My First Love…
Do you remember your first love? The rush when your eyes met. The excitement if your hands touched. My first love is writing and when your first love is writing it is a marriage from day one. Calluses from a sharpened pencil and wadded up paper all over the floor to scattered electronic files all over your hard drive. It has it has its ups and its downs, but it is truly till death do you part. It is my longest relationship, save the one with my parents and a few other family members. I thank God he gave me a voice, an imagination, and a medium to utilize at a young age.
I started writing young. I wish I would have saved my early work, if for nothing but proof of my particular form of madness. I started writing stories in the third grade. I would get an idea in my head and have to put it on paper. (That would never go away.) The earliest story I remember writing was something about a pirate in Mrs. Rhodie’s class. My friends thought I was amazing, at the age of 8, I totally agreed.
My imagination did not diminish. My first year of junior high I was writing an English class journal/short story about a “prince” who of course was the boy I liked in the same class. That was an epic fail. When I was not in English class I worked on my action crime novel. It was very much Nancy Drew inspired. It was a murder mystery on a cruise ship. My grades would have been much better if I would have paid more attention in science and algebra instead of working on my novel. To my teenage horror, I left my manuscript in my algebra class one day. One of the more popular boys in school found it. GASP, he read it. Then he returned it to me the next morning. As one of the less popular people, I knew I would never live it down. Then he told me, he liked it. At that point, I was hooked. Writing and having people read what I wrote was like a drug. I didn’t even care that I did not get the boy, he liked my story. Since the ripe old age of 13 I have wanted to publish a novel. Let’s be real, publish anything.
A few years later in a journalism class, I had my chance and even won an award for the article. l would not be polishing a Pulitzer, this proved to very dry and not my style. However, this would not be my last attempt at journalism. Throughout the rest of junior high and most of high school, life got darker. My world changed and so did my writing. People I knew all my life were drinking, using drugs, committing suicide and being murdered. I witnessed gangs and racism, in small degrees, but witnessed it nonetheless. I had friends being abused. Friends who were pregnant. Friends that had abortions. My relatively safe life was chaos once I stepped onto that yellow bus every morning. On top of all of that, there were bullies. (Some things never change.) I was lucky enough not to be influence by peer pressure, but I attribute that to the strength of my family, convictions and the circle of close friends I had. We may not have been the most popular kids but we accepted each other as we were. During that time I wrote poetry. Dark, mournful poetry. I did keep most of those writings. These are writings my mother found and was mortified by. These poems were my journal, my coping mechanism for all the trauma I witnessed around me.
Later in high school I moved more into dramatic arts. In junior high I helped write a play that was very similar to “Stand By Me” in the story line, but much more watered down. It was not much of an original idea so I do not really consider that to be a “credit”. In high school, I wrote dialogue for my programming and broadcasting class. At church, I wrote a few small skits for the drama team. After high school, I wrote a full play for our youth group – it was never performed – but I still hold out hope. I wrote additional skits that we used for Christmas programs at our church. Any opportunity to write I used.
When I started college, I started writing my “great American novel”. You know the best seller every writer hopes to author. My last year at the community college I was the Student Government President and we had a student publication called “Student Voices”. As President, I was also a chief contributing writer. As a college publication this was more fun to write, but still not the outlet I wanted.
Well, that novel I started 22 years ago, I tabled it indefinitely 2 months ago. The book was loosely based on real events and people, I realized I could never get any traction with it because it kept dragging me back down into a past I was trying to overcome. (Good thing I figure stuff out fast, right? Forest for the trees…insert desired metaphor here.)
Earlier this year I started this blog for a few reasons. 1. I sincerely hope that by putting my experiences out there it will help someone else in their journey. I hope it will lead someone to God, help someone through a difficulty, or just let them know they are not alone. 2. To hold me accountable. I have a lot of goals going on in my life – getting closer to God, losing weight, finish my book, living more minimal, eventually living tiny…and on and on. If I put it out there, I am accountable to those of you who are reading. 3. When you have a lot of clutter (be it in your head, in your life, or in your house) it helps to get it out. 4. I promised you honest, there is a selfish aspect here. I hope it helps me work through some of my mess and yes, it would be lovely if one day someone decided to pay me to do things like this. You can clearly see I have issues. Nope I have volumes. At least I don’t have my own library yet. (please, please tell me you get the joke). 5. When you are a writer, you write. It does not matter if you are being read or not. A writer has a biological imperative to be writing. We cannot help it.
When I tabled my 22 year epic attempt at a novel, I started a more intimate project. A fictional novel inspired by the story of Ruth. I am toying with the idea of a title like “I don’t want to be Ruth Less” – sort of a play on words, but that may be too cerebral for marketing purposes. (Remember, I over think things. – Feel free to weigh in on the title.) I want to complete the novel before the end of this year. Yeah, that is ambitious from the 22 year personal-war-and-peace-girl. The thing is I already have an idea brewing for something else and I don’t want to lose momentum on it.
Part of the blog was self discovery and the one thing I always knew was that I was, no, I am writer. Technically, I have a poem in a book with Poetry.com (if you look for it is under Sue Cuevas) so I guess I can say I am published, but I want the real deal. Here are my parting thoughts at almost 2 am. I blog at strange hours, because I am a writer and I blog when the idea strikes. (Unless there is a plan like with the Niagara Falls posts.) Sometimes I write one blog throughout the day, like yesterdays blog about the 21 day Fast (See post script below). I apologize for typos on my blog. I proofread, I really do, sometimes seeing double because the idea woke me up or I am riding as passenger in the car with my husband…proofreading in those conditions, you miss a lot. (I will try to do better, because typos bother me and you deserve better from me.)
As my reader, I have a request from me to you. Please, make comments and if you like what you read, please share me with others. (That sounded weird – share my posts, I need friends and readers…I’m going to stop now before you believe I am crazy instead of funny.) You can agree or disagree, just don’t be nasty…there is enough of that in the world. If there is something you would like to know more about that I have mentioned in a post, tell me and I will happily delve deeper. I promised to be honest. If it is my story, I will share it. I would really like to hear from you; after all, I talk to myself plenty. (That may be because I write, but I don’t eat the paint chips or lick the walls so I think we are good, you never can tell with my family.)
Until next time…
“The intimacy of speaking with your mouth shut.” Rachel Wolchin
Yesterday’s post was all about the 21 day fast and how much of a mess I am. I also mention how determined I am to stay the course. As you can tell, I don’t hold much back in these blog posts. My Pastor commented on the blog on my Facebook page. At first I was excited (because someone else read it), then nauseous, then I read my blog 4 times and found like 5 mistakes. Don’t get me wrong my Pastor is really cool, actually our entire staff is cool, but there is just something about telling on yourself to the Pastor in such a raw manner. It just means the he and anyone else that reads it from the church fellowship is going to get to know me at a much faster pace than they might have planned. That’s ok…I’m a writer. Who knows…maybe they will put me on assignment. (Surely they won’t read it two days in a row, right?)