Seedlings

germinating_seedlingI had a blogger reach out to me yesterday to ask the age-old question, “where do you find inspiration?”  She went on to explain to me that she loves blogging and writing for her local paper, but feels that itch to do more.  She hopes to write a novel, but has no idea where to begin.  Sound familiar?

I preface what’s to follow with this:  There is no correct answer.  Everyone has a unique process, and it’s usually the thing that comes most natural.  It’s often from some medium that makes you feel alive and creative.  However, if you’re having trouble recognizing what that is in your life, I have a few things I hope will help.  I promise that if you truly desire to write, it’s in there already.  Sometimes we just have to go fishing for it.

Because I am a human being, that’s where I start first.  For me, the voice shows up before anything else.  I have no plot, no setting, no secondary characters.  I usually start with one small notion I find fascinating and start exploring it.  Accents, locations, smells, intentions….everything else is born in time from this tiny little seed.  It might start as small as picturing the first person that pops into my head, and just writing a list of adjectives about him or her.  I’ll often see a character’s face the first time while listening to a great song.  I’ll purposefully put on music that makes me emotional, and just start going stream-of-consciousness on the keyboard.  It doesn’t need a point….that grows later too.  The one thing I make sure of is that a being is speaking.  I might later realize that voice died years ago, or is inside a cat….but I start with something that had consciousness.  Life.

If you’re just more setting driven, and need a picture to get yourself going, there’s a simple fix there too.  You don’t have to buy season tickets to The Met, or hop a plane to Paris.  Just google “pretty landscapes,” and start scrolling through the pictures.  Write down which emotions the depictions evoke…then start writing about the person who’d be feeling that way, or the person who’d fit in a picture you like…or who wouldn’t fit.  One of these seedlings will eventually take root.  Once you hear a character’s voice, it’s going to keep talking.  It’s going to tell you where to take it.  Don’t be afraid to step into it’s shoes, give it the ol’ first-person try.  Be it.

Do you plan every word you’re going to say to every person all day long?  No.  You run into people, or circumstances, and you respond.  Your character is no different.  Make a live thing that interests you, and just write.  Eventually that character will stumble into some drama…but it has to actually get to it.  It has to move.  It cannot stay still, or it does nothing.  And the only way it moves is if you do.  Make your fingers dance….start scribbling.  For God sake’s don’t over think  it…first thing with a pulse that comes to mind.  There’s a reason it came first.  Write about it, even if it sucks.  You will stumble onto something that won’t.  In the beginning, there are only small sparks.  Nourish them for a fire.

Here’s a prompt for you today to help you get started:

Every night before you go to bed you see her standing there by the mailbox.  It never fails.  At 10pm, there she’ll be, barely visible through the dim moonlight.

And go! (Use all five senses)

Good luck!

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Mason Jar

I know how to end up in a bathtub, in the dark, drinking whiskey out of a mason jar on a sunny Friday afternoon.  I know exactly what it takes to decide that instead of going to a Reggae festival with all your friends, you will instead, put on dirty pajamas and listen to only the most sorrowful 90s music.  I feel guilty even as I write this because I know that people have gone through far worse than what I have, but it doesn’t temper the sting.  I take slight joy in that I’m typing this with a possibly broken finger.  Maybe that makes it a little more legit?

I got my hardest rejection yet today.  A literary agent that I stalked at a book signing had been going back and forth with me for about a good 8 weeks.  I mean, he was it.  I felt like a sophomore in high school who just went to third base with the quarterback.  I thought we were going places, but then it didn’t work out.  He told me how incredible my writing was, and how impressed he was with the revision he’d specified for me.  He told me my persistence was immeasurable, and that my passion would carry me.  Then he told me he couldn’t go on my journey with me.  I’ve heard it before, but not like this.  We were so close.  I mean, there had been some serious discussion.  Didn’t that count for something?  I knew this was it.  And the worst part is how grateful I am to him for all of it.

