Thursday, June 2, 2011


ou may have heard about a sneaky little guy whose been corrupting the coolest blogs on the blogosphere. He strikes when you least expect, is harder to shake than a booger from your finger, and leaves you with a creative hatchet wound so deep it will literally keep you up at night. He's called MEME and he was created by a pretty rad chick we call, GREEN WOMAN. (I'm guessing that's a pseudonym, though I once was secretary to a committee that housed a member named RICHARD BONER, so who knows.)

GREEN WOMAN suggested that writing was definitely NOT like a box of chocolates, but thought her fellow writers were astute enough to come up with a metaphor for what writing IS like. So, my sweet friend Angela, and my disturbed friend Marewulf, happily leaked my location to said MEME, enabling him to jump me like a common street thug after my late night shift at Hooters, and forced me at cursor point to come up with my own MEME. it goes:


I know you're wondering how on earth I'm going to swing this comparison, but bear with me for a minute. It all makes sense in my head.

I was born in 1975, thus making me a
real kid by the time the 80's rolled around. Like every other Reagan-era thug, I wore jelly shoes, tried (unsuccessfully) to master the Rubik's cube and yes, had a wide variety of neon-colored clothing, studded belts, and even a pair of L.A Gear high tops with two different colored laces just like Tiffany's (You know, I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW). But besides my bitchin' wardrobe, I also developed two great loves in the 80's: Music & Writing. (I wrote my first book in 2nd grade. It's a testament of why parents should not pay the extra money for private school)

It's not to say that I'm stuck in a time warp, but there's something about the 80's that feels familiar. Comfortable. The way I feel when I'm writing.

(yes, this would be the segue to the metaphor)

Some days a really
bitchin' song will come on and I am transported back to the place when I first heard and fell in love with that song. Like SISTER CHRISTIAN, by Night Ranger. I remember riding in the backseat of our Malibu Classic and the plastic seat covers were leaving marks on the back of my legs, but I didn't care because that was just the coolest song ever! I still feel that way about my first manuscript. I remember a moment from a particular scene, or that stolen glance that still makes my tummy twist in delight. Those are the days when I love being a writer.

Then there are the days when you feel like you're off to a good start. You drop 300 words in a matter of minutes, and the familiar song stars to play. You get yourself all worked up, expecting another 500 words to flow magically through your fingertips, and then you realize it's Duran Duran's ,THE REFLEX, and that the song actually sucks. And before you know it you're staring at a blinking cursor, wondering why you ever thought you were a good writer, or that Duran Duran wrote good music. These are the days when being a writer is frustrating.

Unfortunately there are the SUCK days, too. The days when Linda Ronstadt and Lionel Richie are clogging up the airwaves and my fingers are nothing more than bloody stumps completely incapable of typing. How is one supposed to come up with a decent thought when ISLANDS IN THE STREAM is playing the background? It's impossible. Those are the days when being a writer totally blows.

But, like every John Hughes movie, something good still lies ahead.

It's one of those days where you're cruising along an empty freeway--you're alone, the windows are down, the sunroof is open, the warm spring breeze is whipping your hair so you look just like a girl on a
Pantene commercial. Everything is just right. Your chair is comfy, the scene you wrote before you went to bed last night still rocks, and then you hear it. Eddie's guitar riff, Sammy's familiar voice. Your fingers start dancing across the keyboard. 100, 200, 300 words. And then you're singing--like you've never sung before. LOVE COMES WALKING IN...Who needs, you're a wordsmith on your own! You've never seen writing like this! It's beautiful and amazing. Just like Van Halen's gut-wrenching ballad. You are a writer! YOU ARE A WRITER! And those are the days that make it all worth while. Because it erases all the edits, takes away all the distractions and reminds us that it's not a choice. Writing is just who we are.

(Side note: The Rookie Riter looks a lot like Sammy, minus the red parachute pants. It's all about the hair, baby!)

Now I think the MEME rules say that I'm supposed to chuck this little miscreant at someone else, but I'm going to leave well enough alone. In part, because I'm lazy. Sorry guys, it's something you should know about me. But also because I'm in a Hagar-induced daze right now and the only creative thought coming to mind involves me, a sandy beach, Sammy Hagar and a bottle of suds.


  1. OMG OMG OMG I LOVE YOU! I was born in 1974, and thus had a similar relationship with clothing and music.

    Did you roller skate? My skates were white with neon-pink laces. Oh yeah.

    Also I love that Van Halen song.

