ADDICTION

Is writing an addiction? You bet’cha.

If you’re a writer and you don’t write everyday, you’re a bum.

What’s so compelling about putting words on paper or screen? For me, I’m Irish, if I didn’t get words out of my head and onto  something substantial, my head would burst. I’m full of words. My mother said I was born with my tongue tied in the middle and wagging at both ends.

I kid and tell everybody I’m the strong silent type. Some of my dearest friends have adopted the time out two finger gesture. It  makes me laugh and sometimes  shuts me  up. Not always. Also like to joke around, “It’s a good thing there’s paper, ink, screens, and letters, otherwise the  world would go deaf.”

What’s my favorite genre of writing?  Letters to the editors, columns, and fiction. Letters to the editors, columns,  essays, and term papers are  similar. Fiction is different. Don’t write so many essays anymore.  Loved writing term papers. I could always raise my grade average if an end-of-the-term  paper was part of the deal. One of my favorite stories: Dr. Pencharz.  She wore a red wig and she didn’t like me. I was supposed to be the ‘goat’ and she participated in the harassment. Freshman year in college. Sixteen. Scrawny. Psych 101 was filled to the brim with big kids. Serious business. This was the gateway to their life’s work. I think of the horror they must have caused poor patient if they reached their professional goal.

The first nasty tease  I remember vividly. I was sent on an errand. When I came back to the classroom there were two  parallel  lines drawn on the board. One above the other. Equal length. One had arrows pointed out. One had arrows pointed in. The entire class was asked which line was longer. Everyone  said the line with the arrows pointed out was longer. Ridiculous. I was the only one who said they were equal. Wow!  I was yelled at, screamed at, shouted at.  Called stupid-you name it-while Pencharz sat there with a smirk. I never caved and I think that made her mad. I didn’t get good grades.

At the end of the year we were allowed to write a term paper which would become 1/3 of our grade average. We numbered our papers because Pencharz knew she could not grade you fairly if she didn’t like you. My paper didn’t come back. I went to the desk.

“Did you do one?” She had a voice like gravel, tacks, and broken glass shaken in a rusty pot.

I nodded.

She asked for my number. I told her.

She  drew forth  from a spanken clean manila folder a paper. It was, I’ll bet, the only A+ paper she ever gave anyone. She crumpled and threw it at me, “Who did it for you,” she graveled.

So much for Psych 101.

Next week?  Fiction. CHILDREN of the EXTINCTION. . My new work. Don’t forget  my book signing bash at Birdie’s Cafe, August 16, 3-6PM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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