Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Surely Another Writer

Late last week, I came across a mini-anthology of poetry which contains my only published poem. It’s the result of a nine-years-ago contest conducted by our local poetry group. Since it’d been some time since I’d last looked through the collection, I did so again, curious to see what names, now familiar these years later, popped out at me. The name of one local poet did catch my eye—someone whom I’ve wound up getting to know and spend time with. When I told her about finding the chapbook, and seeing her three poems in it, she commented that she had a vague recollection of those poems, and wondered how I relate, now, to my own poem from the collection. Well, I’d cringed when I reread it—I’d do it so differently, now. And, as she said about herself, “It was surely another [person] who wrote that.”
I guess it’s a good sign that something I wrote a little more than nine years ago makes me cringe. I must be getting somewhere, after all. And maybe I am maturing in my craft. Maybe I’m maturing as a person, as well. 
But let’s not allow my cringing to be the final word on the matter. For one thing, knowledgeable people decided the poem was something other than cringy, for they published it. (And in fact, when our local paper ran its article about the collection, mine was one of the three or four poems mentioned by name.) I wrote the poem to the best of my abilities, then—just as I currently do, and will continue doing. Hopefully, I’ll be always improving, always seeing an increase across the years in the caliber of my writing. In a sense, I’ll forever be the same writer: writing to the best of my continually increasing ability.
Yet, I’ll also forever be another writer: changing, improving, building and developing upon what “surely another person” has done. Whatever greatness I might realize as a writer will be due to my standing on the shoulders of those other persons.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Big Conversation

Sometimes the old standard-issue reasons for doing something, especially why you do your art, become, indeed, standard-issue and old. The more they’re recited, the more they ring as outworn and untrue. Hopefully, a new perspective on the why, a revision as it were, comes along and you see again with clarity why you continue the hard and often isolating work.
Recent discussions with a Western Slope poet and educator have brought me this sort of beginner’s eye regarding the reason why I persist with my writing. It’s not a new idea whatsoever, and it’s always been there, even if unrecognized and unnamed: I write to engage, be involved in, and expand the Big Conversation.
There are matters and issues about life which are central and important: love, relationships, community, integrity, compassion, empathy, openness, focusing, becoming/being whom we’re meant to be. Each of these categories is expansive and has a plethora of entry-points and multiple layers. The connections and overlaps among them are, likewise, numerous. Discussions about them are much of what comprises the Big Conversation—the nitty-gritty stuff at the foundational core of our lives.
In defining, vocation, Frederick Buechner said it’s, “the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” For me, the Big Conversation fulfills both. It’s what I most wish to be engaged in and what the world appears most desperate for.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Putting Yourself “Out There”

Maybe because I was born last, I learned to stay out of people’s way, to not be a problem to others, to be quiet, blend into the scenery, and not call attention to myself. And so here I am, X number of years later, a writer, which requires a special kind of putting yourself out there, of presenting yourself to people. Even people who never knew of your existence until you popped up in front of them. It’s not enough to heckle the people you know; you have to also do it to complete strangers.
We artists can tend to not be social critters—which comes in quite handy when the crafting of our artistry needs to get done. Mostly by default, we’re polite and humbly meek. We typically try not calling attention to ourselves. It’s best when we’re off others’ radars. But art requires an audience, which means we artists can’t keep our output tucked away somewhere; we have to publicly display it.
Awhile back, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, a poet of my recent on-line acquaintance, sent me a copy of her just-published work, to review. In the thank you card she included, she wrote, “It’s so hard for me to put myself out there this way,” but that my openness and excitement toward her work, “went a long way toward making it seem ‘okay.’”
I recently asked her about this, because Rosemerry is very definitely, “out there,” what with readings, workshops, co-hosting a monthly video-taped program with Telluride’s Wilkinson Public Library, various group poetry performances, and also published work. (She has yet another collection, coming very soon.) Her reply mentioned the paradox of the scariness of sending deeply personal and intimate work into the world; yet there being little real risk, because the ego isn’t so involved. She concluded with, “I guess my point is that it is a stretch to ‘join the big conversation’ as I like to say, but at the same time it begins to feel dangerous not to. We are all in it together, and if it rises up to join in, then join in!”