So tonight I’m having a pity party, where I’m the guest of honor.  I get to ask why them and not me.  I get to think of all the hours…the blood, the sweat, the tears.  I get to fantasize about what might have been, and wonder why I wasn’t chosen. I get to relish in that awful, but magnetic feeling of self-destructing for a minute.

I might let my dogs sit with me as long as they’re melancholy enough.  I don’t want to see any tails wagging.  I don’t want people to build me up, or tell me it’s meant to be.  I don’t want anyone to nonchalantly write off my latest failure.  I want them to let me have it, let me bathe in it, and let me listen to 20-year-old R.E.M. (though I may switch to Collective Soul in a few).

Tomorrow will be different, because I know there’s a sick part in me that likes the pain.  Tomorrow I will find more events to attend, more agents to query, and more people to connect to.  But for tonight, it’s whiskey out of a mason jar. Why a mason jar?  Probably just for the poetry.  Probably so I feel a little closer to the romance of feeling like a loser.  You fellow writers know what I mean…

I’ll go back to rose` from long-stemmed glasses tomorrow.  But tonight…tonight is for pity.  My mother always told me, “Take a day.  Cry, scream, piss, and moan.  Feel sorry for yourself.  Just make sure it’s only one, though. You get a day.”  I think I’ll cash in.  Tonight is for me..me, my pity, and my mason jar…

 

 

….and maybe Johnny Cash just to make it worse

Cleveland Tears

Writing is a hard, hard, thing to be in love with.  To actually sign a great agent, have a book sold at auction, get a great editor, or see any materialization from the labor is far-fetched.  Writers have to believe in long shots going in, nothing but net, in the ninth hour.  We have to believe in exceptions to every rule, records being broken, and pots of gold at the ends of rainbows.  We have no choice but to believe in leprechauns and unicorns, centaurs and demigods.  If we don’t, then what do we have?  A mental condition, maybe?

Last night when my heart was pounding out of my chest while I watched game 7 of the NBA finals, I saw a centaur leading a supportive cast of unicorns.  I saw beings that were supposed to be men, find the animal, the regality, the x factor inside, and defy statistics, odds, and wrathful warriors to become champions.  I saw a man of 6’8, 250, morph into a beast of immeasurable proportions.  I saw his teammates grow wings, and fly. I saw a labor of love and passion begin to spin, snowball, and catch on fire.  I saw a city who hadn’t seen a victory in over 50 years  finally get to celebrate the fruitions of faith.  I saw a team become the first in history to ever deliver that victory from such a deficit.  I saw a group of players become more fierce when 99% of people out there wouldn’t have seen the point of stepping up, and would be ready just to try again next time.  They were down 3 games to 1, with 4 needed to win.  They were in an arm wrestling match with their knuckles almost touching the table.

As a writer, I feel like it’s part of my job title to inspire people, to give them a reason to hope, to make their next breath worth while.  We’re the dreamers, the innovators.  What I realized last night though, is that we need fodder.  We have matches, but have to have some sort of flint to touch that fire to, and start a blaze.  I was given that spark last night by these individuals who didn’t just talk the talk.  They proved it.  They did the impossible, and gave me hope that I can too.  They stepped up and showed me irrefutably that rejection, criticism, and low low odds DO NOT MATTER.  They wrote a memoir that I will forever reference when I need to remember how to fight.  With every jump shot, free throw, impossible block, and wood-burnt elbow sliding across the floor, these men wrote a story that I’ve been moved to put words with.  It is them, running, sweating, and dribbling all over my keyboard right now.

