Monday, October 25, 2010

She Ain't Heavy - She's my Sister

A recently released book is blowing the lid off the "sisterhood" scam. The idea being that girls/women aren't actually the BFFs everybody thinks we are. The idea being that in reality as a collective gender we are fiercely competitive, secretly aggressive and constantly measuring ourselves against our fellow females.
You might presume I'm here to insist otherwise.
Not so.
In fact I've said this all along. To myself. To anyone who would listen. Experience is a solid teacher. Can't argue with the truth as it comes to be known to you - firsthand.
Throughout my years as a young girl, I've had girls come into and out of my life. I've witnessed the unspoken rivalries, the insidious way some females have of sprouting claws just before they move in for the scratch and pounce. The supposed best of friends morphing into the treacherous Mean Girls.
It's sad but oh so true.
Case in point. This past month a female friend of mine was invited to her 25-year high school reunion. She immediately flew into a panic. "I have to lose ten pounds, fast," she told me. I assumed it was so that she could look her best for her old boyfriend, aka: the jerk that dumped her three weeks before the prom. Make him wish he'd never let her go. But no. That wasn't it. "Are you kidding? I want to one-up all those snotty bitches that thought they were better than me back then." And by snotty bitches she actually meant her former girlfriends, members of her very own clique.
Ahh celery stalks - here she comes.
As for me - I consider myself lucky now in that my very best girlfriend and I have an honest, trusting and rival-free relationship. But it took decades of drama to reach this result. Kind of like climbing a mountain in four inch heels. Very tricky. Have to watch your step.
Perhaps this new book will serve as a wake-up call. As women we should be a cumulative force of reckoning. We should band together in support of our similarities and not rip one another apart for the sake of envy and certainly not for the sake of a man.
And yet I fear it's more a force of nature rather than conditioning.
We are ladies first and sisters second. As the saying goes: It is what it is.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Prose & Prejudice (Points to Ponder)

It isn't about discrimination. And I promise I'm not in the bratty mood I was in one post ago. I'm just pondering classic literature. Oliver Twist, The Call of the Wild, Little Women to name just a few. To achieve that level of success. The proper word escapes me. Envy isn't quite right. Neither is jealousy. After all, I cut my teeth onthose four sisters and that dog, Buck. But those authors: the likes of Dickens, London and Alcott, Jane Austen, Stevenson. They make me sigh and say, "Wish I wrote that."
Also makes me wonder who our modern day classic writers are? Would Rowling fit the bill? Surely if sales are any indication. What then of Meyer, or Patterson or King?
Seems to me lately that the population of todays world is split into two types of people.
Those who write and those who don't.
Were that true then approximately 3 billion people are slumped over their keyboards at this very moment attempting to concoct a brand new way of saying the same old thing that's been said time and time again. And said VERY well at that. Is there really a novel way to spin a tale thats been spun and re-spun more than a hula hoop in the 1960's?
I wonder what the competition was like back in the days of Emerson and Irving? Was Whitman reading Tolstoy and thinking, "Damn, now that's good." Was Andersen mulling over Aesop with a "Why didn't I think of that?"

And now we return to our regularly scheduled programing. Unless you have Cable TV.
In that case we'll be back with you when we settle our financial wrangling.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Ruckus

What's worse than a cranky writer? A cranky writer with a platform.
Okay, so here's my beef. If I hear of one more actor/actress/singer/or somebody already famous, writing and releasing a book/novel, I'm going to scream.
It's not that they aren't people with the same passion for the written word as many of us lesser known (or completely unknown) authors. It's not that they aren't as capable or as entitled to coin a catchy phrase or two. But come on you guys, give the rest of us a break. Can't you simply be satisfied with being a household name, wealthy, and more often than not - envied just for being you? Do you really have to throw your already well-worn hat into a terrifically overcrowded book market?
I'm suggesting some consideration for us little guys. It's hard enough to compete with the millions of other non-famous writers vying for an inch or two of shelf space at Borders. Really hard.
(Blogger stomps foot. Pouts. Leaves the room without picking up her toys.)
Okay, I'm back. So sorry for that teeny rant. I hope no innocent stars were injured in the ruckus.
I'll get over it. It's Monday. It's raining. And my back hurts. Goes with the territory.
(Blogger offers a smile.)
Thanks for the ear.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

She is not a-MUSEd

The Muse is a terribly fickle creature. One day she is generous to a fault, supplying new words and ideas without making any demands. And on other days she's a goner. Split to who-knows-where without so much as a forwarding address or a formal goodbye.
But then there's those in-between days. The ones where I'm sure I can write something but it'll require far more effort than I feel like putting forth. I call those moments my Avoidance Times. I've become quite the avoidance aficionado. Instead of writing I've been known to:

Vacuum under the couch cushions.(Today I found one black sock, the dog's bone, 3 extra-cheddar Goldfish crackers, and a dried up felt tipped marker.)

Choose a name for my next child (even though I have no intention of having anymore kids in this lifetime.)

Watch E-TV or Judge Judy.(Or American Idol or Modern Family.)

Put on my headphones and sing out loud to my entire IPOD playlist. (This if only the pup is home since she doesn't seem to mind the noise.)

To name just a few.
The Muse generally stands on the sidelines, tapping an impatient toe, signalling that she's waiting for me to cut the nonsense and get down to business.
She threatens to embark on a semi-permanent hiatus.
"You'll miss me," she warns.
And she's right. She scares me straight. Then I'm at it again. Typing, thinking, plotting and typing some more.
There is NO rest for the weary writer. I'm just sayin'...