Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Reverb 10, the one about the one word

I know it's Day 8, nearly Day 9. I'm very late to the game. But I'm going to try, anyway. Too darned long winded for my own good.

Reverb 10, Day 1
December 1 - One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
(Author: Gwen Bell)

A few months after my husband and I married in 1989, I bought myself a new car to replace my old Olds Cutlass Ciera that he insisted was a granny car with its bland beige color, dull style and all.

I bought a 1990 Mazda Miata in blue. It was the first year of issue for that beautiful little convertible, which is now more than 20 years old.

The one tiny little glitch in that choice was that I'd never driven a stick shift before.

The car was ready for pick up right after we got back from our honeymoon (another story for another day), and my husband had to drive it off the lot since I didn't know third gear from the rear view mirror.

He was more patient with me than I was with myself as he taught me how to drive our little blue dragon. Miatas are good cars for learning how to drive a stick shift, especially for a semi-short girl with stubby legs (our daughter, who is a slight 5'1", has tried it a couple of times).

The hardest part for me, of course, was learning not to stall out.

Once we discovered that I liked driving stick, we ended up with a few other cars with standard transmissions (the Miata was mine). The forest green Mazda 626 was lovely, though I did get stuck on a couple of hills, stalled out more than once.

That's my word for 2010: "stalled."

I don't know how accurate the word is, though. I feel stalled out on some fiction projects, on finding work I can do from home, on getting some non-writing-related projects finished.

During parts of the year, I soared, especially when it came to poetry. I took a workshop, submitted more poems, entered a really cool event called "The Language of Art" that the German Village Arts League sponsored. (Had a chance to write an ekphrastic poem based on a piece of art I was assigned randomly. I got a gorgeous photograph by Tim Morbitzer, of German Village).

I'm trying to figure out why when I look back on this year, the first word that occurs to me is "stalled." Maybe I just stall out on the hills. What is the biggest hill? Finishing the novel-in-progress that is more than halfway done (maybe more than three quarters of the way done)? Convincing myself to put my work out there? Putting mySELF out there (as in personally, as in dating, EEK! No way)?

Maybe this stalling out is a dreadful analogy, but I'm writing this for myself, to figure out why this year feels like an unsuccessful year despite some obvious successes.

My word for 2011? Focus. That's nothing new, my desire for that word. Maybe now that I've documented it, I'll pay attention to it.


I'll try to begin catching up with the Reverb 10 prompts tomorrow, but this is a start.

1 comment:

  1. I'm behind on the Reverb thing too, but the idea is to just do something, right? You could be an anarchist and continue Reverb-ing after December.

    Focus - yep, that's a good one. I think I could conquer the world if I could only focus. But, you know, I'd need to clean the closet before world conquest.