Monday, December 20, 2010

Santa Baby... Hurry Down the Chimney

Beyond avoidance. What should you have done this year but didn't because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?)

The other day, I was trying to redecorate the Christmas tree, which after I had put the lights on I had handed it over to the men in my house and of course I should have known better, but I wanted them to have a part in it. Or at least pretend. Anyway, as I was redecorating, I was looking through the top drawer in my living room chest, which I never look in except for at Christmas, for those ornament hooks that are all tangled up together so much so that it almost looks like they have been propagating like gerbils since last year. And then, as often happens with someone who has never been diagnosed with anything like ADD but who has an ADD brain sometimes, I started rifling through the stuff in the drawer. Christmas napkins (hey they were supposed to be in a different drawer). Old baby books, including my own. A neat pull-out Victorian Christmas card I got as a child that I loved, and then a bunch of papers my mother gave me a long time ago that I had forgotten about. Inside I found this:

(Facebook friends, please humor me).
How funny, I thought, that when I was 8, I wanted a typewriter. (Please, those of you who think I should have known that Santa didn't exist at 8 (ok, 9) don't tell me because he still does, at least in Scotland Neck, NC, so of course he did in 1966.) 
I had no idea how to type, wouldn't learn until I was a senior in high school, and even then I didn't think I needed to know how. That was not a skill I would ever use in my career. Typing was for secretaries and such. And the whole typo thing I am so good at? Apparent, even in my very best 8 (9)-year-old cursive.  Where was my proofreader, is what I want to know.

But reading this letter to Santa, I got to thinking. (Oh no, not that again) Though there are other things I have avoided this year (many) the BIG THING is owning the whole writer thing (again) and actually doing what I have been talking about doing for a long, long time. I have wanted to be a writer since I was six. I can't tell you exactly why or when, but I can say it might have been because of Hitty, that Newberry Award-winning story about a doll somebody gave me a long time ago. I could never quite get past the first few pages, thinking surely I could write better than this. There were no pictures! Though I hear it has been remastered, whatever that might mean.

And I am a writer. But I have lost that identity along the way of being one, of trying to pay a few bills. So, as I have written before (these questions are beginning to seem very repetitive) what I didn't do in 2010 is finish my funny novel, I think because it is so unlike anything I have ever written before that I am worried about what folks will think of me. (and not just my folks.) And I didn't even pull out the other one I have not finished, the one those "real writers"  I know said showed so much promise. 

IN 2010: Yes. Too scared too busy too worried too unsure, all of that. Aren't y'all tired of hearing that now? I am. And I'm sorry to repeat myself.

So here we go. The promise: I'll make Santa Claus glad he gave me that typewriter. Now... If I could only find it in all the clutter around here.