What I’m saying to the Cavaliers is not only congratulations, but THANK YOU.  Oh, thank you from the depths of my weathered writer’s soul.  Cleveland wasn’t the only one dreaming, hoping, needing a sign.  I needed it.  My trench mates needed it. Because of your performance last night, a young writer in South Carolina, no more than 5 feet tall, with manuscripts begging for the shelf time, has hope.  More than hope.  Defiance.  Courage.  Refusal of quitting.  I will play game 7, and I will fight until the buzzer sounds because YOU did.   What you’ve done doesn’t end on the court.  Your tears of joy have filled the building, swollen it to capacity, and now seep out.  Your dauntlessness has spilled onto the nation, and it’s a tidal wave.  Hold hands and take your bow, enjoy your title…the rest of us have some work to tend.  I hope when mine is done I will cry Cleveland tears, the ones that still stain the Golden State arena today.  I hope I will cry the tears that only come when daring to be great, the tears that only come when achieving the impossible dream, the tears that come from pure uninhabited need for greatness.

ll3

Picture courtesy of NBA

Flowers and Sunshine

I used to wonder why I always want to write when I’m angry.  Why do those things that twist around like metal from a ravaged junkyard find a way of spilling out of the fingertips?  What is it about the angst, anxiety, worry, and fret that makes creative juices leave the safety of simmer and start to boil?

I used to think maybe it was romance…writer’s tend to be the worst kinds of romantics.  The chicken or the egg theory applies here.  Did our love of writing make us romantic, or did our romanticism make us write?  For the kind of writers that have to write…that need it to cure the ulcer that comes from too much pleasure or pain–they are the latter.  Romanticism came first.  Then, we found a way to express it.  We found a way to find the words that evade us when trying to strum our vocal chords at once.  These rare feelings come at times when it’s hard to walk and chew gum at the same time. As eloquent of speakers as we may be, willing the throat is one request too many.  We write.

The hardest emotions that roll around deep, enjoying the bowels of the mind, and relishing in the moments when the tedious tight rope shakes–those are the one that tickle the keyboard.

I’m pissed.  That sounds simple, but it’s the right word.  I’m pissed off to the uttermost.  It’s not so much important what it is about, than it is I have to say it. I have to convey it, unleash it.  I want the kinesthetic feeling, exercising those fine motor skills, that makes me feel every ounce of it.  Then maybe I can shower that feeling away–but for one splendid moment it robs from me all of my innovation, all of my passion, and all of my words.  Maybe it robs me of nothing.  Maybe that’s why anger makes for the best writing,  The verve it creates, the synergy with the written language lets something ugly become beautiful for a moment.  Maybe this isn’t my dark side, but the optimist in me, forcing shit into art.  Perhaps I’m giving some dead thing a pulse again…the part of me that departed while I was so pissed off.  I feel just a little more flowers and sunshine already.

Pura Vida

There is so much I could say about Costa Rica…you know, the typical things everyone knows:  the black sand was unbelievable, the rainforest was a presence to be reckoned with, you must try the zip-lining…blah, blah, blah dinner party talk.  I could focus on those things, which I’m in no way trying to disrespect (because they were indeed all I hoped for), but other things stood out to me more.  It wasn’t the sunset cruise or horseback ride that got me…it was our last night on the beach at the end of the adventures when the real one started.

Though Costa Rica is incredible, aside from some unique rock formations, there’s nothing particularly aesthetically special about most of the beach in Tamarindo.  Once away from the volcanic rock, the sand is brown, and the water a little murky.  The Caribbean beaches would chew it up and spit it out along with the ones I’m accustomed to up and down the Carolina coasts.  Maybe this is why the beach there made me feel home to begin with. 

It isn’t a perfect paradise by text book definition.  It is something else though…this is a beach with diapered gold-skinned babies decorating the sand with tiny footprints.  This is a beach with dogs diving into the water chasing sticks thrown by whomever might have one.  It is a place people speak to one another…a place where surfers hide from the things they left somewhere on another planet similar to where I’m from.  I didn’t quite realize how immersed I wanted to be until that last night.

