Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pieces

jigsaw puzzles Pictures, Images and Photos

My friend Rock Star used to have a little wooden box full of Mensa puzzles at his desk. Most were squiggly pieces of steel that you had to get back together or take apart in ways that weren't obvious, at least to me, until the puzzle was solved. I would come to his desk for breaks sometimes and try to work the pieces together or apart. Very often I would put the squiggly puzzles back in the box and wish I was smarter or that my parents had made me play more chess growing up so I would have had a more agile, spatially oriented mind to tackle the puzzles with.

This writing I've been churning out over the last year has been like those recalcitrant pieces of steel. I feel like I'm moving toward something but it is unclear what that is. If I were a singer, I'd be trying out for American Idol, unsure if I'm as good as I want to be but finally willing to give someone an opportunity to pass on me. And, just to fully commit to the analogy, I'm one of those contestants during audition week that doesn't make the initial cut. Something about me doesn't fit--you don't want to hold your hands over your ears when I sing, but you wouldn't line up to buy my CD. Maybe it was the outfit, maybe it was the song, maybe I looked too old, but something didn't click. Something is not clicking in part because I don't know what I want from this. Not unlike my approach to dating, I'm hoping that someone will discover me and then tell me what I am. Am I an advice columnist? An author of modern-day parables? A diarist? An author of those really long greeting cards?

It seemed when I solved one of the puzzles at Rock Star's desk, it either came by a serendipitous positioning or with deliberate study and care paired with serendipity. Either way, the puzzle never resolved in the way that I thought it might and luck was always involved. I got a response from a local publisher today who wished me luck even though my "project" wasn't one they were interested in. It didn't upset me because not knowing what I wanted, I didn't really give them anything to accept or reject. I need to think on this. I love writing. I love words. That will be true no matter what. If this never goes anywhere or gets any wider a readership than my friends and the random people the world over looking for pictures of fire (most disquieting worldwide search term-ever), it was everything it needed to be. I'll just be me; a mid-level bureaucrat that loves words who will write pieces for her friend's special occasions and for their general amusement at her wacky adventures.

1 comment:

Good-Grace said...

When I started reading this post, I was afraid you were getting ready to say you were taking a break from this type of writing outlet. I'm so glad that isn't the case. :) And I'm happy that you took the publishers letter in stride... I actually think it's really neat that you got the reply. I don't want you to ever give up on this "writing thing" that you do... you have immense talent. You have a way with words that is captivating and intelligent, yet down-to-earth at the same time. You are not pretentious. I love that about you.