writing is art, too...

I will be continuing to post creative content in the form of crochet arts and crafts, polymer clay arts and crafts and the number of other jewelry and artistic endeavors, reviews and projects that are going on around here... and I am going to be including writing as well because of all of my blogs it seems this is the best place for them.

I have written since I was 4 or 5... Strawberry Shortcake Comes to Earth... fully illustrated... fan fic disguised as rewriting stories I'd read and liked and thought could be better... sexy stories, silly stories... the real sort of fan fic that lives right now on my gaming blog and might never move and might become something someday.

I was a naive and gullible sort with wide eyes who just wanted to know. Everything. All of it. And believed too much of what she heard because it was new and shiny and she loved information like some people like sports or music. I was also the gullible believe everything they hear sort that took it deeply to heart when someone told her in a scornful tone that she was like a damned 2 year old and to just shut up and stop asking questions already. No one cared. I was exhausting.

It wasn't until years later that a wiser friend pointed out that being like a 2 year old is actually a good thing and that I might die if I ever quit asking questions and seeking their answers because it was a part of my nature to want to know. I sure felt that squelched part of me deep inside that had been trying to ask when no one saw and was starving breathed a sigh of relief when I heard that awesome truth and it resonated deep inside of me.

I have read for as long as I have written (I mean, can you write without reading?) Judy Blume, S. E. Hinton, Sue Grafton, Sidney Sheldon, Nora Roberts AND J.D. Robb (same writer) and so many more... and it has been Stephen King that has spoken for me in my times of silence, modeled and detailed and inspired me for so long that I don't even know for sure when it started. I know when I read Contact by Carl Sagan I didn't know who he was and had to first embarrass myself with that lack of knowledge in front of others at the college I was attending and then with my frantic search for all information I could find. I asked professors at the school, students and friends... I took notes trying to understand in some layman's way the miracle of Ellie's experiences and knowledge and the science that lay under the surface of the book. Two companion notebooks were rubberbanded to the book that also contained questions and notes and answers in the blank pages at the back of the paperback. I was obsessed. I needed to know AND to enjoy at once.

I was similarly obsessed with the little notes at the front and sometimes back of Stephen King's books. From an early age I felt like he was telling us all of his tricks and showing us into the backstage and I felt honored and sometimes even felt like he seemed quite accidentally to say just what I needed to hear when I needed it most.

(a note here before you read the rest... I am actually a terrible fan. lously. horrible. private. I wouldn't be any different meeting Stephen King than I am meeting someone at a job interview or someone I met online and who is still not "real" to me... I love his writing and can be as cutting as I am kind in my reviews of his stories. I was saddened when I learned he'd been hit and almost killed and I cried listening to the afterward in the audio book I just listened to because he spelled out exactly what happened and I was horrified by it all. I am a lousy fan because I don't even fantasize that I own anything other than the bits of him he has put on sale for me to buy. He is just some old guy that I admire and enjoy and wish to emulate in some ways. so while you're going to read that I wrote to him, note that they have been as parts of class projects when I was a student in middle school and junior high --yeah, we moved... sucked to be me, huh? LOL -- and you might be concerned. you have no reason to be. neither does Mr. King... I'd be mortified that he would read something I wrote and have to tell me I suck, honestly)

I wrote to Mr. King as part of a class project in 6th grade and got a mimeographed reply back and a quickly jotted note of encouragement in his own hand. Write, thank you for sending me a letter and letting me know you're a fan. Quick facts and info in the form letter about him and about his cool house and a picture of a spider webby gate.

When I wrote again 1 or 2 years later as a class project in a different school system I tried to pawn off a story idea to him and he actually wrote me back. Whether he remembered my earlier letter or otherwise even cared, he was very clear that I was a writer or I was not, I didn't "want to be a writer" and to remember that no matter what else. Publication didn't make writers writers. Writing made writers writers. He also told me not to give away my ideas, that ideas are golden and don't come around often. If I believed I couldn't write it in his style then I needed to write it in my own. I needed to write what stuck and stay with it no matter what.

Later I had a Writer's Handbook and again his advice in the article he published there was similar. You write because you write and you write what gets stuck in the trap over the drain in your brain if you're lucky enough to have a trap. Either in that same article or somewhere else I also took from him the advice that has literally driven me all along the way until today... get the story out. Tell it. This first. This is the most important thing. Don't know a fact? Wait for it and insert a lie. Don't know the name of a town in Northern Colorado? Name it something you can search for and replace later and get the story out.

I wrote for myself all the time. At that time in my life I was able to compartmentalize myself (I had needs to do this that were a less fun part of my life) and get the writing done longhand and on a typewriter and in any other damned way I could because I felt compelled. I would get these ideas and they wouldn't let me sleep. I felt like I wasn't doing the characters justice if I just left them hanging out there unfinished and unaware of what came next.

Most of what I created sucked. Truly and completely. Penises that could drink back their own issuance was in there along with a million other things... sappy poems and very few with actual heart and bones... it can be said that I imagined and filled in the blanks and did all the things that writers are told to do in order to become good writers. Or, rather, that writers who listen to Stephen King do when they are told to write.

I was also told that I would never do it for a living and that I needed to be realistic... and that publication in the late 80's and into the 90's was a game not for the faint of heart or those without money and connections.

I believed this dumb shit along with all of the other silly things I've believed for my whole life. Gullible. Naive.

I have not really ever attended a writing class of any organized sort. I took one creative writing credit as part of my certification at Red Rocks. I have not really ever had a reliable group that would read and critique my work and the few times I've thought I wanted to join a writer's group and see if I could give good critiques and also receive them it seemed a little squidgy to me and so I never ended up doing it.

I am 45 now. I have boxes and computers full of completed first drafts. And I've put away writing for so long now that I feel like I am rusty and completely out of shape for it. I am hoping that the writing muscles can pop back quickly, much like learning to ride a bike again is quick because of muscle memory. At least if I fall off of my writing it wont hurt as much. LOL

So... why this confessional?

Because I bought a writing book in audio format written and read by Stephen King last night and as usual he managed to say just what I needed to hear just when I needed to hear it. Who knows why one voice catches in the heart and mind and others don't? Not me, that's for sure. Stephen King's voice catches... that cocky and honest and sincere voice that says, "Just fucking do it already."

He has been writing since he was a kid, too. He copied and amended before he created his own stories, too. He is gullible and was a little naive as well. (I think I knew this even before I heard it, whether he has said it in another place or I just intuited it I don't know.) I am not such a loser after all. Even the Greatest Writer of All Time in my universe doesn't know all the answers and just makes shit up.

And he gave me a map and a plan for a toolbox and I found the tools I was missing or misusing and I am inspired now to get off my ass and actually do something with the one gift that I regularly discredit and discount. Stephen King is just a dude a few thousand miles away who doesn't know me and knows me so well that it scares me because his demons are related to my demons and he has known that I have this thing in me that I can do however well it lets me do it since I was a kid and told me so and I listened to the mean voices and not to the kind one and ignored him.

So... here... in addition to the crochet and the reviews and other artsy fartsy craftsy stuff will also be some writing practice for anyone who even cares to look. Everything else here may be 144 words or less... this will not be.

And wow... I feel... invigorated. I can do this. I have been all along, see... quietly. And I don't really care where it goes if it isn't in me plugging me up and making me feel bloated and frustrated and desperate.