Thursday, November 8, 2012

Letters and such?

I know, I know.  I haven't been posting every day.  Did you miss me?  The good thing is, I have been writing.  Just not blogging so much.  I have a big list of topics to blog about, but am having trouble making myself do it.  The first topic on my list is "What does it mean to be a writer?"

One of my favorite movie moments is in Unforgiven, when someone in the company of a dangerous criminal identifies himself as a writer.  Gene Hackman's character, puzzled, asks, "Letters and such?"  The writer shows him the book he's writing about said bad guy, and Hackman reads, "The Duck o' Death."  "That's Duke," the writer corrects.  I love that scene.  It reminds me that once your words are put on paper, they take on a life of their own, and you never know what someone will make of them.

I've been calling myself a writer lately, when someone asks me what I do.  Otherwise, I am a household engineer, chauffer, Lego piece retriever, laundress, etc...  I like "writer" better.  But what does that mean?  Do you have to be published to call yourself a writer?

I write almost every day.  I've been lazy with the morning pages.  Artists Way, Week 11 has lasted about 12 weeks.  But if I'm not writing morning pages, I'm writing the book I've been working on this fall.  And if I'm not writing that, maybe I am writing letters and such.  Emails, facebook posts, thank you notes (on a good day) or actual handwritten letters, which happen once in a blue moon.

Have you ever received a letter that touched your heart in a way that no phone call or email ever has?  Some people have that gift, and I aspire to it.  I believe there is an art to the personal note.  I began learning it at camp, writing letters during rest hour.  I also learned that skill from my mother, who writes wonderful letters.  They meant a lot those six weeks of camp every summer, and still do on very special occasions.

A writer writes.  That's what they say.  So I guess I am allowed to call myself one.  Have I published?  Depends on who you ask.  I wrote a few things for my high school and college newspapers.  Does that count?

Well, good news.  It is the eve of the publication of my very first magazine article!  So there.  Amelie G magazine, http://ameliegmag.com, a nationally distributed New Orleans fashion and lifestyle magazine, is publishing an article I wrote dealing with food sensitivities and allergies.  I have had enough practice with that, as you know if you've read any one of my early posts.  After you've all (all 4 of you) had a chance to run out to your nearest Barnes and Noble or Whole Foods and buy the magazine, maybe I'll post it here!

I'm having fun writing.   This weekend, I will celebrate.

Here are some of my favorite quotes about words.  Enjoy!

A word is dead when it is said. Some say. I say it just, begins to live that day.
Emily Dickinson


Our words have wings, but fly not where we would.
George Eliot


The closer the look one takes at a word, the greater distance from which it looks back.
Karl Kraus


Uttering a word is like striking a note on the keyboard of the imagination.
Ludwig Wittgenstein


But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew, upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.
Lord Byron


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