Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I've gotten into the habit of taking a brisk walk around the neighborhood every morning. Today was gorgeous, the sky a deep, unbroken blue and almost hot. I left the house feeling befuddled and anxious about any number of things.

Only about five minutes into the walk and my mind was delightfully clear. I've been thinking more about the character I made up on in a blog a while ago, I've been kind of curious about her. As I was walking, it struck me, out of the blue.

I have no good excuses not to write. I used to believe somewhere inside me that I wasn't good enough as a writer to actually write a book. Well, I can't hold on to that belief anymore. I certain can write that well.

Which means the only thing preventing me from beginning is fear of failing in the endeavor and down right laziness. I have managed to fail magnificently at many other things in my life, I don't know why that should hold me back in this area.

And how exactly would I fail? By starting and not finishing? But finishing and not getting published? Or by finishing, starting another and finishing that and still not being published?

I could go on and on. Essentially, it's a meaningless fear. So what if I don't get published? Who does, on the first try? Those rejection slips will be like stamps in my passport, on a journey all my own. I'll look back and think "Ah! I remember that one, what a milestone..."

And laziness, well, that needs no elaboration. Other than that, my only other feeble excuse is that I can't do plots. Well that's ridiculous, of course I can. Anyone can do an outline.

And truth be told, I have written a story, a large story with an outline and chapters and most importantly, an ending. It happens to be about vampires and is not exactly um... staid in anyway possible and if I did ever try to publish it, it would have to be in a pseudonym because I would never be able to look my mother-in-law in the eye again, but the thing is, I've done it. I can do it again, it just takes persistence.

After I came back from my half an hour walk, I simply grabbed up my purse, got in the car and went directly to the library, so I could investigate this character further. I want to know all sorts of things, what was her favorite song on the radio, how much did her socks cost, does she clip coupons (no, she has rationing stamps, is the answer), under what circumstances did she meet her husband, what is around the corner from her house, what is her middle name, why doesn't she have children?

On my way to the library, I was wearing grubby corduroys and an old turtleneck, my hair up in this messy bundle that it erupts from in all directions. My appearance was in direct contrast to my new handbag, a fact that has me wondering if I made the right choice in purchasing it.

It was on sale, it was a deep red leather, it appealed to me. I considered carefully. It had to be practical and work with many different outfits, as I never seem to be put together enough to own more than one bag at a time. And it seemed to me at the time that the bag in question had a classic design and the color would indeed work with black, white, creams and browns.

I bought it. However, now I wonder if I'm going to be able to live up to it. The purse clearly says, "I am sophisticated and confident." It may even be saying this with its nose in the air; I wonder sometimes. I don't think it appreciates being hauled around by me and rubbing shoulders with my mediocre outfits. I think it feels let down.

"This is not the life I was made for," mutters my purse into its large, gold buckles. "I was meant to be in Miami or New York. I was made for little cafes, to be paired subtly with suitable shoes and skinny jeans....I'm a deep ruby red leather, for god's sake."

My hair seems to be getting away from me these days as well. I've almost given up on styling it any way other than pulling the front part back out of my eyes with a black elastic tie, leaving the rest to fall straight down. This is a style that works well with daisies tucked behind the ear. But if I try to put it all up, it won't all stay and starts to hurt my head.

The other day it was terribly windy and as I was trying to put gas in my car the wind took my hair, at the time completely loose, and whipped it completely back from my head like a flag streaming in the wind. I had to actually brace my neck to keep from being dragged back. I'm not sure what I was signalling with my hair, except that I desperately require an appointment with a hairdresser.

And I would make that very appointment except that my husband forbids me. In pictures, he looks to be sure all of it is still present and accounted for. So my fashion choices are to look like I'm about eleven and carrying around my mother's purse, or to look like Nature Girl and as though I should be wearing hemp. Lots of hemp.

In any case, unshowered and sweaty still from the walk, I took myself, my hair and my purse to the library for some reference materials and to face up to my hugely overdue late fee. I left the nonfiction section carrying seven heavy books, a pile I could just see over and teetered up the stairs to the check out counter.

It turned out my late fee was only nine dollars and ninety cents. How silly of me to have worried about it this long; I almost think I hold on to fears on purpose, as though I needed them for some obscure reason.

Once home I plopped myself down in the chair on the back deck and began my research. As I read, hazy ideas began to emerge. I won't blog about them though, because they will evolve considerably as time goes by and I'm not sure of anything yet except for two things: one, I like her and two, her name is not Ethel. Thank you though, Dad, for the suggestion. Maybe her grandmother's name was Ethel.


T said...

I love it!!! I love that you are enjoying and making the most of your alone time.

I can't wait to read her!

Lindsay said...

One- I love it. I can't wait to read all about her, and I will first in line to purchase your book. Well first in line in San Antonio at least.
2- Please don't name her Kitty. Every freaking character from 50's has a nickname or is named Kitty. Really obnoxious if you ask me. Which you didn't but oh well.
3- I know your book will be wonderful, care to know why? Because when i get to the end of your posts I'm always sad that they are ending and I start to read slower. Really absorbing every word. Which is exactly the same thing that happens when I get to the last few chapters of a really great book.