“In-spiration”

Last week, I went to a writers’ workshop, expecting to read my new story for fertile feedback. Instead, I learned they were there to in-spire each other to write.  In-spire, I wondered, like literally “breath in” each other?  Gimme shelter!

Truth be told, like 95% of the stuff in the universe is dark matter&energy, real writers don’t need to swap breaths for in-spiration. Their stories kick and whine and beg to be written, relentlessly.

Drilling deeper, writing for me is a three stage process like conception, pregnancy and birth.

Conception is a mystical mind-fuck. Dunno if it’s coitus, onanism or whatever  – us or -ism. But, I definitely feel like it’s my first Orgasmic p-lay date after yawning for a year at a convent in Death Valley.

During pregnancy, my story’s embryo kicks and bOuNcEs and twists like a Mexican J-u-M-p-I-n-G bean to get o-u-t and be told. And, keeps me UP all day and all night, in my face and in my bones, like a sun lamp stuck on HIGH and incurable osteosarcoma.

At birth, it’s all wet and pink and squiggly. And, crying and crying and crying to be fed with more and more and still more words. And, similes and metaphors and every other literary device that’s ever been imagined. And some that haven’t. Whew!

Then, despite what my Psych. Prof. preached about a parent’s responsibility to dissolve her kid’s dependency relationship, I can’t get relief.

Throughout their pimples and heartaches and beyond, my stories call to say, “Hi, Mom. How are you? Got a minute? I’m embarrassed to ask, but can you pretty please spare a few words? I fear I’m overdrawn, and promise to repay you.” So, I continue to polish and tweak and do whatever I can to calm and please and return them to deep cotton. But, that never works.

Even if they’re finally published, they continue to haunt me as I read them for the nth time, frowning, why did I write those words instead of these?

So, good bye to writers’ workshops, and good luck to wannabee writers seriously swapping breaths for in-spiration. This writer is living her dream: to write and rewrite and enjOy Other glOriOus Orgasms. With repeated CAPITAL “Os.”

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About J. Ray Paradiso

J. Ray Paradiso is a recovering academic in the process of refreshing himself as an EXperiMENTAL writer and a street photographer. A confessed outsider, he works to fill temporal-spatial, psycho-social holes and, on good days, to enjoy the flow. His stories and photos have appeared in dozens of publications including Storgy, Typishly and Into the Void. All of his work is dedicated to his true love, sweet muse and body guard: Suzi Skoski Wosker Doski.



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