I pick up a copy of “Pen on Fire, a busy woman’s guide to igniting the writer within.” Well, this book isn’t for me now is it! Where is the book titled, “Mac book on fire, a lazy too-much-time-on-her-hands woman’s guide to igniting the writer within?
“This is crap,” I announce to my mother as she is steeped over the stove. I am skimming the first chapter of the book and I read aloud the following inspirational paragraph:
“Spectators don’t win fights and the one fighting technique I have not seen fail yet is to just keep getting up. People shouldn’t be discouraged, because they can go from everybody saying that they would never be published and all of a sudden the wall’s down, not from any one punch but from the accumulated weight of all the punches…”
My mother clicks her tongue and smiles at me, “No fancy, you’re not. You’re more like a whiner.”
“Maybe I’m a slapper,” I venture.
“No, sweetie. You’d be like this, ‘Heeeey, there’s a wall here. Not fair! Shit. Stupid wall. Nooooo. Hhhmm what’s on tv?”
We both laugh. “Face it baby girl, we’re giver uppers.”
As I sigh and smile up at her I am frustrated. Why can’t I be a puncher?
It was only a week ago that I lay on the small couch, feet dangling over the edge, watching Barbra Streisand Live in Concert on a Saturday night with my mom and her husband. As I watched the band accompany her I was suddenly reminded of my days as first chair flute in eighth grade.
“I could have been a professional fluter,” I declare to no one in particular. And this gets me thinking about all of the things I could have done but didn’t. Is there still hope? At what point do dreams become past time shouldas and not future maybes?
I am comforted by the fact that writing is ageless without an expiration date. Maybe I will find the discipline I need inside of my mature years? Or maybe I simply need to learn how to be a puncher.