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.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Humble in ev-er-y way

   I cleaned my office today.

Every surface was covered with writer’s crap. Edited pages, wads of tissues, (I had a cold), copies of my columns, invoices sent to my editor, bagel crumbs and check-stubs. Six half filled glasses of diluted orange-dry. There were confetti piles of Post-its with scribbled notes that don’t make sense, agent email addresses, and snippets of advice and methods I’ll never implement. There was even half a Snickers under some papers; how the hell that was spared an eaten demise is a wonder.

Rearranging some of the furniture freed up space and allowed me to move more easily while at my desk.  My book shelves look like the writing section at BAM; novels have their own shelves in my bedroom now. With them removed I feel more at ease and not so under the nose of the more accomplished. My office, my writing place is clean, tidy, pleasing to the eye and to my sense of order.

Then I printed the first 108 pages of my memoir. Then I pondered how odd it felt to call this project a memoir. It’s not structured like any memoir I’ve read but it is about me, about what has gone on in my head and heart for the last twenty-five years. To write about oneself is self-aggrandizing but it isn’t just about me.  It’s about what I have said, (published), why I said it, and about what happened once the papers were sold,  my mouth was shut, and my computer was turned off.

Seeing the half inch stack of paper is gratifying. I’m proud that I have come this far and that I actually found the old stuff and resurrected it. I’m pleased by most of it, a little makes me cringe, but some...it’s as if someone else, a writer with a much more eloquent mind wrote it. When I come across a phrase, or a short piece that just seems to nail the right sentiment, I am aghast that I, that little ole incompetent me, could build a framework of words which stands so ‘square’ against our tilted world.

I’m boasting. I’m tooting my own horn. I’m taking self-aggrandizement to great heights here but that’s okay. It pinks my cheeks and makes me feel uncomfortable but the few people, (writers), who will read this, the few who have read some of my stuff and know me, they understand. Writers know how good it makes you feel when your writing place is clean, the words are in order and the efforts look good.

I’m feeling like I just put on a new outfit which I believe fits me perfectly. I feel unbelievably good about what I see in the mirror. But like any writer I often have doubts, I just have to ask.................................................

do I look fat in this?


  1. Ah. The office cleansing. Some of what you cleared out sounded purty darn disgusting. (half full glasses of orange what?) Also, what is it with making notes we never use?? I sat outside the other day - when it was warm enough - won't be doing that for the next several days - and wrote ideas for my next two chapters along with some bits and pieces of potential ways for the story to end. That is my current problem - how to end it. I'm stalled because of that.

    But, I know exactly what you mean about finding some parts of the story that make you happy. I've done the same thing w/my WIP. Every now and then I'll read something and think, crap, that's not too bad. There are even parts I've thought were really good. But it all balances out because there are parts that are really bad, sort of like kids of equal weight on a teeter totter.

    1. Walking into that room and trying to work was an exercise in creative deflation. It was disgusting. BTW orange dry is a soda flavor made by the Polar soft drink company in Massachusetts, 10% orange juice and ninety % of who the hell cares, I love it.

      I've spent this morning going over the first 100 pages and there's lots I like. Maybe I'm finally on to something. I envy you, Caroline, your editor. I gotta get me one of those.
      Those birds on a teeter totter, lets hope they're not mockingbirds.

  2. "I am aghast that I, that little ole incompetent me, could build a framework of words which stands so ‘square’ against our tilted world."

    I'm not surprised at all. Keep on building, Carolynn.