I’m Talkin’ ‘Bout Dat Writin’

First, let me say: I am the worst.

Show me an honest, self-aware writer who’s never had that thought, and I will…be flabbergasted at their level of confidence and self-importance, actually.

But really, I’m the worst. I’m a writer, even when I didn’t say it. Even when I put my name to things, I didn’t really talk about it. When friends mentioned it, I assumed it was pity praise and a testament to our bond more than anything.

That assumption’s done. For better or for worse, this is my fate. I might as well embrace it, cause it’s not going away.

I delight in reading suggestions for writers. It’s cool, it’s romantic, it’s got that je ne sais quoi. Of course you want to write your personal opus. And you want it to be the best. Mediocrity isn’t in your vocabulary–which is superb. You know the person you are meant to be. Fill yourself up with that good good, those magic tips that’ll land you on the bestsellers’ list, get on college syllabi, earn yourself tenure. When people say your name they’ll say “You mean the writer?” Yasss, I love some good writing tip porn.

My biggest dream is to have that writer’s space they always talk about (a room of one’s own…sorry, I had to). Squeezing in a bit of typing on lunch breaks, after work on an uneven couch, or stomach side on a bed before a nap just doesn’t give the craft the respect I feel it deserves. I make do, but my Pinterests lean toward big oak desks facing huge windows with clutches of trees outside.

Oooh, another favorite is to set aside time every day to write. That right there is a fabulous life. I’m childless and unmarried, but finding time away from Star Trek reruns, Amazon surfing, last-minute brunch dates and darts to the corner store for last-minute tea? That’s gonna be a problem. But how colorful and quaint a concept: Muting all influences except your mind’s own, preferably staring out the window of your London pied-à-terre, a perfectly warm mug of tea to one side, a stack of completely legible notes to the other. Sixty. minutes. every. day.

Now lemme tell you how I get down.

blackhandwriting

 

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Little Bundles

You  know how even back in high school, there were those kids (usually girls) who were all “I looooove working with kids!” I learned to parrot them on tutoring and babysitting interviews, even though I didn’t get kids, didn’t think much about them, and certainly preferred not to be in their presence. They stayed dirty, their hygiene was disgusting, they were unpredictable and mostly, they disrupted my reading.

Fast forward many years later: I’ve seen my friends expecting and raising their children. I’ve seen babies now strutting through their first day of high school, I’ve conquered my (deep) fear of dropping newborns, and I gotta admit: they’re a hoot. Not *just* a hoot–those tantrums can shake one’s soul, and I’ve got insta-prayers ready for parents dragging young ones along, that look of “I’m thisclose” in their eyes. Hang on, I think. Haaaang on. Kids don’t stay clean. You’ve gotta keep them well. Your head’s constantly going 180 degrees to keep ’em safe, and if you’re sneaking in a chapter of a good book… you’re in the bathroom, I presume.

But children? Are a good thing. You can love ’em up with hugs and kisses, and they’re constantly looking for laps to climb onto. If you’re handed a picture book you better read it with gusto. No one wants a look of disappointment from a four year old, trust me. And with age comes patience: as a seasoned auntie, I can now listen to a kid chat (or drone, depending on my mood) about who said what and what they drew and where are my kids and do I swim and why is my hair so big and how they don’t like chicken.

Why this post? Eh, recent events, and a humorous bus ride with a small girl nodding off on my shoulder. Let’s enjoy our kids, and look out for them as a community, and ugh, keep sanitizer on hand. (Cause they’re still kinda gross. But awesome.)

Brothers Arm in Arm

The summer of my discontent…

If cops are so worried about safety & privacy in having their names revealed to the public, perhaps they should stop killing the unarmed?* The victims’ names and reputations are immediately dragged though the mud on news channels everywhere, even if the info is unsubstantiated and simply backs up a cop’s version of events. (Statistically speaking, it’s impossible for all this violence to be justified & responsive.) If you’re man enough to shoot down a teen, sir, why not be man enough to claim it? Step forward, you four officers stopped by EMT workers from beating a person to death. You’re called New York’s finest for a reason, no? Let’s see your faces and know your names! #Illwaitrighthere

blue line

 

*I am nearly speechless with anger & grief over escalating cop vs. person of color violence taking place within the last two months. Someone must be held accountable, and that person is not the young, dead and unarmed, his name slandered, her past sifted through for all hints of impropriety. In what other community is a person given paid leave after murdering another human being? I’m over the excuses, the illegal chokeholds, the unbelievable insensitivity given to recent deaths. I’m over the thin blue line.