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, August 28, 2013

Perk baby perk

A quick post because I’m off to work soon but I wanted to share a revelation. Revelation, that sounds serious.
For a year my column appeared in one weekly newspaper which, though it covers about six towns, has a readership somewhere around 40,000 and is considered local. A picture accompanied the column so it was not unusual for strangers to stop me in the grocery store, post office and even at work and comment about how much they loved my latest piece. Bless them and their positive comments. It always made my day.

Now that I have taken my column to eight newspapers in an area one town over, (100,000 households and 4M page views a month), and all the way to the state line, without a head-shot BTW, the folks who read it haven’t a clue what I look like and only know me by my words.
Only know me by my words...well, that’s not quite true.

Because I lived, many years ago, in the area where the column appears now, I have old friends, associates, employees, neighbors and family members connecting in a way I never would have imagined. I have gone from people who know me from my writing, which is really a kick, to people who knew me because of who I was and now know me as a writer. It’s cool.

This morning I received an email from someone who worked for me forty years ago. My God, my past is percolating with updates. I love it. Thank God I was a decent human being or I’d feel hunted.
Any recent updates from your past lately?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Draw, cut, grind, wrap, fit, solder and shine...pray

I haven’t posted in a while, been working on a lot of stuff. One project...a short story that I am entering in a contest. It’s romance. That’s right, a romantic short story, something I have never done before. I wanted to write something I knew about and write something that would exercise my writer's mine,  stained glass and short fiction.

Not one of my designs but very similar to some of my projects
In a former life, decades ago, I was a stained glass designer and builder of all things bright, shiny and complicated. I loved telling people I designed stained glass, it was unusual and to me kind of cool. What I liked about it was that the process is more than drawing pretty pictures. The artist must take into account the properties and difficulties regarding the medium. It was always a challenge, always a surprise. Sort of like writing.

So wish me luck. I have stepped way outside my writing form and am stretching myself.  That’s a good thing I think.

When is the last time you stretched your writing muscles?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My Everest


Do all writers feel troubled by the merits of their next project?

In life I have learned to not waste my time reaching for that which is impossible to achieve. Having said that, why do I stretch so far outside my self-imposed writing boundary. It makes me feel less gratified with what I have accomplished and more focused on the stretch it takes to achieve the seemingly unattainable?

I have always told my daughters that if you try hard enough, pay attention to the magic of opportunity, act, plan, bob and weave, you can have it all...you just can’t have it all at the same time. I lied.

I envy people who don’t dream. Not nighttime dreams but the kind which changes the direction of your life, sends you on to greater things, sets right your own personal universe.  They do not set themselves up for disappointment only satisfaction from another day lived. Yes, I envy the simplicity of that.

The man I married is a sweetheart but not a dreamer; he is a realist living day to day. Plodding along he is satisfied in the summer when he finishes mowing the lawn and happy in the winter when he’s done plowing the driveway. He’s like the dog, all he needs is a good meal, a place to sleep, a place to do his business and a little nuzzling once in a while and he’s as happy as pig in poop. Oh, a six pack helps too. Me, I’m not like that, I want it all.

I don’t care about stuff like a big house, nice car, yadda, yadda, yadda, been there, done that, have that, am paying for that, don’t want that any more...I just want peace of mind and a book deal.

What do you want?

The epitome of writing for me is the feel of my book in my hand. I want to smell it and drink in the visual of the cover.  My Everest is that the industry of writing acknowledges that the impact of my words, means something, has merit and is enough of a lasting quality for them to say, “I do”, “we will”. Not having that is what breaks my heart and leaves me alone in the dark.

Do you climb or do you mow at base camp?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Wuff...I saw them naked and it hurt my head

We went away on a well-planned fly by the seat of our britches mini-vaca, to a nearby historical site. Settled into a nice room, third floor view of the lake, had a great dinner, took a walk and sat by the lake to watch the sunset. Behind us, on one of the balconies we heard some loud voices and assumed the revelers were part of a wedding that was being celebrated. As we walked back to our room, past the noise, we realized that the commotion came from one couple having an argument. Once back in our room we could still hear the arguers because when we went out on our own balcony theirs was directly below ours.

It was funny at first, voyeuristically listening to the couple, until the depth of what they were revealing stripped away the giggling humor of our eavesdropping. The specific points of the tirade, he wanted her to do things with random pick-ups, which she did want to do, she cheated a year ago, he bought her expensive gifts,  she hated her body, he wanted his money back, blah, blah, over and over again.

We left our room, to have a drink at the bar, and get away from the noise. Who walked in, yup, the bowling ball and ten-pin couple. Now we had two faces to accompany the tirade. We downed our drinks and left for a few minutes of quiet on our own balcony. I felt like I should have warned the female bartender, he was into random encounters. It didn’t take long for the couple to return to the balcony below us and to continue and escalate their arguments; their time at the bar greatly loosened their already flapping lips. As the voices raised and became beyond disturbing I called the front desk to complain. The desk-man apologized and said they’d take care of it. After fifteen more minutes of loud toxicity I yelled, “shut the fuck up,” slammed our slider and went to bed.


The point of all this, I bring it up because of another writer’s recent blog post about honesty.

How honest are we willing to get? How revealing, how open, how naked in a room full of readers?

That couple didn’t care who heard, who learned, who shared in the moments of their train-wreck relationship. Maybe they got off on it. It was so nasty at first I thought it was a spurious attempt at drama. But I believe now it was real. I write real, but not the nasty part, I’m open but I remain private, and does that matter? This veiled honestly, is it courage mustered or is it a fake sense of trust between writer and reader?

I’ve heard other people argue and have disagreements, and I have forgotten the voices and faces of all of them, but the one last weekend...I will never forget them because it was so raw. Maybe that’s the answer, we forget ordinary and remember raw. After I yelled at the couple and slammed our door, we heard nothing more. I will always wonder what happened to them but really, I don’t care because their honesty, though interesting in a voyeuristic way, was toxic.

I never lie but keep my honesty tucked tight; I use it wisely and release it to the hounds sparingly.  How much do you take out of the bag and feed the pack?