Friday, December 10, 2010

OK, so I lied (the one about community???)

Late last night, I decided that I didn't need another month-long project like Reverb 10 to distract me from my novel. I was right, of course, I don't need another excuse. I participate in National Novel Writing Month every year, have since 2002. That's a different kind of month-long project that results in a product that I can complete and attempt to sell.

Not that I have, of course, completed or attempted to sell any of them.

That's only because my wings aren't finished growing, and they aren't strong enough yet for me to fly.

But they're getting there.

(wings. a symbol in this year's NaNoWriMo, actually a symbol in other bits I've written in the past. kind of a revelation to myself.)

I have a long "todotoday" list and less time to do it than I might have since school was delayed by two hours because of a little snow.

Writing on my work-in-progress is on that list. Was going to give myself from 11:30 to 1 p.m. (must do some .... damn. I've lost a word. Never mind)

Reverb 10.

So far the prompts...

Well, I think I simply didn't let the concept of the project sink it. I get so excited about the idea of joining in when random writing ideas float by me as I'm strolling around the Internet.

I'm not, however, a very good member of any community, not even online communities.

Oh. Wait. I think that's one of the prompt topics:

December 7 – Community.

Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

(Author: Cali Harris)

Have you ever heard of a book called Party of One: The Loner's Manifesto? That's me in that book that Anneli Rufus wrote. I should probably give that book out to all of my friends and acquaintances who want me to participate in things, who invite me to attend meetings....

Actually, I've been teaching my friends here in this little city that I can be involved without showing up quite as much as people seem to believe is appropriate. What do I mean by that?

Hell if I know.

New communities this year? I sort of joined a local writer's group and attended one of their open mic readings. They're all lovely people, and some of the work I heard is exquisite.

Do you hear the "but?" It's nothing to do with them. It's me. I just have the hardest time writing with other people.


My life is lonely. I love to be alone (unless I can be with my kid), but I have many moments when the alone turns into something dark and brooding (that actually breeds good, strong, dark, horror-like, semi-fake-literary fiction). Sometimes I want to go to work, as in, put on work clothes, leave my house, be with other people who need things from me. Just sometimes, though.

That desire is probably why I volunteer with non-profit organizations too much, get too involved, give away too much time I can't afford to give (because I have very little regular income). It's not so much that I'm lonely for friends or company as that I'm lonely for connection, input, lonely to be needed.

So. I think I failed at becoming part of the writing community here in my little town. I'm inclined to be more active in the Writers Bloc poetry group run by Scott Woods in Columbus, but it's just a little far for the mother of an active teen, for a lazy crone. I like those people, though, those poets with their strong, strong voices, on and off the page.

I do have an idea for a community I would like to create here in my little city. I don't know if I can make it happen. It may not be welcome here.

Oh, I don't want to say it out loud. I know the idea of Reverb 10 is this:

Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. Use the end of your year as an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead. With Reverb 10 - and the 31 prompts our authors have created for you - you'll have support on your journey.

The thing is, I work in a completely different way. I do have goals, ideas, dreams that I want to make happen. The meaning of the word "manifest" is "to make evident or certain by showing or displaying." (Merriam-Webster.)

One of the synonyms listed is "give away."

Hell, maybe I'm just superstitious, and I'm afraid if I "give away" my story to anyone but me, I'll curse the process and I'll stop producing.

This is one of those ridiculous, fear-based notions that I'm certainly outgrowing.

But words like "manifest" do bother me a bit.

It's time to "manifest" the rest of my day, which looks like a shower, a drive to the gas station, a quick trip to the grocery store, a novel-writing session, a moment burying my face in my cat's fur.


  1. Hi Just found your blog through reverb10 - I like the look of the book you link to "Party of One" so thanks for that. I also like the way you express so well, some of what I feel about reverb.

    I am torn really, but it's good to read a different view and allow thoughts that drift in about the process to be developed.

    I was just thinking the other day about the group/community of reverb and how I don't fit there( i'm not good at community either so I suppose it could be me).

    Somehow I can't quite express it all yet. I'm still sucked in by the cheesiness and self help(i'm a bit of a self help junky).

    Maybe a read of that book of yours might help me stop trying to be better, different etc. Thanks.

  2. Lovely comment, Jan! Thank you.

    A good friend who understands my love of solitude recommended "Party of One" to me. I definitely found myself in the author's description of loners.

    One of the problems I have with the idea of trying to force myself always to think positively is that it's just one more way for me to fail.

    Not that I mind failing. I've failed at a lot of things and failing hasn't killed me yet. :)