This past Saturday held the first sun Portlanders had seen in months. My neighborhood kids rode their bikes up and down the street; friends walked around Glendoveer Golf Course; families flocked to the park with their picnic baskets and game equipment. And where was I? I was indoors the entire day editing a friend’s manuscript. Surprisingly enough, I enjoyed every minute of it. Frolicking in the sunshine with friends would have been fun as well, but I gladly accepted the confidence boosting job.
A friend sent me a text last Friday morning asking if I had filed my taxes yet. He does this every year. If he didn’t I would think something was wrong. He knows I discovered a few years ago how easy it is to file an extension.
I’m a bit of a procrastinator. That’s why I’m sitting at my computer at 11:51 p.m. writing this blog post. I had all evening but Celebrity Apprentice was on and I wanted to see if Gary Busey got fired. He did.
However, I was productive this afternoon and read through blogs on writing. I particularly enjoyed Alexis Grant’s site on memoir writing. But then I took a nap. And it’s a good thing I did because I would be pretty tired right now if I hadn’t. But then again, if I had written my post this afternoon instead of napping I could be sleeping right now. That probably would have been better.
But there is light on my procrastination horizon because when my friend sent me that text, I was able to proudly answer, “Yepsidoodle, Funny Man!” There may be hope for me yet.
Question: Did you file your taxes on time?
Now here is where my horrendous insecurities come in and start to attack. If I admit I did some editing then any dangling participle, misplaced comma, split infinitive or redundant redundancy that slips into my blog will, once again, show my inadequacies. But I have finally arrived at a place in life where I am okay with that. It has taken quite a while but, Hallelujah, I’m here.
Everyone needs help from time to time. And when I needed editing assistance, I turned to Grammar Girl. She was very pleasant and extremely knowledgeable. Also encouraging me on my journey were the friendly folks at Purdue OWL. They couldn’t have been nicer. I just showed up at these websites, ignorance in hand, and clicked away. All that advice was free and at my fingertips.
So maybe it took me twice as long to finish the job than a more experienced editor, but I did it. And I hope for similar opportunities in the future. Soe; if ewe no enywon out they’re, that needz help with eddittting: half them gave me a kall.
Question: What is your biggest grammar faux pas?
I have GOT to get new glasses. With all the reading and research I’ve been doing lately my eyes just won’t focus anymore. It may have something to do with the minuscule scratches on the left lens. I’ve been reading so many blogs with teeny, tiny print that it makes me stop and wonder if my font is too small or if the color scheme doesn’t quite work. I don’t want to give all you faithful followers, (up to 13 now!!) a headache after reading my posts.
And my neck hurts. I guess I tilt my head to the right as I read because the muscles on the left side of my neck and shoulders are very unhappy with me right now. Not to mention my lower back. I need to remember to sit up straight when I read. I must be quite the sight sitting here like a near-sighted Quasimodo.
But it’s not just physical growth pains I am experiencing. This is all still pretty new to me and I am feeling a bit overwhelmed from the onslaught of fresh information. I am somewhat apprehensive each time I press that publish post button for fear I will be showing how little I know.
Thankfully I am not alone in this process. I am so grateful for a friend like Kayla Fioravanti and her willingness to help me figure out the great uses of Twitter, Facebook and Blogs. And for all her social media friends who have stopped by to encourage me. It’s a fun little place, this world of writing.
My other fabulous friends keep me going as well. They know a whole different side of me being a pain and love me anyway. They are the best fans ever!
So that’s why I keep placing the arrow on that silly, dreaded publish post button and giving it a go. No pain no gain, right?
Question: Any areas in your life where you are experiencing growing pains?
Telling my throngs of readers, all 3 of you, that I am going to post every Monday and Thursday is going to hold me accountable to doing just that. This is another writing exercise from Natalie Goldberg’s book, Old Friend from Far Away.
