Thursday, June 2, 2011

DON'T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME(me)

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.

So...here it goes:

WRITING IS LIKE THE ALL 80's CHANNEL ON SIRIUS/XM

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 thesaurus.com, 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.