NBPM #12: Write on

I don’t really have time to think about you, day 12.  I’ve only got one hour left to publish you, so I am sorry that I cannot be more thoughtful.  If it makes you feel any better, I’ve been inspired to write tonight. I’ve been inspired by the writer’s life.  I’ve often thought about doing something crazy, like quitting my job and writing and reading all day long.  I’ve also thought about just immersing myself in another language, another culture. I’ve come close.

I’m an amateur, when it comes to writing.  I sit on the fence; I just dip my toes in. In Bangkok, I joined a women writers’ group, but only made it to two events, before being swept away by a fulltime job. I was also a little disheartened sharing my work with fellow writers. The first night, my writing piece was dissected and critiqued, and I went home wondering if my writing should just be confined to the walls of my journal.  How pathetic, I know.  Rejection is part of the writer’s journey.  Anyhow, this year when I joined ‘Writing your Memoir’ at UVic, I was met with thoughtful feedback that made me want to write on.  But again, a fulltime job seemed to envelop my life, making it difficult to make it to class, and find the time to write.

Blogging here is helping me get my writer’s groove back, and a new teacher in my life is getting me inspired.  She invited me to her book reading tonight, and I wasn’t so sure I wanted to wade through puddles in the pouring rain, with no gum boots and a flimsy umbrella, but I am so glad I did. Initially, I had my reservations (not at a table), when I arrived in the lavish hotel, looking like a drowned rat.  I looked around and saw so many characters. Elegant dresses, funky boots, jeans and jackets, cozy sweaters and leggings, cat-eye glasses, wine glasses, beer bottles, tables of books, indistinct chatter, distinct laughter, subtle perfume, perfect smiles, rain pattering on the glass ceiling above me.  The introvert in me wanted to escape, but then the teacher/writer arrived. She was with her partner, a suave dresser, and her friend, a lovely silver-haired woman with a three-legged dog. They took me under their wing, and us ladies spent most of the night gently (and quietly) critiquing the readings (and writers), from the back of the room. For some reason, I felt right at home with these hip, older women.

When the writer in our midst finally took stage, we all stopped momentarily, and then burst into laughter, with the rest of the audience.  Her book, a memoir of sorts, in honour of her mother, was touching, but never the less comical. Actually, I haven’t read it, but the excerpt leads me to believe it will be this way. The book looks at an aging mother through a lens of compassion and humour. It’s on my book shelf now looking at me, just waiting to be read.

I believe writers have a magical life; they have so many different worlds. They write what they know, and what they hope to know. They create worlds with their words, and dig deeper into themselves, while at the same time urging others to look inward, or outward. They have a writer’s ‘hat’, like a secret spell, and it is theirs alone, it is their voice.  Their stories are part of them, but they’re not selfish, they share them. They are many things, and one part of them is a writer. Sometimes, I think I am a writer.

Rustic flowers

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