Quotes From "On Being A Rat And Other Observations" By Chila Woychik

1
When reading a book, one hopes it doesn’t turn into a painful process. Predictable is bad enough. Laborious is acceptable if the labor produces fruit. But with painfully bad writing, all one can do is grab a hatchet, slice off its head, and bury it. Chila Woychik
2
I have a bad habit of dropping verbal pellets to get a reaction, like Ursula LeGuin’s “A novelist’s business is lying” (that particular one got a lot of attention on Facebook), or, “Why is it that Christians hate the word ‘sex’? Chila Woychik
3
I’ve had a fountain pen surgically implanted in my left index finger to save trouble. My body is tattooed with line upon line of truth, fiction, and a not-always-pleasing mix of the two. Chila Woychik
4
I suck the words word-dryto me, assimilated orderly at breakeye speedstill hard and hardersofter thenline-lined book-dry‘til not a dropof water-bloodfrom oak and elmand authored menis left to whisper“ Read… Chila Woychik
5
When I pour a bowl of Uncle Sam’s cereal, I never know if I should stand when I eat, salute it first, or simply hum the Star Spangled Banner between mouthfuls. Chila Woychik
6
Split your skull–a hatchet works well enough. Take a more delicate instrument–a scalpel, perhaps–and make a hand-sized slit; it doesn’t matter where. Reach in (no glove needed), plunge down to the very bottom, pinch the inside layer of membrane and yank, hard. If it feels like you’ve just turned your brain inside out, you have. Writing is brain surgery, pure and simple. Chila Woychik
7
This piece of earth I billet grows small. Bullets of time dart past, dropping shards of opportunity at my feet. And until the rift that surrounds my decaying body clamps shut–swallows me up like so many remains– I army on, simultaneously ignoring and saving my comrades in the hole. Such is a writer’s life. Chila Woychik
8
Let’s face it: suffering discredits goodness. I’m agnostic in practice though faith-based in theory. I used to pray but now know he’ll do what he darn well pleases when he darn well pleases. Will he listen? Maybe. We have a book that says so, but how much happens beyond that book, I can’t say. That’s agnosticism in its bleakest and most honest form. Don’t judge me, yet believe me when I tell you that years of abuse tend to wring out every ounce of one’s ability to understand and adhere to faith in standard form. . Chila Woychik
9
I don’t want to believe in boxes or one-way relationships; I’m naïve, you see. I’d rather moon the moon than flip off a friend, but sometimes I flip so I don’t get flipped. And I still think I’m misunderstanding the Golden Rule. Chila Woychik
10
I speak, I speak, and truth at that. Writers are a curious breed: brooding, fickle, alternately loving and hating their work–and each other. You’re my friend? Don’t pick up that pen! Chila Woychik
11
Sunset and evening star hunching and bending sleeping and slipping virus pneumonia coughing and crying hope in the small things heaven looks brighter aching and falling earth is still darkness slip into sleeping sleepings of death dead now and buried cold now and crumbling dust now and hope-filled heaven is hope (and loneliness lingers in those left behind) Chila Woychik
12
Life is flinching in the midst of breathing, gasping at the thought of dying. It’s climbing ropeless up sheer rock faces, groping for the next finger-hole of hope. Steady on! Only a thousand feet to go and after that a jungle, a minefield, a rapids. (Can I stop smiling now?) Once, not long ago, I was flung off the cliff of the moment, thrust into an illicit relationship with destiny, an affair not of my making. Was I making love or being raped? The lines were fuzzy. Chila Woychik
13
The unrelenting grip of Soldier’s Syndrome slips finger by slow finger. The marrow’s been affected–emotional leukemia at the deepest level. Transplants of love and friendship aid healing, yet time is still key, and the clock never ticks fast enough. Eternity gains perspective when seconds feel like years. How long have I been gone? Six eternities and counting. Chila Woychik
14
I am Frustration. I am Memory-Lost. Sometimes I read a line a dozen times before it sticks. My creative force has slipped. I type slower, speak slower, think at a snail’s pace. I’m Life shapeshifted by Post Traumatic Stress, bastardized by Fate. Chila Woychik
15
Without the hard we stay too soft, and heaven is reduced to myths like life. Theology aside, it’s plain to see that God forbids we get too comfortable. Chila Woychik
16
Writing is making love under a crescent moon: I see shadows of what’s to come, and it’s enough; I have faith in what I can’t see and it’s substantiated by a beginning, a climax, an ending. And if it’s an epic novel in hand, I watch the sunrise amid the twigs and dewing grass; the wordplay is what matters. Simply put, I’m in love, and any inconvenience is merely an afterthought. The sun tips the horizon; the manuscript is complete. The author, full of profound exhaustion, lays his stylus aside. His labor of love stretches before him, beautiful, content, sleeping, until the next crescent moon stars the evening sky. Chila Woychik
17
Oh God, for a few who will love me in tiny ways every single day of my flashing existence. For a mere one or two who will treat me like the trash I am, who will love the smell of garbage and rummage through the bin of my failings to find the wrapped cheeseburger they can do without but consider long enough to get their taste buds used to the idea. Oh for a melodious tongue to sing me a song about french fries. Chila Woychik
18
Today I fed him right off the bat, and only checked Facebook twice. Chila Woychik
19
I read a book, am vortexed in with no escape; my face contorts, eyelids frost, breath comes short, body longs, heart stop-starts. Who’s to say too much won’t kill me? Who’s to say I care? Chila Woychik
20
Writing is a beast to tame, an energy to transform. Whip that toad into a prince and French kiss it to life. We start at the top but keep looking down, from macro to micro, from what could work to what does–but start with the dream. Nothing is real apart from the clouds, and all clouds pass with life in their wake–some rain thoughts. Chila Woychik