September 29, 2006

Hello, she said shyly, even though adverbs are out of fashion...

If you have been wondering, oh best beloveds, why I have been so silent and crotchety lately, making a puckery cat-butt shaped mouth and nattering endlessly on about pets-of-yore, or worse, been silent, squatting on the other side of a closed door from you trying not exhale so you won’t hear me back here and expect me to blog cheerfully about all the things I have NOT been doing, like, say, leaving the house or talking to other humans… well. It’s because I’ve been in the long dark tea time of the soul.

My mental illness number left the stratosphere. I quit liking writing. I quit liking all the other things I like, like people and hiking and pictures of monkeys. I only liked television. And DQ. And Zefrank. (I still like Zefrank…)

BUT OH BBs! I finally DID quit it. I quit writing. Even blogging. I started living my life again and doing things I like to do--- I went OUT TO DINNER with a buncha literati and talked books and ate grits and scallops with asparagus at Rathbun’s And I went TO A SOCCER GAME! And I went to CHURCH and I talked on the PHONE and made SUPPER and PLAY DATES and BEDS just like a REAL BOY, oh my Gepettos. Basically, I gave up, decided I couldn’t do it. Quit. Walked off. Quit riding myself into the ground and hitting myself in the head for ruining something I had loved before I made it into air and food and water and tried to live off it. In short, I abdicated.

And then, relatively quickly, once I gave it up…TGWISS started happening again. It had closed down as I was trying to flog it forward, and I closed down with it and I have been SO mentally ill that I have been unable to function and all my jeans are tight as I stress-ate most of Wisconsin, which as you know has a higher fat content than most states. Dern cheese.

BUT NOW! It’s like this….

Pretend your grandparents once owned a house on Ward Basin and you remember going with your friend Jennifer and taking out their little putt-putt-putty motor boat, heading across the flat, brackish water---and both of you are tall, healthy girls, so healthy, euphemistically speaking, that at school your nickname is “the Boobsey Twins” because the one of you is never seen without the other and, ahem, possibly there are other reasons, and you have put on your bathing suits because you KNOW if you go putt-putt-putting out to the visible center of the flat and tie up the boat to buoy pole, and if you then peel off your T-Shirt and lay down with one leg bent so the right knee is always a little more sunburned than the left, and drape yourself out, wearing only the smallest bathing suit your mother would permit (which is never HALF as small as the bathing suit you wanted) as Jennifer does the same on the other seat of your tiny boat, then you know BOYS will come, three boys with a faster stronger boat, boys very like that boat, all sleek silhouettes with mighty engines. They will appear because you have summoned them with the power of the tenth grade C cup, and they’ll say “YO JOSS! JEN! YOU GUYS ARE BACK! FOR ALL WEEKEND? WANT TO WATERSKI WITH US? WANT TO GO TUBING?

The boys hope you will wipe out and forget to let go of the rope, so that you are pulled along fast through the water and your bathing suit top will peel down and off and get in the current and be taken past the mouth of the basin and out to sea, never no never no never never to be seen again and you, of course, will just say, OH WELL and waterski topless. The boys will come with skis and rope and intertubes and Coca-cola as long as there’s the slightest CHANCE you might and you and the boys both are excited by that tiny possibility. And you ski until your legs are trembly strings and then sit in the boat while Jen is pulled, and you are wondering which one wants to kiss you and which one wants to kiss Jen and which one you want to kiss and which one will end up driving the boat home alone with chapped lips and bitter eyebrows when four of you jump out near the dock to swim under it and trade breath back and forth underwater, mouth to mouth.

The sun sinks halfway down in the sky, not quite sunset, and you see that a strip of gold light comes across the water right exactly to you. It leads from you to the horizon, a bright and tenuous path that ripples and breaks up into sparkles in the wake, and there’s this moment when you think you could step out of the boat and put your foot on that narrow strip of light and walk along it, arms out for balance, toes pointing between each careful step, and you could make your way across the water to some place as yet undefined. It would be triumphant, and you feel the timbre of that march inside your tired legs, and any moment, you can get up, step out, and go.

WELL. TGWSS has become like that for me again. I’m clambering right on out of the boat. I am walking on the water.

AND MY LORD but isn’t that vomitously romantical? MUCH too gooey for me, eh? I don’t have enough soul, you understand, to be fourteen and a true believer and step onto paths of light. I might as well liken TGWSS to a Backstreet Boy and I in my tube top and Bonnie Bell am finally oh finally for really truly kissing him!
On! The! Mouth!

So, all that crap aside…I’ll say this:

Hello. I missed you. I have decided to live.

Posted by joshilyn at September 29, 2006 11:18 AM

A momentous decision. Welcome back.

Posted by: Reé at September 29, 2006 12:02 PM

Oh, mi gosh it was sooo worth the wait. Flirtinis and crab legs to you honey. Break a lead.

Posted by: Cele at September 29, 2006 12:03 PM

Welcome back Joss!! It's great to see you and 'hear' how you managed to break the insanity.

(I must try it out myself. Perhaps I'll figure out how to like my MC again.)

Posted by: dragonfly at September 29, 2006 12:42 PM


Posted by: hollygee at September 29, 2006 1:02 PM

Welcome back, Pretty Tulip!

Posted by: Beth at September 29, 2006 1:45 PM

OH thank goodness you decided to live! Because in writer land it's sort of a 'you jump, I jump' thing... if I found out there would not be another JJ book coming out, I'd lose all faith!

