Writing is a Habit

writing-1209121_1920

Fuck.

I haven’t written anything this whole month.

It’s a funny thing about habits. You get in a routine, and everything goes on auto pilot.

Like in Dallas it was

-4:30am Gym

-6:00am breakfast

-6:30am writing

-7:00am shower

-7:30am leave for work

Real simple. Every Monday, Weds, Thursday.

But now in Chicago, my gym schedule in the evening because the entire city has an allergy to early morning workouts.

So my writing suffers.

….Or so that’s the excuse I tell myself.

In reality, I just need to find a regular time slot.

15 minutes or so everyday is all I need.

It’s how I wrote my first shitty draft of my first shitty Novel back in July.

It took me a only month and a half.

Shooting for only 3 paragraphs a day.

Everyday.

It’s 90-some hand written pages filled with spelling mistakes, crossed out words, coffee stains.

It can easily be longer with some polishing.

But it’s going to take going to take some work,

and in order to make that happen, I’m going to need to find sometime.

To edit only three paragraphs.

Everyday.

Regardless of rain, snow, sleet.

The funny thing is when I put it that way,

it really doesn’t seem so hard.

 

This post was inspired by the book “Atomic Habits”.

Mr. Clear is a very smart man, highly recommended.

Out Assed in Houston

I’ve been trying to write but words are sticking on my fingers like the tiny pieces of shit soldered to the end of a dogs ass. So instead here is a picture post.

I jumped on a plane a few weeks ago and hung out in Houston for basically no reason other than I wasn’t to escape Chi-town.

I got to say, I’m not a huge Texas fan after living in Dallas, but Houston seemed a lot more chill.

 

img_0265

 

img_0259

img_0256

img_0263

I got to say, I’m not a huge Texas fan after living in Dallas, but Houston seemed to be more laid back.

I also found out everyone in Houston has ass. I mean don’t get me wrong, I do my squats, but y’all are on some other level. Like I didn’t know this was possible but I was definitely “Out Assed” by everyone. I feel like it’s a prerequisite to living there.

Don’t worry Houston, I’ll be changing up my workout the next time.

Scoreboard

Houston ass – 1

Darby – 0

Who Doesn’t love a Dick Pic?

mobile-phone-791644_1920

I’ve given up internet dating. It was my plan back in October. A new year resolution if you will. But something funny happened. I met a girl I actually like from the internet a few days before new years.

Since then, I’ve watched less porn. Injected more alcohol. And write more.

The worst part about the writing is that I have nothing to say.

Period.

I’m just trying to stay busy, because despite my best efforts, this girl has occupied a space in my brain for the past 2 weeks, and I honestly don’t have a clue why.

Sure she’s cute, smart, and puts a capital ‘D’ in Donk. But those aren’t why.

It’s some x-factor I can’t quite put my finger on.

On one hand it’s fucking awful.

I type.

I take pictures.

I go to the Gym.

I shamelessly flirt with other girls.

Yet, she’s still in hovering in the same space up there.

But on the other hand,

after all the dates, hangouts, & hook ups over the years,

It’s really nice to know,

that I can still feel this way.

 

……The only thing left to do now,

is ruin it by sending a picture of my dick.

*Click*

30 or so Stories I’ve written in 2018 that have been rejected: Why I Write

(For the record this isn’t a story and it was accepted. However after numerous failed attempts to upload and several emails to the editor, I ended up saying fuck it.)

writing-1149962_640

I suck at writing. I cheated on my spelling testing in the second grade. My reading comprehension is garbage. When I read fast, “wrods look lkie thsi”. In high school, I worked on a paper for two weeks straight only to get a note from my teacher telling me I didn’t even try. I scored a 2 out of 12 on the writing portion of the ACT. I got beat out for a non paid editors position for a small College newspaper by someone who’s first language isn’t English. All this begs the question, why am I writing this essay? Because I have to.

