Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sending Yourself Some Flowers

Before I began this blog, which consequently was earlier this week, I was thinking what all writers think at some point, yet not all dare to accept.  I should write, but what do I have to offer the literary world?  Where do I begin? Then while at work today a thunderbolt hit my brain and I was plagued with a virtual downpour of story ideas, witticisms, even singular words that are not used nearly enough.  I could not purge them from my mind. It was enough to convince me that like it or not, this is my life.  I am a writer.

I thought about things and people I love: my family, animals, running, coffee, David Sedaris, poet Billy Collins.

I thought about things I hate: negativity, controlling aspects of life that are hard to escape- like not having enough money to fix the toilet and the leaky sink.

I thought about amazing events that have happened: I met Hillary Clinton and got to ask her a political question while she ran for a bid for President.  I've been blessed to teach a handful of classes for reading and writing.

I thought about horrible events that occurred: losing my older brother to a car accident, losing other family members.

Not all of the ideas were gems.  That was the point.  Some stories are worth telling.  As humans, we don't stop eating because some of what we eat is junk.  As a writer, I still need the sustenance that is the nourishment gained from putting words on the page.

I spent most of the rest of the night staring at the wall thinking about this comedy routine I saw with Lewis Black .  He mentioned a conversation he overheard, where the only sentence he caught this one particular girl student say was, "If it weren't for my horse, I wouldn't have spent that year in college." He never got to hear the end of the story.  Sure, Black was highlighting how moronic this girl sounded in passing.  However, I think there was some truth in that he wanted to hear the rest of the story.  So did I.

In fact, by this time, it had occurred to me that not only do I rather enjoy reading, I rather love writing.  As my mind traveled in a frantic, nearly hyperactive fashion from writing ideas back to the its linear "workplace mode", I discovered a few more equally pressing notions.

Among my original, now seemingly absurd belief that I have no place writing was the sad conclusion that my writing material, my life, was somehow ill-fit and perhaps not interesting enough.  Well, what's your least favorite book you've ever read?  This is better than that.  Pairing up with the sad conclusion above was the unintentional disrespect for the universal human experience.  I like well written books and blogs.  It is art and I can dig it.  Not only am I not the only one experiencing life, I am not the only one experiencing very similar happenings.  This sharing of the human experience becomes a social responsibility.  Tones and moods are uniquely our own, but we are in this moment, this life, together.  Once I diced up the former negativity and changed its consistency to a fine puree, I was set to start writing more prolifically...or was I?

I have met people who are a little on the obsessive end, maybe they wash their hands a lot or have stuffed animals on their beds that no one is allowed to touch.  It strikes you as a little creepy, but you brush it off and think, to each their own.  Well no one has accused me of being superstitious, but with a few real ghost stories under my belt, I figure the lack of accusations were clear assumptions.  I thought maybe if I write the bad experiences that haven't happened (fiction) that they will happen.  Or, if I wrote about the negative life experiences (non fiction) that this could somehow make them worse.  I was feeding myself a tall order of hooey.  I started to think about how Stephen King wrote a book about a writer who writes these terrible things and they begin to happen to people in real life.  That should be a reason not to write, but I also remembered how I had that general idea in middle school before I had ever heard of that book.

The last pressing notion is the more positive thought that I should really send myself some flowers.  You see, I was considering several gifts to give for peoples' birthdays when I stumbled upon that one.  Perhaps this was out of self-pity after examining negative life aspects from King and my superstitious perspective that putting life events to the page could make them worse.  It could also make them better.  The flowers I would send myself would be ornate and with a note attached that reads: "Dearest Katie, I'm sorry that I have at times been hard to deal with and even sometimes have given you the short end of the stick. Love, Your Life".

So, here is my first blog. I think it's safe to say, it doesn't come without, Ahem, a few reservations.