Today was almost perfect. It started with my best friend Tabitha inviting me to eat lunch at the Hu-Dat Noodle House restaurant, which we ended up eating bun bowls… yum! Anyways, it was something new for me. I had never been to that restaurant. So we had fun chatting while we ate, and since we still had some time before I planned to go to the movies. We went to Barnes & Noble. This is normal for some of my closest friends and I. Tabitha and I like to do silly things, especially in bookstores. We looked around at books, and magazines (especially a Doctor Who one [Issue 462], that had really cool, but small, comic inside). Later on, we got an idea as we were walking through the bookshelves. Tabitha posed for a picture where she was lifting a set of Anne Rice books higher than a set of Twilight books. As I was taking the picture, a guy walked by, and I started to laugh. He must have thought we were weird. Though for us, we don’t mind. We’re nerds, the cool weird is what we like to be always. When we were leaving, Tabitha realized that she left her keys in her car.
She didn’t know what to do, and I had planned on going to the movies soon. I thought about it, and knew what was really important. My friend needed me. So I gave her a ride back home to pick up her extra key, and head back to the bookstore. From there, I wasn’t sure if I would make it to the movies on time. There was only two showings for digital, not 3D (it costs more, and I can’t afford right now to spend extra). The time was getting closer to 2 pm, but I still decided to head over to the movie theater. I got there just in time. I couldn’t believe it. There was even some previews that I got to see before the movie started. Why does this all matter, you might say, well hopefully you’ll understand by the end of this post.
As I watched, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, it was nice to dive into a familiar story, and see it visually enfold in front of me. I had read the book, but it had been a while. So it still felt a bit new, besides the fact that I wasn’t sure how they would show the story. The movie turned out better than I thought it would. After I got out of the movie theater, I was really excited, that it surprised me. So much so that I was laughing about seeing a UPS truck as I was driving (it made me think of the movie), and skipping through Half-Price Books. Yes, another bookstore, I just felt in the mood to go. As I was wandering around, and looking through the books, I found a book [Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life] that a few local writers recommended from the writers group, South Texas Scribes. There was one book left, and knew that I had to get it. I’ve been trying lately not to spend much money, for many reasons, but I knew that this was a book worth buying. So I picked it up, and kept looking around.
After a little while, I started to look at the books by Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott. On the back cover of a small hard back was a quote by Louisa, which said, “I want to do something splendid… Something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead… I think I shall write books.” It was as if the quote was calling out and reminding me. Suddenly after things started to click, things that I had read or watched today, and it just made sense. First it was the Doctor and Amy Johnson telling Clara that it’s important to live in the moment. Then it was Percy Jackson, feeling like he maybe he wasn’t meant to be a hero and then rising up to do just that. What does this have anything to do with writing? Well, it reminded me that I need to live in the moment so I have something worth writing about. As well, to not give up, even if you feel like you’re not good enough, but keep going and you’ll make your own destiny. I want to write to explore, but also have something that I can leave behind. I needed all this to remind me why I want to write. I think some times we lose that, or at least I do.
As I got home, I chatted with my friend Melissa, and I was able to explain what had clicked into place in my mind. She was a bit distracted, since she was walking her dog while talking on the phone, but I could tell that she was happy that I was excited about my day. She was even having a good day herself. Which was nice because we had talked the day before about things that were bothering us. That conversation, yesterday, gave us a chance to vent out what we were feeling. I think we all need to vent out to our good friends, who are there for us always. We can’t hold it in because it just will continue to make it worse. It’s like little negative thoughts piling up, so sooner or later that pile will begin to painfully fall down. Though if we open that bottle up, and pour those thoughts out either by talking or writing, we get a reward of feeling better. I believe it’s all God’s way of helping us out. Not just the letting out those emotions, letting go, but also giving us signs to tell us what we need at the time, in a way that connects with us.
After the phone call, I began reading a bit of the book I had bought. I knew instantly this was a book I needed to read. Anne Lamott writes in a way that it feels like she is sitting right next to you, and talking to you about writing and her life. I feel almost like she is a kindred spirit, as well as my future self, and mentor all rolled into one. I would have read a bit more tonight, if I hadn’t stopped and decided to write this blog post, but I felt the need to. I guess it comes down to reading, the words that Anne said which caused me to write. “… We may notice amazing details during the course of a day but we rarely let ourselves stop and really pay attention. An author makes you notice, makes you pay attention, this is a great gift.”
It’s elementary, says Sherlock. As long as we pay attention, we’ll notice what is really happening around us and gives us a chance not only to solve problems (or cases), but also have something that you can write about. It might not be perfect the first time around, but almost. Why? You at least have words to work with after you write it all down. Later on, you can go back and see what could be improved. Then repeat. It’s what all writers say to other writers, keep writing even if everything seems to suck, because you’re practicing and as long as you do that, you’ll get better. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that not every day, or every time we sit down to write, it will be easy, but that it will be worth it. Anne is talking about her creative writing students when she says, “This is why they are here: they love to read, they love good writing, they want to do it, too.” Though it also applies to us, the readers of her book, as well as writers. That’s what it all comes down to.
I wouldn’t had almost perfect day, if I hadn’t paid attention. Why do I say almost? Well, you know nothing in this life is perfect but it sure can come close.