About my Writing
I first dabbled in writing a number of years ago. There was a story in me wanting to be told – some challenges I faced as a mom. The pinnacle of the challenge was over by the time I grasped that it was a story worth telling. Our family was in the midst of the downhill slide to recovery, and it was a bumpy road indeed. We believed and pretended we had returned to normalcy, yet there were forks and crags and deep fissures that threatened to pitch us off course every day. The stress took its toll. When my steadily declining health finally forced me out of work for two weeks, I had time to wake up to the truth of what needed to happen. It was so obvious, like being hit over the head with a 2X4. As the mom, it would be up to me to get my family back on track. I would leave my job and be a stay-at-home mother for a while. During my time as a “kept-woman,” as I jokingly called it, I would write my story. A memoir.
My writing skills were pretty decent, so I thought. But a whole book? What was I thinking? I signed up for writing classes and joined a writer's group. It quickly became apparent that telling a story well, and holding a reader’s attention for more than a paragraph, was painstaking work. I felt it in my cramped fingers and my fragile ego. My writing instructor, Marion Roach, taught us to call our first draft our “vomit draft” because that's usually how good it is. Anne Lamott, the best-selling author, says “shitty first draft.” Mine was more like a Norovirus draft.
However, I was blessed to have found Marion, a writer, author, and enormously gracious authority. She didn't praise my unworthy compositions. She commended my accomplishment in getting a jumble of words onto paper, in making an effort, in having the guts to read my work aloud, shaking with emotion as I did. Preparing for those classes, I admit to harboring fantasies that her reaction would be “Wow! That’s amazing writing!” and “I can’t believe you haven’t written before!” A justifiable reaction could have been, “Why are you wasting your time?” But her acknowledgement of the courage it took to stagger through the process was enough to keep me going for a while.
Part of the learning process in the subsequent years has been to try my luck at some smaller projects – personal essays – and I did manage to get a few published. You’ll see these under my Writing tab.
As far as my memoir, I didn’t finish. Although the story is uplifting in the end, there was a deep well of anguish that needed to be hauled up like a rusty bucket dangling from a fraying rope and then spilled out onto the page. It was dank work. And I left it suspended in mid-air before the rope unraveled completely.
That was about 15 years ago. Now, I am again in an unplanned career “sabbatical.” And I have again decided to tell my story. You'll see some of it unfold on this site as I pick up where I left off.
Now, where was I… ?