don’t just hitch your wagon to a star; hitch it to the moon and the sun, too


Another way I tested myself and came out surprised was by sending a brand-new piece of mine to Hillary Carlip, girl wonder and editor of a wonderful publication, Fresh Yarn. As some of you remember, a few entries ago, I promised to send more of my material to publications I like and admire. Fresh Yarn was first on my list. Originally, I found it because I am a huge, dorky admirer of Francesca Lia Block and her writing. I Googled her and found a lovely essay she’d written about fashion in Fresh Yarn. Then, I got to peeking around the rest of the site and saw quality material from people who were at the top of their game in their respective professions.

Finally, I stumbled onto Ms. Carlip herself, who just amazed and inspired me. Those of you who know me well will know just how fucking cool I think it is that she juggled in Olivia Newton-John’s Xanadu movie and won The Gong Show. As fate (or some other stuff) would have it, I read part of Hillary’s newest book, Queen of the Oddballs while at a friend’s house. The book was in my friend’s bathroom and I was so enchanted by it, that I pretended to be constipated to keep reading it. Eventually, my friend grew suspicious, and I had to put the sweet book down. I sneaked to the local bookstore and read the rest of it on one of the comfy chairs meant to help people try out books.

After reading it, I was so floored that I bought it immediately. Having it in my hot little hands and in my cozy little bed made the second read even better (and wow, Paul Reubens AKA PeeWee Herman even wrote a blurb on the back cover). I laughed, I cried, I contemplated my own fabulosity. Then, I decided I had to get a piece of mine in Fresh Yarn. The piece seemed to write itself, which is strange for me. Usually, I put a lot of thought into my pieces. This, I wrote on a Saturday in a spiral notebook, typed on a Sunday, and sent out on a Monday. I didn’t expect to hear anything, as Hillary is on a book tour. She was on Ellen Degeneres’ show, teaching Ellen how to swallow fire. Liza Minnelli came out with a fire extinguisher later in the segment. So, as I said, if Hillary was swallowing fire with Ellen and trotting her fabulous book all over, I wasn’t going to hear from her. Imagine my surprise when I got a letter on Thursday, saying, “I loved your piece and I’m putting the strongest pieces in first.” Later Thursday night, I got a personal letter where she called my piece “exquisite," said it was “gorgeous writing,” and told me that she wanted to hunt down more of my work.

We’ve written a few letters back and forth. She’s been so kind and gracious that it makes me see just how important mentoring and supporting other artists is. I’m still in the spinning-around-and-shouting-about-it phase. Here I almost didn’t send the piece to the publication and now, this wacky gal is reading my work and saying she loves it. It’s just another lesson in following through and believing in my work and myself. I’ll always be home if I do that. I’ve got more pieces to send to the other publications on my list and I have a good feeling about this. Maybe what I needed before wasn’t inspiration, but a basic belief in myself. I am gaining that slowly every day and feel like I’m falling in love with my life all over again.

I know that I’ve been quiet here. Sometimes, I get quiet because I have to grow. I had to grow. I am growing, but not so willing to be quiet now.

More soon,

Check out Her Teeth Flash Fear


Queen of the Oddballs: And Other True Stories from a Life Unaccording to Plan
by Hillary Carlip