There's something surreal about standing in front of a crowd of strangers—writers who all want the same thing.
To write. To get better and smarter and stronger. And one day, to sell your works because, in fact, people like what you produce.
I stood before a rickety wooden podium, in front of these pack of writers, scanning the room for the pros. The people teaching or co-founding the event.
There. I found Sterling Watson. Okay... I don't see Dennis Lehane.
Ooh, maybe that's for the best.
There's Thisbe Nissen and the thriller author I keep forgetting her name.
Okay, shit. Shit. Shit. Shit.
I still haven't started reading yet...
What the fuck is wrong with me?
Get it together, Sara. Why did you scan the crowd? Now you're all psyched up...
Oh shit. Here's Dennis...
Lehane entered the room like a badass character from one of his books. Leaning against the doorframe on one shoulder, ankles crossed and arms folded.
I had to start.
My story was about an angry young woman.
One who'd been wronged time and time again.
At that point in my life, I hadn't yet been raped.
I hadn't yet aborted a baby.
I hadn't yet used and hurt other human beings with my reckless and careless behaviors.
I had only just lost my best friend. My mother.
And reading this story in front of a group of strangers—some who'd chipped away at my confidence during the session critiques, and some who never knew what was coming—I lost myself in those four pages.
I was reading to an empty room. Were there walls? Maybe.
But there was a hot, yellowed light that fell across me, the rickety podium, and my pages.
The rest of the room was black. Simply the light that bled from me died off within a few feet ahead was the only thing that existed in that room.
I stood. Reading aloud. Fusing with the words.
Then, the words ran out.
I looked up, vision slowly adjusting from the white pages to a now fully lit room. A room not empty, but brimming.
My vision cleared as I peered over at Dennis, arms folded, ankles crossed, and leaning, weightless against the doorframe.
A smirk tickled the corner of his mouth and he nodded to me.
One easy, smooth nod of approval.
Then he left.
I was a writer.
I am a writer.
And no one can ever take that from me.
He didn't sign up for this, but he's still here.
A Pill For A Pill Leaves The Whole World Drugged
I've got nothing of value today. Only anger.
What could it be?
I didn’t prepare for it.
I think I like not knowing.
What do I want to do with this?
Hmm… Good question.
It had just started to rain and the dog was whining at the back sliding glass door.
I don't want to get my hopes too high, but it's something to look forward to.
"What do you want it to be?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, you act like I haven't done anything over the last three years. Three years..."
So much stuff. What's the goddamned point?
Time seems to slip away faster now.
If only I could take them with me.
'How's your business going?'
'Fine.' I hate it.
If only he knew her, then he'd understand.
'I wouldn't do it again, if that's what you mean,' I said, pulling my MacBook Pro closer to me atop the long work table in the mall.
What was she thinking?
My fingers are crossed, but I'm not sure if that's enough anymore.
They always end up letting you down.
It always happens in droves.
She caught me with the knife when I was sixteen, maybe seventeen.
I like being flawed. It gives me something to write about.
I let my kids examine my naked body yesterday.
There's no winning with blame.
Every time I think I'm getting better at this whole life thing, I do something wrong and set it back.
It was cold that day. Odd for Florida.
I gave twenty dollars to a woman on the side of the road today.
I like getting older.
There's something about with age and experience comes wisdom that's exhilarating.
The bad thing about family is you can never escape the past.
They remember everything.
I'll see this one through, I tell myself. I'll finish it.
After this, I'll put it to bed. After this, I'll move forward.