Love or Money

What motivates you? Is it money? Love? The thrill of the hunt? Do you play the game for the fun of playing or do you play to win? I hear writers say they get asked, Why do you write? As a writer I can answer that the same way all my writer friends do: I can’t Not write.

My entire life I have been happiest when I was making something. I learned needlepoint and thread crafts at an early age, my mother’s attempts to keep my nose out of a book and make me socialize. I can sew, crochet or embroider pretty much anything. I’ve built small pieces of furniture, put together innumerable jigsaw puzzles, framed windows and walls, even rebuilt a carburetor for a 1963 Nash Rambler. I can draw and paint and string multiple notes together without needing a bucket to carry them in. I’ve made my own wax candles and bath salts and lip balm. I can make magic with my own two hands. I can cook manicotti that grown men will fight over. And when I put my pencil to paper I can write words that will inspire you, make you laugh or cry, turn you on or tick you off.

This uncontrollable desire to create something has been a part of my chemistry since birth. Reading is the only thing I devote as much focus to as creating. Where does the motivation come from? I couldn’t tell you. I’m not really concerned about where it comes from as long as it keeps coming.

A writer friend turned me on to a quote from Pearl S. Buck about creating. He said it pretty much summed him up. I would have to agree, for him and myself. See what you think….

“The truly creative mind, in any field, is no more than this: a human born abnormally, inhumanely sensitive. To him, a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create-so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency, he is not really alive unless he is creating.”

There are as many motives for actions as there are actions to be made. They are not always something we need to question or define. If you do know your motivations, you are probably ahead of the game. Not many people who feel the need to know have the courage to look honestly in the mirror for the answers. In my case, writing is something in my blood, an insatiable craving for the printed word and the pictures, dreams and passions that are painted onto the page.

Keep in mind that motivation is the Why. Inspiration is the What. I’ll save that for the next blog.

Daddy’s Girl

I have always been my daddy’s little girl. Dad played Santa Claus a lot when I was little. I learned early the value of making people smile. He also played guitar and was a disc jockey, where I get my love of music from. As a child I would not sleep unless dad was home. Nights he was at the radio station my mother would turn on a radio in my room so I could hear Dad’s voice. He would talk to me on-air.

I also get my irreverent sense of humor from my dad. He would bring me records (yes, I still have vinyl) of Dr. Demento to listen to in my room. And he was a huge fan of Wierd Al Yankovic and Cletus T Judd. Our favorite comedy was Spaceballs. The first movie Dad took me to the theatre to see was The Buddy Holly Story. It was a close second to The Blues Brothers on our favorites list. I remember coming home from school and telling jokes I had heard on the bus. Mom would make me tell Dad just to see him blush.

It’s been over a year since Daddy passed. There are days it feels like it was yesterday. There are also days I feel his presence around me, a quiet comfort when I need him. I am happy he’s in a better place, with no pain or sickness, with all the family that went before him that he missed so dearly. There are still days when wish I could cry on his shoulder.

I love and miss you, Old Man.

Happy Father’s Day to all of you.

Talk without Words

Ready for an intimate conversation? What does that mean? Being intimate doesn’t have to be about having sex. It’s about closeness, sharing things with another person that no one else is privy to.

I don’t mean the generic, everyday detritus of life. That’s companionship, a different animal all together. Companionship is having someone to go shopping with, do dishes with, a friend to hang out with. Intimacy requires more emotional commitment.

It can be someone you trade deep, dark secrets with, or someone you snuggle with on rainy afternoons, or the person you sit up all night with when one of you needs to vent. It’s the person who touches you briefly in a crowded room just to let you know they’re there if you need them.

Do you know which people in your life are companions and which are intimate friends? Do you have both? Do you know which ones you need and which ones you want? Do you have the temerity to admit what you’re looking for?

Sentimental Journey

I’ve been gone way too long from here. Didn’t realize how long it had been since I wrote a new blog. I have helped open a new store, cut open my hand on a really big deli slicer, pulled out my own stitches. I have also been cleaning out my storage unit.

I have found things I forgot I owned. Some things are keepsakes from my family, items that remind me of relatives both loved and missed. Some things are reminders of things I would like to forget. I found my grandmother’s china, the family bibles, Dad’s novelty ties. I found the giant inflatable penguin with the Christmas decorations, my collection of lingerie, my wedding dress.

Standing in the heat and humidity in the middle of that room I cried, cussed, laughed hysterically. I asked questions to the air that I know I will never get answers to. While I’m not as far down the road to independence as I would like to be, I’m getting a lot closer. I’m letting go of baggage, trying to let go of emotions that are not useful, not healthy. I can’t carry it anymore. I’m trying to take flight, and it’s just a burden I don’t need to carry.

It’s taking a lot of effort to break the habit. It’s easy to cling to emotions that are familiar. New emotions are exciting, scary, addictive. But it takes time for connections to form. The old stuff is what I’m used to, even if it is bad for me. But I will keep trying, keep working on letting go of the negative and finding the positive. I will no longer hide in the shadows of who I used to be. I’m stepping out into the light.