Thursday, September 27, 2012

How It’s Done

A little over two decades ago, when my becoming a writer was still a newly-borne dream, I read Pam Houston’s, “How to Talk to a Hunter.” I had two reactions: “Oh crap, I’m so far from being able to write something like this,” and, “Cool, this is what’s possible.” Currently, I’m reading Patricia Hampl’s, I Could Tell You Stories, and I’m having the same sensations of recognizing how far I still have to go, while seeing the world of possibilities opening further.
I still don’t write stories anywhere near the caliber of Houston’s, “Hunter.” Then, that particular story stands out when compared to the rest of her work. Yet, I could surely select any of her short stories and still see a distance between hers and mine. It’d be easy to get discouraged, to lay the pen down, and go back to being a French Fry Master at BurgerLand. Fortunately, that second realization also arrives. Just because I’m unable to do as well, now, absolutely does not mean I never will. Ron Carlson repeatedly states that, “the writer is the one who stays in the room.” He means they stay in the writing chair, staying with the story, rather than getting up for another cup of coffee, to look out the window to check on the weather, to go to the stacks to make sure some fact they’ve just written is accurate. Surely, he also means they stay with writing, “in the room,” across the years, returning day after week after month to confront the empty pages.
Due to my having read her award-winning short story, I’ve continued following Houston’s career. I’ve read interviews where she mentions much the same frustrations and discouragements I’ve had. Reading this, especially more than once and across several years, levels the playing field. She, too, is mortal, struggles with and for her craft. It also places the reins back into mine own hands. If one mortal can achieve such writing, then so can this mortal; therefore, shuddup with your whining, and write.

Monday, September 17, 2012

You Never Know

The life of a writer, an artist, can be isolating. While you’re likely not working in a windowless garret; you are, nonetheless, working in solitude. Eventually, you send your work out into the world; and then it’s back to the grindstone, isolated and alone again.
What you’ve sent out into the world is out there, on its own, “under consideration.” You wish it well, hope it’s well-received, but your focus and priorities are now on the next project. What is done is done. Hopefully, what you’ve sent out is accepted, thus finding its place in the world. And it’s from there the life your project leads will take it places you’ll never know of—unless word comes back to you.
One of the things I consistently do is write a short piece for my church’s monthly newsletter. Years ago, I gave a printout of one of these to a friend who worked in the same real estate office as the woman I’d written about. A few months later, I learned that this woman had hit a low spot, questioning whether what she did really mattered. My friend showed her what I’d written, telling her, “It’s about you.” My friend me that that little piece of my writing effected a one-eighty in her co-worker’s outlook on herself and her life. Had I not been told this, I likely would have totally forgotten that little bit of writing, having let it fall from memory like the previous newsletter bits before, and most of them since.
John Lennon wrote, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Sometimes, while we’re focused elsewhere, a project we’ve worked on, finished, and sent out into the world is still out there, working; still not finished. And we may never know.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Playing Well With Peoria

I don’t think there’s a writer who hasn’t been asked, “Where do you get your ideas?” It can a troubling question—seems it’d be easy to answer, yet it can be frustratingly not so. Stephen King has a ready reply at his disposal: “I buy them from two spinster sisters who live in Peoria.”
In asking where one gets their ideas, it can be inferred the questioner is expecting a singular answer; and perhaps there are writers for whom such is the case. But most of us, I think, struggle with finding inspiration: It can seem such a shy, pensive, volatile and elusive critter, we don’t know, ourself, from whence it comes. Telling somebody that we buy them, somewhere, gives a sought-for elegant answer, while making us seem witty. Additionally, this answer’s humor can serve to point out the ridiculous nature of the question. (“Well now, inquisitive one, tell me, where do any ideas you have come from, hmm?”)
It’s a writing cliché that, “ideas are everywhere, all around us,” and the word we typically use for the getting of our ideas, “inspiration,” has its origins in Latin, indicating an in-take of breath. So is it much of a stretch to say we breath in our ideas, our inspirations, that they’re a literal part of us? (This also takes care of the notion that, “inspiration must come from within.”)
If only it were that simple. How many of us have come to the writing and found nothing? We’re constantly breathing in, ergo, supposedly constantly receiving inspiration; however… (And don’t tell us to, “be open,” because we are; we’ll take anything, right now.) Sometimes, this dryness or emptiness comes after a particularly fecund period of writing, and we wonder what’s suddenly happened. At other times, it’s part of a long dry spell, and we wonder when it’s going to end. Perhaps it’s because there seems to be no explanation for the fecund and the fallow periods, and because ideas seem to come to us, rather than from us, that the notion of muses is still with us.
Maybe King is also being hopeful in saying he gets his ideas from those two sisters. When all else fails, see what’s playing in Peoria.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Age Thing

