Recently I was re-reading The Christmas Letters by Lee Smith. If you haven't read it, you should. It's one of the few books in epistolary style you can find that's done believably in my mind. But the thing is that in Christmas letters you read the great fiction of a person's life. Lee highlights this in her writing so that what is said in the text is almost a whisper compared to the yell of all that isn't said. We've all read those letters. They almost read like a listing of accomplishments or a nomination for an award. Their lives can't possibly be that good, and if it is, why gloat like that and shove it in all of our faces. But there is a desperate kind of flavor to it as well, between the lines. I remember there was a time when I wrote a few of the dang things and I think I was trying to convince myself that everything was hunky dory when I was new to being a mom, overwhelmed, or just plain lost and struggling my way through it all. So what brings that to mind is my wondering if this blog reads a little like those letters.
Can you hear how I'm struggling to get my footing? Do I sound as scattered and desperate as I sometimes feel? Maybe I'll look back at all these posts once I'm on the other side of all this and it will make sense as a clear transition from one thing to another. First I'm painting, then I'm writing. Then I'm working on a kids book, then I'm working on a novel and I thought it was going to be a YA novel but now I think it might be something else. Then I went and wrote another. And then I start writing a humor column and is it even funny? I'm so all over the place. Maybe I'm just in a funk recovering from the trip to Georgia. No offense Georgia, I love you and all but I think I'm just going to love you from over here. Two observations I picked up while I was down there this time around.
1. The South is not rising anytime soon.
2. Is there anything they don't fry in oil?
I gained weight while I was there and it must have been the deep fried air. But I digress. I'm finally coming to grips with my creative side. Actually I think it's something like a wrestling match or trying to steer an octopus. I won't even tell you about my audition for a Shakespeare play.
Okay I'll tell you the funny bit, but really the rejection still hurts so don't pour salt on it okay? I was auditioning and they asked me to play the part of Tom Snout. He's a worker, who is also an actor but not a very good one. He is playing the part of a wall and being that he is not proficient in the skills he explains to the audience that he is in fact a wall, and goes so far as to explain how the wall works. So I read the lines. And being in character, I moved around a bit as I was reading them. You see these characters are the humor of the play, and a moving talking wall, that's funny! Okay so then the director very politely asked me to read the part again, but this time being more wall-like. So I stayed still, or tried to. I spread my arms out to be like a wall, but had to bring one arm back in to read the script. And I didn't get the part. I am not qualified to be a WALL.
The only direction from here must be up. If only I could see past this wall blocking the view.