I AM A WRITER. My thoughts on paper are so much better than out of my mouth. The words don’t roll off of my tongue the same way they flow from my pen or tap onto my monitor. I often wonder whether my brain is connected to my pen instead of my mouth. The ear is not as forgiving as the page. My spoken words are few. It is difficult to edit what has been spoken.
I AM A WRITER. I tried to hide it, reject it, downplay it, but I am a writer. I am a writer because it is so hard that it is easy. Writing is so easy that it’s hard. So hard that it hurts. So easy that it hurts. But mostly, I hate that I love it so much. Every thread of my being whispers, screams, demands, fears, knows that I AM A WRITER.
“I would say if a man is going to write on chemistry, he learns chemistry. The same is true of Christianity. But to speak of the craft itself, I would not know how to advise a man how to write. It is a matter of talent and interest. I believe he must be strongly moved if he is to become a writer. Writing is like a ‘lust,’ or like ‘scratching when you itch.’ Writing comes as a result of a very strong impulse, and when it does come, I for one must get it out.” -C. S. Lewis
“The most defeatist thing I hear is, ‘I’m going to give it a couple of years.’ You can’t set a clock for yourself. If you do, you are not a writer. You should want it so badly that you don’t have a choice. You have to commit for the long haul. There’s no shame in being a starving artist. Get a day job, but don’t get too good at it. It will take you away from your writing.” -Matthew Weiner
“No man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”-C. S. Lewis
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” -Stephen King
“Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand — but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never being satisfied.” -Zadie Smith
“When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.” –George Orwell
“Why does one begin to write? Because she feels misunderstood, I guess. Because it never comes out clearly enough when she tries to speak. Because she wants to rephrase the world, to take it in and give it back again differently, so that everything is used and nothing is lost. Because it’s something to do to pass the time until she is old enough to experience the things she writes about.” –Nicole Krauss
“…I write because I’m scared of writing, but I’m more scared of not writing.” – Gloria E. Anzaldúa
“Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are most economical in its use.” –Mark Twain
“I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged.”
– Erica Jong
Prompt provided by Sacha Black
Lunch money every day in kindergarten. Favorite softball glove. Library books. Buff, my dog. Balance frequently. Fifteen hundred dollars in cash. Screenplay. Some inhibitions. Couple of jobs. Few sets of keys. Too many ideas to count. Motivation. Mind. Patience. Confidence. Direction. Control. Everything. Nothing. Time. More Time. Judgment. Pride. Guilt. Excuses. Fear.
“Loss isn’t an absence after all. It is a presence. A strong presence right next to me. I look at it. It doesn’t look like anything, that’s what is so strange. It just fits in.” ― Jackie Kay, Trumpet
My friend, John Redmond, was incredibly gifted. His quick wit, unparalleled sense of humor, and magnetic smile were vehicles for his God-given gifts. John knew people. He had the ability to look underneath the surface and find what makes a person tick. Whether he used what he saw to irritate or motivate is the question. The norm was a lot of both. John could make people believe the unbelievable, and on a tough day, a little hope is all we need to make it to the next day.
My friend, John Redmond, is a beautiful picture of us all. We are all gifted, and we are all broken. This is what unites us all. We are all searching for the same thing in life, fulfillment. When we look for fulfillment in the wrong places, we are never satisfied. We will always need more. A passage of scripture that has often been misinterpreted:
You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. –James 4:2-3
Our Creator knows what we need. Ask God for fulfillment. God is enough.
I love my friend, John Redmond.
Burnt Edges prompt provided by Sacha Black Writespiration #90
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23 NLT
As I stuff the last stack of sweaters into the contractor sized trash bag, I think, “I was a minimalist way before minimalism was cool.
I glance at my five year old self overhearing my sweet, angelic voiced grandmother telling my aunt how I was “the stingy one, but her sister is free-hearted.” Some words burden the heart and hold one’s foot to the ground a beat longer. Not these, with laser sharp precision, my grandmother burned “stingy” on the surface of my heart.
I am not stingy. I am free-hearted! Only to sit here in an empty closet and realize that my grandmother was right. I’ll give you everything, except me.
The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Jeremiah 17:9 NLT
Daily Prompt provided by Daily Post
Dear only friend,
I thought you forgot about me. You used to be so excited about me. There were so many places we were to go together. But every time you picked me up, someone else vied for your attention and won.
You see me dancing in your mind. I never stop dancing. I can’t stop dancing. I don’t have anything else to do. I can’t decide whether you think I’m silly or…are you afraid of me? I’ll always be a part of you, but there is no me without you. So, please don’t give up on me.
Whew! Here is my first stab at 120 second flash fiction:
When I think about Joe, all I remember is everyone saying, “he’s the master of the blowtorch.” I was impressed the first time I heard it. Oh, he’s mastered a skill. That is awesome. I don’t know many people who have “mastered” a skill. The next couple of times I heard it, I realized that I don’t even know what he uses a blowtorch for. The more and more I heard it, I learned Joe had not mastered or even become an apprentice at anything else.