In a recent blogpost, I listed reasons I envied a particular Western Slope poet, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer. One of my reasons was her being six years my junior, yet already so much further ahead of me. Perhaps because I’m the baby of my family, age has always been a factor, a gauge, for longer than I can remember. Too, I grew up in Texas, sorta the South, where regard and respect for one’s elders is axiomatic. And even now, as I’m but a year and small change from AARP age, I’m still feeling behind, like the baby of the writing family—even amid those younger than I.

Those of my tribe who are older than I, nonetheless, at ages much younger than my current one, had accomplished so much already. When Terry Tempest Williams came to a bookstore in Colorado Springs for a reading and signing of, Red, she was already such a name that the bookstore had to hand out seating tickets, which were filled weeks ahead of her arrival. During the event, Williams had just the month before turned nearly three years younger than I am, now.

Here I am, on the cusp of half a century, with so phenomenally little to show for my writing: A dozen, maybe a dozen and a half, book reviews; handful of essays, several rejected short stories. Every writer I see is, or was, at least ten full years ahead of me. The latest bloomer I can find is, Annie Proulx, who wasn’t published until she was forty. (I was forty-three when my first book review was published.) Typically, by their early- or mid-thirties, a writer’s career is already being established, if not already firmly so. Reading John McPhee say he submitted to The New Yorker for ten years until they accepted his work exacerbates my feelings of inadequacy and having come far too late to the party.

Yet, listen to me, being upset and despairing because I’m not following convention. Acting as though I have to give up my vocation because I’ve become later along in my years in answering it. As though because I’ve had a late start, I’m destined, doomed, to never finish. Too, I forgetting one of the crucial traits writers and artists must possess: persistence.

Writing, like much any art, can be isolating and lonely. It can be despairing during the tough spells. It can seem an easier and better thing to chuck it all for something more sensible, more conventional. For those of us without a family or readily-available support group to spur us onward through the fog and muck, to remind us of our abilities and how the world is needfully hungry for our gifts, it can seem even more uphill, even more isolating and lonely.

Early in my association with Susan J Tweit, I was commenting how it seemed I hadn’t gotten much of anywhere, even after all my years of writing. “I think you’re further along than you think,” she replied. At around the same time, during a writing conference, WC Jameson pulled me aside and told me much the same thing. Perhaps this is where talent, ability isn’t enough. I’ve read Georgia O’Keeffe regarded herself as possessing mere average talent, but above average arrogance. Afterall, writing is the easy part. It’s the placing your work into the outside world that takes courage. Perhaps it’s something other than talent for writing that’s placed so many of the rest of my tribe so far ahead of me.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


You don’t use your imagination. It uses you. –Wendy Videlock.
I don’t believe that people choose to be writers: the words choose the people; and they choose pretty carefully. –David Lee.

Hopefully, one doesn’t have to have been writing long before they encounter the sense that something separate from themselves is driving things. Some folks talk about receiving inspiration, being taken by an idea that won’t let go until it’s made manifest, of being called to their writing. If they’re called, then who’s the caller?
Allow me a moment to acknowledge that not every writer feels the presence of some outside entity joining them in the studio; and there’s much to be said against laying too much responsibility and accountability in the hands of anyone other than ourselves. But I’ve noticed that even the seemingly most atheistic and philosophically materialistic of writers will, at least off the record, admit to times when it feels more like they’re dictating or transcribing, rather than writing. There does, indeed, seem to be a willing (willful) partner in the game.
There’s a creative-centric bon mot, “When the muse calls, don’t send it to voice-mail.” Thus, I must pick one particular nit with what Lee says: The world is riddled with those who have chosen to ignore, turn away from, where they’re called to go; we do exercise some choice in the matter.
Likewise, as I said earlier, we still have responsibility to and accountability for the work we’re called to do. As Twyla Tharp noted in, The Creative Habit, “…but whether or not God has kissed your brow, you still have to work.” Being called requires an answering, and a taking of action.
When someone displays a particular talent that distinguishes them, we’ll say they have been gifted with writing/drawing/singing/whatever; or we’ll say they have a gift for whatever, or are a gifted ________. This gift stuff isn’t isolated, isn’t unidirectional. Our talent is a gift we receive, and one we’re obligated to share.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Time Enough for a Proper Mess

