Day 338 – Back

Joe and I took a much needed vacation to see friends in the UK. I didn’t write a word. Not a single word for a whole 9 days. There simply wasn’t time between historical sites and indulging in play time with my friend’s children and, frankly, I didn’t want to write. I wanted to consume instead of produce. So that’s what I did. I filled myself to the brim with so much food and wine and little British towns that I’m bursting with happy. There is no place better than England to visit while you’re writing a book. I walked the same streets as Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, T.S. Elliot, Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien to name a few. I let myself believe I could feel the magic of them there. Yes, it was probably just...

Day 325 – Loneliness

Loneliness is on my mind lately. We are all alone in this world. In our bodies, we are alone. Nobody can truly touch you because you are not your body. You are something else, something immaterial, something untouchable. And yet that immaterial thing yearns to be touched, to be seen, to be understood. Writing is an attempt to do this, I think, to create a physical manifestation of  the immaterial, of thoughts, theories, and feelings. The result is usually only a fragmented mess of the actual thing, if you can really call it a thing at all. Fragments are inelegant. Fragments have gaps. Gaps need to filled. Filled by others and often they are filled with all the wrong things. A strange thing occurs then. You are thought to be seen, but you are not seen. Your clumsy...

Day 313 – Occupation

Last week, I renewed my passport in preparation for our trip to England at the end of the month. There is a field on the application form for occupation. I stared at it for awhile then typed WRITER. In the past, this would make me panic because I have no proof that I’m a writer. No degree, no published body of work. NOTHING. No institution has deemed me a writer so I’ve felt like a giant fraud saying it. That didn’t happen this time though. I waited for the cringe and panic to come, but it didn’t. All I felt was calm and centered. I’m a writer. It’s a fact. Nobody can tell me otherwise. I mean, people can tell me I’m not, but I won’t believe them like I have in the past. Saying it out loud at parties isn’t...

Day 305 – Slow & Steady

My long project is moving along slowly and thoughtfully. I’ve been bolstered by my classmates. We’ve been so generous with one another. It feels good. I’m getting braver too to say what I mean and state my opinions and offer up advice on how to flesh out or restructure a manuscript to a group of women writers who are older than me. That bravery is paying off too. Not only are my classmates thanking me for my input, it’s improving my own work too. When I write, I write intuitively and every time I get something good, it feels like luck, a fluke. Definitely not something I can replicate. But after critiquing my classmates manuscript, I’m not sure that entirely true. I definitely calculate details through my manuscript, subtle little...

Day 299 – The Other Writer

There is another writer who works at the same cafe as me in the mornings. He shows up everyday with freshly disheveled hair and a pep in his step that is reminiscent of Irish Spring commercials that aired during the 80’s. He clip clops along at his keyboard like a goddamn show pony, tossing his mane every time he checks a scene off his list (HE HAS A CHECKLIST YOU GUYS) and I hate him a little bit. I imagine he churns out thousands of words while I sit staring at strangers wondering if I can manage another paragraph by day’s end. I don’t know what he’s writing, a book, a screen play, a graduate thesis (most likely not as he does not have the haggard look of indentured servitude)? I just know from passing his computer screen that he’s...

Day 294 – The Hardest Thing

Sometimes you get lucky and write a scene so powerful it makes you cry. Then you show it to other people and when they cry too, you know that you’ve written truth in its purest form and you wonder if you can carry it through the whole piece. Truth is a delicate creature. Starting the next scene in the wake of such a power scene is the hardest thing. That’s where I am today. Puzzling over the next scene that seems so flaccid in comparison. I’m picking over words, questioning the gravity and frivolity of each. The concoction that came before came intuitively. I don’t know the recipe.  I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know. A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born....