Every December since I can remember, I’ve watched Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, listened to Burl Ives, and wondered why anyone would want to leave the cozy bungalow pictured on the Island of Misfit Toys. Meeting other writers at this second stage of my life has been a kind of homecoming. A safe, logical island in a sea of homogeneous inanity.
These people make sense to me. They understand heroes and heroines becoming friends of sorts – imaginary ones, true. I start hanging around writers and get the sense I’m normal. Until, another December tradition rears up and bites my ass. The ‘holiday’ concert.
Technically, public schools are separate from religious practice, but the ‘holiday’ concert in my school district is a thinly veiled Christmas concert with a couple of Hanukah and Kwanza songs thrown into the mix. THAT bugs me because it would be nice to celebrate diversity all year long. BUT, I digress . . . the real problem with this December tradition is attending the concert with hordes of parents . . . these people don’t listen to the voices in their heads, buy paper and ink in bulk, or become giddy at a bag of office supplies.
These people are normal.
They chat about Sally Sue’s piano lessons and how sweet Bobby looked all dressed up for the prom. And, their kids are normal, too. (And I might add – bland and uninteresting.)
My kids – bless their hearts – will stage a murder scene using the gingerbread men I baked and left cooling on the counter as a way to help me with a plot point. Admittedly, they picked up the idea from Shrek where the evil Duke tortured the gingerbread man, but still, the little dears. Crumbs and tinted decorative sugars turn into blood splatter and bullet casings. Limbs can be tossed aside. Cookie carnage sustains the creative mind. And the pieces are now conveniently bite-sized (few calories per cookie!!).
Only my writer friends appreciate my retelling of this story. The ‘normals’ look at me in shock and revulsion. What!? The cookies still taste the same.
So, I seek out my writing friends as the psychosis of December wanes. I’ll thank them for their patience in seeing me through a difficult year and treasure them in the coming one.
As this year closes, thank you to everyone who participated in Gem State Writers (through blogs and comments). I’ve learned more about writing, met some wonderful kindred souls, and can’t wait to see what this next year brings . . . hopefully, a little less ‘normal’ and a whole lot more ‘misfit’!