I Wanted To Write

Dorothy Parker’s Mink Coat

I wanted

  • to write a book that would tear your insides apart with laughter, not heartbreak.
  • to write tiny bites of my life with enough humor to leave my readers with howling belly aches over exaggerated blimps and bleeps.
  • to write the best selling memoir full of wit and wisdom, one that would live on the nightstand of every parent on this earth who might need a quick dose of humor following a particularly harrowing day.
  • to write with a keen sense of humor to keep my readers turning the pages (or swiping their Kindles) to the very last word.
  • to write the takeaways that would lead to joyful resolution for all who read my words.

Meanwhile I have

  • written the necessary 90,000 words of a pitiful and shitty first draft (ala Anne Lamott), just to get over it.
  • highlighted the questionabull, deleted the distractabull, rewritten the sustainabull, and added the conceivabull.
  • hit the muddy middle and squirreled away at least sixty hours of mindless FaceBook gaming in the last thirty days.

The time has come

  • to send away the critics and bring in the clowns.
  • to let go of the past.
  • to write that final chapter.

If nothing else comes of this

  • I can say I wrote a book
  • My inner self will be sufficiently mended.
  • I can be a better person.
  • I still have a sense of humor.

BUT maybe one day I’ll sit at the Algonquin table in Dorothy Parker’s mink coat signing copies of my phenomenal book.

When Writing is a PITA

 

20170429_165308The journal is blank and the posts have been zilch for a reason this month.Writing literally became a pain in the a$$. It all began in shortly after Christmas as I sat on the edge of the bed and bent over to tie my shoes. Zing. I felt it from L4 all the way down to my toes, but mostly centered left butt. Too much information perhaps but that’s the way it went down. Sitting, standing, walking, driving, sleeping all became a thing of the past. Ice, heat, physical therapy, doctor visits, sitting on a donut, meds – prescription and OTC – nothing worked. Sitting at the computer to write after working at a desk all day was not an option.

Finally it came to an MRI – visual proof that this was not a figment of my imagination. I wasn’t going to wait for some doctor to see it first.  I simply slipped the CD disc into my computer and took a look. After careful comparison to photos at Dr Quack.com I knew it wouldn’t be long before I’d be sitting in a wheelchair savoring meals on wheels.

Ortho guy studied the CD, watched me limp across the room, tapped here and there, tickled the bottom of my feet and announced “We can fix this slipped disc. All it takes is a needle this long.”  His arms extended to fish tale length.

Was he kidding me? Trying to scare the sh*t out of me?  My stomach churned. “And, if I do nothing?” I asked adding “I hate needles.”

“It will go away eventually. But why suffer?” he asked.

“I’ll take my chances on a quick recovery,” I commented on my way out the door.

The receptionist handed me a prescription for a Lumbar spine epidural” as I passed her desk. “Call if you change your mind.”

Instead I signed up for some yoga classes. Restorative poses and meditation seemed to be making a difference. I quit taking the pain meds and shopped for a grocery cart full of anti-inflammatory food. I ate turmeric until it poured out my pores.

This morning when I couldn’t see the road through the six foot weeds across my front yard, I decided I had no choice but to tackle the mess. Did I mention I am predisposed to hay fever – it happens every year on Mother’s Day. Like clockwork. But this year it arrived early. I pulled a barrel of thistles before the sneezing began. “Listen to your body” my yoga instructor had said. I stood up slowly, listening carefully. Hmmm. Is it possible? Could it be true? That one sneezing frenzy – was it the cure all?

Knocking on the wooden desk as I finish this piece…

 

 

Distorted Dreams

wp-1491007521242.jpg I wake with confusion and then I begin to understand. I know what this dream means and it has a lot to do with my lack progress on the memoir lately. I suppose it could be rewritten as a short horror story:

 

I’m on some sort of campus and I can’t find my classroom. I walk in circles around the buildings and finally find the room on the second floor of an old brick building. I sit in the chair – the kind we had in high school – single seats for right handed students with a cubby underneath for our books. Eric squeezes in next to me.

 

The teacher gives us an assignment to write. I have no paper or pen. I ask the lady next to me for a piece of paper. The pudgy lady with long black disheveled hair says, “I can’t give you this. It’s special paper,” as she grasps her notebook.

 

“Can I have just one piece of your special paper?”

 

Reluctantly she hands me one sheet of lined notebook paper. “But I have no pen,” I say. “Can I borrow one of your pens.”

 

“You don’t need a pen for the special paper. Just write it in your head.”

 

Ten minutes later the instructor interrupts our writing. “Times up. Put your pencils down. Who wants to share first?”

 

Eric nudges me. I whisper, “SHH, you can see I have nothing. Hopefully she won’t call me on it.”

 

The woman a couple of rows up stands. She speaks an unfamiliar language. The instructor with a knowing nod says “it’s okay. You will understand this one.”

 

The woman walks out of the classroom. We wait in silence for the door to open. She reappears with a stroller. She removes her wig and clothes down to a Speedo swimsuit – It turns “she” is a man. He has tattoos all over his body including his bald head, speaks the strange language, and begins to perform acrobatic tricks. As he goes by my desk, I gasp at the infant in the stroller. He is wearing only a diaper and has tattoos all over his body, matching the mans. Looking closer, I see the tattoos on the baby are painted on with markers.

