There. I've said it.
I want to be a writer and I want to live in a small town in a turn-of-the-century schoolhouse that has been converted into a home. And it has to be on the water...it can be a river or a pond or a lake. And it has to have enough land that I can have privacy and room to grow my own veggies, herbs, and fruits. But not so private that I can't walk, or maybe bike, to town.
And the town has to be an authentically adorable small town and not a small town that has been refurbished to look like an authentically adorable small town for the sake of the tourists. It must have a good diner, a bookstore, bakery, and all of the other shops you would expect to find in this town.
This is where I want to live when I become a writer.
I should mention that when I live in this town, I will be much older than I am now. And while writing does not make me rich, it is a nice supplement to the pension I get as a retired teacher.
This is where you come in. I only have 20.5 years left to make it happen. That may seem like a long time but I have just realized that somehow 26 years have gone by since I first realized I wanted to write and I really haven't done anything about it. Sure, I have had the occasional letter to the editor published, along with an anecdote in Oprah's O magazine, and a prize winning recipe in Cottage Life magazine but really, those plus $1 would still only get me a cup of coffee.
Not to say that I haven't written. I once spent an entire Labour Day weekend writing a book for Anvil Press's novel writing contest. This was before the days of laptops (or at least me owning a laptop) and I sat on a deck at somebody's cottage writing over 100 pages freehand in 72 hours (needless to say, we were not ever invited back to said cottage). I also wrote a picture book as part of an assignment in Teacher's College that was good enough to be published...or so I've been told. I never had the guts to have anyone in the publishing industry to look at it.
And of course, there's this blog. I didn't start this blog to be a writer but I am finding that it is turning into a really great way to experiment with writing about stuff I am interested in writing about and find out if you are interested, too.
I've thought about writing a cook book. Even though there are a million and one cookbooks out there. But mine would be different. Mine would be the foods I like to cook and the stuff my family and friends and I like to eat. And it would have recipes that would satisfy both my picky palate, carelessness, and impatience. If you scroll back though my blog, you will see that most of those recipes fit the bill. But would you buy a cookbook from a less-than-amateur cook who hates most fish, fresh fruit, cilantro, yogurt, ice cream as dessert (but its fine as a snack) and bananas (I told you I was picky)?
|All the fixin's for Meatloaf Cupcakes, one of the recipes I would include in my cookbook. |
I am not going to give you the recipe just in case I do decide to publish the book.
Would you want to make them?
|The completed cupcake...moments before it was inhaled by my son.|
I have also thought a lot about writing books based on my family. I say based on because if I used their real names or revealed distinguishing details, I am quite sure I would be disowned. I know that lots of people think that their life is unusual and that they have a story to tell and I'm sure they do. But when I tell you I could tell you a few stories, I really can. One of my best friends, an amazing movie and television director, has suggested to me on numerous occasions that I write a screenplay based on my family; she even once bought me a book on how to write screenplays for my birthday. And when I talk (read: cry) to my therapist and ask if these kinds of things happen in everyone's life, she says with all sincerity, "No. No they do not. Things like this certainly do not happen to everyone." The funny thing is, on the surface, we appear to be your average upper-middle class family. See? All the makings of the perfect novel...or screenplay...or tv show.
I have also thought about writing articles or a column (or a blog!) about my job from the perspective of a teacher AND parent. Just in case you didn't know, I teach a grade 7 gifted program (right now...but next year I could be teaching grade 5 or Art or Special Ed). I am a Specialist in Reading and Special Education but more importantly, I have a son who has required Special Ed. support. There are experiences I have every day, sometimes at school and sometimes at home, that I wish I could share with other parents and other teachers. And a lot of you fall into one or more of those categories.
This year, I am only teaching part-time. I chose this schedule so that I could spend more time with my family and friends as well as do stuff for me. Last year when I made this decision, my good friend and colleague, Sue, asked me what I was going to do with my time. I thought for a bit, and replied, "I'd like to write." And I really meant it. But life (and death) got in the way for a while, putting my grand plans on hold. So now here I am, a year later, with only about 2 dozen amateur blog entries under my belt. Tomorrow I am going to sign and fax a form that says that I will teach part-time for one more year. But only one more year...unless I can get this writing thing off the ground. If I can, then I can make my part-time status more permanent, spend more time with my family, and maybe even start saving for my little house in the country.
This is where you come in. It's really just 3 simple things:
1. Read my blog.
2. Send me comments, suggestions, and requests. Tell me what you like, what you don't like, and what was just really boring and stunk and what made you laugh or cry (or run out and buy something!)
3. Forward my blog to someone (or someone's) else who you think might like to read it.
Phew! This manifesto was easier than I thought. Much easier than earlier today when I had to test whether or not my bathtub was leaking which may have resulted in me having to redo my entire bathroom and replace the ceiling below it. But that's another story...
Pass it on...