Sometimes, as a writer, I feel like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. A misunderstood dreamer, I try to be myself only to encounter the irritating and instigating Miss Gulch who is an unrelenting mirror of my weaknesses, yet an itch of inspiration that pushes me to know and understand myself better. I’ve got my own true Toto, my husband, supporting me with unconditional love through my time-consuming and expensive adventure.
Like Dorothy, I encounter exotic munchkins, themselves leery of taking the yellow brick road, wicked witch-nasty rough drafts that are unacknowledged heroes of their own stories, spear-wielding castle guards (the gatekeeper agents) and self-protective trees (editors bent on minimizing risk). I trudge through opium fields of intermittent successes: writing awards and small venue publishing – just enough to keep me high, at least anesthetized. Then there’s the traveling psychic/wizard, an ambiguous and well intentioned internal con artist that has me barking up wrong trees that turn out to be distractions.
Most important are three true friends that help along the way.
Nib turns out to be the least cowardly of lions, rearranging her personal life to find elusive happiness, braving new adventures, earning an advanced degree to move forward in her career, confidently writing until success explodes. She virtually shivers with an unrelenting and sincere energy. She says it as she sees it, never cowering. She’s my role model of success born of courage.
Folio is the brainy scarecrow, collaborator extraordinaire, always the modest voice of reason. She’s tall and lean and strong, inside and out. She offers sage advice, both personal and professional, not to mention rides to the doctor. She’s saved the day more than once with her generous suggestions. She’ll tie herself up with you in a project and drag you to higher ground.
Storm Petrel is a gentle tin-man, all heart, an exterior of metal with an interior of velvet sweetness. Patient and kind in a million ways. If I call, she’s there for me and my family with soothing sustenance and treats and help whenever it’s needed. Supportive and loving and modest despite her own wild writing successes.
It is nice to know that heart, courage and reason have my back. What more can a writer on this sometimes disheartening adventure ask for? My sisters have always been there for the discouraging days and for the celebrations of triumph. Without them I may have taken the easy way and gone home to Kansas prematurely, unchanged.
There’s not enough gratitude in the world for the journey shared and the heel-clicking aid of my sisters. Thank you! Love always, Inkpot