Archive for July 19, 2006

I Need A Navigator

Ruger and I are two grumpy travelers. I must remember for the future that when Dark Daddy says “left” he means “right”. Thank goodness nobody was bleeding or unconscious… they’d have died before I ever arrived.

It was my intent to skip out of the day job an hour early, which I did. I was then going to drive thirty five minutes from home for a visit with two of my dearest, oldest friends. Two hours later, after I’d toured the same stretch of road four times, and had a pay phone steal the last two dollars I had in my wallet, I gave up and headed home for my writers meeting. I hadn’t been in the house five minutes before Pap explained this error in my navigation (left rather than right). Just to aggravate matters more, he added “from that pay phone you could probably see his house.” Has no one explained what a precarious position this man is already in without adding that??? Jeesh.

The first stories for my new job are due by Friday. I have interviewed, researched and written the three I plan to send in. In fact, two were finished by last Saturday, edited, polished and ready to go. But I just couldn’t send them. I’ve spent the last several days imagining that the minute I hit “send”, the stories would come flying back from my editor saying she’d made a mistake hiring me, every word was crap. I spent two days reading an old edition of the paper and agonizing over whether my writing was better or worse than what they already had. With time ticking away, I changed the title of my favorite story four times. Finally, today, Clay Guy says the equivalent of “just send them for Pete’s sake!” So at lunch, I sent one. At two I checked my e-mail and there were three letters from my editor. My fears had to be confirmed, my writing was so bad she had to tell me three times! One would be “your writing’s crap”, the next would be “who do you think you are pretending to be a writer” the last would be firing me before I’d ever seen my by-line on a newspaper.

I opened the first one and there was just one line: “I have only one word to say…AWESOME”. The other two were asking if I’d sent pictures, and then apologizing because she failed to see the line where I told her I’d sent pictures. I also had a letter from the graphics guy saying my pictures were good! That was just a lie though, I’m a terrible photographer, I need my sister-niece to come be my partner. She not only takes great pictures, she can also write. We could start our own newspaper. I can’t even describe how happy this made me.

The good news is it’s highly unlikely that I’ll ever be an arrogant writer.

July 19, 2006 at 11:08 pm 5 comments

The free-lance writer is the person who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps. (Robert Benchley)

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Shortly after I learned to use a spoon, I learned to use a pencil. Crippled by shyness as a child, I found that the things I couldn't say out loud, I could say with a pen, and then a typewriter. The shyness was overcome with education and age...but the need to write has never left me.

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July 2006