Shithouse rat

I'm a bipolar writer in the Naked City. I'm not playing with a full deck. I don't have all my dots on the dice. My cheese is sliding off my cracker. I don't have both oars in the water. I'm a bubble off plum. In other words, I'm crazier than a shithouse rat. These are my stories. Comments--short or long, nasty or nice--always welcome!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A rant against myself

In my mind
Originally uploaded by SideLong.
Well, I have to admit that sometimes I can be a bit of an asshole. But at least I try to admit it and learn from my mistakes if I can--though there's no guarantees in that department either.

As I've noted in the comments section of the previous post, I was a tad hasty in my judgement of one or more of my fellow writers over at Blogcritics,and now I feel like a traitorous bitch. I guess I'll just blame it on the meds--that's always good for an seriously.

In my last post I linked to a Blogcritics article about blogging versus writing. I'd been reading a few posts and comments over at BC lately that had a cumulative effect of making me feel exasperated with what I felt were some pretentious attitudes held by some writers--especially those who had written novels and were either contemplating getting them published or had self-published and were hoping to gain visibility for them.

I have a bit of PTSD against aspiring novelists left over from my days as a member of a few Yahoo writer's groups. I think I managed to make an idiot of myself over at these groups on several occasions as well, but my pet peeve had always been those who wrote books but then did not bother to look into--and face the harsh realities of--the very very arduous, if not well-nigh impossible process of getting them either picked up by a traditional agent or publisher, or else self-marketing the shit out of them if they self-published.

Publishing is not an easy thing to get into, but fiction is probably the most difficult of all. The "problem" I had was that there were some folks who apparently wrote a novel in a vacuum, never ventured to "lower" themselves to trying to get a short piece published to test the waters (including--gasp--non fiction), never researched the process of submitting to agents and publishers, and then railed and ranted about the fact that the publishing industry is unfairly stacked against them. Well, yes it is, but that's life in a very competitive field.

In any case, to make a long story short, I'm now e-mailing back and forth with the author of the article I linked to in the previous post. I now understand why he had chosen to not respond to a lot of comments on his pieces, or even check his comments--and that he was not being stuck up by not doing so. Although he gets a lot of praise from commenters and BC editors alike, and many of his posts wind up on the Editor's Picks list, some of the comments he gets are horrifically nasty.

This is a guy who has the guts and determination to post a piece every single day on Blogcritics. I definitely can't do that, and my hat goes off to him. In any case, he's a talented and very nice guy, and I'm glad I'm getting to know him and his work better. In case anyone is interested, here's a link which leads to all his BC posts. Also, since I've refrained from "announcing" my new BC posts here lately, this is a link to the BC posts I've done so far. Some are original, and some are derived from old Shithouse pieces. Craven blogslut pimpout, over and out.

Another source of anxiety for me has to do with an old blogpal, Walker. He posted a brilliant piece the other day about his love/hate relationship with cigs, and has announced his intention to quit for good at the end of the month. He's invited me to take on this challenge as well, since we first "met" when he responded to one of my posts here about how bad my cig habit is.

Walker is roughly my age, and from what he says he has a number of health problems that are weighing on him. Not only am I worried about him, but I can relate absolutely, because I have come to the point where I am seriously afraid I may drop dead at any time-- especially if I keep up the bad habits I've developed to the max in the past year or so.

Since I started blogging and since my boyfriend BG (and thus I) quit AA (I'm not an alchoholic, but I've got an addictive personality and my own issues), I've stopped eating right, stopped exercising completely, and probably doubled my consumption of cigs. As a result, I feel physically sick whenever I walk half a block. I'm out of breath and have to stop for a minute or two. My 80-something year old aunts can get around better than I can nowadays. As if that isn't enough, both my parents smoked, didn't eat right, and died of heart disease early in life, leaving me an orphan before the age of 15. You think I'd be smarter, now wouldn't you?

My relationship with BG has suffered due to the blogging mania as well. Though I enjoy it no end, I've said here again and again that it's become an unbalanced force in my life.

Adding to my frustration is the fact that if my ex-boyfriend L and I had finished up the packing, discarding, and prep work in order to sell our coop, I could be buying the Bronx place I had my eye on for so long right now. I've been checking the real estate ads, and there are several listings for two-bedrooms in the complex I intend to move to, but since our place is still not ready to show, let alone sell, I'm sitting helplessly by while these choice deals will likely get grabbed up by others. I can only hope that there will be something good available to me when we finally do finish up this process, but it's seriously bumming me out.

So I guess I've got some work to do on myself--inside and out. But they do say that the unexamined life is not worth living, so I guess I'll just take it from there.


At 7:14 PM, Blogger Walker said...

You commented on one post on the information available.
I still stand on what I said which was in response to that post.
Don't put yourself down for standing up for our convictions. That's why we are all here and no one said you were perfect all the time just maybe 99%. :)

Now don't you be to worried about me.
I'll do what needs be to keep myself healthy.
I love eating pu**y to much to leave to soon.

You need to stick around to take me into battle with you :D

I can't wait for you to unload the co-op so you can get that off your head and why is it taking so long to get ready BTW?

At 9:58 AM, Blogger dan said...

In the end, work on ourselves is always something we have to do.

At least you'll never get bored. ;)

At 6:24 PM, Blogger WDKY said...

Elvira, I think that acknowledging these things is really important. I wish you lots of luck in addressing them, but just set yourself realistic targets.

I also think it's great that you've formed a relationship with g-man in such a positive way. Not everyone would be so open about what they feel was a mistake, and it's an attractive trait.

Have a lovely weekend.

At 3:38 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


BG used to say: "Don't worry; I'm too mean to die." I guess your version would be "I'm too horny to die?"--lol...

My ex b/f (L) does little or nothing unless I'm there and helping, and 99 percent of the shit that's being dumped, boxed, or sold is his. Other than that, I think I'm also to blame for dragging my feet. I hate this sorta thing so much. But yeah, everyone says--what's taking so freakin' long? I guess part of me still feels like L is getting "thrown out" though he's apparently fine with it all. I'm also feeling a little down lately, and that's affecting my motivation. Yeah, yeah, blah blah bullshit.

I need a fire lit up under my butt, but no one can really light it except me. Ugh. Now if I can stop lighting the cig butts and just concentrate on moving my own, things will be good. I'm very seriously thinking about quitting the cigs at the end of the month as you mentioned, Walker. I seem to be smoking more and enjoying it less. I'm glad you're taking that step too...

At 3:42 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

That's a good way of looking at

Thanks so much for the kind comment. I guess some might see me as hypocritical or wishy washy or waffly, but I try to be honest enough with myself to admit that I may not (gasp) always be compeletely right (lol). I just think the karma works out better that way too.

At 12:26 PM, Blogger !ce said...

I can be the same way. Although I have just had an e-mail tell me that I am kind, understanding, and caring. There is parental disagreement.

I have sent you an e-mail. I have also updated my blog. Please, please, please comment on my latest post. I am dying to get a reaction to it.

At 8:00 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


I just left a comment on your blog, but without repeating myself, I just wanted to add that I wonder why (if you really feel the need to join such groups) you don't consider one that might be a (perhaps) better "fit"--perhaps a gay interest/rights group, or vegetarian group, or some such. As I've mentioned to you many times before, I don't quite get why you wish to be part of such cliqueish enterprises in the first place. And I'd love to hear more about how your classes are going. Hope that doesn't make me sound like Grandma Elvira--lol.

At 1:00 PM, Blogger !ce said...

I'll tell you the really ironic part. The actual identity of said group: Progressive Action Committee. They used to be the Shepherd Greens, but didn't want to pay some sort of fee, so they branched off.

There is a gay group, but they are purposely apolitical, which is a turn-off for me. There is no vegetarian group. My friend is in the one group that I still go to, which is an environmental group.

At 3:09 PM, Blogger Mr. 12 Step said...

Yeah, what Dan said.

At 7:44 PM, Blogger jane said...

It must be hard to see homes that you want, sold to others. Hopefully that means those just weren't meant for you & that something better awaits.
Interesting that you talk about writing because so many bloggers say they're writing books. You're right, I've never even thought they'd have to get a publisher & all that other stuff. Pays to think things thru.

At 11:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved both of these posts. There is nothing worse than a literary snob.

Regarding blogging and intruding on your life, I battle with that myself. In previous lives I have had to excommunicate myself from communities (and I have been excommunicated). I think it is a tricky thing, online communities and bipolar. I know some Psy.d's who are against it. Hmmm, I have a post in an old blog world about this. I am going to drudge it up.

You have made me aware of some irresponsible behavior I am guilty of. Thank you.

At 11:18 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


I left another comment on your blog, but in essence, it sounds like you've got a really great friend who's not cliquish and is on your wavelength. Sounds like the environmental group is a better fit anyway, no?

At 11:20 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Mr. 12-Step:

"What Dan said" is always a safe bet for

At 11:27 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


Thanks--that's a good way of looking at it. Sometimes I find that things work out for the best even though it doesn't seem that way at the time.

Well, people writing novels probably have the roughest road ahead of them in terms of finding a reputable agent and publisher. Some turn to self-publishing, but that rarely gets them anywhere, unless they are very dedicated to self-marketing, and even then the odds are not good. C'est la vie...

At 11:38 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Mom, interrupted:

Thanks so much! And funny you should mention online communities. I did a post called Support group? Feh! which detailed my brief foray into a yahoo bipolar online group. What a nightmare that was.

Your blog looks really interesting--I can relate to the psych hospital experience big time. Hope you can find and revive that old post as well!

At 3:02 AM, Blogger digibrill said...

elvira, I hope you can shake it all. Get out and walk. I know I need one. I can't stand the cigs, but they just sate the craving so goooooood. I really hope you can get off of them. I'm a hypocrite, I know, for telling people to do what I haven't, but you are valued. I just hope you can get back to where you were.

I also wanted to say that whenever you bring up things about the state of the world and I comment, I leave some stupid crap that doesn't generally help. Well, at least I think it doesn't. It's just that things have never been perfect in the world and I just wanted to say that you should brighten your corner just like you do. You are so talented. Keep writing. I will try to be an upper from now on.

At 3:17 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


Your comment made my morning (well, 3 in the morning, which is the time I got up today--lol).

I always love your comments, so it's puzzling to hear you say you think they don't help--they do! And I am so sorry I've been remiss in visiting my blogpals like you. It seems to be part of my slump that I haven't been keeping up, but I am trying to get back into the swing of things.

It goes without saying that you are valued and talented as well. I hope you are feeling ok and I'll swing by to visit soon. Thanks again!

At 4:57 PM, Anonymous The Otter King said...

Hi Elvira,

I haven't yet read much of your blog (I should have this weekend!) but I'm still looking forward to reading. Best of luck getting out of the slump! (Myself too, since I haven't posted to my own blog in a month...)


At 11:30 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Thank you, Otter King, and thanks for the comments, here and elsewhere!

At 12:47 PM, Blogger Nikky Egland said...

For what it's worth... I don't think you're an asshole

At 3:29 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Thanks Nikky...

At 1:25 AM, Blogger !ce said...

Um... say that after you read my newly updated blog.


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