No, nobody is forcing me to do this. I like to write, so that’s what I do. But this doesn’t make me a “writer”. That’s a word my Aunt uses at Thanksgiving to talk about the novel she’s worked on for ten years. To me those are just six, ego boosting letters, that give other people permission to be a dick at a workshop. I don’t need anyone’s permission. Honestly, I don’t give a fuck if you read this or not. To me, the act of writing is it’s own reward.

So what am I trying to accomplish? Wow, talk about a tough question. I feel like most people would say something along the lines of “I want my voice to be heard.” That’s a solid reason. Everyone wants to leave their mark on the little planet. And now with all these technological avenues it’s easier than ever. But that’s not me.

See, you have to understand this wasn’t ever the plan. I was a failed musician who bitched in notebooks and found relief. I’m an avid online dater who uses imaginative language to set himself apart. I’m an Engineer who sends daily project updates with a story arch. So what am I trying to accomplish? Shit, I don’t know. Writing chose me, not the other way around. I’m just playing the hand I was dealt.

I submit my work because it keeps me honest. The longer that something stays in the drawer, the more my mind will play with it’s value. Idea’s aren’t stocks. They’re for everyone. Why not submit? There’s nothing to lose. Getting a gently worded letter by an overworked, underpaid editor doesn’t mean that was a bad idea. It just means I believe in it. That’s all.

Plus, my goal isn’t to write one great piece, it’s to get better at the craft. So when I get a rejection I know it’s time to turn up the heat. I’ll sit down and ask the tough questions. How bad do I believe in this? How many red-eyed nights have you stayed up pushing that pen around? How many early mornings have I gotten up to edit? How many rejections have I received this month? This week? I already know the answer to all of these questions, and it’s not enough.

It’s funny but when I think about it, everything has been right there in front of me the whole time. It always has bee. The feeling of accomplishment when I finish a piece. The smile I get after writing a great sentence. The focus I get after a rejection. All of it is right there and no one can stop me to go after it. So I ask myself again, how bad do I want it? Bad enough to take a break from my fiction writing to type of this essay? Bad enough to get goosebumps on the first draft? Bad enough to red line two drafts this morning? Well, I don’t know about anyone else but I want it bad.

…And that’s why I write.

Riddle Me This

question-mark-1872634_1920

Her profile reads:

Paul’s height is six feet, he’s an assistant at a butcher’s shop, and wears size 11 shoes. What does he weigh?

There’s multiple levels to a good riddle.

99.9% of the time the answer is always in the question. But the smartest thing you can do is keep your eye on the big picture.

Two are measurements, one is an occupation, and the question is a measurement.

Add in the fact that it’s a riddle, and you can start to see why one phrase sicks out above the rest.

Also why the other three have to match.

Misdirection.

It’s a great tool that helps bring novelty to the familiar, but this post ain’t about relationships. It’s about a bio.

Now I’ve read a shit ton of profiles, but ones like this really stand out to me. Most are generic, not because people don’t like to talk about themselves, but because most people don’t give themselves permission to be themselves around strangers. The ironic thing is, the finger prints of your personality is all over everything you do.

What you write,

or what you don’t write,

What you wear,

What’s in the background of your picture

These things speak in volumes.

And much like the answer to the riddle, they aren’t on the surface.

Which is why this sparks my curiosity.

So why a riddle? Why this one? When did she hear it? Does it mean anything to her?

Now I’m not retarded. The odds of the stars aligning, us meeting up, her looking remotely like her pictures, so I can even get the faintest opportunity to see if she’s the person she claims to be is fucking terrible.

It’s the never ending Zeno’s paradox of online dating.

But I guess those minuscule odds is why I like to play the game.

I type:

Paul weighs meat. Who doesn’t love a good riddle?

One Step Closer

bag-1868758_1920

I messaged her on a whim. Not because I didn’t think she wouldn’t respond, but because my luck has been so bad lately in the Tinder world. She was a Latina princess. Looked like she had back dimples, and had to walk sideways through some closets.

