Excellent writing week

by eatonhamilton

painting by Eaton Hamilton, 2022, oil sticks and fingers on canvas

I was mentioning zoom/autism collision last week, but I have more to say now. I was trying to write flash with other folks for a couple of weeks (to spur energy for memoir revision) when I melted down (the meltdown was entirely private. No one knew. No one saw, and it was the first time I’d experienced such a thing without stuffing it deep inside rather than reacting, and I stimmed in intriguing ways which discharged the energy and got me to baseline quickly. Like, I dropped a mask. I wish I’d filmed my right hand because I’ve tried to redo what it was doing and I can’t move that fast; my coordination isn’t good enough. Wish I’d filmed it while I was looking at it). I did write two flash pieces in between all the other demands. Admittedly, I used to write a lot of flash, some of which were published, but it was largely at the time I’d stopped submitting poetry and flash (and barely submit longer forms), so I’ve never done anything with them, except I compiled a book, too, of just flash, and sent it out once, and when I heard nothing never sent it out again.

Do what I say, don’t do what I do–don’t not submit, lol. It is a self-abnegating way to live. I got tired of publishing, though, having never earned a living from it.

I sure write a lot, though, which is really what this post is about. All my figurative drawers are stacked with pieces. Full length, finished novels, stories, essays, poems, some of which need revisions and some of which would be fine to go out. Though I didn’t touch the memoir, it was still a writing-strong week. Being around the flash writers helped trigger something in me. Not what I was hoping for, which was new juice for revising memoir, but something else–short fiction. Out poured the two flashes, two full-length stories, one shorter story and a good three-quarters of an essay.


They need brushing up but they don’t need new new scaffolding or any major changes. Then they too can go into figurative drawers never to be seen again. Just kidding. I promise I’ll send them out once each before retiring them.

I used to have such passion for getting published, but 10 books was enough for me when I never gain respect, admiration nor money. Now I shrug. Why bother? They’ll never let me in. Their doors that shut in my face the day in the early 90s when I came out as queer have only thrown more locks on since.

It makes me realize the joy is in the writing. In creation. Not in the reception.

On the painting side, though, super fun. I’ve been doing a series of paintings of non-binary folks with only oil sticks and fingers (in gloves), going fast, doing a “draft” a day, coming back to do most finishing work the next day while also doing a new canvas at the same ramped-up speed. Really enjoying it, though it’s slid since I had a concussion earlier this week. Now I have to sit like a potato; I’m surely not supposed to be on screens. Anyhow, I’m not allowed to use brushes. Instead, I have to cope with the limits of the oil sticks and my fingers. (No, this is not a rule in painting, in any way, but I set exercises for myself just to keep things interesting.) The down side has been being back in the world of big $ for supplies, which come from a US source with Cdn exchange and customs.

Anyway, I love the work that’s coming out. I’ve been painting over old paintings that were in the studio waiting for me to scream and slice them apart or something. This is better. Gesso and away we go again. Mostly the underlayers are acrylic.