Tuesday, May 08, 2012

A flashback to eight years ago

I was reading over some old entries and found one from eight years ago I'd like to share. To me it sums up how far Jer and I have come since we shared that old 800-square foot duplex and worked for a university. It's also fun for me to see how my writing style has changed in the intervening years. (I hadn't written any short stories yet, only plays.)

When I wrote this entry, the situation was it'd been a year since Jer and I had visited Seattle on vacation and decided we wanted to move there/here. We were living in southern California and I was working in a ticket office for an arts presenter. We didn't have much money and we both felt stuck.

The following entry was posted May 21, 2004:

Ever since I set foot in Seattle, the city has been under my skin. I haven't gone one day without thinking about it. I sit here, I think about it. I go to work, I think about moving there. I see myself buying a house there. I see myself writing there. It's such a pretty picture in my mind.

No other city has elicited such a gut reaction. And maybe it's because I've romanticized this idea of Seattle. Books and coffee, rain, and affordable housing. Not to mention, Twin Peaks and Tom Robbins ...

Circumstance is pushing me in a direction. I could let it continue to push, or I could shift positions. Isn't that what it's all about? Do I let things happen to me? Or do I take the initiative?

Nobody likes an abstract. So here's a solid. How do you work a forty hour week, then come home and write something fresh and exciting every day? How do you handle rejection, week after week? When you choose writing, aren't you really sentencing yourself to a life of waiting? Aren't you that girl on the beach waving starry-eyed to the pirate with a heart of gold? I'll see ya in the next port, baby. But he's lying. It's not a real eye-patch anyway. And that heart of his? Pyrite, baby. (Sadly, when he said pyrite, you heard PIRATE. Is nothing sacred?)

Or maybe I'm just procrastinating. Maybe I'm doing everything I can to keep from finishing my play. Because if I finish it, then people get to judge it. If I never print, produce, or publish it, it's my word against yours. And I say it's brilliant. You've never beheld such magnificence. Take a memo: Dear Pulitzer Committee, I've finished another play. Let's skip the formality and cut the crap. I'm better than Shakespeare. Love, Me. Hear that? That is the sound of no one contradicting me.

The original entry was titled Pity Party, Table for One.


Elizabeth Twist said...

I like the pyrite / pirate part. Nice.

This is a great piece to repost, especially since it sounds like you're in a radically different place (life-situationally and geographically). It's so true, there are times when you can't see how things are ever going to shift. Yet they do. I did a power steer on my life a while back. It was a good decision, but it felt scary at the time.

Folly Blaine said...

Thanks, Elizabeth. I've always had the tendency to avoid stating what I wanted or I thought I risked jinxing it -- and here was a clear example where I said what I wanted and went after it. (I should do this more often.) A year and a half after I wrote those words we had moved to Seattle and I had a writing job.

I agree about the "power steer." Scary at the time, but they can be such a good idea.

Milo James Fowler said...

"Better than the Bard" -- now there's a cool title for a new blog dedicated to your playwriting endeavors! Seriously though, I don't know how we do it: managing a full-time job while being a full-time writer. But somehow we make it work, right?