Someone asked me recently why I am a writer. My answer came in fits and spurts over the next few hours. My initial response (flowing straight from my drunken stream of consciousness) was, because I have always been one.
Ok, so that's not really a reason. A few minutes later, I amended my answer and said, You know what? I think I am a writer because if I weren't, I'd be that crazy person wandering the street uttering dada poetry under my breath. An hour later, I had a real answer. I am obsessed with language.
Yes, this is true. I have a very deconstructionalist approach to language. Words are not just literal representations of things, they are collections of letters, they are sounds, syllables and images. They are guttural jabs and soft whispers of breath.
Oftentimes, I get words or phrases stuck in my head, kind of like normal people get a song stuck in their head. I can go around all day with my brain on a constant loop of words like Anna Banana or shrinky dink or gelatinous. The words toss around in my brain until they become strange and disconnected.
Pattiann Rogers (probably my favorite poet) wrote a poem called A Philosopher of Verbs and Their Godliness Contemplates First Causes, in which she debates which came first, the word or the action. Did the word "leap" exist before bullfrog or did bullfrog necessitate leap? Could "leopard" have existed without stalk?
These are the sort of things I think about.
Here are a few more reasons why I am a writer:
1. I have an overpowering urge to tell a story, but not necessarily my own.
2. Because I want to express myself. (This reason is cliché, but it is a necessary inclusion because ultimately, that's what we all want. We want to understand ourselves and we want to be understood)
3. Because I like to play with words and images, concepts, meaning and grammar.
4. Because I like to see my name in print (C'mon, who doesn't?)
5. Because through writing, I have the power to create a world. Sure, its a grandiose idea, but there is something to be said for creating something out of nothing. Its a bit like giving birth or building a house. (Maybe more like building a house) You have this pile of materials that are really nothing until you do something with them. You put them together in the way that makes the most sense to you and when youre finished you have this structure. It may be ugly or beautiful, but it doesn't matter. You created it. You have the power to tear it down or open the door and let people come and live in it.
6. Because I want to capture an image. I have a metal tin full of old photographs that date back to my days as a child in Germany. There are pictures of me in front of Buckingham Palace, me in my dirndl at a school program, me and my high school prom dates, me on a road trip with what would become my first heartbreaker. Each photo is a reminder of where I came from. Words can do this too. The stories we tell, whether in a diary or a blog or a novel are tangible pieces of our history. I can go back to the stories I wrote 10 years ago and remember very acutely where I was coming from when I wrote it.
7. Because I want to be shocking. Of course words can be offensive or titillating, but even more, they can be revealing. The egocentric side of me loves the idea of someone reading something I have written and finding hidden keys into my psyche. It's a bit like being an exhibitionist, but I like to reveal little bits of myself through writing.
8. Because words are very powerful tools. Words have started wars and ended them, words have saved peoples lives and they have been the thing that ultimately kills them. Words can educate, change minds, start revolutions, bring justice and effect change.
9. Because I believe what Mary Pipher says, that we are living in the Age of Information, but not the Age of Wisdom. There are so many messages out there, politics, TV culture, the media, advertising, etc. Everyone is talking, but no one is really saying anything.
You are not connected to hollyannawant to grow your network?
Oh my goodness. I am not sure how I survived this week. I feel like I've had three weeks crammed into one. I haven't seen my roommates for days now. It's nearly over and I may sleep for days when all is said and done. Ok, ok, that's a total lie. Y'all know I can't sleep more than six hours at a time. But I sure like the idea of it. Actually, I just really love the idea of anything that would feel like an escape...an hour in a hot tub, the chance to melt into a massage table, a hike into the w... read moreFri, July 20, 2007 - 4:08 PM permalink - 0 comments
While researching an article on open mic nights around town, I sort of got adopted into this awesome group of half drunk (but entirely talented) writers. It has been very inspiring. So, naturally, I was honored when Tommy asked me be a featured reader. ..only catch is...now I have to do it. I'd love to have some friends there.Fri, January 26, 2007 - 9:22 PM permalink - 0 comments
Here's what they said.....
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tony's Talkin' To featuring Holly McCollom for All Y'All!
Attention all you Legionnaires who have lost fait... read more
tabula rasaTue, January 23, 2007 - 1:55 PM permalink - 1 comment
n. pl. tab·u·lae ra·sae (tab'y?-le' rä'se, -ze)
1. The mind before it receives the impressions gained from experience.
2. The unformed, featureless mind in the philosophy of John Locke.
2. A need or an opportunity to start from the beginning.
This is where I begin. It's not exactly like a second chance, it's more like I have been scraped clean. Freshly washed.
The new house is working out just as I hoped. There are imperfections, of course: ... read more
Happy New Year, y'all! It's hard to believe that 2006 is over and yet, it has been such a dynamic year for me, what with the new jobs and everything. I moved into my new house last week. In fact, I assembled my queen-sized sleigh bed all by myself. I am sure that was comical to watch through my giant windows that have no curtains. The place is great. Big, bright and new, I am really looking forward to finishing getting moved in and being able to invite people into my space.Mon, January 1, 2007 - 10:02 PM permalink - 2 comments
Of couse, this m... read more
I totally forgot I had a Tribe page. Well, I can't promise that I'll be any better about checking this page than I am about checking my many other blogs/profiles/email accounts.Sun, October 1, 2006 - 11:29 PM permalink - 0 comments
Life these days is like...
musical chairs (just looking for a place to sit)
life on a pirate ship (floating along looking for treasure, unsure where the tide will carry us)
a beautiful opera (I enjoy it very much, but I can't understand the words)
blue bubblegum ice cream (tasty, but unexplainable and freakis... read more