LARRY, MOE, CURLY, AND ME

Today, I had a Three Stooges moment. I walked into our dark garage without removing my sunglasses. BOING!

I had stepped on the prongs of the garden rake, causing the handle to swing straight up into my face--a direct smack to the nose. After checking for blood, (there was none) I instinctively looked around. No one saw my moment of humility.

Darn! A perfect unplanned klutz event and no one around to appreciate it. What a waste of good slapstick.

Ever feel that way about your writing? You know, when you write the perfect line. Or when your character takes off and seems to write themselves. Or when you finally find the rhyming word that has eluded you for weeks? Ever wish someone was there to share that moment? Applaud maybe? Somehow validate that experience for you?

I do.

I've had writing victory moments where I wished a whole stadium would applaud. Heck, I'd even let them do 'the wave' if they were so inclined.

But unlike Hollywood, Broadway, or even Wrigley Field, our performance goes unseen, unsung, and unheralded.

No one flicks their lighter for an encore, after a clever turn of phrase. No one gives a standing ovation when you finally finish that difficult chapter. No one blares out appreciative whistles when you type out that soul stirring description of an apricot.

Nope.

The writing life is a lonely one. How many times can we ask our spouse or children to "Listen to this paragraph," or "Just read this one line", before they join Write-Anon (a self-help group for lit-enablers). I've seen that desperate look on my children's faces when I approach with papers in hand, begging, "One page. Just read one page. Do it for Mommy."

Wouldn't it be great if, like the Three Stooges, each performance was followed by a round of applause or (when appropriate) laughter? Wouldn't it be wonderful to announce, "My meter is finally perfect!" and have the whole family stand up and cheer? Would it be too much to ask to get a Star on my office door?...Well, okay, maybe that is carrying things a bit too far.

But like my perfect slapstick moment, our 'performances' go unheralded. Oh sure, if we're lucky enough to have the work accepted, it will eventually get read. But will anyone stand up and applaud the fourth Stooge?

I think not.   

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