My legs were still sore from riding my bike everyday, something I hadn’t done in at least 15 years.  My two girlfriends and I had gotten to the beach a little later than we’d hoped, trying for a ” hail Mary” in the tanning department.  However, it was just a little too late in the afternoon, and we knew it.  We found ourselves getting bored and a little put off at the lack of sunlight when we went to drown the humidity at the shoreline.  I don’t know which of our husbands barreled the football our directions, splashing us with the cool Pacific water, but that’s what started it.  Somehow this led to one of us getting tackled, then it was a game of three prissy girls playing against 3 guys who were suddenly 16 again.

We forgot about wanting a tan, protecting designer swimsuits, or bitching about getting a little sand on us.  Instead we sank into the laughter around us, became only our spirits, and let Tamarindo have us.  One of my girlfriends went back to her childhood with two brothers and found her grit again.  She laughed in the face of her blonde highlights, and scoffed at her frilly bathing suit top.  Another friend, the one with the long sexy legs, ventured back to a time when those legs were scraped up and a little gangly and used them like a spider-monkey would when trying to tackle our husbands.  I could see her running around in the dirt after cheerleading practice at her grandmothers farm again.  Neither of my friends were mothers right now, even though they are incredible ones; they were just knobby-kneed, sand-covered beings without any responsibility.

I’m the shortest of all of them, and probably come in a close second to spider-monkey-legs for prissiest.  However, my inner-child showed up too.  I remembered the only summer I decided to be a tomboy.  It was the year my Aunt took me to a braves game and bought me a ball cap to wear.  I wore it backwards with my long blonde hair that I didn’t know how to fix properly flowing from underneath…I was about 10.  On the beach I became her, the girl I was the summer of the braves hat when I climbed trees, got stung by a caterpillar, and held my own trying to beat up my bigger cousins.  I would just focus on looking little and non-aggressive while staying low to the ground and gritty.  Tamarindo did this to me again at nearly 28 years old.  I was hitting our husbands at shin-height and knocking there legs out from under them like a little gremlin.  That’s who I really am anyway.

Costa Rica gave me a gift that doesn’t come in abundance.  The vibe there alone woke my friends and myself up inside in our purest places.   We got the relaxation we wanted, but it didn’t come in the form of rum punch on the beach.  It came by taking us back to that child-like place which is the only one we are ever that free.  We got the adventure we wanted with proudly-worn scrapes and bruises to prove it.  Costa Rica was beautiful no doubt, but the greatest part was getting a little bit of something we didn’t even know we missed back. 

We played until the sun went down, turning the water gold then black.  When we knew it had to be over I think everyone felt a nostalgic lump trying to shack up with their tonsils.  However, we’d bonded like kids in the summertime, and we knew at least we would always have Tamarindo.    ~pura vida~

 

Susan, Lorna (me-in hat), Kasey

Susan, Lorna (me-in hat), Kasey

When Words Marry a Melody

When words are married to a melody equally as powerful as they are, things happen. Lyrics change, and where there was once no understanding, sometimes the notes are the answer. They awaken deaf ears, or passions we’ve turned our backs on.

I haven’t been writing as much lately. The rejection got to me. I continually preach how I’ll never stop trying, I’ll always love writing before all else, and I won’t give up my dream of sharing it. However, I did…a little bit. I was angry at my writing. It became like a little gremlin that wouldn’t shut up no matter how tightly I closed my ears. I found myself screaming into pillows and imagining pulling the writer out of my chest to lock it in a box. However, much like the tale-tell heart, it beat so loudly. I let it drive me mad, and busied myself with anything I could to avoid it. I never thought I would see the day…

Then it happened. I heard one of those songs that only come out every couple decades. I heard a new sound that jolted me to life. I heard the melody before the words. It was sultry and grinding. It was folksy and bluesy. It was modern with antiquated traits. It was some place where the ghost of Janis Joplin mingled with Lady Antebellum if such can be imagined. It may only get to be heard…

