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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Next Year

A girl walks into a writer's group meeting...
And finds herself wishing she had just stayed home.

No kidding. I was looking for some inspiration, maybe some insight and tips on how to write better, write more, just WRITE. What I found was a room full of egos attached to, well, to be honest, fundamentally untalented writers except for one, who was marginally fantastic. I'd like to meet with just him and have some time to pick his brain. Otherwise, not much came out of that meeting for me, except the firm knowledge that I had wasted two hours of my life in that room. I'll keep looking. I mean, maybe I'm being too harsh, but I can't grant any respect to a writer's group "Facilitator/Writing Coach" who uses Stephen King as an example of diverse writing styles, and then goes on to list only a couple of his most popular books without a single mention of anything he has done outside of the horror genre. I brought up the Hearts in Atlantis series, only to be met with that deer-in-headlights stare. I tried to help stir memory as best I could, being on the spot in a room full of people I don't know and feeling vulnerable and nervous, and I said, "You know, the collection of short stories about the single mom, a widow, with the little boy and they meet the older gentleman." To which I received the response, "Oh, you mean The Sixth Sense?"
No. No I don't mean The Sixth Sense, you fucking moron. Maybe, before you try to utilize the name of Stephen King as an example of versatile writing styles, you should school yourself in some of his truly diverse writing, like The Body (Stand by Me), or The Green Mile, or how about his memoir, On Writing.
Just a thought.
And maybe you should look into knowing the differences between M. Knight Shymalan's writing style and Steven King's. Just sayin'.

So suffice it to say, this group was not a proper fit. I want someone to challenge me to push my limits. I want someone to challenge me to write about the hard topics, to be more free with the fun topics, and to dive in there and really, truly put a wholehearted effort into this god-damned book that has been not much more than an outline for the last five years.

Maybe I'm asking for too much. I tend to do that.

Anyways, on to more venting:

During this past week The Wifester had an uncle, actually a great-uncle, who passed away, and I had a great aunt pass away. This has been a tough year for The Wifester's family, she also lost both of her grandparents, on her mother's side, within just a few months of each other. My heart goes out, especially to The Wifester's mom. I can't imagine how difficult this has been for her.

With so much loss around us recently, we've really been contemplating our own mortality. I think that's pretty normal, isn't it? I've known for quite some time that my current state of health (or lack thereof) is quite detrimental to my longevity, and to my quality of life. I have been open with you about my desire, my need to lose weight. It's a battle that has consumed my entire life. I remember being 6 years old and going to my great uncle's funeral where my great grandfather, upon seeing me for the first time in several months, exclaimed, "Whooo-weee! You're as fat as pig!"

I remember year after year of Weight Watchers meetings and Slim Fast type shakes, and that was years before there was such a thing as Slim Fast. I remember opening my lunch box to an apple and a thermos of flavor-of-the-day diet shake drink, while my friends had pb&j sammies, or bologna, or ham...
I remember looking in the mirror the day before school started each year and sighing and telling myself, "It's okay, when school starts next year you'll be skinny." Next year always did come, and with it was that same conversation in the mirror with that fat little girl who possessed me.

It just now occurred to me that I still say "Next year..." I've been saying my book will be complete next year for years. I've been saying I'll get my finances in order next year for my entire adult life. And, of course, I've still been saying next year about my weight.

I'm tired of being the master procrastinator. Next Year is now. I have to get these things under control. I have to make them happen. Next Year won't do the hard work for me. I have to do the writing. I have to make the better financial decisions. I have eat the healthier foods, and I have to get more exercise.
And with that, I think I'll go take The Sally-dog on a walk.

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