Recently, I attended a Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer poetry reading, put on by Western Colorado Writers' Forum, in Grand Junction. It was a small group of us who attended. (Well, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was also in town that night...) I brought with me, An Elevated View: Colorado Writers on Writing, in hopes Trommer would sign the opening page of her essay, "From Pretty Pink Bows to Chicken Manure: Embracing Poetry as Practice."
After her reading, I took the book with me when I walked up to greet and thank her. When she laid it on a table in order to sign it, she began laughing, telling me that in the four years since she'd written and submitted it, she's developed so much as a writer. "I read this [essay], and I feel sorry for the woman who wrote it. My writing is so different now."
Two years ago, The Paris Review interviewed John McPhee. One of the many things discussed in the interview is the necessity for writers to allow time enough to develop their craft. McPhee says he submitted to The New Yorker for at least a full decade until they finally accepted something. "And they were not making a mistake."
But this isn't what Trommer was mainly talking about. She feels her writing was too constructed, not "messy" enough. "Writing is not meant to be contained, it's meant to be wild and messy." That she would say this about this essay tickles me, for it's one the essay's main topics: the need for her work to be less orderly. And while it is true that writing can be polished and well-crafted to such an extent that there's no life left, (what Salman Rushdie has called, "a widespread, humorless, bloodless competence"), the reason we repeatedly revise our drafts is because they're not submittable, publishable work, yet.
So, once again, the murky middleground: Good writing is to be contained and structured enough that it flows, but not so much so that it ceases flowing with life. Writing isn't, "For Display Purposes Only," but is to be sent out into the world, living and breathing, to find its way, to find where it belongs.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mutually Green-eyed

Early this year, I became Facebook friends with Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, a poet from Colorado’s Western Slope. Recently, she posted on her wall a link to, fellow writer, Christie Aschwanden’s blogpost about envy. The impetus of the blogpost, oddly, was Rosemerry’s expressing to Christie her jealousy of her. That Rosemerry would have any reason to be jealous of another person seems so bass-ackward wrong. It ought to be the other way around. How does yours truly envy Rosemerry? The number of reasons is incredible, but here are four:

1) She has a much fuller “outside life” than I, yet still manages to write (and publish, on-line) every day.
2) She has a prestige that allows her to make a living from her writing. (Okay, the prestige is more than well-earned, but still…)
3) The woman is everywhere: conferences, workshops, readings, open mics, photo shoots, bookstore events and others. (See #2, above.) Still, I’ve never seen her look anything other than vibrant, hale, and hearty.
4) Finally, and most harshly, the woman is six years younger than I, yet so far ahead of me. Much more than six years, it seems.

In my FB dealings with Rosemerry, I’m sure I’ve teasingly called her a goddess, at least once. But the truth is she’s merely, thoroughly, human, with all that that implies and contains. Again, the seed crystal event that led to Christie’s blogpost was Rosemerry finally meeting her, and saying how she’d envied her. So much so, in fact, Rosemerry’d written a poem about her jealousy, which she recited to Christie, on the spot, when they finally met. And, in the ironic way life often works, Christie quickly fired back with her own poem, expressing her own envy of Rosemerry. She’d been made uncomfortable by Rosemerry’s poem; and Rosemerry was subsequently uncomfortable because of Christie’s.
The irony deepens, saddens further actually, because they each were jealous of the other’s writing. Full-bore, award-winning, nationally-recognized writers, each of them; and still, this envy. And it was mutual.
Perhaps the reason envy is included in the Seven Deadly Sins is because it leads one to discount, to dismiss, one's own gifts. To discount and dismiss themselves. And because it incorrectly depicts the connection between gift and recipient. (It’s a shaky, troublesome thing, separating, distinguishing the two.) The bumper sticker says, We’re all alone in this together. That’s what envy manifests.
I gave reasons why I envy Rosemerry, which I too often do, and she’s not at all the only one, nor the only writer, I gaze at through the wrong end of the telescope with my “green” eyes. However, I have talents and abilities which even Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, in all her magnificence, doesn’t have. Focusing on what I lack keeps me from furthering my own abundance. 