I closed my eyes and breathed in saw dust from a mill dirty men were working at nearby. I saw a barefoot woman in a second-hand, dirt-washed, floral dress pacing in a barren front yard in front of her shack. I saw a newspaper thrown down beside her declaring World War 2 was over, but was more concerned with the blood stain on her right shoulder. I hadn’t yet decided where it had come from, nor if she is insane or just drunk. I do however know she is thirsty. She’s thirsty to be touched, loved, or just noticed. I think she was probably born cursed and is more earnest than people know. If she is at the point of madness she’s been driven to it. She’s strong, but probably won’t be forever. The daisy in a Dixie cup she picked for herself gives her away. Oh my…Where did this character come to me from? It happened in a flash. I think I can make something of her…was it simply a few bars of a song?

Then I snapped out of it and heard the words,

“Billie Jean is not my lover. She’s just a girl who claims that I am the one. But the kid, is not my son.”

It was drawn out, pushed, like the singer was forcing himself out of a heat stroke on a southern August day in the Carolina sand hills. They had covered a MICHAEL JACKSON song in such a way they showed me Billie Jean herself. I saw her before I heard her name, and now she’s inspired me.

The band, The Civil Wars told me the story of girl with a deep sadness about her who just tries to be a good time. They told me the story of someone who was once beautiful but used and denied to the point she lost herself. They told me something Michael did not. They told me her side.

Now I have to write the rest of the story. I now see the next level, the rawness, the pain. I see the man who did this to her, and I see a gun in another lovers hand. I see a washed up war-time pin-up, and I see bastard child with a curse hanging on her head as plainly as her Mama’s. I hear old southern accents, like the kind my grandparents use bustling about, and I smell moonshine on all their breaths. I think…I think I just might have a novel in spite of my rebellion against it. I think one form of art reached out and stroked another, and I think I am grateful.

Summer Soundtracks

Country music is better in the summer. Nine months of the year I can take or leave most of it, but those country singers…they get southern summers.  My latest poison:  Springsteen by Eric Church.  It’s not new, but it tickles just the right spot every time.  I’ve always connected music to situations, and when he says, “it’s funny how a melody sounds like a memory,” he has me. He has me bbecause it is so true.  When certain songs come on, they’ll just rip my guts out, sometimes the good way and sometimes not so much.

I write about memories a lot…a whole lot.  It’s not that I’m stuck in the past.  I love my life right now.  I have a great husband, unbelievable friends, and have just started a new business, but I bet I’ll understand the excitement about it all even more when I’m staring at it from a long way off one day.  Maybe that’s just the writer in me that makes me go back…that and the music. 

I think its ok though, going back.  Someone is probably rolling their eyes right now thinking, “yeah she wouldn’t go back if she’d had my past.”  I don’t really know if I would or not, but I do know mine hasn’t always been full of gummy bears and rainbows.  But, I believe in the past.  I believe in remembering it, looking at it from time to time, and letting it reveal you to yourself.  I believe in the good, the bad, and the ugly of it.  The problem comes when we forget to use the bad and ugly parts for good.  Instead we torture ourselves trying to forget them, lie to others by saying they are forgotten, and spend way too many grueling hours trying to lie to ourselves.  And that’s my soapbox on that…

However, this one isn’t about the bad memories, but about the yummy summertime kind…the kind country music understands best.  This is about the kind of memory you’re embarrassed to admit you’re still in love with and laugh out loud about halfway embarrassed when your obnoxious friend brings it up at a dinner party.  Go ahead and smile about it.  Think back to that boy from out of town you skinny-dipped with three hours before you were supposed to show up for Sunday school.  Let your mind go to those shorts you wore until they fell apart the Fall of your senior year…you know, those that would still be your favorite.  Find that place where you got up the nerve to kiss a stranger for the first time.  Go home tonight and cook dinner for your family, and make out the weekly bills, and thank God for the job you have tomorrow, but please, before your head hits the pillow, let a country song take you to some Neverland that never ages past the last few days of seventeen.  Let it take you there and let yourself feel it until you squirm because it has you  hooked like a worm right through the gut.  And remember…Saturday is coming and it’s June-thirty.  Don’t let it slip by today so the writer in you will love it all over again tomorrow whenever you hear some song you didn’t even know was playing at the time.  It’s a great little surprise the song has for you, and you’re laying that soundtrack right now by pure accident.  Even if you don’t think it’s country, and you live in the heart of Manhattan, it is country still.  It’s always tears of happiness or sadness, with even the good things being a heartache if they’re real.  The country songs just admit it all for us because raw is all they know, and know it more in summer.   I love this time of year, and music it leaves behind that even the most bitter cold, furthest distance, or longest years cannot drown out…the summer soundtracks that perfume our lives with oohs, ahhs, laas, and nananas.

