Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A TOAST...


Current Project:The Baby's Bodyguard
Status: Page 87

Searching for a topic to blog about, I asked a friend for advice. She suggested the therapeutic value of a glass of wine (she's had one of those days.) Since I often have one of those days myself, this struck me as brilliant. What a wise friend. What a pal. Someone to laugh with and compare notes with and complain about writing with... what would I do without her? And all of a sudden I knew what I wanted to say today, that I wanted to lift a toast to my friends, and maybe some of yours, too.

Here's to my writing friends, near, far, on the phone, in person, often, infrequently. What would I do without you? You know how it goes ... if a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? I would ask: If a writer becomes so frustrated they want to pull out their hair and gnash their teeth and there's no other writer with whom to share it ... okay, maybe that doesn't work. Suffice to say that no one understands the frustrations and the joys of writing like another writer. Along this journey you need friends who haven't achieved yet what you have achieved so that you remember the pure joy of accomplishing what seems impossible. You need the company of peers who can identify with your struggles and lend insight in how to deal with them. And you need the guidance of those who have gone further than you have, maybe further than you will ever go -- they represent hope. So, a toast to all of you no matter where you are in this journey. It's nice to have companionship.

I'm also raising my glass to my non writing friends who will never see this blog because they don't care about things like this. They're too busy canning tomatoes or making quilts, teaching children or practicing law. They don't give a hoot about writing, in fact, they've never read a word I've written, but they enrich my soul and give me glimpses of other lives where the world revolves around real people and not the ones who scamper around like lunatics in my head. This would include co-workers if I had a "real" job. It definitely includes people I see and talk with all the time who are more acquaintances than actual friends, for they also give my life dimension and sometimes say the most amazing things without realizing their words are going to end up in a book.

Another toast to friendly strangers. The lady at the deli counter with the sausage curls (thanks, I love those curls.) And the tiny woman who sells shrimp at Albertsons. Here's to the snotty clerk at Bed Bath and Beyond, I love you anyway. And what the heck, here's to the guy at the service station who is trying to teach my puppy manners in his bimonthly run ins with her as he's giving her a Milkbone. You guys are the people who parade through my mind as I write, and I am indebted. Have a glass on me.

And lastly, here's to my friends who are also my family. My sister, my daughter and son, my grandchildren, my mother and most of all, my dh. You guys are there when I need you and you pretend to care about the stories I babble on about that don't make any sense taken out of context. You answer a million questions about horses or boats or being a cop or building materials or a how a charitable foundation runs. You are the Wikipedia of my life and I truly appreciate you even though you, too, will never see this blog.

So, I may never win a Rita (it's hard to do when you never enter... that's my excuse and I like it...) but I have now lifted a glass of red and another of white in pure gratitude for each of you. Irritating at times, annoying, patient, loving, snarly or anything in between (and that's ME not THEM), thank you one and all.

Did I leave anyone out? Who would you like to thank?

10 comments:

Paty Jager said...

Great post, Alice! I agree with those you toasted, without them writers wouldn't have encouragement and insight they need to write. I also toast the people I don't know but watch with rapt attention to discover a new tic, a new nuance I can bring to a character.

Kendra said...

Wine? Must be Eli.

I'll lift my glass of Baileys to her. (Not a wine fan. I know. I'm the only person on the planet...)

Alice Sharpe said...

Paty -- Gotta love the strangers.

And Kendra, LOL, you are not the only non- wine drinker. There are three others.

Lisa Leoni said...

If it was vodka, I'd think it was Eli ;) I'll raise my beer to you all. Great post, Alice! I'd like to start by thanking the Academy and God...in all seriousness. I'd like to thank you all for being so supportive whenever I get fickle on a book. And I'd like to think all of the cute guys out there who give me inspiration. And the people I talk to on OKcupid who say ridiculous things that make me want to include them into book dialogue. And to my non-writing friends who I know would be first in line to buy my book should I ever get one published. And to my dog for being awesome. Although he doesn't like it when I'm on my computer ;)

Genene Valleau said...

Gosh, Alice, you're making me think again.

Your list is very comprehensive! I also like Lisa's toast to her awesome dog (times seven for me :). My doggies pretty much don't how I look or how much I mumble about my current stories as long as it doesn't interfere with meal times and tummy rubs.

And definitely family who remind us there is a life outside stories.

A toast also to our Muses and all those non-physical friends who provide inspiration and, at times, words that flow easily onto the screen!

Alice Sharpe said...

Yeah, it was Eli. I didn't want to mention her name because Kendra did yesterday and we don't want Eli getting a swelled head. I mean, she wasn't THAT much help!

Lisa, kudos on remembering the dog! How could I have forgotten mine? Oh, wait, never mind, now I remember.... I hope you will remember you would have to look very far afield to find a writer who hasn't cut the ropes on a book. It's all part of the process. You don't expect to finish a marathon the first time you put on running shoes, right? You'll find the book with legs and when you do, we'll all stand in line to buy it.

Genene, I love the inclusion of the muses although currently, I feel mine is about as helpful as my puppy. Slacker. Can't wait for your blog tomorrow!!!

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Um, gosh. I guess thanks are in order. I mean, if the rest of the world didn't know I was the lush of the group, they do now! (Wine, vodka...I'm surprised someone didn't mention my love of Baileys as well...oh, wait. There's Kendra. She can join me in lush-ville!)

Very fun post, Alice. And gasp. Moi? A swelled head? Nevah...bwahahaha...

I think you hit all the highlights, but I would like to add my house cleaner (God BLESS her!) that the DH hired when I was sick and who I'm holding on to with tooth and nail. (Very sharp teeth and very sharp nails. Just watch him TRY to take her away from me...) And the folks at the hospital who made it possible for me to go on writing books. Can't leave them out. Oh! And cottage cheese. Yeah. Brain food there. And Pepper Jack Cheez Itz. Mmm...couldn't write without those! And since I'm on a roll I'll add in cookies & cream ice cream. Lately the muse doesn't want to come out and play until she gets her ice cream. (Wine and ice cream. She's more finicky than my 4 yr old!)

Alice Sharpe said...

Eli -- You have a housekeeper? What! That is so not fair.

Grr.... I want a housekeeper, too. Does the house have to be clean before they come? Do they, holding my breath, vacuum?

I like your additions. I am going to add, thanks to fresh tomatoes. Is there anything as good as a vine ripened tomato? Or spring asparagus right out of the ground? Or gin with a slice of fresh lime and another of orange? Hmm--- You keep your ice cream. My muse is pickier.

Bethany Gabbert said...

Great Post Alice!

Kendra, I'm not a wine drinker either. But, I'm also not much of a drinker period.

Things I'm thankful for right now:
1) Lisa for giving me a new celebrity boyfriend who inspired a character in my WIP
2)Daddies who put toddlers to bed
3) toddlers who GO to bed
4) toddlers who will be two on Friday
5) That my teeth are not hurting (had wisdom teeth out on Monday)
6) Characters in the WIP that will.not.shut.up. LOVE that.

There's lots more, but I must clean for the toddler birthday party on Friday!

Alice Sharpe said...

Bethany -- I love your list. In fact, everyone's thanks are so unique to them. Thanks for playing along one and all, and Tavy, happy, happy second birthday!