 

The class sits in silence, mesmerized by the magic of his act. Who could follow that?

 

The instructor calls on me. I tell her I have no paper.

 

The woman next to me says, “You have the story. Put this in some water and drink it. Then go to that copier in the corner and press the green button.” She hands me a one ounce travel container filled with pink powder. I pour it into a glass and add water, drinking down the sweet liquid. Like a robot, I go to the copier and push the print button.  Two pages come out with scattered blocks of writing, as if someone tore up my piece and glued it into a mosaic. I try to make sense of it as I head to the front of the classroom.

 

But wait. The copier is not finished. I watch in horror as a ream full of colorful pictures print out on 11×17 paper. When I think the copier is finished, I gather up the paper, apologizing to the instructor for using all the paper.  I try to explain but she looks at me with frustration.

 

The lady with the special paper is gone. I’m looking through the paper we have now spread out on the teacher’s desk. It seems to be distorted pictures of my life. Red hats, mom, dad, friends, cars. The copier starts up again. When it shuts down we have a carton of 11×17 paper.

 

“I’ll call in our science teacher and see what she thinks,” the teacher says.

 

“No, let me piece this all together. Let me take it home and work on it. How much do I owe the school for the paper?” I ask.

 

“Nothing. This is impossible. She dismisses the class. But no one wants to leave. Instead they gather around a long table where we have begun to spread out the papers. Everyone is grabbing at pieces of my distorted life, mixing it up. Frantically I try to keep them in order. “Please don’t mess with them. I need to figure this out.” I catch one lady walking away with one of the papers. “Bring that back,” I stammer. “That could be the missing piece.”

 

“It is,” she says. When she turns, l see It’s the lady who gave me the potion. She crinkles up the paper and I grab it from her.

 

I look for a box to put the paper in. There is a huge stack of boxes by the wall but none of them fit the amount of paper I have. Near the copier I find a bigger box. I’ll take it all home, paper the walls with it, I’m thinking.

 

The class returns to their seats. The teacher stands at her podium “We still have 10 minutes left. I guess I’ll share my story.” She begins to read and stops after only a few indecipherable words. She brings out some glasses and a tissue. “I can’t get through this without crying.” Her short blond hair begins to grow. Moments later she stands in front of us with a crop of spikey green hair a foot long. She crumples to the floor.

 

Journals – Goals – OM

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The 4 pathways in a nutshell:

1. Intention – I intend to write for 20 minutes

2. Action – I am writing for 20 minutes – I have set a timer

3. Non-Identification – what comes up

4. Compassion – Props to finish – result

I’m on day 6 of Daily Om, a 365 day course to clear what is holding me back (finishing my memoir?). I bought this course for $10. There was a choice as to how much I was willing to pay. Since I have not experienced any other courses with Daily Om, I opted for the smallest amount. Maybe that is too cheap for 365 days of trickling in wisdom. Maybe I should have paid more. In the end, I can decide how much this has been worth. In the end if I choose to do so, I can buy another course and offer a bigger payment. Or I could just fess up to what it is worth to me and donate. Or perhaps I could pay for someone else to try this course. That is, if I finish this.

It is suggested that one should keep a journal specific to this course. I have already committed to using InnerGuide 90 day Life Coach In-A-Book to achieve up on my goals. Interesting enough when I look at the layout of the daily pages I see that this journal is much the same concept. Maybe all life coaches do the same routine. I’ve often wondered what exactly a “Life Coach” might be.

In this journal there are three short lines to state Todays INTENTION.

The Daily Planner breaks the day into half hour segments, perfect for showing ACTION.

Daily Check-In seems the appropriate place for NON-IDENTIFICATION. It’s the place where I have nine lines in two columns – the first column to confess if I have accomplished all your goals today and what I might do differently tomorrow – the second column where I look deeper into how this aligns with what I aspire to be.

Self-Assessment for Today is unlined. It’s a place to be kind and gentle, give props to finish the task, and notice how good it feels to finish the task. COMPASSION goes here. Perhaps the unlined section inspires one to draw. So far, I have only written in this section. But I have been using colorful pens to complete these pages – just for fun.

But there is an added bonus with this InnerGuide journal. Little side note places: On My Mind… I Am Grateful for… Weekly Goal Reminder… and Unfinished Items. There is space for only tiny snippets in these boxes. Random thoughts tend to find their place there.

On top of this, there is a Daily Challenge and Staying on Track suggestions. I need those.

There you have it – I wrote for 20 minutes. It wasn’t memoir writing, but it was writing. I can feel good about that.

Nano Update

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Maybe it’s a little indulgent but I bought myself a Nanowrimo present before finishing the project. After all, inspiration is key to completion. Just keep it filled to the brim with coffee on writing days and parked on my desk and everything will be just fine. It’s fair warning to hubby: when this mug comes out, he needs to tend to the pot and stay far away from the over-caffeinated writer. I’m a little bit behind after a couple of busy days keeping a social life, so it’s back to the book for me.