For a while I thought I was drowning in so much work and busyness that I might never get to write again.
So many apologies for not being here and not posting of late. Who knew I would suddenly be working twelve hour days through most of December. Although I sometimes wonder what I'm doing, (I mean I am retired you know) it has been good; kept me focused on something other than both my kids not being here for Christmas.
My schedule has, however, kept me from the writing desk and I am itching to get back. My characters are swirling in my head, wanting to move along in their story. I also have made a promise to beta read someone else's work and I have only started and must finish soon. And the stack of books in the "to-read" list is like the leaning Tower of Pisa it is growing so tall!
The memoir has been knocking on my brain as well so I am excited to get back to my creative life.
I hope the new year brings me some balance. I will be back here regularly after the 3rd of January. I don't make resolutions, they depress me if I don't keep them, so I won't promise anything but I've missed being here.
Before I go I must thank some women in my life and in my writing life who made 2010 the best. They are all so very creative and nurturing and giving of their talent, time and love. They make me want to be a better writer. So many heartfelt thanks to @PennyJars, @2KoP, @pinemeadowpond, @MendiD, @thebirdsisters, @Christi_Craig, and @charissaweaks, I hope to one day repay your awesomeness.
To all of you may the new year bring you health and happiness and may there be Peace.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
My friend EVF at Penny Jar has been working on memoir, particularly during NaNoWriMo (which she won, by the way). And during that she has often posted and tweeted about sensory memories, like memories brought on by certain smells – your favorite perfume as a teenager, your mothers perfume, your dad’s pipe tobacco, whatever. Anyway, on Facebook this week she linked to a past post on her blog but in leading into it she brought up the old cigarette commercial with the tag line “you’ve come a long way baby”.
Funny, talk about sensory memories; that tag line brought on a flood of memories for me. What were those cigarettes, Virginia Slims (the women’s cigarettes, a comedian once asked if that meant they had little breasts on them)? I used to smoke Virginia Slims, that was ages ago. Mom smoked them too. We shared sometimes. Really long, skinny cigarettes.
That was in the days after her heart attack and bypass surgery when she wasn’t supposed to smoke but she did, sometimes, hiding like a teenager to sneak a puff here and a puff there. When I would come to visit we would go to the grocery store together and she would bum a cigarette from me. Forget that I was enabling her unhealthy habit and she mine.
It felt like payback for all the cigarettes I had stolen from her as a teenager. Back in the day when we still didn't believe that smoking would actually make us die. When I couldn’t buy cigarettes and wanted to look cool smoking. In those days she smoked Kent 100’s. She would light one, then set it in the ashtray where it would burn away and before it was gone, she would forget and light another.
When I couldn’t find her pack of Kent’s there was often in the ashtray cigarettes she had only half smoked before stubbing them out, I would steal the butts to light up secretly. I know, sounds gross now but as a kid wanting to smoke because it was soooo cool …
I quit smoking after mom died, of lung cancer. Now I can’t imagine except the memory of the shared experience with mom, our secret.
a·void·ance[uh-void-ns] Show IPA
the act of avoiding or keeping away from: the avoidance ofscandal; the avoidance of one's neighbors.
Law . a making void; annulment.
I seem to have been practicing avoidance in regards to this blog post but I must move on.
Okay, here goes, I lost. NaNoWriMo I mean. I know, you knew I would, so did I, I even warned you I would. But then it became a fact.
The reason I didn't post here sooner, like I promised I would, was that I first had to get myself to a place where I could write about it all without adding in the words loser and failure. Whether or not I "won" NaNoWriMo doesn't really make a bit of difference about me, about being a writer, about writing a book. I know that.
It helped me to get started on the fiction and it brought me closer to some of the nicest people on the face of the planet who supported me even though I lost and even though I whined and bitched and moaned and felt sorry for myself and, well yes, had a complete meltdown.
Even knowing all of that, and logically understanding the unimportance of winning NaNo I still felt like a loser and a failure. I watched everyone else I admire and like "win", sail over the 50,000 word mark with days, sometiems weeks, to spare and the closer it got to the end the harder it became to even open my laptop up and stare at the screen.
Okay, I'm over it, kind of. When I am in the mood for some more flogging of my fragile ego and beating myself up I will once again stare at the NaNoWriMo badge and call myself names and try and convince myself I am not a writer.
Then, I will open my laptop and start to punch the keys once again and suddenly I will be writing, pages and pages of shitty first draft stuff and I will turn to those friends once again for a quick, "you're okay Julie, we love you anyway", and all will be right with the world.
But, when November 1 rolls around next year, someone commit me if I say I am going to attempt NaNoWriMo again. By then I hopefully will be smart enough that if I do attempt it I won't tell a single soul.
A most sincere thank you to my twitter and facebook sisterhood of ink women, you are the best, @PennyJars, @pinemeadowpond, @Christi_Craig, @thebirdsisters, @2KoP @charissaweaks, @Ren_Thompson.