Tag Archives: writers

Taking a Seat

The only chair left was in the Reference section. It is hard to be creative in the Reference section. Test preparation manuals don’t inspire the flow of compelling ideas. And that is what I am after, after all, the flow. The Flow.

When the house gets stale, I leave, in search of a place that might do the mental trick. Often, I will go to the bookstore nearby. At the bookstore, you don’t have to feel guilty about not buying coffee. Coffee turns into another substance when it is not made in my kitchen. So I go to the bookstore, where there are big upholstered chairs set amongst the stacks. 

“Try that book,” they seem to say. “Here, sit here and read it, or some of it. C’mon.”

But I do not go to read. The literature section has three chairs, and they were all occupied today. That made me pretty mad, since the occupiers were not writing anything. One was talking…talking!…to another person who sat on the floor. The second was reading. Imagine, reading in the literature section. The third was sleeping. I felt like a pregnant woman on a bus, hanging onto the strap. Look at me, will you? I’m a writer. I’m dying here. Get up, will ya?

I walked around the store until I found the chair that ultimately became mine. I was not motivated, tucked in between guides to Asian walking trips and dictionaries of generic drug names. I debated whether to go back to the shelves where the real books were, and to haul the non-writing people up to standing. But I realized that might be a neurotic choice. Instead, I picked up a “Fast Fact Review for Algebraic Equations” and settled in. 

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The Book People…and Me

A friend of mine told me today that the people–The Book People–torture me so that when I finally do see my pages between two covers, on a shelf, in a store, or in a person’s hands out in the world, maybe on a bench in a park, that I will feel that much more successful. That much more proud because of the effort, in writing, yes, but more, in persisting. The writing is easy. The struggle, though, hanging tough despite it, is the hard part. But it’s good to know it at the time. Struggle is good, I tell my kids, a lot.

I have completed the final revision of my novel, and am very pleased with the outcome. The Book People have expressed interest in seeing it, now, following this last brush-up, and tomorrow, I will be sending it into the ethers. Kiss kiss. Bon chance.

I learned a long time ago from a musician friend that keeping ones equilibrium in the face of judgment is critically important, particularly for a creative person, particularly for a writer. Thank you, Ira. I learned this when I did not keep my equilibrium, becoming way too ecstatic when granted an acceptance, too dejected when not. Now, I am like a canoe on a docile lake. No, a canoe on a piece of carpet, inside a house. I am so full of equilibrium that I could be a brick layer.

Okay, I lie. That equilibrium stuff is sort of not true. I like to say that I’m a canoe, but really, I am making it all up. I will say that I am better than I used to be about rejection/acceptance and their accompanying ranting/delirium. I mutter now, when told No. Bake, when it’s a Yes. It’s not difficult to tell which way it went.

For this, The Sending of the Book, I am as prepared as I could be. Confident. Hopeful. Determined. You are supposed to visualize the goal, I’ve read. I can do that, and have been doing that. I’ve been on Oprah’s set. I’ve seen store windows full of copies. I’ve answered reader questions at signings, determined to wear the pants, not the skirt. I have no baking products in my pantry. None.

So, wish me luck. LUCK! And cross your toes, and chant something in an obscure Pacific Rim language. Hooray for the creative process.




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