Flash in a Flash Prompt provided by Sacha Black
Daily Prompt provided by Daily Post
I am more than a little excited about the prompt for today, South. As I read Small Town Ways by Stuart M. Perkins yesterday, memories from my childhood flashed like Polaroid snapshots. Although I didn’t grow up in a small town, Nashville definitely had and still has many “small town ways.”
I grew up in an average, middle class neighborhood in the suburbs of Nashville. The neighborhood was average, but I wasn’t one of the average kids. My little brown face was quite noticeable in all of my school pictures. During those days, any racism that I experienced was rather subtle, but I only had to deal with such things outside of the bubble.
Every weekend and nearly every day in the summer, my siblings and I would jump in the car eagerly anticipating the day’s adventure. The car would leave our Edge O’ Lake subdivision and drive 5 miles to my grandparents’ little farm in the city. New stories with a rotating cast of characters were written there everyday. Are we going on a trip to the big farm in the country today? Is this a work day or a play day? The only difference between a work day and a play day is adults were added to the story on a work day. Work days were hard but still so much fun. Who would be there when we arrived? Who would show up later? With over 30 first cousins, it was impossible to guess.
It never got old. The excitement of arrival always heightened at the moment we felt the car tire leave the smooth pavement and cross onto the gravel driveway that was a steady incline of about a fourth of a mile. The sound of the pebbles hitting the undercarriage was musical. The car would barely stop before we jumped out and ran up the wooden steps into the backdoor of the house (except when my grandparents had this crazy hen that attacked anyone that came near the house). The door was always unlocked. Always. As soon as you opened the door, you were hit with the aroma of country ham. Always. This house had so many rooms in it, and they were arranged like a maze which made for great rainy and cold days. We never worried about breaking anything. That takes a lot of pressure off of a kid.
Outside of the house, the possibilities were endless. Activities for the day were usually chosen democratically. But my favorite days just took on a flow of their own. Hammock swinging turned to tree climbing turned to sledding down the big hill to the barn turned to petting the new calves turned to blackberry picking turned to creek wading turned to field racing turned to hunger turned to why hasn’t anybody come looking for us? turned to take it on in to the house. I loved those kind of days.
Nothing happened in the bubble that wouldn’t heal. Why did family ever have to leave the bubble? We had everything we needed there. Family got hurt when they left the bubble. Family changed when they left the bubble. This is why the bubble is no more.
Whenever I pass the scorched house that sits on top of the hill at 1512 Bell Road, tears fill my eyes as I think of my childhood utopia in a bubble that sat perfectly in the South.
Daily Prompt provided by Daily Post
I’ll bet none of my buddies even know they’re my buddies. To become one of my buddies, the first stipulation is to go our separate ways. We just happened to be in the same place for a period of time in our lives, and I enjoyed your company. It seemed as though you enjoyed mine as well. I could be wrong. There was no talk of the future. We lived in the right now. If this describes our relationship, when asked if I remember you? I will say with cheer, “that’s my buddy!”
The dreaded question…”So, what do you do?” The question that always seems to weasel itself into the conversation when you meet someone new. I hated that question even when I had a job. I had a pretty interesting job, but I still hated answering that question. Number 1: I know you’re just making small talk, and I hate small talk. I don’t like to talk just for the sake of talking. Silence suits me just fine, at least until there is something worth while to say or hear. Number 2: You probably wouldn’t know if I told you, and that leads to more questions that I don’t want to answer.
After 15 years with the same company, I was surprised with a layoff from my pretty interesting job that I was pretty darn good at but didn’t like very much. Finally! I could devote full time hours to my lifelong dream of becoming a published author. When asked, “So, what do you do?” I could proudly say, “I’m a writer.” I am now ready for the not so dreaded, dreaded question.
At my very next social outing that I really wanted to skip, I was ready for the dreaded question. When the question came…
“So, what do you do?”
“Well…” I paused with a dazed look I’m sure, while my mind quickly scripted how the conversation would go. If I say I’m a writer, the following questions will be where, what, how, for who? Oh, I’ve written a screenplay that hasn’t seen the light of day, quite a few short stories, poems but I’m not really a poet, and a blog with one post on it. Yeah, not saying any of that. “Well, I was laid off from my job at CNN a few months ago.” which led to more questions that I didn’t want to answer.
So, I would rather claim the pretty interesting job that I was pretty darn good at but didn’t like very much and was just laid off from than my dream. I underestimated some things. Wow.
Vision. Holding on to the pride that I have for my 20/20 vision which I knew didn’t really exist anymore, I put off getting an eye exam for as long as I possibly could. With coaxing from my husband whose prescription glasses render me legally blind, I made an appointment. My eyes are fine, but getting things checked out is what we do. Right? But at 40, I like being one of the only people my age without glasses or contacts. Although, a pair of cute glasses that I can take or leave might not be so bad.
After sitting behind the eye contraption, reading through the alphabet a few times, and getting my pupils wide open, I left somewhat satisfied that I have great eyesight for my age. I can read and see things at a regular distance perfectly. My issue lies in my vision at a distance. One of my eyes is a little weak and relies on the other to see clearly. This could cause my eyes to get tired. For driving long distances, I picked out a cute little pair of glasses that I can take or leave.
When I get tired of finding my path, I rely on You to strengthen my vision. I take You and never leave You. Shalom.