Monday, July 19, 2010

Who Am I?

"I've often though that our main reason for being is to rediscover who we really are." LaDonna Paulette

Writing novels was never my dream. However, within the past seven years I've completed three. But in my entire life leading up to the first word of my first manuscript, I'd have to say that writing novels wasn't on my list of things to do before I die.

I often think about what pushed me toward the moment I decided to write a novel. Admittedly, I had never written anything other than quick little poems here and there my entire life. So what possessed me to write a novel? Why is it that one day I sat before the computer with no experience and pounded out the first line?

I've always been a dreamer, a chronic addiction, one that kept me sane. I'd conjure up stories and play them out in my head as sort of an escape hatch from reality. Make-believe was my favorite game as a child. "Let's pretend we're living in a big city and have lots of money," or "Let's pretend we live on a big horse farm and can ride every day." Those are how most of my conversations began with childhood friends, and they'd go along with the idea. Naturally, with aging I stopped beginning conversations with "Let's pretend," but I never stopped doing so in my mind. Soon they evolved into the aforementioned escape hatch. When I wanted to close myself from the day or shield myself from the ugly truths I faced, I'd slip into the subconscious "Let's pretend."

Years later an idea stuck. It played in my head on an endless loop. Something about it said to put it in a more permanent format. "Why not type it?" I asked myself. And as easily as opening up MSWord, the blank page arrived and I began to type. Non-stop.

It was my biggest secret. No one knew what I was doing holed up in the "computer room" from early morning until late at night. Housework begged for my attention. Meals were hastily made. Daughter wondered when it'd be her turn to use the computer. And then the ice-storm hit. No power. I lost some of my work. The report was that it would be days before power restored.

So as I sat huddled in front of the fireplace I finally revealed my secret to my husband. Not only was he amazed, but incredibly supportive. I remember him saying that many say they want to write a novel, but few have the guts to partake. Encouraging words that made me feel accomplished. He's an amazing guy. I'm so lucky.

Thus, I became eager to tell others, and when I did, more encouragement came. Many of my close friends planned an Oprah appearance. One picked out a red dress to wear, certain she'd have a front row seat. They are dreamers, too.

In retrospect I feel as if my life had been in some weird chrysalis, shelled in a cocoon until the real me was ready to spread beautiful wings. I now can't imagine life without writing...

Without giving into self-curiosity and overcoming fears, the joy of accomplishment, the relationships that came thereafter.

If not for embracing the nagging urge to do something more with my life, I don't think I'd enjoy the complete comfort of who I am today. Happy. Content. Ready to learn more. LaDonna Paulette's words have profound resonance. Its insight not lost on this eager life traveler.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

I've been silent long enough. If not for the fact that I'm in a "reward-thyself" mood, I'd still be working on my manuscript. But, an extremely eclipsical organic event took place in my writing that forced me to fire up the Internet.

And there it was, in big Internet headlines: "Mel Gibson demands sex. Threatens to burn house down in fourth released tape."

Now I ask, who cares? Perhaps the reality show types might. They're into the dirty dregs of the famous, as if learning that celebrities are human gets them through the night. However, it does give pause in the aspect of perception. Mel Gibson, heart-throb in his youth turned well acclaimed movie producer-director, is making me feel as if I need a shower whenever I hear another despicable story about him.

And truthfully, I wouldn't watch another of his movies, nor would I star along side him in one if I were the only actress on earth, if I were one. At the rate he's going we'll see him on the next VH1 Rock of Love.

I wouldn't watch him there, either. There's only one Brett Michaels - beyond all his tattoos and wild-child ways, he has an honorable heart, one I can dig.

I'm just saying that it's very sad to learn the dark underside of the once stellar stars, our perceived heroes. Think about Tiger Woods, for instance. I admired his golfing prowess, but his one with the ladies, not so much. Perhaps if he had handled his disgrace with a little more dignity, hadn't made a fool of his wife in the process, I might forgive and move on. But seeing his return to the limelight is for me another one of those "I need a shower!" moments. Thumbs down, dude - way down.

This is why I've always admired my crushes from afar. In fact, my husband has given me a free pass out of our marital vows if, by some strange freak of Universe, my crush crooks his finger and says, "Come on, Kath, let's have a go (hello Sting, are you listening?)." Fortunately my choice crush is a do-gooder in real life, someone I can admire up close, too, if only.

Same goes for authors, writers and the like. On my bookshelf sits several books by authors whom I adore, some of which I haven't read having bought them out of admiration for the writer, people whom I've met along the cyber-highway. And then I own every single book Christopher Moore wrote. Please God, don't make me find out he's an asshole - I am so in love with his work.

And then there are books weighting the shelves written by a very popular horror writer, one book in particular will make a great door stop because after purchasing it I read an interview of him. In it he dissed a new popular author, saying she wasn't a very good writer. Not cool, Stevie. But thanks for saving my future book dollars. They'll help pay for my new Kindle and all that comes with.

So it goes...

It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice. This writer will not waste time and money on arrogant assholes. After all, I've dated many in the past - paid my dues big time. No matter how brilliant the writer, whether a debut novelist, or multi-published. Reveal the asshole card and you've saved me time and money. You are dead dirt to me.

All said, it's not only important to be nice, it behooves one to always keep their best foot forward because Karma can be a bitch of a mistress at times.