Sunday, June 12, 2011

Alone

Hi, all!

Yes, I've been alone.  Totally alone for four days.  I am that person who not only does not mind being alone, I revel in it.  I like eating alone at restaurants, actually.  I love having the house to myself, plus my fluffy angel-cat, George.  I have missed my absent hubby and absent baby girl more than I can put into words, but the time alone has been a refreshing break for me.  I think the time having a "guy trip" and the grandparent time has done wonders for them, too.  We'll all be back here at the homestead come this evening.  Oh, the stories we will have to tell each other!  We are normally so immersed in each others' lives and the minute-by-minute happenings of each others' days.  Happily so.  So when we're apart, we come back together with this store of untold funnies and interesting sidebars.  Our feelings and observations have been held at bay for each other.  Home is where you really tell your story.  Immediate family is the ultimate audience.

I cannot wait to hear about Bourbon Street and Zydeco music and crawfish boils.  I cannot wait to hear about swimming with the baby cousin, a trip to the zoo with Uncle Charlie, and special treats with Oma and Opa.  Maybe they will laugh when I tell them about running home from a martini party to hunker down before another electric storm hit, Georgie-cat safe with me in bed, surrounded by candles and flashlights just-in-case.  Life goes on without each other, but, in a way, until my family is aware of the details, it doesn't.

I loved my alone time.  I wrote.  I slept in.  I did house projects, ran errands, attended meetings, and went out with friends, untethered, if you will.  But after a rare hiatus like this, I know that living alone is a nice type of "staycation" only.  Does the heart grow fonder?  Absolutely!  Out of sight, out of mind?  A little, I guess.  But I am ready for this empty house to be home again, full of stories and constant chatter.  It's messier and louder and less calm, but it's so much more alive.  I am comfortable with myself, after 40 years of learning to be, but I vastly prefer me as a part of "us." In a way, I am so much less without them, and everything seems to mean so much less until they are back.  People are not meant to be alone.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

No Blogs Allowed

Remember "Snoopy, Come Home".  Peanuts?  If not, no worries.

I am getting ready to start back to work next Monday after a 6+ year hiatus that started when my daughter was born.  Gulp.  The first thing I thought was (and in that low, dirge-like tune) "No blogs allowed..."  By blog, I meant my writing.  I do try to write a bit every day.  Some days, it's hard, yes, even for a stay-at-home Mom.  I made the immediate assumption that my writing would have to go to the back of the line in my life.  But it doesn't.

Priorities must be priorities, no?  Tasks all seem to expand to fit the time you have.  Now I am thinking that this job, part-time as it is, will force me to use all of my time more wisely and efficiently.  It also seems to me that, if you don't go to a traditional job, something becomes "work."  Tasks around the house, cooking, even writing.  Already rearranging things in my head, I can see a new kind of joy in doing those very things as a "break" from work (I'll be working from home).  It's all about perspective, right?

So, yes, there will be blogging.  And blogging with a new zeal.  I'll keep you posted.

Ciao for now!
Heidi

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Oh, no, they can't take that away from me...

Writing is a hobby that cannot be taken away from you, really.  So, go outside today and enjoy the weather, if you have the lovely weather we have here.  We are always composing in our heads, and I do like that.  Have a notebook or netbook handy, but go.  It's too nice outside today to do much blogging...

Ciao for now!
Heidi

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Writing prostitute

I thought that might get your attention. I have been trying to find a phrase to describe this phenomenon, and this is what I've come up with:  writing prostitution.  It's when you love to write creatively, you're not Tom Clancy or Steven King, but anyway you decide to try and do what comes naturally to make some money.  Have I gone too far?

I don't think so.  Actually, I feel that I've gone full circle before coming to this conclusion, that trying too hard to make money writing starts to make one feel like a writing prostitute.  Let me back up.  I have always been a hobby writer.  I love to tell a story.  I mean, I love it.  I am almost breathless with anticipation when I begin something new, my heart pounds, my hands sweat (are you getting the analogy, here?), and I can think of nothing else.  But that's only when it's my singular desire to do so.  I do fiction and non-fiction, but only when I'm feeling, in strictly a writing sense, randy baby.  Yes, I do it when I'm in the mood!

Then, I think, Hm, I'm pretty good at this writing stuff.  Why not start submitting and see if I can't do something that I love to do, and make money?  What a superb idea!  What a dream!  So, O.K., sure, I've gotten a few little tidbits published, made a dollar or two (quite literally), but all the moolah is in nonfiction (well, for all intents and purposes, anyway).  I try hardcore NF for a while.  I can do it.  Oh, yes I can.  And it's not too bad.  I even go back to writing to journal specs. and to themes put out there for submissions.  But...  I've lost my passion for writing for the sake of writing.  I am forcing structure, points made, deadlines.  Gulp.  I am desperate for someone to buy.  I'll take ten dollars.  Maybe even five!  Please!  Please!  Pay for my services.  I'm good.  Not just everyone can do it like I can!

