Empty Noise is the Gravedigger

I’ve been living a summer in quiet desperation. Fall is creeping in around the mornings. I smell it in the air and see the frantic scurry of squirrels hiding their winter stores of food. Usually, it brings with it a sweet melancholy that makes me more creative and introspective. This year seems different. I turn 50 shortly and it’s clouded my mind in all the expected ways. Ways that seem like stages of grief. I’m in the bargaining/rationalization phase. Initially, I mourned that there was less ahead of me than behind me…. Read More

The Things We Carry (and Must Learn to Leave Behind)

In 1993, I dropped out of grad school after one miserable year. I was a failure, barely surviving academically, juggling three jobs, in over my head in so many ways. I make jokes about it, but when I pitched a nonfiction proposal to an agent last week, she asked about my education. I was truthful and while she was interested in my proposal, I could tell that I did not have a good “platform”. For nonfiction proposals, agents and publishers want someone with a platform. A platform is the writer’s expertise, background,… Read More

Resolution: Being a Failure in 2014

I am not, in any external or commercial sense, a successful person. I am not a beauty queen, a math whiz, a super athlete, a great singer or any other Breakfast Club stereotype. I do not overwhelm people with my cult of personality or charisma. I’m an average student, a laissez-faire gardener and an inconsistent parent. I am, by all accounts and appearances, average. In spite of all this mediocrity, I have a super power. I lose well. I lose repeatedly. And then I get up to lose again. The power of… Read More

Deflating the Ego

I have been writing for the last few hours. Poorly so, I might add. My ego is getting in the way. After going through the Freshly Pressed brouhaha, I’m back to just trying to write. People have been extremely generous in their comments, which makes me think that they like what I write, which makes me think that I have to write more things that people will like. Welcome to complete and utter paralysis. Part of this inability to find my authentic voice again is that I’ve been working my way through… Read More