Who I am. Who am I?

Good question. I’ve been revising this page for weeks now and still don’t know. A wannabe? Right now I’m thinking that sums it up nicely.

Wannabe what? Well, I make my living as a writer. Have held the same part-time writing gig at Cornell University for over 15 years now. Have the amazing good luck of doing work I love with people I love. Who knew, while I scrubbed motel bathrooms, hot-walked race horses, and soldered circuit boards during summers or weekends while in high school — not to mention all those years as a cleaning lady, woodworker, auto mechanic, landscaper (the list goes on) — that it could turn out this way?

But considering how little love I’ve given this website over the past four years; how little I’ve posted here — not to mention the occasional comment I’ve ignored — you’d think a real writer would do it proud. Funny how these things go. Because right about the time I built this site and plugged in the first few pages, my single-minded focus on writing took a sharp left turn. So now — right now — am I a writer? Or am I back to being a wannabe?

Not that I don’t have excuses. This, however, isn’t the place for them.

So say I get past this perfectionist hangup I have and just post stuff. Once a week, say. Could be doable. Meanwhile, I’ve got a backlog of narrative nonfiction crammed into files going back close on 20 years, along with a batch of short stories and a draft of a novel. Blows my mind, how long I’ve been hoarding this material.

Maybe half of that nonfiction has been published. As for the rest, there’s little that couldn’t use more tinkering. (Can’t help myself when it comes to tinkering.) So I can post that stuff too; why not? Whatever I post — the occasional piece of fiction especially — I know I’m bloody likely to tweak down the line. Some I might fuss with endlessly. But now you know that about me. Sometimes I’ll note if I’m flummoxed, unsure just how to build a scene, a character, a transition, that sort of thing. (Narrative nonfiction uses all these devices and more, but it’s fiction that really drives me nuts.) So either you’ll circle back now and then or you won’t. And either you’ll react or you won’t.

Up next? Getting in the groove.



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