The Night

There’s the strangest thing about the night, and I don’t know what it is.  It doesn’t matter if you’re in bed with your husband, or up with a screaming baby.  It doesn’t matter if you’re driving home from the late shift, or about to sleep off an unforgettable night.  You may be sneaking down the stairs to get a bite of that chocolate bar you can’t get out of your head, or just flipping the pillow from side to side.  An old lover may be haunting you from the inside, or a new one may look like a stranger in your bed.  Maybe a good book is your fancy, or maybe the restless leg syndrome paired with the migraine has flushed the idea of a good read down the toilet. There are so many different things to be doing, but until the sleep actually comes, there is always that feeling…the one not to be explained…the way you feel while it’s all happening.

At night the masks come off and we become something we aren’t during the day.  My guess is that we become that vulnerable person we really are.  Everyone knows the feeling…the one right before we relent and let the nods finally draw our eyes sweetly shut.  It is a feeling almost like loneliness, but not quite.  It is definitely a cousin to anxiety.  I wouldn’t call it fear, although one last run through of all the things that could be harmful occurs at this time.  I wouldn’t say I get nostalgic this time of night, but the reel of memories tempts me to.  Oh that feeling…it isn’t quite happiness is it?

What is it about the night that does it to us?  Is it that we have nothing left to do but shut down?  Is it that there’s no need for logic to sleep?  Maybe the night strips away whatever it is we hold onto to make it through the day, and we just roam like nomads out of control.  Night is anything but quiet.  It is full of stir and much ado.  However, at night we are meant to leave others undisturbed, so whatever that roller coaster we are on, we ride solo.  I’d say we’re most ourselves somewhere between two and three a.m., but no one will ever know.  We are all busy doing our own things…biting our nails and spitting them into the floor, hugging a toilet, watching Seinfeld on low volume, eating something strange like cold spaghetti, or maybe, for the lucky ones, finally achieving rapid eye movement.  The moon is our sole witness while we all practice solitude.  Whatever those things are we do, though; apparently they get us through the night.

The Roaring Lost

I want to feel the tingle when the era romances me. I don’t want to find it in a book, but I want to fall into it one day, find some kind of secret door that takes me there, like a wardrobe takes children to Narnia. I want to be blinded by the rose-colored buildings on the French Riviera. I want to fight my hips a little before giving into the swing music. I want the melody to be nearly hushed by Hemingway’s cursing that the booze only makes louder. I want to look to see what annoys him so and find Zelda Fitzgerald doing something half mental, half charming from inside her drop-waisted dress. I can’t wait to hear what she spouts back at the gifted lush with her muttled southern accent that perfumes the room in both Alabama and Carolina drawls. I want to see F. Scott in the corner shaking his head at himself more than her. For he is the one who chose her, because he is addicted to her more than anything else.

When back to the homeland I want to buy liquor fresh off a smuggler’s wagon. I want the driver of the wagon to have an accent like Al Capone, and vanish like an apparition as soon as the whiskey bottle touches my lace-gloved hand. I’ll throw some back with the brown paper bag still wrapped around the bottle, and wink at the police officer across the way after I do it. I think I’ll like prohibition actually, because it will give me a reason to be scandolous.

