25 August 2010

unfinished and in need of motivation

A few months ago, I started this piece.

And a few months later, it still isn't finished.  It's not that I have writer's block.  {And anyway, I know lots of tricks around writer's block, my favorite being:  do a handstand.  I think having the blood rush to my head while I focus on perfectly pointed toes helps the words flow.  This tip may not work well for writers who didn't do gymnastics for 17 years.}

I don't know why this is unfinished, and and so to motivate myself, I decided to post the beginning of it.  Even re-reading it now, I could feel more words coming, so I think this idea just might work.  If it doesn't, I expect a lot of handstands are in my near future.

{But see, the goal is that even just one other person would read this and say, "Oooh, you'd better finish this, or I'll come challenge you to a handstand contest and make you stay upside so long, you'll get scared about your head actually exploding."  That threat would work only if you're really, really good at handstands.  But you can fill in your own threat in order to make me finish this, if you think I should.}


“Hi, Kamiah. It's Mom. Just wanted to let you know that the girls and I are having a fine time here at home. We found some of your notebooks from middle school and high school in the upstairs closet, and we're really enjoying reading them. Talk to you later!”

It may have been my paranoia, but I'm pretty sure that in the background of my mom's voicemail, I could hear my nieces—the girls—shrieking with schaudenfreude. It's generally easier to laugh at an embarrassing situation when you're giddy with thankfulness that it isn't happening to you.

So that's the voicemail that induced a panic attack. Or a near panic attack: I had trouble breathing deeply, a sign that emotionally and physically, things aren't going as well as they could be.

Old notebooks.

From high school.

And oh good Lord, from middle school.

There should be a rule: thou shalt not be reminded of thy middle school self on a Thursday afternoon, 10 minutes before a conference call thou are leading.

And that rule should fall under the law: It is illegal to induce flashbacks to middle school before a person reaches their 30th birthday. After you're 30, flashbacks are allowed because if you haven't accepted by then your inner unpopular, nerdy, awkward self, you need external help.

I tried to figure out what notebooks my mom was talking about.

Journals? I was sure I had taken all those with me—packed into a sacred and fear-creating box that was covered in skulls and crossbones, the mark of the beast, and stick figures who look like a particular type of serial killer that normal serial killers would be scared of.

Anything to keep people from opening the box and seeing even the covers of my journals.

But as I dialed my mom—not that any of us really dial anymore on our cell phones—I saw two journals in my head: my diary from middle school and a notebook I wrote in throughout high school when I was feeling especially angsty. {Emo, as a word and concept, hadn't been invented yet when I was in high school. Therefore, I'm sticking with the heavy German angst.}


  1. Those indeed were the notebooks. Reading the old stories by their auntie inspired the girls to write - always good to do.

  2. You *do* need to finish this! I'm not sure what I could threaten you with to make you finish though...

  3. If you don't finish this story with an appropriately embarrassing conclusion, it will be highly disappointing. I'm sure that's why you haven't actually finished it.



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