was sagging like a deflated balloon… what did I do wrong? Searching the site from my phone… it was working… the posts were there.

I was horrified when I realized I would have to promote my blog. I didn’t want to annoy people, and try to sell myself. I didn’t want anyone I knew to see my work. To me, that was like standing in a room full of people and holding up my undies for everyone to see the skid-marks.

If I wanted to promote my book, then I would have to get over myself. Squeamishly, I bitch slapped my anxiety, and started posting on social media. I felt like a huge dork (which I am)… but it started to work. I was getting more and more views by the day, some days hundreds, positive feedback too!

It wasn’t long before I started to realize that I needed more material than the halfcocked tails of my marble notebook. Hmm…. what do I love enough to write about? Pizza… motorcycles… music? Ok I’ll do that! I have a lifelong pizza addiction, so I decided to do a “Pizza Of The Week” segment. I would talk about a different local pizzerias and their product, once a week. Then added a kind of how-to, basic maintenance type stuff, segment… for cars and motorcycles. I even had the idea to interview local people that did good in the community, and make a segment out of that. I was on a roll… chasing down interviews… eating pizza, and writing about it. I was making something of myself, stepping out of my comfort zone, and learning too. I wanted to take it further… I was hungry… caught the bug.

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