Thursday, April 30, 2015

Homecoming Post In Under the Wire

I paid up today.

I registered for the full reunion event and paid up. Even got the hotel room booked and paid for.

We’ve been committed since September, since I took on a more aggressive workout schedule and this crazy-ass diet.

We’ve been planning to go for months.

But now we’re totally in.

Herndon Hornets Class of 1995. Whoop.

And, actually, I’m pretty excited.

This crazy glow of nostalgia has been omnipresent here lately.

I listen only to Counting Crows radio on Pandora (Blues Traveler, Dave Matthews Band, Tonic, Gin Blossoms).

I recently updated an old tattoo and wrote a story about finding my 19 year-old self again.

We’ve been discussing free-range parenting and the benefits of that approach.

I write GenX stories. They’re mostly fictionalized versions of my stories but they’re familiar to anyone in their 20’s in the 90’s.

Hollywood is all over GenX from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles remake to The Goldbergs.

Strawberry Shortcake and Skeletor are selling Hondas. So GenX is being targeted by marketers and they’re using nostalgia to do it.

Then again, I might be the family member at the reunion who purchased the entire family tree on Focusing on GenX could make me a kind of time-traveling vampire.

Reunions are like cupcakes to me. I’m a big fan of milestones and reviewing one’s journey.

Reunions and homecoming and nostalgia are all part of our Wordsmith Studio Anniversary Month. I got this one in on the last day. Phew!

We love taking a chance to remember how we first met, how we got started, how we struggled, how we supported one another, and how far we’ve come.

While I may be the crazy-GenX-obsessed lady at the HHS ’95 reunion, I don’t feel pressure to have accomplished any more than I have. I think a PhD and my own business, a 14-year marriage and a first grade darling are all sufficient. I do have some fitness goals (hence the workouts and diet) but in truth I’ve been working out and dieting for years. I’ve only turned it up to 11 in the last few months.

My Wordsmith Studio reunion friends aren’t that interested in whether I’ve been able to shed the 40 pounds I found since 1995. They just want to know I’m writing.

And I am.

I’m writing stories about being 18. Seventeen. Sixteen. All my teenage stories that it took me so long to gain perspective on.

I’m writing my twenties and my thirties with elegant juxtapositions that show transformation. Kind of like this blog.

The stories aren’t particularly unique but the voice is unique.

GenX hasn’t had a storyteller claim to be a GenX storyteller yet. 

So I’m after a new genre, creating a new niche, and expecting someone will eventually give me a chance to prove this is a valid effort.

I kind of doubt that somebody will be an agent – they are sales people, after all, not marketers. But I’ll keep looking anyway.

In the meantime, hone the craft. Submit and polish and submit again. Believe in the work. Look forward to sharing.

Keep dieting. Keep strength training.

Be glad you’ve found yourself again.

Welcome home.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Happy Birthday and all that suchness

I let March completely pass me by. I blogged for the South Carolina Writers Workshop here and I blogged over at GenX stories here.

But, alas, Clemson Road, I did not post anything new in March.

It was my birthday month which I've written about before. My birthday is the day after Lady Gaga's which makes me think maybe she and I have some things in common.

I renewed my Hobbes tattoo this month. It's been a task I planned multiple times over the last 19 years but never actually completed. Then I wrote a short story about the experience with this awesome line in it:

He’s reflecting my lost-self back at me and I like what I see. I let her re-emerge and stand before him renewed.

I'll be submitting the story in May which means it can't appear elsewhere. You'll just have to make do with the images of the work and my description of the artist (on whom I developed a little crush):

Fading ink stretches up his neck from his chest like a collar and down his arms like sleeves. He wears a newsboy cap and hipster glasses and smiles a crooked smile.

It's now April and it's another birthday month.

Three years ago, Wordsmith Studio was born out of the April Platform Challenge created by Robert Lee (My Name is Not Bob) Brewer of Writers' Digest. We banded together, we challengers, and formed Wordsmith Studio.

It's been my honor to serve on the Wordsmith Advisory Group or WAG for the last two years. It’s our job to plan fun things, make sure people behave, and organize all of our writerly suchness into actual writing work.

I have also kept pretty consistently faithful to our Tuesday evening chats for the better part of two years. If you get a chance to stop by Twitter with the hashtag #wschat on Tuesday evenings at 6 & 9 p.m. EST you’ll find some good friends talking writing-like stuff.

I’ve gotten to meet one WSS buddy in person and will see another, my friend Sarah, when I go to Seattle in July to run another half marathon.

This groups is amazing. They encourage and assist, that promote and congratulate, they share and they write. Which, ultimately, is what I came to them wanting to do.

My anniversary post is going to be a then-and-now post. I’m working on it today and will have it up soon.

Until then, take a look at Wordsmith Studio’s writing prompts, community page, and Facebook presence. You can see how meeting a group of like-minded and like-habited writers will keep you pushing ever forward toward your goal.

Cheers and Happy Birthday!

Monday, February 23, 2015

I Don't Want to Break Up with Brian Williams

I’m broken hearted over this whole Brian Williams thing.

By all accounts, Williams is a gifted storyteller. He’s known for spinning yarns, entertaining small groups of colleagues and coworkers with quips and tales. He’s engaging and magnetic and his stories, while sometimes inaccurate, are amusing and impressive.

The problem with that is Williams is also a journalist. In the United States we expect our journalists to tell the truth.

It’s important to make the distinction that in our country we hold journalists to a standard of honesty that other nations simply don’t impose.

Now that it’s publicly acknowledged that Brian Williams tells tales, the integrity of his reporting is being questioned. Even though he’s never falsely reported a story while sitting at the news desk.