Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

It is a waste alright. I, too, have been begged to keep writing.

There is an analogy that Steven Covey likes to use. No, I don’t typically quote Steven Covey, but this is particularly apropos. You have a vase, three big rocks, and a bunch of pebbles. If you put all the pebbles in, and then add the rocks, they won’t all fit. If you add the rocks first, and then pour the pebbles in around them, everything just fits. The big rocks are supposed to be your highest priorities, while the pebbles are all the “little junk” that tends to take up your time.

My husband just described an op-ed piece he’d read, in which the writer used the analogy of an oxygen mask. You put on your own first, and then your child’s. It makes sense, right? If you pass out while putting a mask on your kid, you aren’t around to put on your own.

I used to believe this line of reasoning – so much so that I went around lecturing other working women about them. “How can you be a good mom if you’re sick?” etc. etc.

Now, in this and in so many other things, I am eating my own words. There are so many things I didn’t understand… and still don’t. My job is to advise people all day long, and yet I think back on all the advice I’ve given in my personal life and realize that it was all arrogance borne of inexperience.

I do have three big rocks and a bunch of pebbles. The big rocks? My husband, my daughter, my job. No room for four big rocks, or more. What I have done to ensure that I fit in the vase, along with my friends, is to shave little bits off of the three big rocks, make a pebble for myself and one for all of my friends put together, and stick these two pebbles into tiny gaps. What does it mean? Every second I spend reading, or writing, or soaking in the bath, or doing yoga, or daydreaming, or chatting with friends… is stolen time. I have about six months worth of blog posts rattling around in my head right now. I’ve jotted down names of concepts on a few sheets of paper (even that was stolen – I wrote it all down during a meeting at work – shhh…), but I know that most of them will be empty words to me by the time I get to them. There’s a whole book in my head – one I’d enjoy reading, I might add – dormant. And, of course, the vast majority of my little pebble of time is spent making up for lost time sleeping, which is oh-so-productive for all of the things I actually want to do. Because, not only do I have a ton of creative endeavors I want to pursue, I have a chronic stupid pain disorder that sucks the life out of me and makes me dull and foggy in the head.

I don’t begrudge them this time, exactly. But it catches up with you, you know? All those ideas start shoving around looking for room, like all the souls in John Malcovich’s head, and you can’t think. The time I’ve carved out for friends helps; a little frivolity that keeps me plugged into the rest of the world.

I’ve talked to other working moms about this. Not only is this normal, it’s expected. No working moms are anything but tired. We do our best not to come across as resentful, but our every complaint on our own behalf is met with either, “well, you asked for it,” or “just quit your job like a real mom would, then!” or “what did you expect?” or “how selfish can you be?” or “ooh, but isn’t it worth it?” It is, you know, worth it. That doesn’t make me any less tired, or make me have any less longing for a few creative hours now and again.

And last, but not least…. blogging is met with the oddest sorts of animosity. There are those in the workplace, upon hearing that I have or participate in a blog, who have said, “Gee, wouldn’t it be nice to have that kind of time?” With a wry, disdainful look, I might add. Yet I told the same person, months ago of course, that I tried to write something on most days, and she said, “Oh, you have a journal? How wonderful!” Give. me. a. break.

Others understand that a blog is a public journal, but they think the term “Journal” means an academic publication. Therefore, a blog post must be grammatically correct, spelled entirely perfectly, and contribute something unique to human knowledge. It’s my own personal musings. I’m just honoring you with the trust to let you read them. I’m not a) fishing for somebody to send me a consolation note, b) trying to contribute something unique to human knowledge, or c) (yes I got this directly once) wallowing. What I am doing is telling you (with stolen moments that often deprive me of editing-time) the way I see it, right now, today. I don’t want you to worry. I just want you to think, “Gosh, yeah, I’ve felt like that” or “Wow, I’ve never thought about it that way.” Or any other number of thing one might think when presented with something to which they really relate, or really don’t.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

People have been asking…no begging…no nagging me to update my blogs. 3women was created for the sole purpose of developing a creative blog, and well, when one of the authors doesn’t feel very creative, the blog suffers.

It’s like having a palette of greys, whites, and blacks when all you want are rich reds, bright yellows, and sultry blues. And then, finding the will to paint, the will to sit down and paint, write, create is near excruciating. It’s embarrassing as talented as I suppose I am and as educated and privileged as I am that I sit here with severe writer’s block, slowly slipping into the worst kinds of sorrows, anxieties and fears.

Look at the world around us. Take a good look. Wars. Famon. Poverty. Hate. Murder suicides over unpaid bills. Uncertain economy. Dow Jones. Rent is due. Massive layoffs. Obesity. Early retirements. Angry emails. Lethargic bodies lying on couches watching the world go by. Lack there of’s.Career changes. Cold weather.

Nothing’s really that funny or worth writing about. Revisiting my past with creativity seems ridiculous when I can barely find reason to live in this moment. I know I’m a bit dreary and negative, but aren’t we all lately?

I promise to write more. I hope my two other women will too. Let’s just get this shit out, even if no one reads it.

Read Full Post »

Lost Time

This past month has been lost time. Time spent reading the Twilight series, hanging on Alan’s couch, restless sleep, drinking beer and most of all revaluating the “big picture”. Who am I and what am I doing here kind of shit.

