As I was leaving Goodwill yesterday (scouting for a classroom book shelf) and headed to Half Price, a man who'd been leaning against a pillar near the exit asked me, "Would you like to buy a copy of my latest novel?", pointing to a fat burgundy binder.
I mumbled, "No, thank you," and moved on, feeling somewhat haughty and dismissive, assuming I knew his story--slightly deranged, obsessed with aliens/government conspiracy, either had tried for years to get his book published or always chose the self-published route, and on and on.
Not long after, as I browsed in Half Price, I saw him approach another woman. She did take the time to talk to him, but did not buy his book. He smiled and sent her on her way. I felt a pang of pity at first, but then I realized I am the one who is....well, piteous.
He's writing. He's passionate. He puts himself out there. What have you written lately, self? (Aside from a few blog posts) And then my pity, my haughtiness morphed into admiration for him. And a bit of a push to do more writing of my own.
That said, I sat down and wrote a lead for a story that's been on my mind for a few years--a real life story of a woman who started a fire (to destroy letters from a man who dumped her) in the Colorado mountains that grew so out of control it destroyed thousands of acres and cost millions of dollars. She served jail time for it. I have been so intrigued by that story ever since a good friend told it to me at dinner one night. Left me with so many questions.
And although I only wrote a paragraph or so, usually it's the getting started that is most difficult for me. I plan to keep working on the piece throughout the year, so feel free to check it out and comment.