Saturday, October 29, 2011

River of Words

My mother, with whom I had a rather distant relationship (we mostly didn't "get" each other), often encouraged me to write. She felt I had the knack. Her encouragement was surprising and notable, since she generally didn't focus on my strengths. I took in what she said. I wrote. Letters, journals, stories and, as soon as the internets were up and running, I started blogging. That was almost a decade ago. Now I write two blogs. So indeed whether or not what I write is GOOD, the truth is, I am a writer.

I was thinking about my mother yesterday after I signed up for National Novel Writing Month. It's a funny thing for me to do since I don't even read novels, well not often anyway. But I thought of her encouragement, signed up, had a laugh. It might turn out like my attempt to learn to play the bass; something I always thought I could do, but then when I tried, it turned out I was not built for the job. Oh well. In the case of NaNoWriMo, I might stall out and not write anything. But I'm going to give it a go anyway, why not?

Running a quick errand after work yesterday, I was thinking of my mother fondly. I came across a stack of books on the sidewalk (people do that here all the time: clear off a bookshelf, put what they no longer want to keep out for others to pick up). In the stack I saw "The Family of Man," an old book of photographs. This was one of my mother's very favorite books. Of course I picked it up!

In some way I feel my mother is rooting for me from the other side of the veil. Seeing that book yesterday of all days made me smile. Hey, thanks, Elizabeth! I'm going to spend a month writing with abandon, just as you suggested long ago. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wish me luck? Thanks to y'all as well. Is the pen mightier than the sword? We shall see!


Cyndy said...

Good Luck! I can't imagine your "pen" NOT being mighty.

I love the color and clarity contrasts in that bottom photo. It reminds of one of those nearly colorless fishes at the bottom of a deep dark ocean.

steven said...

reya i so admire your courage and then also your willingness to extend the frame of yourself to be available to the book gift "from" your mom and to turn that opening into a bigger expansive moment. welcome the grace. steven

Reya Mellicker said...

Steven, I will!

How cool - a deep sea leaf/fish. Yeah. I see it.

Val said...

best of luck Reya and enjoy the freedom and fun; that book from your mother is awesome - thats inspirational for a start!

The Bug said...

Good luck! And most of all - have fun!

Reya Mellicker said...

Someone posted a story about Lynda Barry's writing workshops on FB. I thought about it for awhile, but as she bases her work on increasing creativity rather than craft or production, I decided against it. A lack of creativity is not my problem! Cranking out all those words every day will be a very interesting exercise!

Whitney Lee said...

This is exciting! Good for you for taking a leap into the challenge.
I had a similar situation with my grandmother-we didn't have a pleasant relationship and she wasn't one to compliment or cheer me on but always felt I was a writer and that we shared that bond. Perhaps I had more faith in her opinion simply because she wasn't going to tell me nice things just to be kind.
Someone turned me onto Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird when I was looking for writing advice. I would think you'd enjoy it if you've never read it. It seems the frank tone and practical advice would appeal to you.

lacochran's evil twin said...

Good luck with this adventure!

Jo said...

It will take me weeks to catch up with your blogs, but what a great post to begin with!

Love the tender feelings expressed here, and LOVE that beautiful final shot.

Oh yes, Reya, you are QUITE a writer!