Where I write

Where I write

March 15, 2011

A fork or a pen? Or Why Write?

Just returned from a book festival in Tucson where I listened to two famous authors speak. I practically swooned. One had her book on Oprah's book club, twice, and the other wrote a book I adored. Jane Hamilton and Julia Glass. Sound familiar? If not, google them. This literary pair told jokes and shared stories to a rapt audience. I sat there listening and thinking that will never be me. I will never finish my novel. Never go on a book tour. Never have fans. I will never have this because I am just a waitress.

I wear a black apron and sensible shoes five nights a week and serve shrimp scampi and red wine to guests at the resort where I work in Arizona. I am the elder of the servers, at least a few decades older than the rest of the crew. How in the hell did I end up here in the fifth decade of my life?

I felt a lot of "wants" at the book festival this weekend. I want to be sitting in front of a room and talking about my creative process. I want admiring readers to ask for my autograph. I want. I want. I want all of that but I don't want to sit and spend hours writing? Oh oh. Problem.

As I drove from Tucson to Phoenix, I got to thinking in betweem racing with the semi-truck drivers down I-10. Why do I want to write a novel? What do I really want? To be famous and to meet Oprah? Actually I'd like to meet her best buddy, too, Gail, while I'm at it as I think those two together would be fun and maybe gossip about each other while the other is in the bathroom.

Do I want to say I wrote a book just so I have something to talk about when the person on the seat next to me on the airplane asks, "what do you do?" I dread that question. Doesn't matter if the person is young, or old, or in between. That question sucks. I smile and act as if it doesn't bother me to admit the truth. It was different to say I am a server when I didn't have a wrinkled neck, crow's feet and a AARP card.

Will it make my life more valuable because I wrote a book and it got published? Any less valuable than if I serve martinis and steaks the rest of my life?

All this thinking makes me want to pour a glass of red wine and watch Home Hunters International, watch people buy exotic homes in far flung places. When I watch this show, I can't help think that if I wrote a book maybe I could afford a house in Costa Rica or Madrid. Now there's a good reason to write. Maybe I'll turn of the TV and actually turn on my computer and start typing away. Or maybe I'll have that one more glass of wine.

No comments: