Thursday, February 18, 2010

You Should Be A Writer and Do You Believe in Ghosts

"You should be a writer." That was what my fourth grade teacher told me when she read some of my poetry.
The first thing I ever remember writing other than a report was a story about Smokey the Bear. Actually, I stole the story from a friend of mine. Shocker, I know. I read her story and loved it so much, that I memorized it, went home and re-wrote it on my parents' old manual typewriter. Pretty bad, huh?
Of course, those were the days when there was no backspace correction key. If you messed up, you had a pencil with an eraser on one end and a stiff brush on the other to wipe the eraser chunks away. If you used carbon paper, you had to erase that, too. I loved the way it felt to get to the end of a line of writing and push the metal bar to manually return the carriage. That in itself was a workout on your arms as those typewriter carriages were pretty heavy and bulky. I had to hold the typewriter down with one hand to keep it from sliding around on the desk while returning the carriage with the other.
The next thing I remember writing was a story about a toy drum at Christmas time, sitting on a shelf in a toy store, waiting to be purchased. "He" was bought, wrapped, and put under a Christmas tree with all of the other toy presents which would magically come out and play at night while the family was asleep. The drum's plan was to figure out how to get the family to go back to the toy store and rescue his toy friends who had been left behind for Christmas. Think "Island of Misfit Toys."
After that it was poetry, most of which was very dark, about running away. I wrote poetry because it was fast and easy for me. I didn't have to commit to a huge project. I have always been bad at beginning things and never finishing them.
After college I wrote some pretty amazing stuff if I do say so myself, about the abuse, mostly. I wish I had kept it. I probably chunked it all in one toss into a dumpster in a fit of anger. I regret it now. I had written a poem about my grandmother, asking her why she turned her head the other way. It was pages and pages long. I gave it to my therapist for safekeeping. The therapist left unannounced. When I finally tracked her down, she claimed that she had destroyed all of my records. I think she should have given me the chance to take all of my writings and drawings back before she left.
Around 1984 or '85, my paternal grandfather who had passed away in 1982 came into my bedroom, I kid you not, and dictated a poem to me that I was to write down and give to my brother. I have always wanted to ask him if he still has it. I doubt it because he and my grandfather were never close, which is what the poem was mainly about.
SUBJECT BREAK --- By the way, do YOU believe in ghosts? I do, but I really don't think of them as ghosts. "Ghost" has such a scary meaning to me. I guess what I believe in are "spirits." And I definitely believe in guardian angels. When I was a kid I swore I had a guardian angel and her name was Barrette. Don't know how she got that name, but that was before anyone ever told me there were guardian angels in the world. She was not an imaginary friend. I didn't sit and have conversations with her; I just always knew she was there. I have been having those same feelings lately. I haven't told J, but she will know now when she reads this.
Anyway, my biggest writing project I tackled was my novel "Reverse Skate" which is a whopping 118 pages long. I just can't seem to go back and work on it. For one thing, it has an EXTREMELY cheesy ending, which I hate. I want to change it and I know how to change it, but I am afraid to change it. Does that make sense? Sometimes things are better if you don't change them. But it is SO BAD!! And then there is the going back and adding details to make it longer, deeper, more cohesive. What I have can be more likely called an outline. My problem is this: do I go back and spend my time rehashing a story that, frankly, I have grown tired of, or move on to something else? It has been over two years since I even looked at it, but the thought of all that detail, ugh! It's exhausting just thinking about it.
I have always wanted to write mine and J's story, and I have written a lot of it here; but, really, you have to admit that there aren't many lesbian "love" stories out there that resemble ours. I haven't read any of the ones out on the market because there is so much sex in them, and I am just not into reading erotica. I like to make my own. LOL Seriously, our story is so much more than that, and that's what I want people to read. I would like to write a book that heterosexuals could read and feel like even they could relate to. Because, really, I didn't fall in love with J because she is a woman; I fell in love with her because she is J. And that is what I feel like a lot of the lesbian love stories seem to be missing. As I said, I haven't read any, but I have read blurbs on the back and inside covers and summaries in magazines or on websites, enough to tell me that they would not hold my interest.
I guess what I am saying is that I think I am starting to come out of a couple of years' worth of writer's block. I think I may be ready to get back on the horse. Just not sure where I am going to travel.

"A ghost is someone who hasn't made it - in other words, who died, and they don't know they're dead. So they keep walking around and thinking that you're inhabiting their - let's say, their domain. So they're aggravated with you." - Sylvia Browne

"This is the sixth book I've written, which isn't bad for a guy who's only read two." - George Burns


padi said...

if you wrote a book about your love story, i think there'd be a market for it. hope you take your dream and fly with it!

AWJ said...

Just wanted to let you know that I stumbled across your blog and went back a read a bunch of posts from the beginning. I love your and J's story... True love <3