Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Obsessions, Chains, and Haunts

Back from the road-trip. Driving gives me a headache!

I mentioned awhile back my one pub is repackaging my stories and putting them in ebook form (they're bought serial style). It was going pretty well until last night.

Did you hear that one where one author asked a more experienced author (Was it Sandra Brown?) what she should do about her publisher re-releasing her old stuff? And she's upset because she can't even edit it; the whole thing needs completely re-written. She doesn't know what to do.

The more experienced author says something to the effect of, "Oh honey, you can't fix it; all you can do is put an apology at the beginning."


This is one of those stories that haunts me, one of the reasons I'm sure glad I wrote under a pseudonym. :-)

What is strange about this one in particular, is that it's actually one of my more popular stories, if people writing me is any indicator. I can only hope that as I keep reading I'll find something redeeming.

Speaking of old stuff, I'm getting ready for a garage sale (which might end up turning into a trip to the Goodwill donation center, if I get lazy). HALF my cupboards in my kitchen are now COMPLETELY empty.

I don't want stuff.

I can't believe I ever did.

Why didn't anyone ever tell me, when I was young, that having more stuff means having less freedom?

One of my adult students told me about a man and wife who have practically nothing in their house. It's bare. Every piece of furniture must serve several purposes.

I think that's part of the mystique of Jack Reacher: no stuff, no responsibilities, just pick up and go at a moment's notice. As I'm going through my house, I've been obsessive about getting rid of stuff. It's to the point where I'm looking at each object as if it is standing between me and my personal freedom.

I aspire to just have a computer. I don't even want my stuff on my computer: I want it stored online.

I mean, really? What more do I need than books, movies, music, the internet, and everything else that's on my computer? Everything else is expendable.

Do you ever feel prisoner to your stuff? Do you ever feel like you just want the freedom to hit the road like Jack Reacher, except with a computer?

PS: Headache is descending fast. If I don't finish reading blogs and commenting, no worries, I'll be around tomorrow!

And thanks to Avery, George Carlin on Stuff:

18 bonus scribbles:

Zoe Winters 7/24/2008 08:20:00 AM  

I totally agree with more stuff, less freedom. I haven't had the income to buy things in awhile. After almost a year of no shopping it's like I'm detoxed. There are very few things I even WANT anymore.

Most of what I want is freedom.

Erica Orloff 7/24/2008 09:13:00 AM  

I have clutter disease. My significant other has it was worse. Most of my "stuff" is related to my kids or to my faith. But anyway, I purge often. I just can't stand it!!!

Avery DeBow 7/24/2008 09:29:00 AM  

I love my stuff.

George Carlin has an excellent bit on stuff:

(sorry for the copy and paste, but it won't let me do the HTML tag).

lainey bancroft 7/24/2008 10:15:00 AM  

((Hope your headache is better))

And I wouldn't sweat the older books being rereleased. I've heard a lot of authors say they cringe when they think about earlier works.

As for stuff *sigh* I keep getting rid of it and somehow it just keeps accumulating. We've actually been talking about moving--less house, more property--and I'd be happy to leave half my 'stuff' behind if we do decide to pull up roots!

StarvingWriteNow 7/24/2008 10:24:00 AM  

I need a certain amount of stuff to feel at home. I'm not way cluttery, but I like my stuff. Hope your headache feels better soon!

spyscribbler 7/24/2008 11:23:00 AM  

Zoe, I haven't either. And I'm totally detoxed, too. I just don't want them anymore. DH still has tendencies, but mine are gone. I don't think I've gone clothes shopping for YEARS. Even buying books is way down.

spyscribbler 7/24/2008 11:24:00 AM  

Erica, I can't say I don't have clutter disease, because what set me on this path is all the stuff around. I don't know how it happened! I'm hoping my epiphany leads to a life change, LOL, but... old habits die hard. But I have hope. I can't stand it, either!

PS: Your office is so pretty and neat!

spyscribbler 7/24/2008 11:25:00 AM  

Avery, thanks! What a perfect link. I'm sorry it didn't let you do an html tag. I'll double check my settings!

spyscribbler 7/24/2008 11:27:00 AM  

Lainey, headache is better. My own damn fault. I had a piece of cheese. I'm such an idiot. Writhing on the floor and making deals with the universe if I promised I would never touch dairy should help. It's ridiculous.

I want rid of my stuff, too. I want rid of almost all of it. I don't know what's got me on this obsession, but there it is.

spyscribbler 7/24/2008 11:28:00 AM  

Writenow, I can understand that. Right now I'm in the place where I'd rather have a big, comfy, quality couch in a room with nothing else in it. But I need color on the walls; I'm never at home until the walls are painted.

Melanie Avila 7/24/2008 11:33:00 AM  

I'm like Zoe - my shopping habits have completely done a 180 and I think I'm almost cured. Part of the way I deal is I don't go into stores, so we'll see how it holds when I go back to the states. My whole mentality has changed since we've been here; seeing how little other people have really puts things in perspective. You don't NEED stuff to be happy.

I agree on the comfy sofa and painted walls. I have both and I'm content in my place. :)

Eric Mayer,  7/24/2008 02:17:00 PM  

I have just about no stuff and I'm am quite happy to have nothing. My first wife was a pack rat and the endlessly accumulating stuff was a nightmare. It was bad enough that you could hardly move through the house and risked life and limb if you opened a closet door, but when we moved, and had to drag it all behind us....As they say, there comes a point where you don't own the stuff, it owns you.

Aimless Writer 7/24/2008 02:23:00 PM  

Having more stuff means having less freedom.
I think I'm going to put that over the door to my house. lol
Thanks for the shot of Carlin. The man was a genius.

spyscribbler 7/24/2008 07:20:00 PM  

Melanie, I don't go to stores, either. It's strange to me, to remember the times I'd go to the mall, just for fun. It's strange to me how much I spent on clothes and whatnot!

Although, at times, I miss being able to go to the mall on a clothes spree, with a hundred dollars to burn and a little more to stretch if I was naughty, LOL.

spyscribbler 7/24/2008 07:22:00 PM  

Eric, DH is a packrat, too. Since he's away, I went through his office and threw out two BIG garbage bags of paper we don't need. I don't normally invade his space, but I needed ONE piece of paper. It took me FIVE hours to find it, and by that time, I'd pretty much cleared out the whole office, LOL.


I've at least curbed him of his tendencies. He's hoping to retire in an RV some day and live full-time on the road. Every time he gets the urge to buy something, I tell him it won't fit in an RV and he refrains, LOL.

spyscribbler 7/24/2008 07:23:00 PM  

Me, too, Aimless! And the shot of Carlin is entirely owed to Avery. :-)

Edie 7/24/2008 08:25:00 PM  

I was here yesterday and thought I'd commented, but maybe it didn't take. I'm pretty good at not having a lot of "stuff." Still, every once in awhile, I clean out and am amazed that I get rid of so much stuff because I don't buy a lot of stuff. I think the stuff procreates when I'm sleeping.

spyscribbler 7/24/2008 09:44:00 PM  

I think the stuff procreates when I'm sleeping.

Yes, yes, YES, Edie! I don't know how it happens! It's so true! I haven't bought anything forever, and yet my house is completely out of control with stuff. I've been storing food on my counter because there's not enough room in the cupboard! How? I don't understand!