  2. Um, YEAH! We had our own skating rink--the linoleum-covered basement. My oldest sister had those awesome, tennis shoe skates, but I was never so lucky. Sigh.

  3. GRRRR. Hate me that blogger. Snarl. I had an awesome comment written up and it ate it. Sigh.

    Okay, here I go again. I was born in 1970, so I have a few years on you gals, but these songs all evoke the same emotions in me! Sweet.

    And I also was a skating queen, but I had a pair of those metal frames w/wheels that "adjusted" (and I don't use the quotes lightly) to the soles of my tennies. And I can tell you, my pair wasn't so very awesome. Hee

    Great mataphor, my friend! See, I knew you'd come through. Never doubted it for a second. :) God bless your hair dryer, right? LOL

  4. Wow, loved this! I was born in the 80's, so I grew up to Lionel Richie's Hello and Tina Turner's What's Love Got To Do With It (among other things). I still will belt out Turner's song in the car when it's on the radio, and my kids look around with wide eyes, secretly wondering if I've gotten possessed. Plus they check to make sure the windows are not rolled down.

    This is one of my favorites. I think you need to show us your Shakira-esque hair. I begged in the comment section yesterday but it got gobbled up by unknown forces. So I'm begging again: Please? Pretty please?

  5. I now have that song from The Breakfast Club playing on a loop in my head...

  6. @Cherie. My oldest daughter,8, is mortified by me already. I'm pretty sure that's why God blesses us w/children. And FORGET ABOUT IT when a Journey song comes on...

    Hi Christine, nice to see you and yes...after I came up with that post header last night I started replaying bits of the movie in my head. Today I've been saying: "DEMENTED AND SAD, BUT SOCIAL" for no reason at all. God bless John Hughes.

  7. Oh, sorry Cherie, didn't mean to ignore your hair request. The thing is...I am NOT photogenic, but I'll see if I can drum something up. Gawd...the things I do for my fellow purple lovers.

  8. Hey, Miss A. I almost missed your comment there. For the record (despite my previous post) I HATE BLOGGER right now. It's just getting stupid.

    I still remember the skate parties at SKATE CITY. For a quarter you could send someone to jail (a plywood structure in the center of the rink) for one song. I spent about $1.50 sending Aaron Nydam to jail, praying he'd just do the couple's skate with me already. He never did. sigh. He looked like Jake Ryan.

  9. OMG! You are so FREAKIN' FUNNY!! LOL! I'm an 80's girl too (1976, baby!)! Even in high school my friends laughed at me, because while they were listening to grunge, I was still lovin' my 80's ;o) My all time favorite comedy movie is "The Wedding Singer" (I named my daughter after the character 'Julia', aka Julia Gulia). You rocked this metaphor, my friend ;o)

    BTW, I've had so many problems w/blogger and posting comments, that I now 'copy' all my comments before clicking 'post comment' (just in case).

  10. I love Julia Gulia. (Drew Barrymore is on my lesbian island.) I went to an 80's themed 40th party for a friend over Memorial weekend. They had Pop Rocks, Rubik's cubes and Boone's Farms on the tables as favors. ha!

  11. You have a lesbian ISLAND?! Can I bring Gwen Stefani? OH, and Emma Stone?

    Also, don't you forget about me(me) is so clever! I'm so jealous of your awesomeness!

    Also, I was born in 1980 and when I was seven I had crimped hair and GIANT glasses. Must find pic...

  12. Hey, Mare!
    Yes, of course. Please bring Gwen. (she's referenced a lot in my book, by the way. those abs...yum!)

    The rules for the lesbian island are no different than the regular desert island. You choose 5--just be specific with the movie/tv show/song/era it's from:

    I haven't completed by roster, but so far it's:

    Ashley Judd: A Time To Kill
    Drew Barrymore: Never Been Kissed
    Meghan Fox: Transformers (the first one)

  13. This was the bomb! We made up our own awful lyrics to "The Reflex." I think we turned "the reflex" into a child molester waiting in the park. How sad, Duran Duran! I used to write your names on my "Trapper Keeper." Yes, I had a Trapper Keeper!

  14. I had a trapper! A red one. And peechee folders. Do you remember those? With all the kids playing sports on them?

  15. Love this post. So true! And I LOVED Jelly Shoes growing up! I can't even count how many pairs I went through.

  16. Hi Mandie!!
    My sisters (both older) had me convinced that my jelly shoes would melt onto my feet if I stayed outside in them too long. Older sisters suck.