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.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Climb Every Mountain

I am standing on a mountain, well not actually a mountain, more like an out cropping on the edge of one. Above me, slippery rocks, with barely a path. No predetermined route, only the belief that there is one. Often there is fog which confuses me and blocks my forward motion.

Below me a spectacular valley, lush with life and words. Yes words. Terraced fields of them ripe for picking. Words hang from trees like tart macs, sweet bartletts, and lemons so sour they pucker thought. And elsewhere, there are words as drops, forgotten on the forest floor, soft and rotten to their core.

Like a part on the well tressed surface of a globe, there’s a river, dividing the valley. Ambling and wide at one end, narrow and white-water rushing at the other.

On the surface of the river boats are filled to overflowing with words, some of which have toppled into the water and float. They sun and soak in the pleasure of their momentary cruise.

In the narrows, the words travel fast, so fast in fact that once seen, if they are not quickly plucked from the foam and left to dry, they are as forgotten as autumn leaves turned crispy at the bottom of evaporated puddles baking in the sun.

And here I am, teetering on the edge of a crag, searching for just the right batch to fill my basket. And I will fill it, so full in fact, that once I reach the peak I will toss the overused and unnecessary to the fierce alpine winds. The unused will finally settle on the gentle breezes below to once again, feed the soil.

Time to climb.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Easter, the real DEADLINE

On a well known agent’s blog recently, I promised a group of online writer-friends that I would finish my on again, off again novel (which has a great premise) and have it ready for querying by Easter this year.

Will I live up to my promise?

Hell no!

Am I disappointed, am I a slacker, do I feel like a failure?
Absolutely not.

I’ve been working on that ball and chain, and fitting in my promise to finish it as best I can, and I am not enjoying a minute of it. Recently I figured out how to handle a huge stumbling block regarding background and truly got excited about sailing through to the next port. And then…waves, undertow, sand in my grannies, I wasn’t loving it. No joy, no pleasure, it felt like a huge anchor weight and waste of time.  

It’s shelved.

Confession time.

I have always believed that in order to be a successful writer, I mean a really successful writer, traditionally publishing novels is the best path between the lines to the end of the pool and a place on the winner’s stand. Because  I meander my words by drifting, I’ll never be a novelist.

Nope never.

Don’t wanna be. It’s not in me and boys and girls that’s okay.

I remember reading an article many, many years ago written by the great Mr. King. To paraphrase, he said…write what you are best at writing. He added that he wanted to write the great American novel but knew that horror writing was what he did best. Duh, ya think! So that’s what he did.

I am an essay writer.

I am a writer of columns and articles.

Yes, I am a storyteller but the stories I write are about me. They are about my family and the collective family I call all of us.

I have been published hundreds of times in newspapers and magazines. My life has literally been an open book, written as validation that we all share the same angst, anger, love, compassion and confusion.  We struggle, we fear, we excel, we feel joy and drink in support like a parched camel with a hump drained dry. (Author’s note: I know camels don’t store water in their humps but I liked the comparison.)

Nope, no more fiction for me. It’s non-fiction all the way to the (tiny) bank (account).

Because I recently retired my column, which ran in eight newspapers, I now must find a place to place my (HUMBLE) brilliance. Workin’ on that. Maybe by Easter this year. Yeh, Easter that’s a great deadline. Did I ever mention that my mother, a lapsed Catholic girl, died on an Easter Sunday? (God’s last laugh.)
Now that’s a deadline.