Monday, January 14, 2013

On the List

Last Friday, a package from arrived at my door.  It was addressed to me.  I knew I hadn't ordered anything so my child-like sense of anticipation as I ripped it open quickly grew as the cardboard parted and out dropped two paperback books.  The titles told me that they had come from someone who knew that I was taking writing courses.  One, a "Writer's Guide to Character Expression" , The Emotional Thesaurus, the other, 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts, each landing on my lap, in total surprise.  No, I had not ordered these, but they were spot-on, totally perfect for my current state of mind.
The fact that I have a birthday coming up soon eluded me until I read the enclosed gift card....."An early birthday from Barbara, with a personal nod to the hope that I would continue writing.

Of course they were from Barbara, so very like her.  So thoughtful and kind.  So knowing.

Today, a new assignment arrived from Laurie, the amazing woman who teaches my online course, "Telling True Stories".  With the virtual lecture, came several prompts for the next few days of writing.
"Make lists" she advised. She explained that they help clarify thoughts and make for better telling of stories.

The lists suggested by Laurie were not just "lists".  Rather, they were prompts to prompt. Ways to get to the heart of things that matter, mental inventories that started with "Twenty Five Things About Me" and then the drug of choice for this writer, "If You Really Know Me, You Know.....".  I could hardly resist.  I sat right down and popped them out like kernels of corn in the microwave. One by one, pop, pop, pop.  Where do I begin, where do I end?  Never mind, just pop, pop,  pop.  No prompts needed.  Totally visceral. Very enlightening and somewhat cathartic.

Wow.  People who KNOW me!  Not just my name, but who I am, who I am not, who I wish I could be.  Comforting.  Validating. As I listed the things that one who knows me would know, I realized this.  They're out there in my universe and they keep coming back for more...for some reason....

 There, in front of me on the "list" .....a friend who sanctifies my ability to make sense and put it in writing. This same friend gifted me with a book on the art of collage, my other creative love, and handed down a book on watercolor, hoping that I would find inspiration.  This same friend, a beautiful, intelligent, worldly person who has her own great artistic talents.  This same friend, fearlessly cheering me on as I run around the bases still trying to find my niche, unafraid of the attention that I might receive for having succeeded. Of course the newest books came as a gift from this same friend.

When I made my lists, I never imagined that I would come so quickly to the realization that there are people who know me. People who like me, despite my flaws.People who are not afraid to live and to love. People in my life who I have the honor of knowing. Great people who make me feel humble in the light of their own personal accomplishments.

People who allow me to express my own character, who give me creative writing prompts every day of my life.  

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