Pass the pen . . .

Today is Imbolc on the Wiccan/Neo-pagan calendar and that seems like a good time to begin a blog.  This blog.  The one you are reading at work or at home; on your Mac or your PC or your new ipad.  (Please no feminine hygiene jokes).  Imbolc is, for this pagan anyway, the first day of Spring.  Don’t believe me?  Look around, wake up, pay attention!  The days are visibly longer, daffodils and crocus and hyacinths are showing their bright green shoots (in my neck of the woods at least).  Trees have tiny buds.  I’ve seen the sun at least three times in the last week and I smelled Spring on four different occasions.  My point is, that I can no longer hibernate in my den of depression playing virtual solitaire and accumulating facebook friends.  It is time to take these ideas that have been swirling around in my brain and spill them out onto the page.  It means that the play I began writing last Summer and stopped writing this Fall needs some light, some rejuvenation, some . . . well . . . I need to get to work.

A few years ago, upon turning thirty and celebrating my liberation from marriage, I decided it was time to get serious about writing.  I mean, what else did I have?  My plan to be a stay-at-home wife and mother fell apart and I was terrified of becoming a lonely, crazy-cat lady whose only connection to the outside world was a receptionist job in hell.  I took my divorce money and after a full-day at the spa hopped on two planes and a shuttle bus to Taos, New Mexico for a writing retreat with Natalie Goldberg.  I filled a spiral notebook in one week and signed up for another writing intensive (this time silent) eight months later.  By the time the second trip to Taos arrived I had quit my job in suburbia and moved to the city where I was sure writing and writers would be eager to have me.  Not so much.  I needed a job and so found myself in yet another version of receptionist hell.  Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 5:30pm, a fake smile painfully smeared across my face I answered phones, sent emails, and became a verbal punching bag for a large community of HR haters (Think Michael Scott vs. Toby).  Coming home from a day of torture was not (and is not) conducive to writing.

So, after a year, I quit.  Again.  And I went back to Taos, again.  And I filled another notebook and this time when I got home I started graduate school.  But, instead of an MFA in writing, I decided to follow my spiritual inclinations and pursue a Master of Divinity degree.  I longed to express my spiritual life on the page, but I lacked the language.  The M.Div. seemed like just the thing.  Besides, more than one person told me that an MFA isn’t the key to a writing career.  I was told, “If you want to be a writer, you just have to pick up a pen and get to work.”  And so, dear Reader, I ask you to pass me a pen because there is writing to be done and a soul longing for expression.

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10 thoughts on “Pass the pen . . .

  1. Yay, yay, yay! I’m jumping for joy (as much as i can while still sitting on the couch!)…so excited to read your words!

    I love you, sweet Melissa. So eager to watch this all unfold and see more of your shiny spirit.

    Smooches.

  2. Hi: I’m a writer from Unalakleet, Alaska. Recently I discovered the word “grawlix”, means the symbols used in cartoons depicting swear words. Cool, huh?

  3. Melissa, I have been meaning to check out your blog since you first mentioned it on Facebook. Today I finally hopped over here and read your fourth installment “Indian Stick People and Grandmother Spider.” I did not stop until I had read back to your opening blog; your declaration. You have beautiful writing and a beautiful soul that comes out in it, keep it up! 🙂

    Kathy

  4. Cool! Saw this on Saundra’s FB update today. Wondered for a minute if you were the Melissa I wrote with for over a year, but I don’t think so. Anyhow, kindred spirits, those of us who’ve been changed by Natalie.

  5. I am so very, very proud of you. I signed up for updates and I want to be annoyed by the frequency at which I get them.

    If I knew what to say that would comfort you and also motivate you to get writing I would say it. I would say it to myself! I think the key is, similar to the spiritual life, one begins by being kind and non-judgemental — to yourself!

    Write anything, write everything.

  6. Mellie… way to go!! I wanted to let you know how thrilled Patrick and I are over your new blog (Patrick wants to know what you think about Haiti) and we would pass you the f-ing pen except that Patrick lost it today. But no worries, I am sure he will find it in the bathroom trash can soon. In the meantime, grab a f-ing pencil and WRITE…

    Seriously, you are awesome!! Happy writing and can’t wait to read your musings!!

  7. Hi Mel,

    Just reading this first entry into your blog, I can tell you are a wonderful and witty writer. I wish you the best of luck with the blog, your MFA, and your play. I look forward to reading more.

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