I will only want to stay for a second, though, in this era that draws me like a fly to honey. I have to know how fleeting it was myself to get the full effect…that lost generation. It just teetered on the edge of things it couldn’t get enough of…maybe because enough was too much, and killed everyone off who wanted it. Maybe that’s why the generation of poets, artists, musicians, and novelists were know as the lost ones…I never fully will understand that though. Their influences haunt me so.

I like to believe because I am from Asheville, North Carolina, that somewhere in the 20s, maybe when the Fitzgeralds were stumbling out of a fancy restaurant a little too drunk for a classy joint, Zelda brushed the arm of my great-grandmother, who was walking home with an armful of groceries. Maybe something, some particle of the magic fell onto my ancestor, that was carried through the wombs of the women before me until it embedded in my skin. Now it is soaked in, and I can’t get it out. I understand something about it, and breathe it a little bit. That lost generation is somewhere, and I’m thinking maybe, it’s somewhere inside me. The lost, they are still roaring indeed.

Talking About My Generation

It’s no secret at all that I like to write period pieces.  I’ll dabble a bit in the high 1800s, but it’s the twentieth century I like to tap dance all over.  The dash between 1900 and 2000 fascinates me, and I never thought about why until last night when I had one of my famous random thoughts.

I’ve been watching Cold Case reruns religiously for about a month now.  Each show focuses on a crime that’s gone cold, and they touch on about every decade from the last century.  I find it scintillating.  I’ve gotten to watch a timeline of how these decades developed and eras came to be…and it isn’t just a collection of random fads.  There’s something scientific behind poodle skirts, or big hair, or peace signs, or air Jordans.

  Each era is not only distinct because of the clothes worn or music played…those things are just a product of mindsets.  They reflect what human beings were ready for at the time.  They reflect new ideas being formed into things we listen to or put on our body.  A war, an athlete, or a beverage could have sparked it…it could have been anything that caused a reaction. A lot of times it was many things, and revolutions started without people knowing they were starting them.  However, they could not be rushed.

Time came about organically, and I’ve realized is just an illustration of a growing human being.  Seeing as how I always write character-driven pieces, with the era as much as character as people, I’ve had a “eureka” kind of moment.  We are the times…I just focus on a different part of the human psyche depending on which era I’m engrossed in.  I’m just now realizing why. Different decades represent newness, naivety, rebellion, discovery, and rebirth.  We go through all of these emotions in our lifetimes, but we tend to live in an age focused on one of them, and the crazy part is we really have no way of knowing which until we’re just a memory. 

Almost everyone could have been considered liberal or conservative at what time or another considering what the mind and body was ready for in relation to what experience was available at the time.  Society grew as naturally as it could, and looking back, resembled two teenagers groping around at each other in the dark (I also often write about adolescence…go figure).  The reason?  We are always that person we were when we asked the question “why” for the first time, discovering our egos.  We are always in the age of enlightenment or confusion.  One man’s light is another’s dark.  That’s why there is a liberal out there for every conservative, and a no for every yes.  We aren’t all necessarily on the same path, but we’re on the same timeline.  We’re on the earth when we’re on the earth.  We’re discovering the same things from different views and trying to figure out how to do it together in a common time…and just like that, a culture is born.  It has a heartbeat, a personality, and a tone, that in later years will define it.   People will sing about it, and write about it, and draw about it for years to come.  A few of us have that stir to document it, and I thank God I’m one of them. 

By writing what I write, I’m reflecting on what’s happened, and paving the way, for myself at least, for what’s to come.  When I reflect upon it, when I am confused, and when I’m flailing…that’s when I’m writing about today.  Maybe there are other writers out there doing the same, and we will one day be the anthems of our own generations.  However, there’s no way to know that yet.  That’s for someone after my time to look back on and unveil.  It’s delicious to me to think what age is it?  The one I don’t even know I’m a part of…