AJ King bakery wall art, Salem, Massachusetts

AJ King bakery wall art, Salem, Massachusetts

Just the other day I turned to a friend in CVS and said: “If you are the emergency contact? And the nursing home staff has lost me during the drugstore outing — even with my walker? Just tell them to look for me in the school supplies aisle.”

I still get goosebumps when I see the stack of candy-colored notebooks, the bin of loose pens, the fresh and still slabs of legal pads secreted away on the vinyl shelves under the florescent lighting. Not just in September, any time of year. Perhaps I crave the un-rumpled sheets, the first pure streak of blue ink from a new Bic pen. But perhaps I love the promise, the potential, of all those writing receptors. They whisper to me, something like, “buy me, I will take your words, any of them. Just write.”

Crazy lady in Aisle 3.

Just write should be tattooed on the tender inside of our wrists, all of us that aspire. Rejection, success; in the end, we have to just write. Again. And again. I muddle through the middle, I zig-zag back to my prologue, I write the end with a flourish, then realize I have to just keep writing to get the words even better. I unwrap a new pad, put some more paper in the printer. I have the carbon footprint of a pre-historic dinosaur this year, judging from my recycling.

A few days ago a twitter challenge circulated, “#youmightbeawriter.” I replied: “#youmightbeawriter…when your heart beats faster in the school supply aisle.” I had about thirty new followers in ten minutes.

I am doing what makes my heart beat faster. This writing business is not for everyone. Maybe not for me, anytime soon, in hardback. Somedays I think this has to be the most difficult task ever imagined, with more downsides than up, with never enough time, with constant and harsh criticism the norm. But my fellow workshop writers are slowly getting published, I send out more pieces daily, and the craft of writing lives strong in my fingers.

I spy that new stack of legal pads on my desk. And they are calling.

Just park the walker and write. They will find you.


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