Monthly Archives: April 2012

Writer, Officially.

Apologies for the longer than normal absence. Life has been crazy…dare I say, crazier than it has ever been before. Between family issues, personal things that don’t always get the blog treatment, and that tiny thing called work that sucks up the bulk of my week, I’ve been wiped out and, shockingly, wordless. But not for long, mind you.

In fact, words are becoming a running theme in my life. I believe very strongly that the wrong words uttered by someone trusted and loved can cut like glass. Sometimes the glass shatters, and you find tiny, sharp shards embedded in your heart for a long time. That’s where I was when I wrote this. I found myself re-examining old wounds that I thought were free of debris and healed.

Words, as I’m finding, aren’t only things that are said to me. Words are my language, my birthright. It took a long time for me to accept it, and I still am, I guess. I’ve spent the last eight years of my life trying to figure out “what I should be when I grow up.” Nothing ever seemed right, so I chose to become an English major. When I graduated college, fairly directionless in the big business world, I quickly settled into copywriting. Between the major writing stints, I’ve blogged, freelanced, edited, and even wrote two {unfinished} novels. Ironic that someone who spends her life writing would deny the fact that her path lies in writing, isn’t it?

I’ve heard people quip that what you spent your time doing when you were little is what you should be doing as an adult. Those who built things should be engineers or construction workers, those who taught their little sisters or Barbies should be teachers, those who patched up the wounds on their favorite stuffed bear should be a nurse. I read {so much so that my mother would take away my books as punishment} and wrote. My little sister and I would craft plays and short stories about our dolls. We had a whole binder filled with messy sheets of loose leaf paper filled with my pencilled writing…”The Adventures of Katie & Tina.”

I guess I just always assumed that writing was never my destiny — it couldn’t become a career, it couldn’t even just be a hobby. It’s merely something I do during the day until I figure out what I want to do, and I do it in the evening to blow off steam. {Yes, again, as I write it, I want to smack myself for not discovering this earlier.} But now that I’ve realized my true love…that deep, soulful love that you can see sparkle in my eyes…is writing, I much more committed into moving forward with it, wherever it leads me.

So this brings me to forty-eight hours from now, when my “career” as a writer will be forever changed. As part of the transition of living in California, where I know fewer than eight people, I’ve joined a writer’s group. And this group convenes this week when I’ll be visiting. They’re hosting a writer’s critique, and I intend to participate. For as scared as I was when I made this blog public, I am doubly terrified of letting people read my fiction. But sitting in my laptop bag, perched by the door, are copies of an excerpt from my first novel {working title 134 Reasons}. There is only one person in this world besides myself who has read anything from these novels, and that honor belongs to my snooping husband who grabbed my computer when I wasn’t around, and claimed he was so riveted that he sat there and read my chick-lit draft for almost twenty minutes.

We shall see how this experience goes. If I’m feeling empowered, I might release a chapter here and {impatiently} await feedback. If I’m feeling crushed, I guarantee you’ll all be the first to know. Heck, I’ll probably write three more blog entries on it. After all, I’m a writer, aren’t I?

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Battle Wounds.

Everyone’s been asked some form of this question: “Where were you when…

…President Kennedy was assassinated?
…the planes hit the World Trade Center?
…your spouse asked you to marry them?”

All of us can recall these heart-stopping moments; the personal, the emotional, the patriotic. I can remember very clearly both times I found out my husband was going into emergency surgery. {Never a good idea to try to continue your yoga class after that phone call, folks. All the meditation in the world can’t help you.} I remember where I was, down to every single detail, when I found out my niece had passed away. {Bleachers of my high school pool; I knew something wasn’t right when my mom missed my first home swim meet that season.} I remember with crystal clarity the moment Tom received the phone call officially inviting him to California {2 am, CST, the night before Christmas Eve.}

I think in the moments of uncertainty, when your world is rocked and your bones are jarred, there are two types of people: those who look forward and do their best to right themselves, and those that sink into the spinning with self-pity.

Out of many of these moments, even the ones that bring despair and heart-wrenching grief, there is always something positive to recognize. Disorder and chaos can birth some of the greatest joys, failure and rejection can raise the fiercest of passions, pain can breed appreciation and gratitude.

This blog is me, whole and unabridged, unfiltered and raw. My emotions live here, snaking across the page in black and white, a constant reminder of what I feel and how deep I feel it. In “real life,” however, I have a bit of a reputation as an ice queen, someone who is quick to numb themselves from the situation, coolly and brusquely plowing through a problem. The reality is that despite my appearance, I observe, feel, embed, and over think every detail of a situation, from the words that were uttered to the tone that shrouded it, and everything in-between. I replay scenes in my head, a Nancy Drew hunting for meaning behind words and actions. I watch conversations unfold in my mind over and over, analyzing and over-analyzing, until I’m so wired that I’m exhausted and can sleep for eight hours uninterrupted. Tonight, I am fired up. Tonight, the ice queen is not here. Tonight, I am feeling the hot burn of painful memories, ripped open with new weapons.

Tonight, I will vividly remember for years to come, just like I remember that night in December of 2008, and the sunny afternoon in April 2007. To you, they might mean nothing. To me, they were everything, and I have the scars to prove it.

Please choose to be the person that looks for the silver lining. Please choose your words carefully. They could mean the world to someone, and you might not even know it.

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