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, is the name of my memoir/essay collection with why I wrote what I wrote and what happened after. They were published once and as every writer knows, once is not enough.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

The lure of something different


I’m waiting. Waiting for a go ahead or a let it die. (This one would take time, everything I have, and cause a huge personal shake-up). But it’s big and a hell of a personal story.

I’m resting, my hands hurt and my wrists ache from the last push to ‘the end’ of something that I loved compiling. For what end, not sure yet.

I’m excited, I want to try something different, really different like sci-fi.

Years ago I wrote a science fiction short story which I sent to Isaac Asimov Magazine. I received a form-rejection but on the bottom of the dismissal an editor scribbled a note. He said he loved the story and suggested I expand it into a book.

I tried. But it was ‘long ago, and far away’, while I was mired in the quicksand of family with young children and a full time job. Plus, what the hell did I know about writing a book back then? I read them, I didn’t write them. What the hell do I know about writing a book now? I’ve written three, which means I know how not to cut the pattern and stitch the seams.

I love the story, my kids love the story, it’s actually pretty cool and, (not easy when thinking up new sci-fi), it is original.

I’m getting antsy. In the meantime I have a column deadline looming and no ideas. First in line, a have-to. Next, a want-to. Life is just full of choices. Job calls.

I’m off. Do you have to go to work today?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pretty in pink

 


We have fifty people coming tomorrow, our six month old granddaughter is getting baptized. It’s a special day for the family to celebrate the importance of faith and spirituality for this little one, a day to gather and thank God for her wonderful presence in our lives. I’m not a religious person but I am spiritual and I thank God every day for my ‘Capra’ wonderful life with this little girl in it.
 
Because I’m not a church goer I tried to come up with an appropriate gift, (other than we’re throwing this shindig), which is not stereotypically Christian, (I hear rumbles in the distance). So this is what I did.
 
Over the last year I have written three columns about the newest member of our family; when we found out my daughter was pregnant, the night of labor and impending birth and my first Mother’s Day as a grandmother. I framed each newspaper column with a photo and the date published. It took me four hours to frame them, (and I’m a crafty person), not because it was a difficult task but because I’m a dunce. Everything that could go wrong did. Anyway, I finally finished, while on the verge of tears of frustration, and they look amazing. It’s not a pro-frame job but they do look good.
 
When I look at my columns all dressed up like that, it lends a legitimacy to my efforts, makes my writing look important. Considering the subject matter, it sure as hell is. What’s funny about the whole thing is that framing them was harder than writing them.
 
I’d love to pontificate on the profundity of framing and displaying what we do, but like I said, I have fifty people coming tomorrow, so I must step away from the keyboard and tie on an apron. Ha…I don’t even own an apron.
 
God bless our little Sydney. Mimosas for everyone at brunch, our place, after church tomorrow. Yup that will be thunder you hear when I enter the vestibule. It’s not God yelling at me, it’s God offering a hearty welcome back.

Aren’t grandchildren the best gifts on earth?
 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Why we write, submit, get pissed and cry


I told my daughter, “I’ve started querying my memoir."

“Why?”

“Because that’s how it works.”

“Why do you want to be famous? Why not write just for the sake of writing?”

And this is from the kid that came in second, (the first time), she entered a Writer’s Digest prompt contest. (I’ve been entering since Jesus made a blind man see). This is the kid that never entered that contest again. This is the kid that paints, has shown in galleries, won awards and now paints on commission.

“I don’t care about being famous,” I tell her, “but I’d like someone in traditional publishing to recognize my effort and to tell me that what I have written has merit.”

“Mom,” she says with hands on her hips and head tilted, “your op-eds, articles, essays and columns are published, isn’t that enough?”

I look at her and wonder, is it? And if it isn’t, why not?

“You’re published and paid” she says, “I repeat, isn’t that enough?"

And then ensued a conversation about the difference between two double spaced pages weekly vs. two-hundred plus over many years. The difference between daily-drama and life-long dreams, the difference between Hershey’s and Godiva, regular and high-test, Poland Spring and Dom Perignon.

I drive my own car, clean my house and cook my own food. I do my laundry, shovel my sidewalk, hell I could give birth to my own baby if I had to. I can always publish my own book but sweetie, it would be so very nice to have someone else catch, cut the cord and hand it over, nice and clean and ready for life.

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.

I write, submit, get pissed and cry because I wonder what I'd do if I did not.
My house would be cleaner, would yours?

 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Everything old is new again

I finally bought a new computer, a Lenovo little piece of solid state magic. I love it. It’s faster than a sneeze, cute, brilliant and very comfortable. I’m learning it and Windows 8.1.
 
My old Acer, (old as in a gnats age, not dog years), still works for writing, it just can’t lumber its way on line very easily anymore. It’s like an old man who can look but can’t act…poor old bastard.  I have Carbonite. (Ha, I wrote this last evening, my little L danced with Carbonite all night long and my files have been transferred. So far, it's the best 5 bucks a month I ever spent).
 
Before my Acer I wrote on a Gateway Bovine Desk top that once was the only cow in town.  And before that I think my mooring was a Hewlett-Packard. It was the first computer that took me out on the web.  Way back, before way back, I had a Word Processor the size of a microwave. I bought a second one after the first died a pathetic death of black screen.
 
Remember Adam computers, that was my first experience with something that allowed me to edit on scene and not have to retype a whole page because I misspelled a word, misplaced a comma or just wanted to shift shit around.
 
In the beginning, my first published pieces were written on an IBM Selectric Electric. And now my Lenovo…an IBM prodigy. Funny how things happen.
 
I’m right back where I started.

Where did you start? Paper and pencil don't count, they're still ongoing.