Month: October 2011

About My Goldfish Memory

I will probably forget a month from now that I even wrote this post. I forget what I post about. I forget who has read my books. I forget conversations, dates, people’s names, faces, things I did yesterday, last week, a year ago. Two hours ago. I forget things most people seem to remember. I have the worst memory ever. My friend Zoe calls it Goldfish Memory. You know, you remember things for like 3 seconds and then your memory restarts? Yeah, that’s seriously how I feel all the time. I have to write everything down, but even when I do that I forget important things. Yesterday I was on the phone with my friend Annie and I completely forgot she had read my novel Monarch. The whole conversation I never remembered that last month I had emailed her the ebook so she could read it and be prepared for our live chat Monarch party last month. I even wrote a post on Facebook about something kind she said about the book – about it being like an endless supply of Reese’s peanut butter cups. How could I forget that? Sigh.

Anyway, it’s just sad when I get laughed at for forgetting things (not in a mean way, but still…) – when a situation where I’ve forgotten something makes me look like a complete idiot.

This happens to me at least three times a week. Or more.

Maybe this is why I’m a hermit. I’m afraid to go anywhere in public and interact with people – do anything that will mean I have to remember something or someone. My poor husband. He’s constantly dealing with my absent-mindedness. And it’s not even that I’m preoccupied with anything specific. I’ve been this way my entire life, and quite frankly, it’s embarrassing and awful and lately has become a real problem in my life. I just don’t know what to do. Warn people all the time? Are there herbs that help with this or something? I’ve tried planners, post-it notes, everything. I’m horrible at tests. It’s amazing I got through college with a high GPA.

I just don’t know what to do lately. I’m just saying this out loud in public because I’m afraid people might be offended by anything I forget to do or post or say or whatever. It affects my relationships with people, and that’s the hardest thing of all. I think what might help is getting away from the Internet for awhile and focus more on my writing and some real-life stuff and trying to take things slower and freeing myself of some stress.

Anyone have any advice? Do you know anybody as absent-minded as me? Anything that has helped?

Posted by Michelle D. Argyle in About Me, 33 comments

Monarch Signing at The King’s English

So I’m a little wound up from last night – my first-ever signing and reading at a bookstore. First I want to say thank you to everyone who gave me advice yesterday for publicly reading. You want to know what’s funny? I completely forgot that I used to do readings all the time in college. I’d go to the Open Mics and read poetry at least once a month. I won awards for some of my short stories and read them aloud at the presentation nights. This isn’t new to me. I only remembered this as I was sitting at the panel table with the other authors. I thought, “Oh, this isn’t so new after all. It’s just been, like, ten years…”

Anyway, the reading went fantastic! Here I am giving a little information about myself to the audience, and then reading half of the first chapter of Monarch.

Michelle D. Argyle Event Pics #6

See those monarch wings? Yeah, those are wings that my awesome friend Natalie Whipple wore to show her undying support of my work. After all, Monarch is what brought us together in the first place! Long story. But this book is special to our friendship. Thank you, Natalie!
Michelle D. Argyle Event Pics #1

My friend Stephanie McGee also came, as well as Michael Offutt.

Michelle D. Argyle Monarch Signing at King's English 001

Michelle D. Argyle Monarch Signing at King's English 004

One of the other authors was Melissa Menatti, who writes this drop-dead gorgeous poetry and presents it in the most unique, tangible way. Her book is incredible. I bought a copy and this is what it looks like:

Yes, way awesome! Loose pages you can read in any order you like. This girl understands poetry and as I listened to her read I was reminded of my college days and what I miss about writing poetry every day. Sigh. One of the other authors was Jessica McQuinn, who is published by the small press, Omnific Publishing. Yay for small press! Jessica writes romance, and it was a lot of fun to hear her read from her novel, Indivisible. The last author was Dorothy J. Varney, this lovely woman who has written about three of her husband’s ancestors during the gold rush in California. Her writing is solid and gorgeous. You can see her books here.
Michelle D. Argyle Monarch Signing at King's English 003 Melissa Michelle D. Argyle Monarch Signing at King's English 002, Meliss
All in all, a successful night! A great way to get my feet wet!
Posted by Michelle D. Argyle in Books, Monarch, 24 comments

You Have the Power

michelle-d-argyle-you-have-the-powerI hit a new peak in my writing – and in my life – sometime last year. It was like I had been climbing a mountain and didn’t realize I was in a foggy haze. Then, somehow, I came out of that fog and realized I was on the top of a mountain. I could see everything around me. I could see the peaks I had reached in years past. I could see other mountains off in the distance, even higher than the one where I was standing.

What was this peak?

For me, it was several things in succession. First, it was about the stories I wanted to write. I think the easiest way to describe it is that instead of holding a manuscript in my hands made of stone with a chisel pounding out the words, I was holding a piece of putty. It resembled a book – a manuscript – but instead of something completely solid, it was almost fluid. I saw it as a story, not a book, not a novel. It was something that flowed along the lines of storytelling rather than pounding out something called a book. I realized for the very first time how fluid this putty was in my hands – how I could pull pieces off and reshape them, how I could pound it flat, roll it into a scroll or a ball or a pyramid. It was three-dimensional. It was so much more magical than a pile of papers called a book.

Story.

It’s malleable.

You can delete scenes. Change characters. Cut chapters. Change the ending. Throw in a new beginning. You can rewrite the entire freaking book without even a second thought because you have that confidence and power that the story will work no matter what you do to that piece of putty in your hands.

When I realized all this about my writing, a new chapter in my life began, as well. I started down one peak and started hiking up to another. The fog drifted down below – and it has yet to permanently rise back up to where I am. It’s a nice feeling. It opened a door to me realizing that nothing in my life has to be set in stone, either. Most decisions I make are malleable. If I’m unhappy anywhere at any point, there are always choices before me. A good friend of mine once told meĀ if she’s unhappy with a publishing house, she’ll move on to somewhere else. If she wants a new agent, she can get another one. If at any point writing and publishing makes her miserable, she will stop and find something else in her life to make her happy because I certainly hope none of us are so one-dimensional that only one thing in life can make us happy.

That.

That is freeing.

I love the poster up above. I saw it on Facebook the other day, and it reminded me of this moment I had last year when I realized that I do have the power at any given moment to say THIS CAN CHANGE and it will not hurt me or the story or my life if I do not let it.

It’s an amazing thing to take charge of your own career and life with courage. Sometimes I forget this and fall into a pit of suckiness. I trip on a rock and black out for a second, or I let that fog curl around my eyes for a moment, but I get out a lot faster than I used to.

So I don’t know if anything I can say can get you to the top of that mountain faster if you haven’t already reached it. I don’t know if any of this makes sense. I just know that grasping my power as a storyteller has made all the difference in my attitude about life and writing. I hope you can experience something similar if you haven’t already. Understanding that your life and the stories you’re creating aren’t set in stone is an amazing thing. It allows you to view more clearly those other peaks you may one day reach – which will never be easy, but definitely worth it. It’s my hope that none of us ever underestimate that power.

Posted by Michelle D. Argyle in Think Positive, 19 comments