O me! O life! of the questions of these recurring, 
...Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, 
and who more faithless?) 
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the 
struggle ever renew'd, 
...The question, O me! so sad, recurring--What good amid these, O me, O life? 

That you are here--that life exists and identity, 
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. 

-Walt Whitman

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

In the past few weeks, I’ve received both my state and federal tax refunds, as well as an end-of-year “profit sharing” check from the hospital where I work. With this influx of funds I acquired new and brighter lighting for my workspace, an office chair to replace a sixteen-year-old folding chair, a bookshelf, Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, and two fountain pens. Other than the compact fluorescent bulbs and the bookshelf, which made immediate obvious improvements, I continued waffling a bit regarding whether these purchases had been necessary.
It’s part of the suffering artist shtick to force ourselves to be spare and minimal. As a writer, what more do I really need than something to write on, and something to write with? I have a computer and printer, isn’t that lush enough? And as for fountain pens, I already had four in steady rotational use—and two more that weren’t being used. The metal folding chair was still capably supporting my butt, with nary a wobble or a creak.
Now that there’s been some time to let the dust settle, I’m not feeling so harsh toward myself. In previous posts I’ve mentioned how my writing seems to be opening up, this calendar year. The recent acquisitions seem both natural outgrowth of this expansion of my writing, as well as “carroting” the writing that’s to follow. They’re acknowledging the writing so far, and also coaxing me further still along.
It’s a cliché that writing is about keeping your ass in the chair. Now, I have a chair that makes doing that more tantalizing. I’m eager to be playing with the new fountain pens, and there’s so many good things regarding playing while creationing. And how can it be wrong for a writer to finally get their first “for grown-ups” dictionary? Again, an answering where you are at the moment, while calling you toward the territory ahead.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Where We Work

In the four-plus years I’ve known Susan J Tweit, I’ve coveted her writing space. With its views, its layout, its two shelves of books, its being set aside solely for her writing, I feel I could produce incredible writings. (Much moreso than at the desk I currently have crammed against my apartment’s living room wall.) Likewise, many of the local artists have long longed for her husband’s large and thoroughly-stocked studio, where he turned boulders into sculpture.
I’ve just finished reviewing David E Hilton’s recently published first novel, Kings of Colorado, for, Colorado Central. I was struck by Hilton’s seemingly innocuous placement of details, early on, which develop into resonant symbols or are the beginnings of the filo layers of the story.
 “Writers write,” goes the aphorism; and Ron Carlson says, “The writer is the one who stays in the chair.” Andre Dubus III wrote, The House of Sand and Fog, “in the front seat of my car.” Hilton wrote his novel, “mostly in his apartment’s stairwell just after the birth of his first son.”
That such haunting works have been crafted under such conditions should be a strong lesson for all of us—artists, especially; writers even moreso. What matters isn’t so much the place outside us where we do our work, as is the place we are inside ourself.
 Back in college, my advanced comp professor would listen only so long to our whinings and questions about an assignment until she’d bark, “Shuddup and write.”
Ah, but excuses come simply and readily, don’t they? And there are rational reasons we don’t give our craft the time and attention it deserves. But, according to Dr Gregory House, played by Hugh Laurie, “Excuses are the lies we tell others; rationalizations are the lies we tell ourself.”
So where else does that leave us, but fully responsible for, accountable to, our craft? Me? I’m hearing again and again, Dr Cockelreas’, Shuddup and write.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Getting to Work

There is a notion that creative people are absentminded, reckless, heedless of social customs and obligations. It is, hopefully, true. For they are in another world altogether.  –Mary Oliver.

