Monday, March 29, 2010



That was good to get out. I think we all feel a little bit better now.

KFKD vs. The Super Human

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....(sips coffee)....grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....(scowls at the phone as it rings)...grrrrrrrrrrrrr-Safety and Security, this is Genevieve.

That's how my morning is going. I'm not feeling good about myself today, but I'm trying to keep it apart from work.

My boss lent me a coffee cup that says "super human" on it, with lots of exclamation points. I don't feel like an exclamation point, though I am tall like one, and I do exclaim things from time to time. I used to feel like a big question mark, but I don't feel like that so much anymore. Maybe I'm a period at the end of a statement, but I would like to think that I'm something more fluid and less static than a fixed point.

I'm a human drinking coffee. Not super, but not despicable either. Last night I ate a piece of pizza that had cabbage and barbecued pork on it. That was pretty despicable.

Anne Lamott talks about tuning into a radio station in her brain called KFKD, which streams all the most horrible thoughts about herself 24/7 without commercial interruption. KFKD, as you have probably guessed or already know if you've read Bird by Bird, stands for "K-FUCKED" because it's all of her fucked up thoughts about herself, and about her writing. Today mine is saying, "You're a lousy whore who just wants everyone to like you, even the ones who have no reason to. And now you have cabbage breath because you ate that pizza." I think it's interesting that KFKD would call me a whore when I've been celebate for quite a while now. Who the hell is running that station, anyway? Like all bullies, the DJ for KFKD has thrown an insult with a nugget of truth in it. I do want everyone to like me, and I keep thinking that if I just try hard enough I can make that happen. I guess everybody does that, huh? Maybe I do it to an extreme because I'm just learning about boundaries and healthy stuff like that, but maybe that does't make me entirely pathetic.

You're not super bad or super good. Just human. Drinking coffee. Keep coming back to that and get back to work, Cabbage Breath.

Friday, March 26, 2010

character sketches

I have decided to invent characters for no good reason. Just a little writing practice. These are meant to be ficticious so if you know someone with one of these names or you are someone with one of these names I apologize. As far as I know, I made you up.

Lacy Rodriguez
Stormy Malone
Pete Fellows
Carmen Moreno
Biggie Bell (whose real name is Hank Short)
Melvin Gillespie
Babette Fink
Geneva Sinclair

Lacy Rodriguez is a data entry clerk who loves to jog and wishes that she could do it professionally. Someone asks her if that means she wants to be a runner in the Olympics and she says no, that she really would love to get paid just to jog through the park and wear short-shorts. Stormy Malone is an actress who is beginning to believe that her dog is the best man she has ever known. Pete Fellows has red hair, works in a tobacco shop, and is annoyed that people automatically expect him to be pleasant because his name suggests that he is. Carmen Moreno once auditioned for American Idol and has dreams about running over Simon's cat ever since he told her that her voice sounds like a rake in a garbage disposal. Biggie Bell is a trombone player who is in love with Carmen Moreno and dreams about running over her cat because it would give him a great excuse to talk to her. Melvin Gillespie wants to know what it's like to live outside of the country, but thinks he doesn't have enough money to travel. He doesn't realize that if he just stops buying Starbucks every morning he could easily save up for a trip. Babette Fink has worked at the bank for 25 years and has saved every picture that her children have given her. Geneva Sinclair is a romance novelist who recently gave up smoking and has found working on her car to be a wonderful distraction from the cravings because it really pisses her off.

Genevieve Cancienne loves her oddball, beautiful characters, and totally identifies with the guy who spends too much money on coffee.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm that chick who answers the phone

"Safety and Security, this is Genevieve."
"Hi, I need to pick up a new ID. Where are you guys located?"
"We're right between the hazardous materials dump and the morgue."
Silence on the other line.
"I mean, the laundry room."
"Oh ok, great."