After reading your vomitously romantical paragraphs, I realized I was never one of the girls in C cups who knew that boys would ever look her way.

Posted by: Heather Cook at September 29, 2006 1:52 PM

I'm glad. You're my favorite.

Posted by: Susan at September 29, 2006 1:52 PM

I'm just reading Gods of Alabama now. That would've been tragic if I could never read another.

Glad to hear you've decided to live. Really live.

Posted by: jason evans at September 29, 2006 2:02 PM

(Of course, that's *in* Alabama. Would be nice if I got my prepositions right.)

Posted by: jason evans at September 29, 2006 2:03 PM

Good on ya, Tulip.

Posted by: Amy-Go at September 29, 2006 2:24 PM

Hurrah! She lives.

We missed you too!

Posted by: Edgy Mama at September 29, 2006 4:37 PM

Welcome home, darlin.

Posted by: Mir at September 29, 2006 4:42 PM

Dude, now I have GUILT for using the stern mommy voice. Please don't hate me, because, well??? You're pretty??? Is that a good enough reason?
And really, "I like you best!"
Seriously, glad you're really back, and have decided to live, and WRITE again. Really, really, really I am.
(((((Joshilyn))))) <-------big hugs, just for you!

(Besides, I'd hate to have to take down my favorite picture, hanging just above my Inspirational Writing Wall. You know, the one of you and me in Charlotte, with the cool frame that has "BFF" in sparkly letters... Yeah, that would just be S.A.D.)

Posted by: dee at September 29, 2006 4:53 PM

oh my god, you write so well. *lies down to recover after reading that post*

Posted by: lizardek at September 29, 2006 6:32 PM

Yay! Oh, yaaaaaay. Welcome back.

And this is just the weirdest thing. Remember how, during the dark tea time, I e-mailed you about my fear of having to write a political satire about CHEESE for that crazy screenwriting contest I was doing? Well I didn't have to, but the idea I did come up with for that one (just in case) had to do with mad cows producing mad cheese, and the president deciding to bomb Wisconsin. So whatever THAT could possibly mean... there you go. Wisconsin -- lovely state, but possibly the root of all evil.

Posted by: Aimee at September 29, 2006 6:53 PM

Well, danged if you ain't a sight for sore eyes. We missed you. And your mushy, romantical prose, too! *sigh*

Welcome back, dear.

Posted by: David at September 29, 2006 7:01 PM

I'm late to the party, but glad to hear you're at it again. Sure would miss you at next year's Decatur Book Fest!

Posted by: Jim at September 29, 2006 7:57 PM

Jumping on the "Welcome Back" bandwagon. So glad you found your way out of the tea!

Posted by: Mit_Moi at September 29, 2006 8:52 PM

What a vomitously romantical and gooey story! It's so sweet I think I now may be a diabetical.

Welcome back. You were missed.

Posted by: Deb at September 30, 2006 7:38 AM

Power-packing punch, right to the common senses!! Joshilyn, you took me through every trap, morsel, doubt, frustration-hilled challenge with you on this piece!

I felt every vibration to the senese being pulled in all four Sacred Directions of the Universe--and of course, in simultaneous and tumultous abandon!

Equally, I felt myself too; climb out of a "boat" and just as I thought I'd never get taller, because I am only five foot one inch you see; I suddenly realize, I am a mountain of courage, strength too, and more than anything else,

I am an born-to-be-an-adventuress, in my excursion of the dance between: soul, spirit, heart, mind and emotion; as I touch the center of beingness, and like you; remember to dance.

Joshilyn, thankyou for the profound reminder, that sometimes even in achieving all of our wish's and desires; there will always come a day, when it over-powers our living in the smallest, most important "moments" of life.

How to keep the balance? I struggle with the balance-dance myself, in my simplicity; I cannot imagine being Joshilyn, author extra-ordinaire; master-dancer of all things possible!


Posted by: North at September 30, 2006 11:31 AM

A Missy Blu Hug-Doll, sent to me all the way from Holland in August, for my 50ieth Birthday! lol Long story short, I needed a hug...Missy Blu is "it" and I share her with anyone needing one today.

Posted by: North at September 30, 2006 11:42 AM

My theory: your mental illness number is directly related to your bionic science ear.

Posted by: Karen Abbott at September 30, 2006 11:44 AM

I've missed you!! I disappeared into the tale of Joss and jen. I remembered how warm the sun felt and the motion of the boat and the feeling that you are in the post perfect day ever. Sometimes I forget those wonderful times on the gulf coast when I was growing up. Funny how life gets in the way. Thanks for for being able to tap into that with your amazing gift of storytelling.

Posted by: Allison at September 30, 2006 3:21 PM

oh thank GAWD.

please don't leave again. your books are too good for that. reading your stuff makes me want to be a better writer.

Posted by: Sarah at September 30, 2006 9:07 PM

Living is Good. :-)

Posted by: DebR at October 1, 2006 2:31 PM

Josh--You go Girl. Glad you are doing OTHER FUN stuff. It will be good for your soul and your family. They miss you.
Yes, you can get burned out on things you enjoy doing!!! So...Hope all works for you. Enjoy those kids and Scott NOW--
God Bless, aunt marinan

Posted by: Aunt Marinan at October 1, 2006 4:28 PM

Welcome back anytime! A little vacation is nice every now and then.

Posted by: Patti at October 2, 2006 7:47 AM