Home is the one place you can be yourself. The place where you can try things for the first time. And maybe the second time too, if you’re convinced no one is watching. You can wear the purple sweats hubby hates so much he calls them your Barney Suit. He’ll even look you in the eye when you can’t find them anywhere and swear he didn’t throw them away. He didn’t lie either. Cleaning out the bottom of the grandkids’ toy closet two years later I found a double-tied Wal-Mart bag inside a double-tied Wal-Mart bag stuffed inside a battered Barbie satchel. Being the curious person I am I tore them open.
Imagine Hubby’s chagrin when he came home to me lounging on the sofa in my freshly washed and dried Barney Suit. Even the kids groaned. I still bring it out on special occasions. Payback isn’t a b*tch; it’s a wife with a Barney Suit!
Writers have places they’re comfortable as well. Places they aren’t afraid to toss out ideas, describe dreams, cheer successes or cry out disappointments. Probably why we call them ‘home’ chapters. I feel so very proud of my GCCRWA home, and so lucky to have found it.
Writing experiences compare with home action too. One of the grandsons got too long-legged for the swing so we shortened it. Clever, he watched how it was done and shortened it more. Trick swinging became all the rage. At least until he slipped off while hanging from his knees and plowed up the ground with his face. Oh, the indignity of being held down by two adults while a third digs mud from your nostrils with Q-tips. Once we had him where he could snort the worst free I learned faces can glow even while streaked with dirt. He dismissed the crash-and-burn, asking over and over, “Did you see me, Mawmaw? Did you see? I was flying!”
Sometimes writing is like that swing set. And Trick Swinging. You play with the adjustment until you find the perfect height to fit your legs. You get comfortable on the seat and start to glide according to your mood. You can push off with just your toes and rock back and forth, lost in dreamy contemplation. Or you can pump with your legs for all you’re worth, harder and higher until the chain links pinch your fingers, laughing and whooping when your stomach drops as the sky rushes to meet you on the up-swing, and the ground flies away coming back. And sometimes we slip, ending up with scrapes and grass stains.
A good writer isn’t afraid to try that swing. He or she can take you along for that ride. Even let you experience the fall, wincing and shouting ouch as you tumble with him. But the thing to remember is there are all sorts of swings. And everyone swings in their own way, to the degree they feel comfortable. No one way is right or wrong.
As far as those scrapes? Someone at ‘home’ can apply the literary Neosporin to the marks left by a bad contest score. You learn things may sting initially, but everything heals over if you don’t keep picking at it. The grass stains? In writing they come out with an eraser or delete key, and the fabric of the story becomes fresh and new again, stronger for the care.
And with the Trick Swinging? Not everyone has the daring and fortitude for it. It requires the ability step out of your comfort zone. Take a risk. Experiment a little. But the thrill of accomplishment can be so worth the effort. Even if they take a few verbal hits from others who don’t understand why a person would want to hang from their knees in public in the first place! lol Hey, not everyone can hang from their knees! So Trick Swingers have my admiration and support for their particular talent.
I have a few pics and captions to share this week. All in the spirit of Trick Swingers and Barney Suits!
Keep writing your heart out. Risk putting your work out there. I want everyone to be able to say: “Did you see me? I was flying!”