I am looking at the back of my friend’s laptop. It is a limey-green green and fits her personality to a tea. My green of choice is a more the color of leaves and grass but she is wild and crazy and has a wonderful creative streak so this one works. For her to have a basic gray or black computer would be wrong.
We are at the airport pretending we’re headed someplace warm. There is a plethora of things to look at. Unfortunately we are seated at a table in the back corner and I am facing the wall so all the action is behind me. We are also by a window but there is a pillar right outside my section of glass. That’s okay. I don’t need anything flashing it’s shininess around and distracting me. Squirrel…
I am also looking at the end of spring break, my week of pretending I’m a professional writer. It’s been fabulous and I’ve loved every minute. Oh to have this feeling all the time. I’m looking at a life where I jump out of bed in the morning. I see a schedule of my own design filled with more of these crazy writing exercises at destinations all over Portland. There is a bit of a selfish aspect to my time being my own. But I see it as more than that. I see it allowing me to be open and available.
I’m looking at my friend, my travelling companion on this excursion, who I believe looks at life somewhat the same way. Everyone should have a friend like that even though they would steal a bite of your chocolate cake delivered to the table while you’re away in the restroom.
Okay guys, 5 minutes using the phrase, “I’m looking at…” GO! Tell me what you saw.
I think I am landing on a Monday and Thursday posting schedule. Now that I am actually up and running in the world of blogging I’m having fun. It’s much better than the, “Just do it already,” hanging over my head.
I have been writing music since I was in Junior High. I feel comfortable with that process. I’ve written musical scripts for my students for years and have had great success with directing these productions in school and church. But now that I am attempting to write my thoughts in memoir form I feel very intimidated. So I’m “schooling” myself. I’ve checked out books on the craft of writing from the fabulous Multnomah County Library, registered for writing workshops, devoured my 3 issues of Writer’s Digest Magazine and searched blogs and websites till my progressive lenses have glazed over.
I am finding one of the books I have checked out, OLD FRIEND FROM FAR AWAY by Natalie Goldberg, very helpful. It has hundreds of writing exercises to free your memories deeply buried under layers of life, denial, or maybe just dementia.
One of her assignments was to write for 10 minutes using the phrase, “I Remember.” Here is what I remember…
I remember dusk on Salizar Street in San Diego. The ticking sound of Daddy’s red Valiant as it rounded the corner and entered the driveway announced his arrival home. I remember being so mad at him when he chopped off the two lowest branches on our favorite front yard trees making it difficult to jump up and climb. Tree climbing was my whole life back then.
I remember finding a nickel on the ground and hopping on my pink Schwinn banana seat bike and travelling on my secret mission to the 7-11, left turn/right turn/left/right/left/right/left, to buy a piece of gum from the gumball machine out front. I just knew all the big kids there thought I was neato because I rode my bike all by myself and had money for a treat. After my expensive purchase I immediately rode back home. Once there I couldn’t even enjoy the chewing process for fear I would be found out and get in trouble.
I remember the Hippie rock band rehearsing in their garage down the street. I wondered if they were smoking that marijuana as they did their version of Three Dog Night. I can still see the mom coming out of the front door and shooing us nosey neighborhood kids away. I thought it was weird that those Hippies still lived with their mom.
I loved playing in the parking lot of the church at the end of the block singing the lyrics of Paul Revere and the Raiders at the top of my lungs. I remember the sound of my roller skates against the pavement.
For some reason our family inherited a big 4×4 animal cage and kids from surrounding streets found out about it and came to play. We would pack as many kids as we could inside and then roll them around the yard. It was the most fun ever. I remember how those same strangers kept interrupting our Girl Scout meeting the next day to see if we could come out and play again. I thought we were so cool because of that stupid cage.
Salizar Street; a great place to spend 7 years of my life, or was it 6. Who knows, we were always moving. But that street has more memoires than 10 minutes can hold.
So there you go. Give it a try. Spend 10 minutes reminiscing with an “I remember” story. Let me know what you remember.HoHoHo