The 9-5 wasn’t working for me anyway. I’d scratch my head at the obvious questions they’d ask me and wonder how they got where they are today. I saw myself 5 years down the road, unhappy, vapid, worrying about fax machines and conference calls instead of how to finish the chapter in my novel or what kind of wine would go best with my dinner party in a new home. There’s nothing more heartbreaking then leading a life I’d never really want to live.

So, I’m back on the hunt, searching for who I really am and lucky to have some companions helping me along the way. The silence on my end is embarrassing – I should be writing more but instead I have been busy with errands, laundry, applications and figuring out how this whole “career” thing is supposed to work. I miss my mom and my dad. I’m drinking beer instead of tea before bed some nights. My jeans are hating me again and I don’t blame them.

Hopefully Decemeber will pan out to be a better month than November or even October for that matter. Sometimes I wish I were a 1950’s housewife who secretly wrote a great novel in her husband’s home office while he was busy at work. The kids would be playing or watching the TV in the next room, the laundry tumbling in the machines, and I with frenzied hand would write as much as I could before it was time to drop the kids off at dance class or to a playdate.

But I live in 2008 nearing 2009 and I don’t have a husband or kids or laundry that tumbles in the background. I have a one bedroom apartment, laundry on the floor and a strange habit of saying I’m a writer when I barely do these days.

Read Full Post »

About Love

Sometimes, OK no… Usually, lines in a movie or song or book are on my mind. Some people have the capacity to say it just right.

From Stardust (movie not book; although book was still better):

“You know when I said I knew little about love? That wasn’t true. I know a lot about love. I’ve seen it, centuries and centuries of it, and it was the only thing that made watching your world bearable. All those wars. Pain, lies, hate… It made me want to turn away and never look… again. But when I see the way that mankind loves… You could search to the furthest reaches of the universe and never find anything more beautiful. So yes, I know that love is unconditional. But I also know that it can be unpredictable, unexpected, uncontrollable, unbearable and strangely easy to mistake for loathing, and…. My heart… It feels like my chest can barely contain it. Like it’s trying to escape because it doesn’t belong to me anymore. It belongs to you. And if you wanted it, I’d wish for nothing in exchange – no gifts. No goods. No demonstrations of devotion. Nothing but knowing you loved me too. Just your heart, in exchange for mine.”

It is my wish that we all have the opportunity to love and be loved, like that, at least once.

Read Full Post »

Born in north Jersey, I spent a few years of my early childhood playing acrobats in the evenings with my father, dancing to Sesame street songs, and going to bed with pink curlers in my hair. I survived my adolescence in busy Los Angeles through shopping trips with my mother, my high school English teachers, and bleached blond hair. I went searching for this thing called “myself” in humid New Orleans, and ended up finding out how to eat boiled crawfish, the potentiality for evil in human nature when flooded out by mother nature, and my calling in life: Writing.

So, here I am. In Austin, “the oasis of Texas” as one of my poetry professors once said. And, in some ways, it has been my oasis from a tumultuous life in Post-Katrina New Orleans. Living in a “One Dead in Attic” mentality had aged me out of my early twenties and into an ageless state of cynicism and woe. I now have my tiny apartment adorned with tiny treasures from my travels abroad in Paris, Venice, London, and my short stay in Boston in the fall of 2005. And of course, I now have a magnificent man in my life, The Chemist.

The scenes of my apartment best describe me. My Miles Davis poster from Hollywood is taped tight to my fridge door; an Indian ivory salt and pepper shaker brought back from my grandfather in WWII accompanies family photos on a bookshelf. Dried roses from my mother rest in my grandmother’s old vase atop a chest I acquired in New Orleans. Spices on my kitchen sit on a shelf with an old broken rosary belonging to my great grandmother.

My bookshelves are packed with an eclectic mix of goods from SoCal wacky to Parisian tacky with a giant, silver Effiel Tower candle propped next to my signed copy of Candace Bushnell’s ‘Trading Up’. She wished me ‘Good Luck in Writing’ in big, black permanent ink, and it’s something that I look at every day, something that breaks the writer’s block.

I am my bookshelves in a way. I’m packed with literature, from Chaucer to Hemingway. I value and display my books, my trinkets, my rosary collection, and even the 40 some odd Pez dispensers that are lined up like a choir on the top left shelf. I am not just one thing- I’m not just a writer, or a woman, or a high school actress, or a daughter, or a girlfriend- I’m all of those things and hopefully more.

I find my creativity is best unleashed for the world to see, rather than bottled up. I struggle daily with my level of confidence- I don’t give myself enough credit. My friends tell me I’m beautiful and I believe that they need an eye exam.

But, when you boil it down, at heart I am that construction paper book written in crayon when I was a young girl, tucked away on the bottom corner of the shelf, innocent, full of color and life, and waiting for someone to open me up and read me. But, I need to open me up first, write the stories that I was born to write, publish those stories for the masses, and really learn how to live and love life.

Joyce Carol Oates’ advice from one of her books is for young writers it to “write [their] hearts out.”

3 Women is just one of many facets of my heart.

Read Full Post »