Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I'm in Oz

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


  1. We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto!!! Oh, my dear Inkpot, what a lovely post. I'm flattered beyond belief. And remember, during her journey, Dorothy saved her friends as she learned what was most important. You've saved me so many times and I think you already know what's important, so you just need to skip along the Yellow Brick Road a bit longer - that big contract is waiting for you. Wait, I think I see it just ahead! Right next to the rainbow! Hugs! Folio

  2. One of the best things about Dorothy's journey (the movie, I'm sorry to say I didn't read the book) is the lasting and deep friendships she made and the impact she made on those friends. Through it all, the travelers had a great time on the road. This is a fantastic adventure and I'm so glad you chose me as a fellow traveler.

  3. Well, I am in literally in Kansas and Oz.and I once wrote a story called, the Witches of OZ, the story behind the story. My take on the adventures of Dorothy's heart took quite a different turn. After all, why did she have to get a broom before being swept off her feet?

  4. Short of calling your husband a dog, Inkpot, nicely played! I'm laughing with you, imagining "Mr. Inkpot's" reaction to your portrayal of him here. ;-] We should all have more gratitude in our lives, indeed--and ENJOY THE JOURNEY. I am quite grateful for all I have and who has helped me get to where I am. Very few things are done solo, as much as we might THINK they are. Just so's YOU know, Inky, I am grateful to your friendship and critiquing of my efforts over the years. And your "soundboarding" of our collective "writers' angst," etc. Thank you, Dorothy. Now...don't take that balloon TOO far, young lady....