As much as I enjoy this type, it means about dick and shit compared to a personality. It’s unfortunately taken me almost 30 years for me to figure that one out. My problem is I’m a perfectionist. I may only have 4 or 5 hobbies, but I plan to do those 4 or 5 hobbies the best I can until I die. For some reason, dating seams to fall in that spectrum. I could be out with a girl that the bartender is downloading mental snapshots for his spank bank as we order a drink, but if she doesn’t meet most of the criteria, my eyes are already wondering. But I digress.

The online game is hit or miss for me. The Engineer part of me wants to believe in technology bringing the world together. But the other part who has ran down this path 400 times, knows I can save more time asking out every girl I see at the local Jewel Osco.

So I send out this message and she bites. I can tell right away that her English isn’t so hot, but I don’t call her out on it. When I speak my broken Spanish, I get self conscious as fuck. We message back and forth about when and why moved to Chicago. She’s an Au-pair wanting to learn English.

Reading in between the lines, I get the feeling that she wanted a little more than that. What exactly, I have no idea, but it was obvious. The rumbling in my gut wanted to find out more. We talked about meeting for coffee. I knew a few spots around her place. I wanted help with “mi espanol” y she wanted help with English. The perfect set up in between talking about our commonality about our young nieces.

She said she just met her one year old niece, right before moving here. I asked if it was hard, leaving all that behind for a dream.

……

……

She unmatched me.

……..

……

Damn it.

Yet, at the same time. I’m one step closer.

 

 

 

Actual Cover Letters I Send To Literary Magazine Editors Pt. 2

Dear Editor,

000000000000000000000007777777777777777777777777777770000000000000000000000000

00000000000000000000000000000000000000000007777777770000000000000000000000000

00000000000000000000000000000000000000000077777777700000000000000000000000000

00000000000000000000000000000000000000007777777000000000000000000000000000000

00000000000000000000000000000000000007777777770000000000000000000000000000000

00000000000000000000000000000000000777777770000000000000000000000000000000000

00000000000000000000000000000000777777770000000000000000000000000000000000000

00000000000000000000000000000777777777000000000000000000000000000000000000000

 

….I bet you were waiting for me to start off the cover letter like a professional and not some 90’s retro computer game. Well expect the unexpected, my friend. Here I would love to tell you that there is some deep significance to the number seven that applies to the story I’m sending, but there isn’t. I thought it would be fun to draw.

If you couldn’t tell, this letter isn’t going to get any different from what’s above. I’ll probably ramble a few more sentences about nonsense and sprinkle in some inappropriate jokes here and there, because well screw it. I really don’t care if you publish my work or not.

Trust me, it’s not that I don’t think my work is good. Everything I write is fireworks on the 4th,  including my name. I would like you too, if you feel it fits you journal. But if not, we’ll do this song and dance again soon.

You see for whatever reason, I measure my success by the amount of times I hit the green submit button. That’s the gold metal to me. Whatever happens after that is a bonus. This year I’ve submitted 30 pieces, which means I’ve kicked ass 30 times. Chicago Marathoners have nothing on me and you best believe 31 is coming in a few brief seconds. Well, that is, until I figure out how to tie in a solid joke at the end.

………

………

……………………So I got nothing. I was trying to out smart you by making a pun with a movie quote from Se7en. But I’m done. I wasted all my creativity on this this piece. …Okay and this cover letter that you probably won’t read. So you won this round, but I’ll be back. You can count on that one.

P.S. Please enjoy my my 700 word piece entitled “Oscar”.

P.S.S. I really loved your last piece “Mooncake” by Grace Prasad.

Sincerely,

Darby Cashed

Aka the people champ

Aka the Voodoo Child

Aka the Italian Stallion

Aka the most successful deadbeat writer you’ve never heard of

 

Part 1 Here