I don’t write to be famous, I don’t write to be known, I write because I am and I want to be read. How sad to fill a room with paintings no one sees or play music no one hears. Writing is talking without sound, singing without score and dancing without movement and yet, it is all of them. It is a solitary art conjured from thought and expressed by the need to communicate.

HEAD SLAPS, SPEED BUMPS and LIGHTBULBS, one woman's WTF, oops and ah-ha moments of life.

They were published once, and as every writer knows, once is not enough.




Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Ginger Ale in a green bottle


I am nine years old, sitting in the backseat of dad’s Studebaker
Station wagon. We are on our way from Elizabeth, New Jersey to Nana and Pop-Pop’s house in Norwich, Connecticut. The drive seams endless (interstate highways are not yet complete). After half a day on the road we pay a 10 cent toll over the Connecticut River, and the anticipation of being nearer Nana’s, far outweighs the hackneyed “are we there yet” my mom and dad became deaf to 15 minutes after we left.

Being almost there has my brother and me sitting straight, not slumped in our respective corners. Being almost there has him hanging over the back seat blabbering into my father’s ear, and me drumming my hands on my thighs until my mother says playing percussion is not for girls.  The anticipation of visiting my grandparents, my aunts and uncles and cousins begins to effervesce like a green bottle of all-shook-up ginger ale on a summer day. Almost there and the cap is ready to blow, almost there and I can taste the Saturday night beans and hot dogs. Sitting on the front porch after dinner with the family, (there are dozens of us), waiting for the Good Humor truck to stop, is the exclamation point to a perfect day.

I am not nine years old anymore but that bubbly feeling of being almost there feeds my (on a keyboard) drumming hands. Today, years of thought and planning and writing and months of self-editing - done. I will complete a last read-through and later today my novel is off to a first reader (many states away) that is tough, kind and beyond brilliant when it comes to books people want to read, can’t wait to read, and spend money to read.

She wants a hard copy so on my way home from the post office I will buy ginger ale in a green bottle.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

balls...Balls...BALLS



omg…OMG…OH MY GOD !

I’m tooling along finishing my WIP, with only a few thousand words left to go, and in the back of my mind the reason why two characters pretty much can’t stand each other eluded me. That there was an issue kept bumping into my thoughts like a golf ball rolling around in a bowl.

why…Why…WHY?

Then, a few days ago I’m writing a sentence and

boom…Boom…BOOM !!!

There it was spilling out onto the page like water down a slide into the deep end. It's a stunner.

Wow…Wow…WOW !!!

(Okay so enough of the three word fancy reactives.)

Anyway:

The result is that I have had to go back and plant seeds (hints) that are restrained enough, so as not to be obvious, until the reader discovers the surprise.  

This throws a bag of shiny new Titleists into the bowl because now I have to make sure I keep the readers engaged enough to get to the heart breaking and mind blowing surprise. Wait a minute I was supposed to be doing that already wasn't I.

(And I thought I was almost done).

Oh well.

Ain’t writing...fun…Fun…FUN?

Sorry couldn’t resist just one more.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

I'm not a leaner...yet


So…what is retirement really like?
And, have I retired from everything?
It’s awesome and no I have not.

In the middle of the day I see them in the super market, gray hair, or no hair, pushing a carriage with a grandchild in the seat. Or maybe there is no child and dinner and a snack in the seat portends of the rest of the day’s repast.

When I see a shopper bent over and leaning on the cart for support I wonder, do they really need the cart to hold them up and help them on their way, or have they always shopped that way. And, why do I analyze how they shop the way they do? Is my life so boring? Am I hyper-critical because I see myself that way years from now, months, next week or tomorrow?

I am not a leaner. I straighten up, walk tall and fast because I do not consider myself one of them yet. Yes, I may shop in the middle of the day, and yes, there is often a grandchild in the seat, and sometimes a second one walking along side me, or perched on the front of the cart like a hood ornament. Yup, I am one of them.

When we eloped, almost forty years ago, I loved being considered a member of the married club. Once we had children I relished being a card (and baby) carrying parent club member. Defined as, parent of a “toddler”, “teenager”, “college student”, and eventually “mother of the bride”, enrolled me in all the other clubs I’ve struggled through and thoroughly loved. The most recent, and cherished beyond words and feelings, is being a grandparent. It is much more than other grandparents have described to me.

Until our first grandbaby was born I only saw the generational gap, from the other side as a grandchild. My Nanas’ let me have ice cream when my mom said “no.” They told me I was beautiful even though I knew I was awkward and chubby. They told me I was smart when I felt stupid and didn’t have a clue what I was smart at.

My grandparents, (grandmothers in particular), filled in all the gaps my parents left open because mom and dad both worked and I was not an only child. It wasn’t until I became an adult, and my grandparents were gone, that I realized the importance of that generation’s existence in my life and how it influenced the person I have become today.

I am them.

The roll they played is now my roll.

Like them (for now anyway) I do not use anything to hold myself up. I’m a straight walker, straight talker and dish out platters of life lessons for the little ones to consume or discard.  Along with the time I am now blessed to have with them, to sometimes do nothing but sit and eat ice cream, I tell them how beautiful, handsome and smart they are. “Yes”, to another little toy, another cupcake, another movie and another handful of popcorn, even though mom and dad say “nope”, you’ve had enough. As best I can, I am filling in the gaps with more than just enough.

And what does this have to do with writing?  Nothing and everything.

Evelyn Wilkerson never had children, and yet, as a gray haired mid-sixties relic of the good life unexpectedly tossed onto the bottom rung, she fills in the gaps.

They say to write what you know about. I am not a leaner and neither is Evelyn.