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.



Monday, March 30, 2015

Writing Rx


What does it mean, this writing thing? Why is it so important to us, so ingrained in our lives and so necessary?

This weekend was very scary. The frightening medical landscape of the last few days has taken me to mental and emotional places I have never been before.

The baby, our 14 month old granddaughter was hospitalized.

It didn’t matter that she was in one of the best hospitals in the world, (Yale), it didn’t matter that we were told what she had was fixable, all that wound around my head and heart was the constriction of fear. Something horrible was happening to the most innocent and lovable member of our family. To experience pain, uncomfortable tests and being taken to an unfamiliar place set to help you, without being able to intellectualize the necessity of it all, is what played over and over on my mind. I just wanted it all to go away, for her, and for me.

I couldn’t sleep, I cried and cried, and when at work all I thought about was her. Every word, every deed, every interaction with clients, friends and family was preambled and postscript by worry. We visited her, saw she was going to be okay, but it wasn’t enough. All I wanted was for her to be totally and unequivocally better.

She is coming home today and the breath I have been holding will not be expelled until I hold her in my arms, in her home or mine. 

So it is, that now the importance of writing, as panacea, has bubbled to the top of the caldron which has been steaming on the main-burner and threatening to boil over.

The words we summon, the ideas we unearth, erase and let rise again, the communicative ranges we traverse are all there to sooth that which smolders within all of us. If life is the journey, and health is the ticket, than writing is the conductor punching the ticket to all the destinations along the way. Non-fiction is the bare-bone of reality, fiction is the escape to catch breath.

I don’t think I could have come this far in life without writing. In fact I know I would not have. The joys of childhood, marriage, raising children, watching them walk away and back again with children of their own, the pain and fear of indecision, confusion and loss, all seems to melt away when warmed by the rays of pen and paper in hand. Writing is a powerful prescription when the world begins to dissolve. Even when scribbled by an all-powerful hand, writing helps and God-willing, cures.
 
When has writing last soothed you?

UPDATE:
It's April, she's home healthy and the little pistol she was. Thanks all for your heart felt sentiments, and for you folks dropping by via QOTKU, welcome.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Solitude sux


My personal QQs, (quotable quotes).

 
Solitude is nature’s way of saying slow down and count the snowflakes.

 
I wrote and posted this one last December, when the house was quiet, the weather mild and winter was not yet upon us. Only a few flakes floated to the ground that morning and melted upon landing. I ached for a storm. The kind which keeps you in by the fire while someone else shovels and plows.  The kind with soup simmering on the back burner and fresh onion rolls warming in the oven.

The solitude, of which I spoke, came, and came, and came, and came again, each Monday until I switched from soup to warm my soul to Vitamin D ointment for my cracked cuticles. I went from snuggling on the couch in front of the fire to chipping ice off the back deck with my husband’s ax.

So much for solitude. When it speaks to me again all I want it to say is, “snow, what snow, it’s gone for good”.

 
What does solitude say to you?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A message from Ms. Trite


A quotable quote, a little witticism, a cliché written by Ms. Trite. 
She's been writing these for years and I figured it was time to share them here.

When Ms. Trite's job description flipped at work, her boss died, she got a flat tire, her dog ran away and her husband complained of a chest cold, (no one is as sick as a man with a cold), she wrote...

When life gives you lemons, make lemon-punch, then spit the seeds in fate’s eyes.

Are you a seed spitter?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Puff, write, save a life


Years ago I smoked. It was back in the time of eyes watering within thirty seconds of walking into a bar. I smoked at school, at work, hell I could smoke while waiting in the doctor’s office. Cigarettes were less than fifty cents a pack and I smoked three packs a day.  If I didn’t have at least a three pack back-up in my purse when I left the house I panicked.

Two things got me to quit. I started tapping on a fourth pack and I lived with a guy who never smoked. (We will be married 35 years in a few months). His friends didn’t smoke either, I always had to hunt down an ash tray when I went to their houses. This was before friends and family had you take your secondhand smoke outside. Partner and peer presser was a strong thing but that I was so addicted to the ‘habit of smoking’ made me uncomfortable.

I wondered, what must it be like to not smoke? Imagining a world without my three-plus pack a day habit was impossible.

“If I quit,” I said to my live-in, “what do I do between courses of a meal in a restaurant?” He was quiet for a few seconds, not really believing that smoking between the appetizer and the main meal might be a reason to continue blackening my lungs and emptying my wallet.

“Talk,” he said.

“Oh, of course,” I said feeling as if the nicotine had already worn holes in my feeble brain as well as my lungs.

That was 36 years ago. I won’t go into how I actually quit, (oh yes I will), suffice to say that God stepped in and gave me the flu. If I smoked I felt sick. After a week of nothing but ginger ale and Saltines, I decided if I didn’t take advantage of the fact that I was already one week in to not smoking, I would never be able to quit cold turkey again. (This was before there were drugs to help you get over the hump).

I never smoked again, not once, never ever. If I had not quit smoking when I did, I am convinced I'd be bankrupt or dead.

Which has me wondering now, what it’s like to not (habitually) write, to not (want) to write, to not take pleasure in my by-lines or the quest for a title page, to not think about writing when I’m not thinking about writing? If I don’t leave the house with a head full of ideas or a quick focus on one, I panic. What would I do during my evenings (like right now) if I were not sitting here tapping away?  

“Talk” to my husband? I don’t think so, he’s upstairs watching TV from the inside of his eyelids.

What if I had not started writing my first book during the hell-week of ten years ago, when I took on a new, very demanding job, my dad was dying, my strong mom became an empty husk of neediness, our oldest went off to college and we delivered our youngest to her very first dorm room, in a place she did not want to be. What if, in my empty house and changed life, I had not placed my ass in a chair every night and put my MC in a car headed west away from her own miserable life? She was alone but I rode shotgun. I gave her a new life, while not realizing at the time, I was wanting any other life but my own. What if I didn’t have that book to edit when my mom past-away seven months after my father did?

That book saved my life, and yet, (after a hundred or so queries, which did not garner one request for a full), you’ll never get to read it.

What if I didn’t write a second book and a third book, or the hundreds of op-eds and essays that have put a little change in my pocket? What if I stopped writing before I became a columnist, before my picture accompanied my column and strangers recognized me over the broccoli endcap at Stop and Shop? As difficult and frustrating as writing is, as tough (and enlightening) as rejection can be, I cannot even imagine a life without my words being carefully and deliberately placed on a page.

So, I guess if I get the flu and subsist on nothing but ginger ale and Saltines, I’ll still write. The skill, from synapse to fingertips, takes me away just like my first novel did. It saves my life every single day.

Does it save yours?