I have wanted to be and do many things in my short life, and many of them I have, or least given the idea a fair shake. It's either a burden or a blessing to have so many interests, depending on the view, which varies with the hour. My leanings tend to have a common thread though, especially the motivation for certain entertained ideas about what I will be when I grow up.
When I was four years old I told my mother I wanted to be a maid when grew up, because then I could ride the city bus to work.
In the 9th grade I wanted to become a priest, so that I could write and deliver sermons every week.
In college I was going to be a famous photographer-writer-writer-photographer and live, always and forever, in New York City, a romantic and awesome life.
In New York, as a waitress, I thought I'd return to school and earn a P.h.d. so that I could wear blue jeans to work and have summers more or less off, living the romantic, intellectual life of the thinking, writing (publishing) professor.
Then, selling wine for an importer/distributor in New York, I thought of starting up my own wine import/distribution company, so I could be in charge. And wear blue jeans.
Once, very briefly, in a hired car traveling north from Salta to Cafayate in Argentina, I thought I might become a luxury/sport car reviewer for a women driver's magazine. I had a great idea for reviewing a vehicle by how it drove in four-inch heels. I believed in this path with every organ, until the obvious, and then the other obvious, slapped me hard in the face.
Today, I am a writer - a columnist - a sometime copy writer, a journalist, a short story enthusiast, and a cartoonist, readying her product line debut.
And tomorrow I become a novelist, in blue jeans.
Ever heard of NaNoWriMo? It's the acronym for National Novel Writing Month and it's totally awesome and I'm going to do it for the first time ever starting bright and early tomorrow morning. Yowsers!
Here's the quick skinny:
NaNoWriMo is a non-profit organization that sponsors a world-wide novel writing event every November. "Thirty days of literary abandon!" They help aspiring writers get to work, to produce 50,000 words of a first draft. They also sponsor a young writers program to help adolescents follow a dream, create something amazing and accomplish an adult-sized practice in discipline, all through community sharing, organization-sponsored pep talks and writing encouragement.
And here's the pitch:
Because NaNoWriMo is a non-profit organization it runs on author-generated donations. I would love, love, looove it if you could reach deep down in your pockets and make a small donation to this awesome organization and help cheer me on during this very scary, crazy 30 days of November. I got us started with $10, which is kind of a lot for me right now, as you may know, so I challenge you to match my ten, or show me up with $25!
You can sponsor/donate Here:
I can't promise to hit 50,000 words by November 30th, but I'm damn sure going to try. And you can look forward to updates on that nail biting, blood letting process on this blog.
OK, back to the column:
Aside from the clear presence of aspiring writer, blue jeans show up a lot on my career agenda. Is it wrong to want something so simple, to desire only to be comfortable and free in my work? The stark reality is I will likely end up in a job wearing slacks or a skirt, blouse and (God help us) short heels - but probably flats. I haven't worn stockings since junior high (and that was under forced mandate).
My reasons seem, I don't know, slightly off-reality? For example, I chose a college (in part) in the North Carolina mountains because my thick, curly hair looked so much better there than it did in hot, humid Florida. I also chose it because I spent summers up there hiking in the woods and rafting down the Nantahala. I didn't know that the sky remains grey for 6 months of the year, that snow and ice accumulate so as to trap you on the mountain.
Maybe I have some work to do in this area, a little broader thinking on the what-to-be front. Or maybe it doesn't matter and everything will work out fine just as it always has. (And by the way, I did take the city bus quite a bit while living in NYC, and I did once write and deliver a sermon from the pulpit.)But, in the meantime, I'm still writing and cartooning and you better believe, wearing blue jeans.