Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Today is my 36th birthday, and a few things have got me down.

First: I have lived all over the US and known a lot of people. Some of them are very dear to me, but in memory only because through my own laziness or whatever I have lost touch with them. None of them know how often I think fondly of them, and I'm sure many of them have a bad taste in their mouths if they think of me at all because I've always found it easier to cut myself off completely from a previous life every time I move than to deal with the ongoing pain of missing somebody.

Names still haunt me. From Capuchino High School in San Bruno, CA (and neighboring Milbrae HS), Tanya Pavlov and Mike Geimer, Craig Chin and Mark O'Keefe, Diana Lucero and Zach Uribe, Yvette and the infamous Stu-Man... From Granby Memorial HS in Connecticut, Kristin Patria and Sue Huk and Scott Warren and Eric Mahl and Maura Lynch and Avery Glasser... Also from Connecticut Phil Owen Champigny... From Long Island University in Southampton, NY, of course Jen and Meredith (who I'm lucky enough to talk to once in a blue moon), also Colleen Graham and Kristie Twining and all the folks on SEAmester fall '92... From NW Arkansas Cory and Nancy Gray and Odis Holcomb, Bill and Bob Browning, Chris Landrum and Nicole, Valerie Darrow, Roy Swaty, James Crowder, Carlton "Joe Cool", and Mike McCollough... From Oregon Ocean Ford and Janneke, Jerry and Cricket and Alder, Dylan Turnbull... And the tremendous weight of guilt I'm carrying around for missing the wedding of a great friend, Luanna, because my work has in so many ways utterly taken over my life...

Ah, guilt. Never mind the family stuff. Haven't seen my grandmother or any member of my father's family in almst a decade 'cuz I can't seem to get myself to upstate NY to visit them. Hardly ever talk to anyone on the phone, not even my brothers and their very cool kids... I only see my mother, I think, because she lives so close to me.

Now, the second big thing is my writing. See, I do this science fiction thing. In real life I'm a technical editor and sometime designer for a magazine. But my heart and soul are wrapped up in writing, particularly this one project that I pretty much "finished" about two years ago. A few tentative attempts at publishers and agents, but let's face it the thing is a tough sell. A five-volume space opera about nobody characters changing the world, structured like some bizarro postmodern Don Quixote novella series, written by someone you've never heard of...? It's uncategorizable, unpredictable, funny and serious like a Joss Whedon story, filled with pop culture references and twisted cliches... Harry Potter it ain't.

So. There's that. It is, for good or ill, what I live for. And what have I done with it? Nothing. It sits on my computer hard drive (and several backup locations) wanting to be read, and I can't seem to get it out there. I'm not lazy -- I work full time on an editorial staff of 3 people that has put out 18 separate magazine issues in the past year. I'm not untalented -- on the contrary, I've dabbled in art, music, and writing in my life so far with some success in each. However, at 36 I'm walking around in a dumpy, out of shape body that feels pain nearly every day because of back trouble that came way too soon in life. So here I am feeling like a big fat failure.

Ah, fuggit, you say, jeeze... If you don't like stuff about yourself or your life then just get up off your ass and change them! Well, yeah, so that's the plan. Only it's kind of overwhelming when you're dissatisfied with nearly EVERYTHING. The best thing in my life is my "husband," the man I've lived with for 13 years. We are a match made in heaven or however you'd like to describe two people who are perfect for each other. So I got that going for me. And lots of people don't.

Thus begins this blog thing, chronicling what should be the beginning of my new lease on life. Or whatever. More to come, and I promise it won't be near as depressing in the future. That's the whole point, after all.

If any of the folks named above -- or others you know who you are -- are out there, please know that I miss you in so many different ways. If I could win the lottery and do nothing but spend my time writing and keeping in touch with all of you, I would. Maybe that's what this thing can do for me, can get started at least... Who knows? Stranger things have happened in all of our lives, and I remember living through some of them with some of you!

--Cheryl Scott,
signing off from Eugene, Oregon, on a dark and dreary night


Roy Swaty said...

We are still here, mon chere. Remember, your job is not supposed to be your life. It is what you do to SUPPORT your life. I generally choose to be happy on any given day just because I can, even if I have nothing to be happy about. We can't (usually) change what the world throws at us. What we can do is change what we do about it. Smile. It'll make everyone wonder what you're up to.
Love, Abdul O'Doul. Owner of the world's only Coptic-Irish Bar & Grill

Loreen said...

Ah, birthdays.

Maybe it's because they were so important to us as children that they later become a time for our inner eight-year-olds to rise from their play-ground graves.

"It wasn't going to be like this," they say. "I was going to be an artist, a samuri, and a fairy princess!"

Dreams are good.
But if you give them an experation date they turn sour. Guilt can kill them when what was a sweet love turns into a symbol of things undone.

The arts, and writing in particular, seem to generate this cycle of dispair. Gah. I've been fighting that off myself.

Listen, dreams are wonderful-magic, but the requre small goals met, road blocks routed, and time -- always time and a thousand years more time than it ever seemed like it should take.

I thought I'd be accredited by now, at least a little bit. My inner twenty-year-old bitches me out from time to time, but you know what? One of the great things a writing is how you can start your carreer at 70, and mid fifty's is really common.

It the writing world, we're just young things.

--sorry if this is incoherent. It's late.

Anonymous said...

funny. I think about Eric Mahl ever so often. I knew him in college. i am usually wondering if he ended up with the life he deserved (which would be a good one.) anyway that is how i got to your blog. googling "eric mahl" and CT. I wouldn't mind being Oregon tonight instead of still sweltering TX. i wonder if people i think about ever think about me.

Anonymous said...

I also found your journal by googling Eric Mahl, since he was my first crush, no lie. I lost touch with him when I moved away after third grade, so I never really knew who he was. Hope he was still nice to women after all those times I chased him around the playground at recess so I could knock him down and kiss him. :D He was such a hotty!!!

-a girl once named Cain...

Anonymous said...

He was definitely a hottie in college. and he was very sweet.