More than Words

I suppose I should pen something stiff and very formal here. I have been writing, mostly novels, for the last few years, working abroad on and off teaching English, and lately, working for the US Bureau of Commerce or knocking on doors for the Census. I have stories but due to confidentiality, can’t relate them until 2090 or so. I can also tell you how to get anywhere in Christmas Valley, Oregon. Just ask.

Well, I have been teaching, there’s that. Mostly in places like China. I had brief stints in Lithuania and Honduras but either burst into tears or start laughing hysterically when asked to delve into those ‘learning experiences’. But. I can travel internationally now, have slept in the Macao airport overnight and enjoyed a strong cup of coffee on the sidewalk of Vilnius while listening to a street magician fill the air with delicate violin notes. I’ve watched giant storms twist Honduran skies into sheets of rain and battled giant cockroaches with my flip-flop. I taught students in there occasionally, too. I wrote my own curriculums, [as there were none in place in the schools I worked at], I scrambled for materials and supplies ranging from wildflowers picked for art lessons to making up lessons on proper nouns verses common ones to making posters to cover bare walls. I had to teach math, and I can barely add. Both I and the students were very stressed. But I taught it, I survived teaching math. Surely, that’s a point in the plus column?

Lately, I’ve been writing. I got a contract, somehow, with Kensington Gore, now Poe Boy Publishing, out of the UK.  I’ve had plays produced all over the world. I write, I don’t get jobs, I write, I don’t get jobs, I write…there’s a pattern here. Though, writing is a job. And my actual real profession and my most faithful friend and worst enemy and… yeah.

A small list of the writers I admire? Here we go. Neil Gailman. Robin McKinley, Louisa May Alcott. Barbara Kingsolver, L.M. Montgomery, Ray Bradbury…I could fill pages with authors I admire, whose books I’ve reread or just savored.

When my world cracks in two, when there’s that proverbial wall in sight, I write. When times are good and the wine flows, the roses bloom with that familiar yet exotic sweetness, I write. Sometimes what I pen actually seems okay. Even, dare I say it, not suckalicious. And sometimes I even produce something that does not make me cringe when I read over it. Mostly, it’s toiling along, hoping, just a tiny bit, that your words add up to more than words.


Photography Credit: Jason Rice