Tuesday, February 28, 2012


It's a day that words don't seem to come easily - not because of writer's block but because of the tragedy of yesterday.  Columbine - Chardon - linked by a common element but one is my home.

Late last night as a storm of thoughts clogged my brain, I waited for the morning hours to scribble them down.  As writers, we often find peace in the creative chaos of our minds.  But, I was left to wonder if my silly little stories truly mattered.  Many children in our community needed the facts of real time media and counseling.  Did the make believe world that I created matter?

As I wrested with questions, I noticed that a light was on in my daughter's bedroom.  Braving a cold floor, I peeked in and found her curled with our orange tabby.  The flashing colors from her TV radiated the beautiful colors of The Little Mermaid.  My precious girl who is only too ready to be in high school turned to a familiar story for comfort.  A story where she knows there will be a happy ending and that evil will be conquered. 

It was then that I realized that the worlds we create as writers offer something precious to our readers.  A place were they can predict an ending, laugh, cry, or simply close the cover. 

I wish I could close the cover of yesterday.  Chardon is a small town.  A white-picket gazebo sits on the square where bands play in the summer.  Century old buildings face the elementary school and library.  On warm days, the fire station rolls up the large doors.  At night, you can see the clocktower that perches above the courthouse illuminated as you come into the heart of our little town.  Yesterday, the innocence melted away like our record snowfalls in April.

Tonight, I'll attend a vigil.  As snippets of stories float in my head, I won't be plagued by the notion that they are senseless.  The stories we weave give precious comfort.

I wish peace for the families involved, our schools, our law enforcement, our community.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Please Stop Writing!

The war of the reader and the writer plagues me.  As a writer, I write continually.  As a reader, I am swarmed with wonderful novels that I don't have time to pursue!  The reader would like to impose a fifty year ban on book writing that would enable me to "catch up" on the fabulous books that are already out there.  (The writer is grimacing at this suggestion.)

Besides all the great books that have yet to be read, there are the books that deserve a reread.  At different stages in our lives, a book will touch us in different ways.  A Catcher in the Rye is a wonderful example of how perspective changes.  When I was assigned this book as a high-schooler, I cheered for Holden's rebel character who thumbed his nose at adults and society.  As a "mature" reader, I think Holden was a big whiner who needed to get over himself, enroll in family therapy, and leave his little sister alone.  I never remembered being angry at Holden's parents in my younger reading days - they were merely backdrop.  Now, I see them as the fools who allowed Holden to be warped. 

I don't foresee an agreement by writers to grant me a reprieve so I guess I better start reading more.  Secretly, I love this battle.  It is a true win-win for me. :)