This is not how my conversations generally go, but more rather how I would like them to go. I would like to tell people that my department is between the hazardous materials dump and the morgue because it is true and because it is more exciting than saying that we're around the laundry.

I've found time to write again. Saying this gives me the same sensation as splashing cool water on my face. You know, like when your face gets hot and cool water feels nice on it. No? You can't identify with that comaprison? Well, like I said, I've begun writing AGAIN, meaning I've been out of practice, meaning my writing skills are rusty. Rusty like bicycle chain left out in the rain. See what I mean?

Anyway, I need to write so that I can keep appreciating my job. When I answer the phone sometimes I'm tempted to say, "Safety and Security, this is Genevieve and I should be writing, but I need the money." But! Now that I'm writing early in the morning I come to work feeling calm because the writing is getting done. I'm not just that chick who answers the phone. I'm that chick who writes in the morning and THEN comes in to answer the phone. And directs people to the morgue.

And listen guys. Yes, I am addressing you directly. I am doing the LAST changes to my book before I ship it off to my agent for the LAST time. I'm counting on you guys to badger me about this. The next time I say, "Yeah, I heard back from my agent and she said it's great but that she thinks I should change everyone's last name and make the character's T-shirt green on page 107," please, please, pleasey-please tell me to write her back and say, "Nope. It's done." Because it is. I can't write this thing anymore. Time for a new book, a new anything. I have edited to the extreme. My fingers have fallen off. I am typing this with my front teeth.

I would also like to add that I really do like it at Ochsner. I would like to keep working here for a really long time. It's just that (sniff!) nothing compares to writing. This is around the time Sinead O'Connor should pop into your head because of that song, you know that song that she did, "Nothing Compares 2 U" and I'm pretty sure she did other songs and they were probably pretty good but that's the only one I know, which is sad because she had a beautiful voice and should probably be recognized for more and - DEAR GOD! I'm rambling!

See! I'm totally out of writing practice. Run on sentences everywhere! No point to this blog entry! No common theme to string it all together! Just nonsense about my agent's expectations and early 90's music. Don't worry, dear people. I'll work on this. The girl between the morgue and the hazardous materials dump is closer to the laundry than you think - THAT DOESN'T EVEN MAKE SENSE!

Let's start over. Hi. I am your Payphone Vigilante for the afternoon. Can I interest you in an analogy or a witty sentence fragment? Splendid! Tune in next time after Genevieve's had a few days of writing vignettes to herself.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Caged narrator

It's been weeks. Haven't written a word. I'm beginning to narrate things. I'm tempted to pull people aside in the hallway at the hospital and begin telling them short stories, the character-driven kind where not too much happens but there's all of this beautfil imagery and whatnot and it would get mentioned in an obscure literary magazine that only wrters read where it would receive honorable mention.

Do I want to be that kind of writer? The kind that only other writers know about, or the kind that kids groan about when they find out they've got to read it in school? I don't think so. I think I'd like to be sensational. Someone who churns out a novel every year and a half, and writes the kind of books that people can't put down when they read in bed at night. Somewhere a woman will be reading in bed and her husband will say, "Don't you have to get up early tomorrow morning?" And she'll say, "I'm reading The Kinky Sex Mutant Wizard's Disco Inferno by Genevieve Rheams. It's sci-fi, fantasy, western, romance and autobiographical. I can't put it down!"

But damn it, I need to start getting up early again and writing. And sending stuff off! But until I get my ass in gear about getting published, I need to atleast let the narrator out of my head. I love my job here at Ochsner and everything, but there's no writing involved, I don't want to write on work time (like I am right now - eeek!), and my writer's voice is going so stir crazy that if I don't let her out, she's going to chew herself loose of her shackles. There will be no saving the poor medical students in the hallway when I corner them and demand that they listen while I recite Eudora Welty.

"Who is that?" they'll ask.
"She was one of the greatest southern writers of the 20th century. Won the Pulitzer Prize."
"Oh. Do you know any Dean Koontz?"