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, April 3, 2014

The hardest part

Is this what they see from heaven?
Last night I finished the most difficult section of my book. I knew it would be hard that's why I put it off until I was about a third in.
It’s about guns.
How is it that a sixty-or-something so-called humor writer ends up writing about such a serious subject? Because I didn’t always write light hearted, nostalgic, make you smile and feel good stuff. I used to write hard-assed opinion pieces that pissed people off. The letters I received, which proclaimed me an asshole, didn’t bother me. It meant someone was at least reading what I wrote and that, dear struggling writer, is what we do. Write something they will read.
It was about children being murdered in their classrooms.
January 1989, twenty-five year old disenfranchised drifter, Patrick Purdy parked his vehicle behind the Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, California. He set the vehicle on fire and then shot 106 rounds from a Chinese made AKM assault rifle, into portable classrooms.
It was about teachers going to work and never returning home.
I wrote a piece, (which went out over the wire service), defending a citizen's right to own assault rifles. Why did I, the mother of an infant and a toddler defend a killer’s right to arm himself?
It was about how we had to un-list our phone number.
People found me and called me and told me how brave I was to stand up to politicians who were using the tragic event to back their agenda to ban semi-automatic weapons and high capacity magazines. Crazy was on my side, sanity was not.
It was about defending a killer’s right to kill.
Defending the killer was never my intention but once the reader was imbued with that perception there was no going back. I wasn’t ashamed that I had written the piece, my intentions, (which I will not go into here), though misdirected, were noble.
It happened again.
Newtown.
This time my daughter was affected.
It’s odd really, that the Stockton killer, a quarter century before the killings at Sandy Hook,  bought his assault rifle at the Sandy Trading Post in Sandy, Oregon. I cannot write more about what happened here in Connecticut. We have still not picked all the pieces of broken glass from our hearts.
It will never stop.
That chapter, which follows twenty-five years of my thoughts regarding the people’s right to arm themselves, chronicles three pieces, two older op-eds and a new column, each distinctly different in their approach to the second amendment. What happened before, and what happened after each one was published, speaks volumes regarding readers opinions and my own. It speaks to my change of heart. I’m not as anti as some might expect, but I’m sure not as pro as I once claimed to be.
Guns
It’s a four letter word like fuck. How it’s used proclaims its meaning.

7 comments:

  1. Congratulations on facing this tough spot in your book, and for so eloquently explaining your history on the subject. And here it is again, those strange coincidental facts about the two events - sort of like the story you told about the rushed, working husband who, by chance, answered a ringing payphone, only to find his wife on the other end - after she'd dialed a wrong number. They were meant to have that conversation, I'd say.

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    1. I read about that husband and wife years ago in Reader's Digest, the guy was in sales in Texas, heading to Houston I think. The story has always stayed with me. I really don't believe in coinsidence, I think they're messages of some sort. Weird I know.
      There are a few other similer happenstances, especially regarding Newtown. I don't mention them . To sensitive a subject still. Thank you for your kind words regarding the book. I deeply feel this is the book I am supposed to write, sort of like a mission. It's not as if my life is signifigent, and yet, it damn well is because every life is signifgent and has meaning.

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  2. And here we are today with yet another act of school violence crowding an already overpopulated experience. This one hits close to home for my school district. Kitchen knives and apparently no motive.

    It doesn't end and it's a subject that can't be avoided. Glad you were able to write out whatever piece of your novel it was. Can't let the hard parts shut you down.

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    1. It's heartbreaking Jennine, isn't it? And how it effects surrounding communities is just awful. Unfortunately it seems like one does not have to travel very far to be part of a surrounding community affected by tragedy these days.

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  3. So when is my privilege of reading going to happen?

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    1. I'm in the last stages of edits for the first 125 pages. After that it's yours to eyeball babe.

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