Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bento Box - Hot And Fresh From the Writers' Group

Dana Goodyear was commenting the other day on her New Yorker blog about how most bloggers' sites getting a bad rap because they seem to be just about what they had for lunch. Then she made a joke about this by pointing out a website called Just Bento--about what people pack in their lunches/bento boxes.

I had to smile at that one.

I was thinking of that tonight when we met for our writers' group. (Damn. It sounds like therapy. And while it does make me a whole person, it is freakin' work. We don't just sit around and tell writing horror stories all night. Most of the time is spent, well, writing.) Before we start on our "write-for-an-hour-no-lifting-the-pen" marathon, we go around the room and say our name and what we're writing. Not trying to write, WRITING. (I swear to God, not therapy. I already have that once a week. Not in the group form, but I'm smart enough to know the difference.) One of the writers gave her name and then, tight-lipped, stated that she was writing a blog entry.

Afterword she said she can't write blog entries. She stated that she didn't think she was that interesting or that she saw anything interesting.

Two film examples scream at me on that one:
  • "Murphy's Romance"--"Don't you like yourself?" "Of course I like myself. I just don't expect it to be contagious."
  • "Frida"--"If you want to paint you will paint because you can't help yourself."

I completely understand the possibility that no one may want to read what I sometimes consider drivel. I completely understand when people come home from work and pop open their laptops and check their Facebook or Blogger and find me that there is a very good possibility that they will roll their eyes: "Oh, for Pete's sake, she wrote about smokers at bus-stops again."

I don't care.

Some nights my entries bore the holy hell out of ME too, you know. And still I write. I write because I can't help myself. I write for the same reason a bird sings or a flower blooms. Don't listen or don't look, it doesn't matter--we'll still write, sing, bloom. I thought about that tonight as I got off the N train at 9th and Judah and walked up the east side of 9th in the dark. 9th slopes up like a ski ridge, up to Kirkham, up to Lawton, up to Moraga, up to Noriega, and up to Ortega before it starts to veer off around hilltops. When I climb to Kirkham and cross it, standing there at the dry cleaners, next to the blue mailbox, my breath catches to see yet another bike rider "do" 9th--where they never break and let gravity barrel them straight down the hill six blocks to the Park. This one was doing it in the dark, all speed, all faith. Someone will hit him and no one will hit him. He sails for the salad bowl of trees and grass and vines in the Park, the tops of the Golden Gate Bridge poking out of the top like pointy-eared cats stalking, or Japanese lanterns, or men on the march in the foxhole...

I see that scene every day.

It's what I want to write.

It's what I like to read.

And maybe someone else will want to read it too.

So if you place a pen, pencil, chalk, paint, laptop, or pricked finger within arm's reach of me, I'll write it.

I so entirely cannot help myself.

Post Script--

Writer's Forum...

Writer's Workshop...(dammit...we don't read anything...)

Writer's Class...(no tuition)

Writer's Time-Out...(sounds like we're getting punished)

Oh, for cryin' out loud, it's the same word in Spanish or French...

Writer's Cluster...(um, NO. Too Castro meets Folsom Street Fair...)

I give up.

For now... ;)

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