Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sundae of despair? hahahaha

Erm, my poem the other day... I'm rather proud of it, if truth be told. If you think of it as a newborn baby being left to die, well, then it is nothing more than a big pool of nasty. Substitute "work project that I put my heart and soul into" for "baby" and you have a jagged hole in my heart rather than actual blood, guts and death.

In a nutshell, I helped launch a magazine that was doomed from the start. Before it even came back from the printer's, before the baby was even born, the powers-that-be decided it would never run again. And they never even told me, deeming me not important enough, I guess.

I knew it was in trouble, for many reasons, but that knowledge doesn't stop me from grieving. A pile of the mags sit on the far corner of my desk, looking pretty and happy as a newborn baby. And yet they're a dirty secret that nobody wants to talk about. There will be no launch party, no website, no champagne, no hearty congratulations, or cigars. No "good job" from the boss. No apologies. Throughout the day I steal glances at them, feeling ridiculously sorry for them and their abandonment, thinking "you deserved so much better." To me, they really are like a beautiful newborn baby that has been forgotten on the delivery room floor.

I'm very quiet in these early days of summer. I have drawn within myself, metaphorically pulled my knees to my chest in a futile stab at self-protection. I have so little ability to find my natural enthusiasm, the buoyancy that usually floats me through the days. The one thing I am seemingly successful at is alienating almost everyone I come into contact with. For a person who prides herself on being happy, on "getting along," this is almost too much to bear.

Funny how the kicks come when you're already down. When you think you can't take one more thing, that's when a letter to the editor arrives and calls your writing drivel. Or that's when your kids start fighting and one kid calls the other kid a douchebag on Facebook. Or the car breaks down, your e-mail account gets hacked, you step in dog poop in the front yard and the cat pukes on the chesterfield. You know other people in the world are suffering much more than you are, that your problems are minor and few, that you're damned lucky just to be alive, so you add guilt about feeling sorry for yourself on top of everything else. A fat glossy fire engine red maraschino cherry of guilt plopped on a sundae of despair.

Writing that just now makes me laugh at my own foolishness. "Sundae of despair?" Seriously. Who writes this crap?


  1. Step away from the sundae! Because we all know that eating that thing, sticking your face in it and wallowing in it, is only going to make you feel worse - and gain weight - in the long run...

    I'm sorry you're going through stuff now. My only advice is to hold on and ride it out. It WILL get better. :)

  2. I know it's trite to say we all have those ups and downs...but you will bounce back. After all, how can you know happiness if you don't see the downside? How can you write of angst and pain if you don't experience it?
    Are you wishing me into a deep, dark hole yet? You are? Then you're getting better! :)

  3. You are right, you are not alone. Leave the Sundae as the goo will stick forever; wash yourself up and splash back into the life lane !

  4. Meh... say f**k it and have some real ice cream instead.

    (Feel better Cathy. There's "ups" on the way.)

  5. We all have those down, down, way down phases. Put the magazines in a box where they won't reproach you and take a little break until you feel like yourself again. Sometimes I like to just bury myself in a good book, eat too much chocolate and wallow.

  6. Ah, Facebook and brotherly love. The boys will get over their bickering- as brothers always do. For you, I agree with Chris, and suggest eating a real sundae, with a cherry on top and saying the hell with what that editor thinks! This is just a temporary set back. All will be right again soon. *hugs*

  7. It's what I call 'mountain-and-valley' syndrome - you want to be on the mountain peak, (and sometimes you actually achieve it1) but then in order to get to the next mountain you have to cross the valley.....

    Don't wallow (and keep well away from the pernicious and fleeting delights of the 'sundae'!) but file this set-back under 'experience'. Nothing you do is ever wasted - it may just need re-working, or a different setting/application - sometimes it's just a matter of timing!

    (My present sojurn away from writing is giving me time to examine what I want to write and what I'd be aiming for in terms of publication (e.g. would blogging give enough satisfaction, supposing that was the most I could achieve?)

  8. Cathy, I'm sorry they pulled the plug on the magazine. Sue's right - don't wallow. We won't let you!
    And I liked the Sundae of Despair title.

  9. Well, I am so happy to know that little ditty didn't come from your real imagination. F the jerks who have authority, don't take your kids personal, and a hot chocolate sundae on good vanilla ice cream sounds like a picker-upper to me.

  10. Awww Kathy I'm so sorry it didn't work out. :( It sucks...but at least you gave it a shot right? And your writing isn't drivel.

  11. Sundae of Despair is awesome!
    I'm sorry about your magazine. What happened, exactly? Or can you talk about it?

    And I've totally been in the one thing after another scenario. Like when our van blew up while I was driving it while my mother-in-law was dying of cancer (and then did a couple of months later) and... well, those two are enough, right?

    Also, I completely understand where your coming from on the topic of reviews (and I responded to your comment). Giving a bad review, though, shouldn't be a "mean" thing. Certainly, some people are mean when they do it, but, well, that's a whole other post.

    I suppose this wouldn't be the best time to nudge you about a certain review, so I'll do it in this completely passive way of not doing it.

  12. "Sundae of despair" is pretty funny, I won't lie. But what are you self-protecting from? It seems like you have a cadre of fans and commenters around here, and I know in the social networks you've got enthusiastic buddies, as well as a loving family. You gave your best effort to a doomed project, and probably gained great experience from the undertaking. I'm sorry it was a thankless task, but it wasn't a hollow one, nor are you hardly left with nothing.

  13. Cathy, you're AMAZING and I'm with Chris above, f*@k it and have some ice cream are not what you do, (none of us are) and that is the great, big, lie that we've been spoon fed all of our lives. This isn't a personal reflection on who you are, because you are greater than anything you do-- You are a spark of the divine! Own it.

    Love you!

  14. Sigh! Dead before it was ever born. Another publishing fiasco. Another idea tried, perhaps without enough market research, forethought, or money. Raised expectations for readers and writers alike. Now, nothing. And I suspect no explanation for the readers. Does wonders for the publisher's credibility.

    Reminds me of when I had my last writing contract terminated summarily. Made me feel like everything I had written was junk. (Which it was not.)

    Despair on Sunday or Sundae of despair. Whatever. With or without the cherry.

    Except you are a good writer, and thoughtful citizen. Papers and magazines need capable and thoughtful writers.

    So, what's for next week? Besides this viscously hot weather that sucks the life out of everyone.

  15. Luckily your natural bright side won't allow you to pass up the oppurtunity to be funny, even when you are depressed. The roller coaster's just doing its slow climb right now, hang on for the WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

  16. Summer can be oppressive, and you're allowed to wallow in despair a little bit. Just don't move in there.

    So some people are cruel, thoughtless, and tasteless. The rest of us look forward to reading anything you write.

    You rock, girl!

    Marian Allen
    Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes


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