Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Monkey Gets Wings

I don't know why this monkey has wings or fangs, or why his glass is empty. I do know that he is part of a bizarre, new trend in taxidermy and I want to meet the person who created him, and dressed him, and I want to know what happened to his drink. And you should know that, because of all these questions, I will be taking a taxidermy class in January. Can't wait to blog about it. But that's not why I'm writing to you today.

I started this blog a little over two years ago so that I could work on my voice and my rhythm, and learn how to believe in myself.

Because its safe here, I focus on keeping my writing honest. It was hard for me to admit to you that I didn't see my friend before he died, that I was not a good wife, that I got run over by a pedicab, that my family won't tell me where my brother lives, that sometimes I blame my father and worse, I blame myself. But you listened, and you didn't judge, and you let me know you were there, and I appreciate that. Truly I do.

What you read here is what goes on inside my head...  all   the   time  ...thoughts rise, and spin, and erupt and sometimes clash and then, finally, hopefully ...settle.

Well, I've stirred the pot. I couldn't let things be. I took a HUGE leap and contacted an agent that I met a few years back and she has agreed to take me under her wing. She believes in me. I can hear it in her voice. And I am starting to believe in myself. But I am really scared.

I made it through the editing stage. I've signed the contract. Now... I wait.

Can I handle rejection?
I honestly don't think so. That's what the GIANT voodude doll was all about in my post titled What's Right with Me - me trying to cope with rejection.

This week Wendy (the agent) is pitching a story I wrote called DEAD FLOWERS to Rolling Stone Magazine. I was thrilled when she first told me but now, I'm petrified. I am after all, an average, 52 year old woman who seldom reads books, can't spell, can't sleep, has low self-esteme, and very little post high school education.

I wasn't going to tell you this. I didn't want to jinx it. I didn't want you to think I was full of myself. I didn't want you to doubt me. But then I remembered...its safe here.

Yes, I know the odds are stacked against me but if they print my story - my life will finally begin to make sense - in an odd, round and round and round, sort of way.

How is that you say?

~ The only thing we placed on my son's casket was the DVD of Almost Famous, a pack of Marlborough reds, and some wild flowers that we picked from the park across from the funeral home that were dead by the time the doors opened.

~ The movie is the semi-autobiographical portrayal of Cameron Crowe as a Rolling Stones Reporter. Ben Fong Torres is his editor. My daughters last name is Fong. Hunter S. Thompson wrote for Rolling Stone. Hunter S. Thompson was my sons favorite writer.  

This might sound like a stretch to some, but to me, it feels like the eternal cycle of birth, death, and rebirth - know in Hinduism & Buddhism as SAMSARA.

Samsara...I met the writer and director of the movie at a writing retreat in Paris. The same place I met Wendy, now my agent. It's a beautiful movie. If you haven't seen it I highly recommend it.

When I was young I dreamed of being a Rolling Stone reporter. Now that I am old, I dream that Rolling Stone publishes my story and then comes the book deal and then the movie - which Cameron Crowe directs. At the world premier I meet Mick and Keith, and I tell Keith that we invited him to our wedding and he never responded...

Keith and Mick photo courtesy of

But there are questions - a downward spiral of self doubt, self loathing, and disbelief...

Will I be able to handle fame? Should I get my boobs done? What about hair extensions? Where would I live if I could live anywhere in the world? Will my marriage stay strong? Will my business collapse once my sorted past is magnified? What makes me think I'm a writer? Will the words keep flowing? I don't know what the fuck I'm doing...

But its safe here.... its safe for me to tell you what I feel deep inside...

I've done all I can do.  I've honored it, and released it.

Now I wait.
Now I live.


This post is part of a monthly participation piece for the Insecure Writers Support Group
Because I'm not the only one.


  1. I LOVE your honesty and writing style! It's what brings me back and keeps me reading! I'll cross my fingers (but it'll be hard to type).

  2. What a fantastic, honest and eye-opening post. I'd love to here from the Stones. A great read indeed and good luck in the Taxidermy class. The monkey or Minkey as inspector Clouseau would say...good questions!

  3. oh thank you DeanO and Mercurial!!!! DeanO I have a big confession to tell you, unless I already told you and I forgot that I told you. I'll email you.

  4. and "Minkey" is what a few of my very special friends call me!

  5. The thing about having a manuscript rejected by one publisher is that it's not permanent. There are always other publishers out there. It took what's-her-name a lot of tries just to get an agent for her Harry Potter manuscript, and it took the agent quite a while to find a publisher. It's all part of the process.

  6. Hey, if you don't try things, you'll never know. As for your questions:

    Will I be able to handle fame? -We'll keep you grounded.

    Should I get my boobs done? -Not needed, but double-check with Jesus.

    What about hair extensions? -No.

    Where would I live if I could live anywhere in the world? -Probably Paris or NOLA.

    Will my marriage stay strong? -Absolutely. White meat doesn't spoil.

    Will my business collapse once my sorted past is magnified? -No. Your clients will want their other 1%ers to know that they use "HER" firm.

    What makes me think I'm a writer? -Your fan base (us) said you were.

    Will the words keep flowing? Yes, no doubt about it. (keep the mouse handy)

    I don't know what the fuck I'm doing... -join the club.

    -The Moose has spoken.

  7. Boris seconds everything Moose said. :)

  8. I think you'll be fine, if it gets picked up and you become famous there's no need to change a good thing. You're fine just the way you are, no alteration necessary.

