If I Had More Time I Might Be a Plumber

What compels the non writer to approach the writer and say things like “I’d write a book, too, if I had more time”? or “I should be a writer, but I don’t have the time.” What a flippant statement. It’s as though all writers work at dream jobs where they make oodles of money for dreaming.

When the plumber visits my home and lies on his back beneath my sink with tools I barely recognize, and twists pipes, pulls out hoses and gets dirty, I don’t say, “I would do that myself, but I’m too busy.”

A good friend of mine was taking a creating writing course as part of his political degree. He’s actually a great writer, especially memoir. He asked me to proofread and edit his personal essay. I was pleasantly envious of his piece called “Redwood Paddle.” He asked, “Why would you ever choose this as your career? It’s so hard.” I laughed, and said, “I didn’t. It chose me.”

Recently, a man I met kept inviting to his house. I said No repeatedly because I’m trying to finish my childhood memoir for a book contest. I told him, Writing is a matter of life and death for me. He said, “I wouldn’t say it’s a matter of life of death for me. I do it for work.” I wanted to say, “No shit.”

Writing is not a matter of life and death for the non writer. I don’t mean to sound snarky or elitist. But whatever your passion, whatever you do to get you through this thing called life–whether it be painting, farming, working with kids, quilting, cooking, social work, nursing, gardening, leather crafting, bead work, etc., Only you understand that love, that drive, that devotion, that calling, and why you desperately need to do it. I’ve been a writer since I was able to put letters on paper. Often I wish I was a plumber. But I just don’t have the time.

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Corn is a four letter word.

Reblogging with edits, because it was so well-liked. Enjoy!

The Cobbler's Daughter

Three years ago, I almost lost my son Vinny to his severe food allergy to tree nuts. He secretly ate a piece of toffee and lied about it. While his father and I sat in the E/R crying and watching Vinny sleep off his Benadryl/Epi-pen-induced coma, the doctor came out and said, “That boy needs to be under the care of an allergist.” Within the week, Vinny had an appointment.

We already knew Vinny was allergic to peanuts and tree nuts from an earlier blood test. But now we were requesting a food panel. They would only test for a couple foods, because of his potential for an anaphylaxic reaction. I agreed to be tested, too, to offer moral support. Turned out Vinny and I are both allergic to cats, dust, dust mites, and all the grasses, weeds, and trees that grow in Idaho. He’s also allergic to dairy and…

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