Pretty Screwed

So I started writing the story I’ve been meaning to write for a while and I started it more as a dare. The Artist’s Way gave me a push and helped me get over the hurdles I put in front of me (some real and a lot imagined). Some of the hesitation is the feeling that I have to write beautifully with lots of detailed description of things like that window full of pipes with holes that let out steam that are rusty and look kind, like a nice animal who will come over and sit in your lap and allow you to pet it until the mail truck pulls up and scares it back onto the roof. I don’t know why I turn inanimate objects into pets. I’m just not able to describe how that view feels. It is white. The day is cold. It’s January, a month that never ends. Even when you turn the calendar to February – a month that has a whole lot of explaining to do – it’s still January. Somewhere. I can feel it. The air vents in my house pump January gas through the ducts. Even when I’m warm I’m cold. The seed packets I bought sit and mock me. And then I’m just too exhausted to map out a garden plan for the year. All hope is lost. Winter has gone on forever and it’s only just begun which is its special horrible power. Where was I? I was talking about how disappointing my writing is. And all the corpses of dead novels in cardboard caskets up in my newly organized bedroom closet. If I had even an ounce of religious feeling, I’d draw a cross on each one. Rest in peace, you shitty disappointing waste of time. So the problem with starting a new one is the nagging feeling that I’m just creating another future corpse which is really all we are anyway. My children. They are alive now but so what? One day they’ll die. And the people I really want to get rid of just keep living on and on and sending me stupid emails. And I still can’t describe anything in some beautiful Louise Erdrich way. So, I’m pretty screwed and need to get past that.

Claudia writes when she can stand it. When she can't, she putters around her 4 1/2 acres out in the middle of nowhere and wishes the neighbor's dog would shut up. Originally from Richmond, she's living the Green Acres life now with three cats, two daughters, and a cantankerous guinea pig. Visit her at

Claudia takes classes with Valley.