And My Writing Fuels My Tea
Pretty nifty, the way that works out, wouldn’t you say?
As usual, I was out of bed by 8 this morning, and my first cup of tea was brewing by 8:10, and gone by 8:20, as I breezed through the morning news and weather.
No change in either: we’re still gonna get another 14 to 20 inches, and Trump is still the worst president in history.
But as Arlo said in Alice’s Restaurant, “That’s not what I come to talk to you about.”*
I’ve come once again to speak of the wonders of tea. The aches and pains of growing old. Childhood memories. Grandchildren. Everything that falls under the heading of “SSDD.”**
My writing is a reflection of my life in this regard: I rarely know what I’m doing when I begin each day, and I rarely know what I’m going to write when I fire up my writing tool.
A friend told me yesterday, “You know that part of your brain that says ‘better think about this before you blurt it out’? Yeah. I was born without that part.”
To which I replied, “I know what you mean; I like to be just as surprised as everybody else by what comes out of my mouth.”
And I’m pretty sure that explains why I’ll never be famous for writing The Great American Novel.™
I wonder: is it possible to age out of one genre and into another? Have I lost the spark or desire or whatever impetus pushes writers to write fiction? Am I condemned to writing memoirs and op-eds for the rest of my life?
When I was in elementary school back in the ‘50s, I was “fidgety,” “disruptive,” “smart, but doesn’t apply herself.” (The same was true in college, which is probably why I never graduated.)
What in the ‘50s was a character defect is now recognized as ADHD, or as mine has settled into, ADD. It’s the same thing, but without the hyperactivity.
Like so many other things from my childhood, what was once a problem or a hindrance has matured into an asset: my mind makes connections instantly, where other people have to ponder for a while.
But honesty compels me to admit that ADD can be a pain in the ass, too: sometimes ideas come so fast that they’re gone before I can write them down.
It makes me a lousy editor of my own works; there have been far too many times when I’ve sat down to edit a first draft only to look at it from another angle and end up rewriting it into something other than what it was originally.
This story is an excellent example. I started with the intention of how my consumption of tea and my writing are connected, but after 3 or 4 rewrites it bears no resemblance to the original.
Except for the graphic at the top of the page, nothing remains of the original.
But isn’t that a perfect example of what William Faulkner said?
In this case, the character took so many twists and turns along the road that I was barely able to follow him, much less catch up to him.
But then again, isn’t that what writing’s all about? Getting out of the way and letting the story tell itself?
*Hear it on YouTube
**Same Shit, Different Day