Cayla McKenzie
23. Writer, musician. Books, dogs, tea, design, gardens.

It’s a New Year:

I submitted my first short story to a literary magazine. Look out, 2013!

All writing is difficult. The most you can hope for is a day when it goes reasonably easily. Plumbers don’t get plumber’s block, and doctors don’t get doctor’s block; why should writers be the only profession that gives a special name to the difficulty of working, and then expects sympathy for it?

- Phillip Pullman

All I want to do is read stories and write them and be good at them and learn everything and eat, drink, breathe words words words.

In Thunderbird, Illinois, I get to thinking the world is going to end. During the day it’s cotton candy and caramel apples, the Howler and the Zipper, the looping soundtrack of the carousel. But at night, when I’m stretched out in the back of the truck on the outskirts of Camper City, trying to sleep in the bowl of quiet left by five hundred people gone home sunburned and broke to their beds, the feeling sneaks in and sits down square on my chest: these are the last days. It’s all going to break up. It’s as if I’m eavesdropping on the secret that history has been whispering to itself all along: the punch line the trick ending, the big joke. I curl up alongside the wheel well, wondering why I’m the only one who hears it. But morning always comes, daylight burning through the windows, the truck hot as a greenhouse, and I slide out barefoot onto the grass for another slow drag around the sun.

- Lydia Peelle, “The Still Point”, Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing

Waiting on the rain.

…And here it comes.

I sat at my dining room table this afternoon after a trip to Barnes and Noble (where I picked up the next book in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series-DON’T JUDGE-and a super inspirational magazine about the workspaces of creative women that was way more expensive than I thought it would be but I convinced myself that I needed it-DON’T JUDGE). 

So I’m sitting at my dining room table, telling myself that I must work first (do a bit of studying for the GRE) and play later (read my new book and/or drool over the offices of women who are doing things that I dream of doing) when I start to notice that a dark cloud is creeping in over the trees. The longer I study, the darker it gets and the better I feel. I love being trapped in my house in weather like this when I’m in a creative mood and my laundry is cycling and a candle is burning and I’ve got time to kill. 

Right now, everything is perfect. The way my house feels. The sound of the dryer. The rain coming down so hard I can’t even see the street…

Days like these are essential to my well-being. So now I don’t want to waste too much time on teh internetz. I’ve got stories to write and expensive magazines to look at!