Andie M. Hayes

Author | Artist

Filtering by Tag: awesome

Fear and Reasonable Doubt

So the past few days have been pretty big for me. I submitted to four journals and pitched to five magazines, which for me is HUGE. I’ve been writing for YEARS. Literally years. Maybe since I was eleven or twelve and sure I’ve had some stories published. A few in my college literary journal, one in a friend’s journal post college, but I’ve always been terrified of publishing beyond that. I mean, yes, I am a published journalist. I wrote for a magazine for three and a half years. The entire tri-city area and beyond has read my work so the question still remains: Girl, why are you so scared?!

And to be honest, I don’t have an answer. I guess it’s the same fear every artist has. The fear of not being accepted. The fear of not being liked. The total and complete fear of rejection. Yes, that’s it. Rejection. I’ve only been rejected twice. And both times were when I tried my hand at poetry. Honestly, I knew I’d get rejected. I’m no poet. I’ve never been one and frankly I don’t even like poetry enough to try to write it. I’m an interviewer. A person that likes to get down and dirty with the details. A storyteller. Always have been, always will be.

But, I’m also an artist. A terrified artist. It’s not as if I haven’t been trained properly, because I have. But for some reason the confidence that I’ve needed to show the world my true raw talent never built up the way it needed to. People love my art…they just don’t love my prices. That’s not my fault, right?

Making it is hard. As a writer or an artist. Try doing both. stares. But I’m learning that in order to make it. To really, really make it you really do have to put yourself out there. SO guess what kids! Andie’s been doing some very hard things lately!

First, I’ve been writing and painting like a mad woman (those things aren’t necessarily hard, but they are very, very important to the task at hand). I’ve been researching journals and magazines that fit my art and my endo stories. I’ve been working non-stop with my mom-editor on pitches, cover letters, author bios—things they DO NOT teach you how to do in undergrad mind you. I’ve been eating, sleeping, and dreaming success! I’ve been teaching myself to become FEARLESS!!

I’ve been thinking about those guys that talk about going out there and grabbing success by the gnads, ya know. And I’m doing it. Now, do I know if Oprah will write me back? No! She probably won’t! But, I wrote her! I PITCHED AN ESSAY TO OPRAH WINFREY’S MAGAZINE, Y’ALL! And you know what, I’m excited about it! Not about the fact that she might like my idea (I mean yeah that’s exciting too) but just by the sheer fact that I finally had the guts to do it. I was finally confident enough in myself as a writer to say “you know what, if that girl can do it, I can too”.

And I finally, FINALLY took the leap and stopped doubting myself.

If you love love, this book is for you!

I speak of the type of love that brings sight to the blind. Of a love stronger than fear. I speak of a love that breathes meaning into life, that defies the natural laws of deterioration, that causes us to flourish, that knows no bounds. I speak of the triumph of the human spirit over selfishness and death.” –The Art of Hearing Heartbeats

So I'll just be honest, I'm a bit of a hopeless romantic. I love to see people in love and I hope for that for myself too. That true love thing, not the superficial stuff. So kind of needless to say, I love a good "romance" book. But not that stereotypical, I know what's gonna happen before it happens type book. The kind of book that screams purity, devotion, and the type of love that changes lives. You know, that real stuff that is unending and long suffering. The kind of book that makes you tear up and leaves you questioning every moment of your life not spent with that kinds of passion in your life. That's the kind of book I like. 

When I first picked up The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, I was pretty sure I'd be getting some of that, but I didn't know how much. The story picks up with a girl in search of her father. One day he picked up and moved to Burma. No explanations, no apologies, no nothing. One day he was just gone. Just like that.  And so she does what any kid would do and begins the search for her father and the woman she thinks he left their family for. 

 What unfolds is a love story between two human beings that has stood solid for over 40 years. A love that didn't waver despite decades of total silence, years of wondering and, (what for me would be no less than total insanity), what ended up being the purest, truest love around. BRUH.

But, I digress. Basically Tin Win (daddy that is) was forced away from his home, eventually got married, had a family, a career, an entire life without his true love and yet somehow his love for her, his first love, never diminished. Everyday of his life was one day closer to seeing her again and everyday he made the moves (in secret) to get back to her. SOB.

I can’t tell too much more without spilling the goods, but let’s just say the writing is beautiful. I felt ALL. THE. FEELS. I absolutely loved this book. Can you tell?

Go pick up a copy of The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker you’ll love it. Promise.



You Sly Fox

One thing I'm always telling myself I need to do is read more books. I think after enduring four years as an English major, I (even though I hate to say it) got tired of reading. So much so that I've been starting and stopping two chapters into a novel for the past two years or so. Disgraceful, I know.  

But, anyway, l've been forcing myself to sit down and read some really good books and well, some not so good ones too. ("To each his own," right?) Books I should've read in college, but didn't. Books I missed out on as a kid. Some of the classics and some of the not so classic. Basically, anything I can get my hands on. 

I was getting ready to reread an old favorite last week (Love in the Time of Cholera, for those curious minds) when my mom decided she wanted to scope out some new bookstores. Never one to turn down a free book or a midweek adventure, I jumped in the car and off we went. 

I'm not gonna lie, this book store was AAA-MAZING. It sits on the corner lot of this très chic strip mall situation and the building is a circle! Literally. It looks Rapunzel's tower. I was sold before we even made it to the front door. But, I digress. 

After perusing for a few minutes and picking up everything that looked interesting, I spotted this little pale blue book sitting all alone on a wall shelf. It was Mr. Fox. 

I wasn't really sure what to expect. I'd never read any of Helen Oyeyemi's work. But the back cover made it seem interesting enough and I've been searching high and low for a new page turner for months.  And lucky me, after the first few pages I wondered how I'd gone this long without Oyeyemi in my life!

Oyeyemi's writing is tantalizing. Intriguing. Addictive. Her words flow so fluidly that it's just about impossible to stop reading. (I'm not ashamed to admit, I went out and got the only other book Barnes and Noble had: 2014's Boy, Snow, Bird before I even finished Mr. Fox.)

If I sound like a teenage fan girl, then my mission has been accomplished. But by now I'm sure you're wondering, "What's all the fuss about"? 

Well, I'll tell you. And I'll try not to spoil too much of it for you while I'm at it. 

So, the book is about this guy named (of course) Mr. Fox. He's a writer and from what I can gather he's a pretty good one. But, like so may of us, he's stuck. Not on a plot or character development or anything like that, though. St. John Fox can't stop killing off his female characters. No matter what type of story he's writing, some poor lady is gonna die. He can't help it. It's like an addiction. 

Enter Mary Foxe. Woman. Mistress (or is she?). Muse. 

Mary's fed up. She's tired of dying in St. John's stories and so she comes up with an idea. Foxe challenges Fox to a game. Can he write a story where his heroine actually lives?

Maybe he can; maybe he can't. The heat is on and what we get is this incredible conglomeration of, what I'm calling, call and response storytelling from all the parties involved. Figuring out who's telling the tale gradually gets more difficult, but that's a part of the fun.

Oh. Did I forget to mention that St. John Fox is married? He is. And while all of this is happening his wife Daphne is growing more and more suspicious of how her husband is spending his time. Is he having an affair with this mystery woman? Is she even a real flesh and blood person? Well, my friends, you're gonna have to see for yourself. 

If you're looking for something clever and deliciously amusing, I definitely suggest picking up a copy of Helen Oyeyemi's 2011 award-winning (no really, Google it!) Mr. Fox

Until next time,