But I digress.  It's fantastic to make money writing, especially if you still are loving the process.  I know that it can and does happen.  I will always aspire to it.  But, for now, I'm done doing the literary street walking, if you get my drift.  I will continue to write, always.  I will continue to submit.  When I get that singular thrill.  You can come knock on my door if it is true love, but, otherwise, I'm no longer putting myself out there for a buck.

Ciao for now!
Heidi

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Separation

Today was one of those wacky weather days in Ohio.  This afternoon I had my little one at the playground with friends, and the car thermometer read 72 degrees and balmy, and this evening, after a violent thunderstorm, we are awaiting some snow to fall before morning.  Geesh.  March in Ohio...

Back to writing, Heidi.  Always back to writing.  Know what I mean?  Sticky soul, jealous lover beckoning.  We always have to go back.  Back to something we've written ages ago or back to something we have been working on steadily.  But, there is also the separation.  Just like with the people I love the most, my spouse, my kid, my friends, there somehow needs to be a bit of distance created between me (the creator) and my work (the creation) in order to keep things going smoothly.  I think we can become stifled with our own work at times, no matter how much we adore it.   You can drown if you don't come up for air now and again.  

I cannot seem to do more than about a thousand words of anything in one day.  And that's o.k.  You should write every day, but you should also leave things to settle, for lack of a better word.  When I first write something (anything), every part of it seems raw.  It's not just that it's a "first draft", it's also that its concrete form is new to me, too, full of its initial passion and urgency, but also strewn with ideas and details that need to cure a bit in my own mind before I can truly get them straight.  I find that if I give a new scribbling a good 24 hours, it gels for me much better and gives me a better platform for further writing and editing.  

I tend to bounce between about ten to twenty different projects, which is not the way every writer likes to do things, but I find that working on various pieces keeps me from having much writer's block at all.  Even if I stick to one thing all week, I force myself away from it after a certain amount of time and allow that daily separation to recharge me.  Just like when the hubby comes home from work and the kids get home from school and you can't wait to see them.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder, I suppose. 

Ciao for now!                         Heidi

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Writers write

I guess on that last/ first post, what I meant to say was that we are all storytellers.  Perspective writers, I guess would be more like it.  If we have life, we have stories to tell.  Just some of us record those stories (yes, and those voices in our heads).  Others turn their stories and voices into art, public service, you name it.  We, as humans, have an innate need to tell our stories to the world.  Writers write.

This seems obvious.  It's not a given, though.  We had a wonderful speaker at our writers' group last evening who pointed out that the first objective of writing, and especially getting published, is to finish something.  Yes, writers are notorious for wanting to write, nee, needing to write, aching to write, dying to write, compelled to write,... and, yet, we don't always do it.  We start but we don't finish.  We have that gut-burning, heart-pounding, explosive idea that won't get out of our heads, we begin, and then...  


You short story and poetry writers out there are not off the hook here.  Yes, you finish stories and poems.  But you need to put together a body of work.  An anthology.  Do it by theme or chronologically or however, but do it.  Even if it's just for you.  


I am the guiltiest of the guilty here.  Ask my writing friends.  I have not actually finished one complete body of work.  I have published stories in anthologies, and that's great, but I am now a firm believer in getting something together that is a thing you can call your own as a writer.  Again, even if you only share it with yourself.  I am working on my own anthology again, after a year hiatus, as we speak.


Writers write.  Don't we?


Ciao for now.                   Heidi

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

So this is a blog.

So this is a blog.  I have a distinct fear of technology of any kind, and of "putting myself out there" in any undue way, but I have have finally relented.  My writers' group friends and everyone else tells me I'm behind the times.  Especially as a writer.  You have no online presence! they scold.  So here I am, world.  I am present. 

I have called my blog "Sticky Soul" because of a favorite quote from a favorite author, Elizabeth Berg.  She said (and I quote!), "As a writer, you should have a sticky soul; the act of continually taking things in should be as much a part of you as your hair color."  I love it.  It's so true.  I have never thought of a better way to describe writer as innate observer.  I also liked it when she referred to a literary work in progress (namely, a novel) as a "jealous lover" always calling her back to it.  Amen, Elizabeth.  We writers all know exactly what you are talking about.  They won't leave you alone, those rascally pieces beckoning you back to PCs and notebooks, no matter what you're doing.  Now if I could just get about $5,000.00 together to attend Ms. Berg's Writers' Worshop/ Culinary Vacation in Positano, Italy this June.  My favorite author, one-on-one with seven attendees for a week, in a villa overlooking the amalfi coast, paired with cooking classes by Italian chefs.  One can dream, one can dream...

My blog will be about the compulsion to write.  I mean, if your soul is picking stuff up like a lint roller, all that stuff has got to end up somewhere.  And, again, we writers know that writing is, in fact, like clearing the lint screen of your dryer.  It builds up and builds up endlessly and has to be attended to, lest it clog up the whole works.  Where did all of these lint analogies come from?  I have no idea.  Maybe I should change the name of this blog to "the lint screen."  Nah.

O.K., O.K., so this is fun.  You were all right, alright?  I was wrong.  Blogging rules.  BLOGGING RULES!  Keep writing, my friends.  We're all writers, after all.  Just some of us actually record the voices in our heads.

Ciao for now...                      Heidi