For over a month, I’ve been riding a surge with my writing. Every day I’ve written at least a couple of pages worth. There have been snags, mornings when it’s been difficult to sit before the open pages and fill them, but I’ve managed to nonetheless persist doing so—even when it’s taken two or three sessions in the same day to accumulate a substantial enough amount of writing: say, half an hour’s worth.
Yesterday, however, I wasn’t getting any writing done, and the day continued with me not writing, saving the doing so for later. Even when I knew what “later” was turning into, I continued deluding myself, forgetting that like tomorrow, later was about to never come. (Eventually, however, I did finally come to the blank page, writing this blogpost-to-be.)
Every day is a decision. Sometimes, it’s as though the decision to continue with the craft is made for us already, is obvious. Other times, we have to force ourselves to heed the call. Hopefully, on those days we struggle to keep on keeping on, we’re rewarded somehow: some imp of an inspiration metastasizes into something incredible. Sometimes, though, all we’re left with afterward is just the triumph of not having succumbed to the easier path of “tomorrow/later.”
I’ve noticed for years now that I’m on time for my 9-5 job, every day. In fact, I’m nearly always a little early getting there. Even on the days I don’t want to go to work, which are increasingly common by the way, I show up on time, ready to get to work. For my vocation, though? Well, note that I’ve stated half an hour is considered, “substantial;” and “over a month” of writing is, “a surge.”
For a job that I’m weary of, that I’m ready to be rid of, I’m punctual. For my vocation, my passion? Well… Let's just say I have miles to go.
Quoting Mary Oliver (again): If I have a meeting with you at three o’clock, rejoice if I am late. Rejoice even more if I do not arrive at all.
Not to be snarky, totally asocial, but rather, to heed and honor the call.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Whispered by Name

In last week’s blogpost I mentioned being amid an upsurge of good things regarding my writing. One of those “good things” will happen tomorrow night, when I’ll be included with a gaggle of writers in celebrating a local bookstore’s re-opening at its new location. The writers’ part of the celebration is being called, A Rapid Fire Salute To The Written Word. Each writer will be given one minute to read something they’ve written. Here’s a short list of writers invited: Kent Haruf, Laura Hendrie, Susan J Tweit, Felice Larsen, and Mark Irwin. For me to be included in a presentation with any one of these writers is a substantial honor and blessing. To be included with the entire lot? To be among the limited number there are spots for? Well, even though I’m a skilled writer, I’m not finding words that do justice.
Perhaps one of the sorceries of small towns is that you’re seen for who and what you are, even when it’s still unapparent to you. Since the days before moving to this magical mountain valley river town, I’ve considered myself merely a beginning writer. And while that may be true, in a sense, I am considered by those around me as something more than, something other than, “beginning.”
It’s not an uncommon occurrence for writers to hold themselves at bay, keep themselves in check until they’re given “permission.” Typically, this permission is received when someone whose judgment carries weight calls them by name, calling them a writer. The irony is that this receiving permission has never been necessary, for the writer has always had it. It becomes something of a post facto realization—just like the fact that folks have been calling them by name, calling them, “writer,” for quite some time. It’s just been a little below hearing range, as though whispered.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

No Thunderclap

Over the past handful of weeks, there's been a subtle shift to my writing life. Several times a year I do book reviews for Colorado Central. When I started doing so, four years ago, it was by submitting unsolicited reviews. It didn't take long until then editor/owner, Ed Quillen, gave me a stack of books for possible reviewing; and the current editor/owner, Mike Rosso, regularly sends me books after asking whether I'm interested. But otherwise, all my submissions have been unsolicited.

Now, however, I'm being solicited to do work. There hasn't been anything out of the ordinary happening, nothing suddenly out of the blue. These solicitations have each been the logical progression of what's come before. And once these assignments are completed, it looks like I'll be back to making my own.

Perhaps it's due to the dramatic tendencies of a hope-to-be fiction writer that's made me envision there being some specific moment when all in a thunderclap the loose and stray bits would toggle into place. There would be the one moment when I would be recognized as a writer, and projects would inundate my lap. Silly moi, I forget too readily at times that life in general, and my life specifically, is a stealthy turning, and that my realizations tend to be a while after the fact. For instance, while there was a specific moment when I realized I'd become a significant thread in this town's tapestry, when I had that realization I also realized it had been so for some time, already.
No thunderclap. Just the persistent slow alterings wrought my steady time.