Friday, August 7, 2009

Reinvention: The Other Side of Me

Tennessee Williams' name was formerly Thomas Lanier Williams; he dropped the first and middle names, adopting the name of a state where he didn't live (he originated in Mississippi, which would have sounded weird). Thereafter his art soared to a new level, or as Gore Vidal stated in a new introduction of The Judgment of Paris, "An entirely new and splendid writer had spun his way out of what had originally been a moth's chrysalis."

Vidal himself did the coccoon mambo, further stating in the introduction, "My first novels were written in what I called 'the national manner'; as flat literal naturalistic style. Then I came to write this book (The Judgement of Paris)."

In shedding his old style, his career spanned decades, still writing to this day.

As I read the intro to Judgment I saw myself there, my style a blend of what I thought worked and what I'd learned from others. My days of direction and focus slowly diluted to ones of aimless meanderings.

Recently by choice I quit writing, knowing that I was going around in circles, which always leads to the same conclusion. My gut said it was time to quit; my heart said, "But you'll be back." After letting life have its way with me the past month and a half, which included suffering the loss of my dog, dealing with a new home and the stress of selling the old one, I felt the cocoon fold around me.

While in chrysalis I found a new direction - grew new wings. But rather than leap into the air blindly, I'll slowly unfold and let the breeze take me through what's to be. And although I'm a few weeks out from sitting down and actually diving back into my Epic In Progress, I'll do so with a clean slate and strong wings - no crumbs for the hungry inner critic to savor.

I have my support systems in place; they know who they are and never left my side throughout (special thanks to Edie, Erica O, LaDonna, Marcia & Nancy) - wonderful writers who've supported me through my journey to limbo and back. I'm fortunate to know this special group of talent.

No regrets - that's my life and there's nothing I'd change.



Stephen Parrish said...

You know, probably no one else is going to mention this because it seems so obvious, but if you step back and just look at how well this post is written you'll conclude that the only thing standing between its author and all the success she can stand is time spent doing some clickety-clack.

Kath Calarco said...

Stevie, point well taken. Thank you for the compliment - I feel it from the bottom of your heart. :)

Let the clickety-clack begin!

Edie Ramer said...

Stephen's comment cracks me up! I understand how life gets in the way. You'll be starting school again soon, won't you?

As for reinvention, I'm thinking of doing some of that, too. My mind is open. :)

Kath Calarco said...

Edie, we love you just the way you are (and now you'll be humming that tune the rest of today).

Yep, school starts the week after Labor Day. I'm really excited about it. This semester I'm skipping writing courses and taking ones necessary for my degree.

Amy Sue Nathan said...

I'm glad you're back. :)

Kath Calarco said...

Thanks, Amy. Me too. :-)

Erica Orloff said...

Can I get a rockin' Amen. LOVE YOU BUNCHES!! Welcome back!!!!!

Natasha Fondren said...

I'm so glad you're back, Kath! I was worried. :-)

Reinvention. I like the sound of that. Maybe I need to get me some of that in my writing.

Kath Calarco said...

Back at ya, Erica! All I need to do now is sit down and get back in the groove, which is coming as soon as the new house stops eating up my daylight and energy.

Kath Calarco said...

Natasha, thank you! And I think everyone can stand a little reinvention.

Marcia Colette said...

Dang! I missed your comeback, girlfriend. Life got in the way, I guess. Anyway, *smooches*. It's wonderful having you back!

Kath Calarco said...

LOL Marcia! You didn't miss a lot. I'm back, but my writing is still waiting to return. As soon as I'm done tweaking at the new house (today I spent four hours there), and we're moved in, I plan a full attack. But, let me say that while I'm working at the house my mind is on my story. Those characters hang with me wherever I go, the buggers.