the days of cosmos and dreams

Home alone on a Friday night, I've indulged in Moe's chicken nachos (not as good as Qdoba!) and the SATC movie. Unthinkably, I hadn't seen the entire film until tonight. In October of 2008, I watched the majority of it at my gal pal's house the morning after her bachelorette party -- didn't get to see it all because hubs came to pick me up about the time Big and Carrie were supposed to get married. Hubs had to take me to retrieve my car from some dank alley in downtown Louisville, as I'd cabbed it back to said girlfriend's place at the end of that night with the drunkest of them.

In truth, my car was parked in a gated lot at my uncle-in-laws office.

I'd  began that evening at a posh party for Underwired magazine, which hub's aunt and uncle also attended. While drinking free wine and eating fancy food, I met two fabulous lady writers, the wonderfully feministic Javacia Harris and the ever effervescent Maisy Fernandez Draper. I was the teensiest bit awed to meet two real-live (then) Louisville-journalistas -- those Kentucky versions of Carrie Bradshaw (except without any Big drama) whose columns I'd read... but who, in person, were just really real. Inspiring.

After the party, my aunt-and-uncle-in-law claimed me and we ditched my car and headed to a swanky bar downtown, where Uncle paid for rounds and we sipped cocktails on low-to-the-ground white couches.

Next, they dropped me off so I could join the bachelorettes at the dive-bar where the bachelorette and her posse were indulging themselves in general debauchery and karaoke. I paid the dj so I could sing immediately (duh) and so that aunt-and-uncle-in-law could cheer me on, since they were only staying for one drink.

After karaoke, the girl group finished the night at Fourth Street Live! -- and in this situation, the exclamation point is not a sentence ender -- for club-type-dancing and what only felt to me like temple-throb-inducing techno music.

So, the next morning, when I awoke at the apartment of the bride-to-be, snuggled next to her and sharing her paisley blankets, I mostly thought of nothing but hangover remedies. But, when we forced ourselves out of bed and to the couch to start watching Sex and the City, I replayed the night in my mind.

Meeting those writers... I wanted to be those writerly ladies. Well, not exactly. I didn't have any desire to become a journalist. I just wanted to see my byline.

I submitted to Underwired. The theme that month was Time, and I wrote a perfectly shit piece about how time is ticking away... and there is never enough time. I probably used the word time about twenty times. I wrote it in fifteen minutes: submitted the very first draft after no more than a quick proofing.

(It was obviously not chosen for publication.)

I was so mortified that I never again submitted to the magazine.

Why did I give up? Why did I just do a 180, pretend that I didn't care, pretend that I didn't really want it? It was easier than facing the reality that I hadn't done my best work, that I felt entitled and sure I was a shoo-in.

It isn't that I quit writing, not at all. Still, I haven't attempted the essay route since then. I broke up with the form.

So much has changed since then -- less than two years ago -- when I had this smug swagger in my walk that screamed "born writer" with each footfall.

I've learned that natural talent is only the beginning, and that like anyone who is decent at anything -- you only become proficient with practice.

Maybe I'll submit again.

Like Carrie, staring at her monitor and tying Love... or Love.

Maybe I could stare at a blank screen and find my essay.

If not, I could always just re-watch Charlotte poop her pants.

Comments

Simon C. Larter said…
"I've learned that natural talent is only the beginning, and that like anyone who is decent at anything -- you only become proficient with practice"

True dat, good lady. True dat. Djou gotta work for it, mang.

Actually, I just got a rejection from an editor--a very kind one--in which he pointed out a bunch of mistakes I'd have caught if I'd edited more thoroughly. I got excited and submitted without giving it time to gel. So I feel you on that one, honey.

Keep workin' it. You'll crack that market if you really want to. Just wait till they have a themed issue about TMI, or something.... :)
Jon Paul said…
Hi Amber,

Maybe it's no big deal, but I really dig this post because of the honesty--the truth!--in it. You just laid it out there, plain and simple. You know what, it worked.

Your lesson learned is a good one. That, and a little honesty and hard work is all you need!
Ashley Stone said…
um....why have I never thought to pay the DJ so I could sing faster???? Light bulb!!!!

And you should totally try again, you're awesomespice. ; )
Jen said…
Oh my gosh the pooping her pants see made me laugh hysterically!!! I couldn't help but laugh!

What a cool thing that instead you met two awesome lady writers! SATC can always be watched but an opportunity like that only comes around once (maybe more but you get my drift!)
Oh my, life's hard little lessons. But yeah, you wouldn't be the first. We've all beentheredonethat. Glad you're back in the game. And have faith. As funny as it is to watch Charlotte poop her pants, I'd rather see you succeed.

AND I've tagged you in my latest post, chickie. I couldn't think of a better person to handle the madness.

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