  9. Rejection is better than never trying at all, go for it. Really astounding how you can be so honest too.

  10. Well, thank God it's safe here. I wasn't sure there was such a place. Hmmm. I'm going through my own nothing to help you with unfortunately. Rejection though, just makes us stronger. Problem is...we don't put outselves out there enough to get rejected. That's a shame. Everyone who succeeds is at one point rejected. Oh, I love that you can't spell. Neither can I. And as for the boob job? Reduction was the best thing I ever did. Enlargement....well, personally can't stand 'em and I know a lot of men who don't like them either. They don't feel right, they don't move right, and they just aren't right. But that is only my opinion. Whatever makes you feel good enough to be rejected. Shouldn't that be the way? I'm clapping for you. Big round of applause.

  11. WAIT...did I miss the post about plastic surgery?? and as for "just a normal 52 year old"...NOT!!!...a brave, talented, fun lil' old majorette from a wonderful small town!! No matter what...keep writing!!

  12. Congratulations. I believe the Universe guides us and brings the right people into our lives at the right time and for the highest good of all. Please cut yourself a break. Sure, insecurity goes with any artistic endeavor, but you're a very good writer and Rolling Stone would be privileged to have you. Big hugs!

  13. Wait!

    Plastic surgery? How did I miss this?

    Don't get your boobs done. Just don't.

    I love when life comes full circle with coinsidence. LOVE it! Good luck, can't wait to hear. And seriously, how did I miss the plastic surgery post?

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  15. Ooo if you go for boob lifting, I want to go too!!! But wait, should we ask first, "What would Jesus do?" or, better question, "What would Jesus WANT you to do?"

    Favorite line in Almost Famous:

    "You ARE home."



  16. I am so excited for you. Just keep writing, and turning in. It will happen.

  17. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

  18. You can fly, you can fly, you can fly!! Go Monkey, Go Monkey, Go Monkey, GO!!!!!!!
    I don't know why you're scared.
    It' s all about the Monkey. XOXOXOXO

  19. Green Monkey, if your writing is anything like this post, I don't think you have to worry. It all starts with baby steps (or small leaps from branch to branch:).
    Hope all goes well with the story. I'm sure you can do it!

  20. Wow, that's very cool that you have gotten an agent! Can't wait to hear what happens. Thinking positive thoughts for you! This is exciting!

  21. I can see I'm going to have to do a repost about the plastic surgery.

    Meeting with agent today! I'm going to work up the courage to ask her what, "I'm pitching your story to Rolling Stone this week" means.

    Thank you everyone for making me feel safe and supporting me with wine, or words, or cyber hugs. xoxo

  22. Okay, my turn. WOW. I don't think it's a stretch, your cycle, your connection. You are coming back around in that spiral and what a hell of a ride! The rejection (if there is any) will only help you. None of us can handle rejection, it is how we handle life AFTER rejection. You can do it, you've got a lot of support here! I'm glad we have found each other's blogs through Alex, that sneaky Ninja! ::Hugs::

  23. I think it's totally cool that your agent wants to send your story to Rolling Stone. You win even if they don't accept it. That's awesome!

  24. I think we should all have faith in ourselves. As I like to say to my kids, my hubs and myself, "Always try for perfection, knowing you'll never succeed." Though, I know this isn't for you, it works for me, and knowing you at least tried, means you tried to succeed, and therefore you are already one step ahead of the game!

    Well, anyway, that means, you'll do great, even if you don't get your boobies fixed! LOL!

  25. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I LOVE your writing--the honesty, the beauty, and the way you capture precisely what we all feel. At least what I feel. Which is to say, the same insecurity about my own writing. You are an inspiration. And I do believe that life will come full circle. Some day. And it will all make sense, and we'll have the big "AH HAAAA!" and then laugh. Thanks for writing. Please persist.

  26. I'm so very proud of you. Be scared and do it anyway.

  27. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm a new follower.

  28. You had me with the picture of the monkey. Good luck on your RS story ... and remember what Jerry Garcia said: What a long, strange trip it's been.

  29. If you're not scared, you're not risking and if you're not risking your not growing. Soooooo I'd say this next step is perfect.

    As to the hair extensions . . . not so crazy about that idea. The rest is a go.

  30. Just have to say, I LOVE that movie! I'm in awe of your voice and talent just by reading this post. I hope your story does find a home at Rolling Stone and leads you to great success.

    Looking forward to following your journey. Guess I have some catching up to do!

    Take care,

  31. full of heart, truth, guts!

    how could they not publish! wishing you karmatic luck!

  32. that monkey looks fukin terrifying

  33. shannon, how exciting. I can totally relate to what you say about fear of rejection. It is the voice of the inner enemy that chants these negative thoughts. Go for it! Your writing is so entertaining, honest and interesting.

    Thank you for trusting that you are safe here. You are with me, for sure. Good luck.

  34. You have an agent that believes in you - cling to that! Will there be rejection? Probably. But that doesn't mean you aren't an exceptional writer.
    Thanks for participating in the IWSG!

  35. What a wonderful post, Shannon. I love how your heart and soul are so apparent on the page. Your energy is astounding, and you are NOT an average woman! (Don't even give it a second thought!!!) YAY that you've got an agent. Let her do her work and you keep writing. That's where the joy is, am I right?


Thank you for encouraging my JOY of writing. By reading and commenting you are feeding my soul, stroking my heart, and in the end...making me a better writer.

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Shannon E. Kennedy


Photo by Joan Harrison