Thursday, December 1, 2011

No Writing When Writing

I haven’t written a blog post since Labor Day. 

Throngs of readers are standing on my porch begging me to write something. They crush into each other like hungry people in a bread line, or teenage girls waiting for tickets to a Justin Bieber concert. The crowd is growing, and so thick and deep that some are standing in the street. I’m afraid someone will get run over. They're chanting; write a blog, write a blog.
Really? Of course not. Two people asked if I was still writing the blog, and incase you were wondering too, here’s the story:

On August 9th, I started writing a memoir about the last two years of my mother and grandmother’s lives. All of my obsessive behavior patterns jumped into fifth gear. Forget dusting. Forget cooking. Forget entering piles of receipts into Quicken. Forget painting. Write the book. Read the writing. Write some more. 
Ignore John when he walks in the door and kisses my cheek. Guilty? Not very. I did kiss him before he left. Curiously, he finds me ever so much more interesting when I ignore him.
On October 10th, two months later, the book was finished. 150 pages. 

I gave it to family members, and two close friends who didn’t know the story already. As they read, I read it again. And again. Changes. Edit. Correct spelling. Add some here. Remember more stories to add. 
Read it again and again. Write. Edit. 
Ann doesn’t like my mother, hates the beginning. Joy teaches me grammar that I should already know, but don't. She puts smiley faces on the parts she likes. My daughter, Sue should have been a copy editor...she is GOOD. Bonnie tells me that I didn’t mention the shark she drew on the tablecloth at Thanksgiving. John reads it and reminds me of more things I’d forgotten, and places where I’ve exaggerated.
I read it again. Oh, my god, it is really bad. Really boring. Why did I do this?
I read it again. It is awesome. Diane Rehm will have me on her radio show on NPR. Ten weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list. Maybe they'll make a movie.
I write more. 180 pages. Edit. Don’t like it. Love it. Worry it. Get sick of it. Hate it.
When I can’t sleep the book fills my head at night, crowding out possible dreams about gorilla suits and forgetting my locker number in high school. I wake up and word arrangements clutter my cereal bowl and paragraphs pour from the coffee pot into my cup. 
Maybe by January it’ll be a real book that I can mail to an agent. Maybe.
In the mean time, it's getting cold out. If you must stand on my porch, I'll bring you a cup of coffee. Do you take cream and sweetener?


  1. Wow the tree photos are sad yet magnificent in showing the power unleashed by the storm. Thanks for recording what we lost in our precious city. As a gardener my hope is that people will replant and enjoy shopping for new plants for new conditions.

  2. Yes, Lynn, I was wondering and thought that if I emailed and asked about it, I would be thought a pest. Thanks for explaining, and good luck with the book, something some of us only think about doing. Sue

  3. Sue, Don't ever worry about being a pest. Email anytime you want.

  4. Hey Lynn,hoped you were writing the book! Should have emailed you - but instead just got in line with the with the rest of the crowd. Not to worry - I'm on the porch - not in the street. This is really good news and I cannot wait to read the book! Somehow you double dipped when talents were being served! Hope you are finding a little time to paint and must be so inspired to pick up the brush as well as the pen (laptop) after stirring up so many emotion filled memories! How about keeping us posted - it's been a long time since labor day!!

    BTW - coffee - black please!

  5. Rosemary, I just love your comment. Thank you! I have a big steamy mug ready for you.

  6. I love this blog about not blogging. A LOT of laughing until liquid runs down my leg Is the memoir this funny? Annis

  7. What a hoot this blog is! Is the memoir funny too? Love your writing Annis

  8. Dear Annis, You are so funny. I hope the memoir causes liquid to run down your cheeks and also down your leg. I hope it is funny and sad and moves you to tears. I hope it touches your funny bone and your heart. But we'll see...


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