Outrage, Hope & Fear

It was announced that Ted Nugent is headlining my local county fair this summer. He’s an aging 70s rock star who spouts hatred, misogyny, prejudice and alternative facts. I wrote a letter to the fair committee and said that after a decade of enjoying the event I won’t be bringing my kids this year. I’m disgusted that my community is hosting this a-hole. I’m pissed off. I’m…playing right into Ted Nugent’s hands.

Ted Nugent issued a statement in response to the controversy that said, “Only liars and America hating scumbags have a problem with me.” WTF? This pissed me off more. Then I get pissed about letting Ted Nugent piss me off. Then I think about how our culture is addicted to outrage, and how the media feeds our outrage, and I get even more pissed off at the whole circle of outrage…F-you, Ted Nugent, for setting me off.

school-girl-using-computerThe whole thing makes me feel like I should do more yoga and meditation. Then I feel guilty for not doing enough yoga and meditation. It’s exhausting. And I’m tired of feeling exhausted all the time. And this pisses me off all over again. Is this ironic? Or merely Alanis Morissette-ironic?

But then there’s the flip side. Let me switch gears for a moment. I’m also hopeful about certain things. Like my kids. They calm me and ground me. They are my hope and joy. I’m excited to watch them navigate toward their goals despite the inevitable obstacles and frustrations they will face. I’m excited when my son talks about politics – he’s twelve and he’s into politics! He wants to make the world a better place. (He also wants to play Fortnite all the time, but oh well.)

The smile on my daughter’s face is brilliant. It fills my heart. I love watching her think. It’s like magic. The greatest thing about being a mom is the love. There’s nothing like it. The worst part is the worry. It never ends.

Which brings me to my fears. Loss is my biggest anguish. Although loss is a normal part of life — we lose our keys, hair, money, friends, jobs, our way — some of us lose our children and that’s irreparable. The loss of my oldest son keeps me up at night and it’s why I live in two worlds at once. But I would still do everything the same even if I knew having him would end with loss — I would still suffer the enormous heartbreak if I could be his mom again. And I would move time and space to make it happen.

Improbable Girl

If I were a superhero, I’d be “Improbable Girl” and my costume would be flannel pajama pants with a t-shirt. It’s not sexy or intimidating, and the name — Improbable Girl — doesn’t even have a nice ring to it.

superhero-girl-flyingBut it suits me.

I’m not your typical superhero that accomplishes the impossible. No, my superhero alter-ego achieves the improbable. I am armed with strength to face the unlikely events and circumstances of my life and keep going. Keeping going, aka, resilience, is Improbable Girl’s biggest superpower. That, and dressing comfortably.

Which brings me to writing.

For a long time I wrote mostly in journals. I filled volumes of unlined pages but couldn’t admit out loud that I wanted to be a “real” writer. Why? Success seemed impossible. Eventually, I let writing go.

Then something amazing happened – I finally realized what Popeye was talking about when he said, “I yam what I yam.” I also stopped caring about the wrong things, like fear of failure, and replaced it with a “fuck it, why not” attitude that is remarkably liberating.

Since adopting my new attitude toward writing (and life in general) I’ve been published, hired for jobs, and won awards as a blogger and screenwriter. I learned that being a writer isn’t impossible. It’s just merely improbable.

I write stories about ordinary people who summon the courage to make extraordinary changes in their lives, and illuminate how people navigate through smaller moments that are no less dramatic to them. I seek to express my character’s intimate moments, their vulnerability and flashes of insight that alter their choices.

My life experience taught me about love, loss, grief, reinvention and resilience and these are the themes I am most interested in exploring in my writing. And I hope to do it with humor and depth.

And comfortable clothes.

Places Where I’m Unreasonably Optimistic

  1. The travel-size section at Walgreens (I’m taking all the cute minis on my trip)
  2. The exercise aisle at Five Below (I’d exercise if I had a new yoga mat…and block…and pedometer…and)
  3. The produce section at Costco (I’m only eating salad from now on)
  4. The Container Store (Gonna organize everything)
  5. Barnes & Noble (I’ll make time to read a whole book)
  6. REI (Sleeping outside looks fun)
  7. Any hotel gym (I’m totally gonna treadmill on vaycay)
  8. The Great Escape (We need a pool, right?)
  9. Any craft store (I’ll make this…and this…and)
  10. Home Depot (Let’s play in all the fake kitchens)
  11. The boat show (I could get used to this)
  12. An open house (Ooh, nice trafalet)
  13. A buffet (I can try whatever I want)
  14. The Kwik-Mart (My Powerball ticket is the winner)
  15. Parking garages (I always get a good spot)