Thursday, January 8, 2015


"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." --George Orwell

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Calling it Quits

I'm a chronic quitter.

Recently, a conversation at dinner with relatives about this problem of mine bothered me so much that I -- guess what? -- got up and left the table.

Don't get me wrong -- if I have a responsibility, I follow through.  You can count on me to do what I say I will.  That's a fact. 

However, give me a task that no one is waiting with bated breath for me to finish and I...well...I usually won't finish it.  When the going gets tough, I get going.   For example:

Getting my permit to drive a boat on Lake Leman: I took one boating class listing all the ways one was to hang a flag to communicate with other boaters and knew I wouldn't continue.  It was too much like learning a new language.

Learning Swiss German (Bernese dialect): Listened to three tracks on the cd and figured I'd forget it.  This was learning a new language.  I'd had a hard enough time with French, but Swiss German was a tongue twister.

Driving stick shift: 10 lessons with a driving teacher that could make Satan seem lovable.  I actually broke into tears every time I reached an intersection.  Thank God for automatic.

Making macarons:  I got a fancy macaron kit and a ton of brightly colored food dye.  So far, I haven't even gotten as far as whipping up egg whites.  I mean, yes, it looks good, but it also looks like work.

Playing any and all Super Mario games:  Hit with X. Jump with A. Spin with Y.  Boost your power with B.  Uh, no.  I prefer the letters of the alphabet to spell something. Ciao, Mario.

Learning Jass:  Have you ever played this Swiss card game?  No?  Then don't judge.  Yes?  Then you should know why I quit.

Using a pressure cooker:  Let me just say it took days to clean the kitchen. Never again.

So why not add writing to that list?

Today while I was suffering in front of the computer, trying in vain to write, it occurred to me I could just quit. I could just forget writing completely.  I mean, it's what I usually do when things get difficult.  I wrote two books this year that have yet to see a publishing contract. Writing the third has been nothing but slow and steady torture. It's not like the world is waiting for me to pen something else. 

So why haven't I quit?  It might make my life easier.  Hell, it might even make my life better....

Writing is hard and I ask myself every day why I do it.  And every day I decide to continue even though I don't exactly know the answer. There are times when writing is fun and fulfilling.  But most often, I find writing an awful, difficult ordeal because I want to do it well.   I don't know if I write because it heals a gaping wound in my gut or if it's the act of writing that's created an ulcer. Do I write because when I see the word count stacking up, I finally feel worthy or I finally know it'll be finished?  Or do I do it because when I don't write, I don't like who I am?  But when I don't like who I am, I often don't want to write.  

I'm not sure what the real reason is.  But maybe it doesn't matter. Whatever the reason I write, it is vital to my being.

I'm a chronic quitter. I've given up on sewing, dancing, accounting, biking, running, tutoring and (luckily for all of you) singing.  But I never intend to give up on writing.

Just don't ask me why.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Worth Quoting

If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy. – Dorothy Parker

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Another "DUH" Moment

Meet stupid response girl right here.  Yep. That's me. *waves*

Here's my latest DUH moment. 

My manuscript has been with publishers since April.  And I'm super impatient to have news -- positive or negative.  I just want things to move so I can organize my life and state of mind accordingly.   So, when my agent told me my novel was still out with several publishers, I freaked.  In my mind I was going,  Is this a good sign?  A bad one?  Is there anything I can do to make this go faster?  This is killing me!  Please help!  

Instead, I responded: Why are they so slow? Do they have a lot to read?

Um. Yeah, Katie.  They're editors at publishing houses.  If they don't have a lot to read something is really wrong.

No major damage done apart from a major mental eye roll on the part of my agent.  And a nice little facepalm to myself.  Again.

What's your latest DUH moment?