Write Now

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The time is NOW.

I have a business degree and had a successful marketing career I loved in another lifetime, but through the twists and turns of life (i.e. three children, a specific life set up chosen by mutual commitment–also in another lifetime–and an internal gauge that doesn’t allow more than one setting at a time), I no longer crave the fast-paced, hand-shaking, yes-hustling, suit-wearing, jet-traveling, conference-room-brainstorming world of yesteryear.

The passion I pursue is storytelling layered with why people do the things they do, how the times we live in and people we live with shape us; what it means to be one person in this big world and one person in our own small world. The first story I need to tell is my own and it’s the story of how I lost my parents through divorce, heartache, and growing up. It feels like a giant dough ball I keep kneading and pulling apart and putting back together. I have been working that dough ball for quite some time, along with the little thing called learning to write. It feels important. 

I had a good childhood but a lot went wrong too and I used to blame all of it on my parent’s divorce when I was four-years-old. My absolute worst fear ambushed me when I went through my own traumatic divorce a couple years ago. Juxtaposing my adult experience with my childhood was terrifying and I will have to write that book when I no longer relive those few years.

Alas all is well now, I landed that highjacked plane, but I have learned some things from my child eyes, two decades of obsession with understanding human nature, and watching my three girls during our family upheaval. The story I can tell is how divorce was done in the 70s and 80s is no longer the same today. My generation was the first to experience divorce en mass, where over a million kids per year lost a parent, and maybe two by their other parent’s grief, pursuit of new love, or working three jobs. The divorce rate shot up to fifty percent by 1980. It was a crazy time. Governor Ronald Reagan signed the No Fault Divorce laws in California in 1969 (one month before I was born,) our country’s social and political structures made seismic shifts toward chaos, and yet many young people still wanted to believe the Leave It To Beaver pace of life would hold them. It didn’t, as many can attest.

I have read too many books about writing, purchased even more and I’ve been to many conferences and talks to teach myself how to write creatively. Turns out business writing isn’t so creative. I wish I could have just download the software since I already have enough school. Darn. Anyway, the time is NOW. I am starting this book and the above chart will mostly likely be the trajectory of my progress.

Let momentum be my kick in the…buns.

Got nothing to lose…

“Ben E. King, who wrote (with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller) and recorded the original and iconic version of “Stand By Me,” died on Thursday at age 76. That song has been covered more than 400 times, but just two weeks ago, David Letterman requested that Tracy Chapman perform it live on his show. She did, just her and a guitar. It’s haunting.” —Peter Weber 

http://theweek.com/speedreads/552990/watch-tracy-chapmans-beautiful-cover-ben-e-kings-stand-by

Desert Highway

Tracy Chapman has always been one of my favorites. Fast Car blasted on my cassette player as I drove North on I-5 from Federal Way, Summer of 1988. My dad and brother followed me, two cars packed up with all I would need for dorm life at WWU.

You got a fast car 

I want a ticket to anywhere

Maybe we make a deal

Maybe together we can get somewhere

Any place is better

Starting from zero got nothing to lose

Maybe we’ll make something

Me myself I got nothing to prove

It had been a trying year ending with my third stepmother’s funeral the week of graduation after a three year battle with cancer. I was no longer tethered to the place I grew up. Good friends already off to their respective colleges the year before, I had been living for the moment of escape longer than I even knew. Homelife was hard and school, where I had always gotten what I needed, had fallen apart that year. I had done my best but felt like I really was Starting from zero and had nothing to lose.

All I wanted to do for a year was run. Run from the numbness that almost swallowed me up at home. Run from the loneliness of stepping out of the nest (such as it was) into the world. Run from not belonging, knowing for sure it was up to me to make my way with whatever I had in me.

As I drove my Fast car, a Ford Pinto Hatchback, I was free and excited and nervous. Those heavy, black clouds parted and I was on my way.