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 LIGHT-BULBS, one woman's WTF, oops and ah-ha moments of life.

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



Thursday, January 31, 2013

Stradivarius in flight



Decided to exercise my feeble brain, I taught myself... zyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcba, the alphabet backwards.  I still don’t get it perfect every time but often enough I’m able to hiccup through like a ten year old playing hop scotch. It is cool knowing something other people might like to know but don’t want to take the time to know it.

Like, I think it would be neat to learn all the state’s capitals. I know they are already in my brain, I had to learn them in fifth grade, but knowing them enough to ace a Jeopardy category would be awesome.

I should know important writery stuff like, what the hell is a participle and why do they dangle?
Per Wikipedia, “A participle is a form of a verb which is used in a sentence to modify a noun or noun phrase, and thus plays a role similar or identical to that of an adjective, or sometimes an adverb. It is one of the types of non-finite verb forms.” What the flying fiddle does that mean?

According to Grammar Girl, “A dangling participle modifies an unintended noun”.  Am I supposed to know what an unintended noun is? I’m thinking it’s like a virgin prom queen, exist they do not.  

That I think knowing the alphabet backward is cool, it was the subject of one of my columns, illustrates just how uncool I am. I’ll post the column if it makes the paper.

So, what do you know, that other people might want to know, but don’t want to take the time to know it?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Lottery ticket writing



We were driving home from the grocery store, my husband and I, on a road as familiar to us as the backs of our hands. Driving along the country road which parallels the railroad tracks I said, “Look honey,” glancing at the beautiful huge white barn we have passed hundreds of times, “you need a barn just like that and a paved driveway leading to it.” Seeing as our driveway is a thousand feet long and dirt and that our basement acts as his work-shop and cabinet-making business, I thought the comment a kind one. I just threw the comment out there like, you need a new pick-up or some new jeans and while I’m thinking so unrealistically how about a new table saw, Bean Boots, underwear and socks. I was just trying to let him know I knew that having a better place to work and nicer more comfortable way of getting there was on my mind. You know, being generous even though we can’t afford generous.

He says, “Well…you’ll have to sell a book first.”

Wham; there it was the reality of dreams, the futility of wishing, the emptiness of my generosity.
I was thinking, sure I’ll do that for ya honey and while I’m at it I'll go buy a lottery ticket too. At that moment I actually thought I have a better chance at winning the lottery. 

So we get home, I put away the groceries, eat lunch and rewrite the opening of my first and favorite novel which I have pitched dozens of times. I’ve gotten so many ‘thanks but no thanks’, and ‘no response means no’, that I should probably put it back in the file drawer I resurrected it from after its first round of rejections. But God-damn-it, I’m not giving up. It’s a great story, the people who have read it LOVE IT but they have no power, they just like to read a lot and write.  So I’m hanging on. Call my confidence in it futile, stupid, mindless and a waste of time but Jesus Christ Mary, you gotta believe, right? 

When I start pitching it again I’m calling the query letters my lottery tickets. 

Back to working on my next column.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Three wheels at a time



Like saying “I do,” to your love, there is peacefulness to decision making and yet always the thought, is this the right one?
I am an unfocused ambivalent writer. I’ve written so much ‘stuff’, in so many different forms, I love them all, that deciding which one to lay down with feels like I’m cheating on the other. But…I have decided.

Saying, “I am an essayist and I will go as far as writing essays takes me”, is like saying I will drive from Connecticut to California on a three-wheeler. Nobody rides three-wheelers anymore, actually that's not true, some do but not many. It’s fun being a little different. Being a person of a certain age I’ve come to the conclusion that being really good at something is better than being mediocre at everything. And the best part, I love what I do.

Ask yourself, what are you really good at? Do you love it? Unlike some blogs which ask questions, you don’t have to answer here but it would be nice if you shared. If what you do isn’t popular, may not make you money or build you a platform, are you willing to hop on a three-wheeler and ride toward it? Awe, come on, there’s room on my bike; you can stand on the flat part between the two back wheels. How far do you think we’ll get? Hey, we can make it to the Tappen Zee.  We may have a bitch of a time pushing this little baby up hill, but how sweet the ride will be on the other side, coasting all the way.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Zzzzzz's memories



As I do when I get the chance, which is pretty much never, I claimed the couch for a nap this afternoon. To lull me to sleep I searched for a movie to fill the empty house with familiar dialogue; it helps to lull me to sleep. If it’s a movie I’ve never seen, it keeps me awake, if it’s one I love like a favorite dessert, I sleep because I do not have to watch to enjoy, I only have to listen and remember. Baby Boom with Diane Keaton was my HBO afternoon nap-classic today.

My daughters and I have watched that movie so many times, we know the dialogue. The whole message of the movie regarding a woman’s roll in life as a wife and mother and as a career woman, is required watching for females. What I remember most about the movie is the first time we watched it.

My oldest daughter was about four when we watched that first time. At the ending, while the credits rolled, my daughter climbed up onto the coffee table and launched herself into my arms. We danced around the living room to the wonderful Bacharach music. It was a stunning mother daughter moment my daughter comments on whenever Baby Boom is mentioned. Today I watched the movie through fluttering eyelids and when the ending came I was sitting up and bawling. That little girl who held onto me so tightly that day as we danced is twenty-eight now. Where has the time gone? Why did it have to pass so quickly?

What movie brings you to tears?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Blow baby blow



There are tissue people and there are handkerchief people, some use sleeves and one time I saw a guy bend over between cars in a parking lot, press a finger against one nostril and fire-hose his boogers onto the asphalt. How he didn’t get it all over his pants or the handles of the parked cars next to him was amazing and gross; his accuracy proved to me he had been practicing his grossness for quite some time.

I’m a tissue kind of girl, blow, dispose of, wash hands. I like to keep my DNA to myself. The handkerchief people puzzle me; how in the world can they use the same sodden swatch of cloth all day long? Don’t even get me started about those who use sleeves, although if the need to sneeze, cough, or whatever, comes on and you’re unprepared, sleeves are the best hiding place for yuck.

So considering that I am sitting here layered in warm clothing and wrapped in a quilt once used as a dog bed, with my box of Kleenex, hot tea and Dayquil I’m interested…are you a tissue kind of person or a handkerchief person? Sleeve people, if you’re brave enough I’d like to know but if you are one of those booger blasters, keep it to yourself. I mean really keep it to yourself.