by super sleuth
Can an old timer develop latent writing talents that are newly discovered.
|This is a true story. Enjoy. |
As my golden years flew past I decided I needed a new interest. Watching the television and turning into a couch potato had become such a major part of my existence, that I knew a new exhilarating hobby was drastically needed.
Although I'm past my prime, I decided to get into shape. At fifty-eight years old, push-ups were out of the question. Well, maybe a push-up bra would help but not quite enough. I decided to exercise my mind instead. English had always been my favorite subject in school, but after forty-two years of educational neglect, it became apparent that my brain lacked stimulation. A computer purchase seemed like a much better choice to me. Not only did it exercise my mind, but it exercised my body as well. Let me tell you, computers are not light. It took a lot of time, strength and effort on my part to get my husband Jim to supply the much needed physical labor. After many frequent hugs and kisses, he was finally persuaded to make the final connections necessary for all the proper components on my new computer to work as a fully functional unit. We also discovered, after all the hugs and kisses, that we both still worked well as a fully functional unit also, no need to fill in the blanks there.
The next thing on my agenda, was a phone call to my daughter-in-law Jennifer, whom I persuaded (minus the hugs and kisses) to help get me connected on-line. After all the necessities were in place, the first thing my feeble brain accomplished was moving my finger over to press the on button, which promptly turned blue. Excitement over-whelmed me, I was in awe over my success when a whirring sound emanated from the big silver contraption. Every fiber in my body tingled. My educational enlightenment was at hand---so why was my screen black? Sitting there looking at a large black screen, was not exactly what I had in mind. Upon further investigation, another button was perceived by my newly keen analytical brain, so when I pushed the button at the bottom of my screen, that button also turned blue and a magical light appeared before my eyes. After waiting patiently for what seemed an enormously long time, my screen was finally filled with a jumble of tiny pictures. Jennifer informed me that a double click on the left mouse button was necessary to open the Icons. Jumping up out of my seat, I looked frantically for that icky little mouse. Jennifer laughed at me and said that the tiny silver gray contraption with the long tail was made out of metal and it didn't bite. It did look harmless enough, but careful is my middle name, so...cautiously sitting down, with mouse in hand, my road to cy-ber space was soon forthcoming.
The first thing I discovered, were computer games. Life couldn't get any better. Stimulated brain cells going crazy trying to match three jewels in a row. How exciting! However, after a while it got old, and I knew a new challenge was needed.
EMAIL, what a lovely word. Contact with the outside world. Spending hours reading email from friends and neighbors. Soon my screen was filled to overflowing with email, some contacts I knew, others were a mystery.
After a while my life in cy-ber space took an unexpected detour. A pop-up appeared and asked me to answer questions about poetry. What the hell, sounded simple enough. After answering all the questions, some of which I guessed at, my results were finalized...a passing grade. WOW! Is this cool or what? An invitation was made to me by Poetry.com, to participate in their
web-site where financial rewards could be obtained if a quality original poem was submitted to them by me. I figured, why not? They roped me in.
It was soon obvious that a latent talent, buried deep within my subconscious, was slowly resurfacing. A mountain of words, deep within my brain, seemed to be seeking an escape route, looking for any cravasse to seep through. As the pressures built up within my head, a volcanic eruption soon followed, and an enormous amount of words spilled forth overflowing onto my keyboard. Words appeared everywhere: in my shower, driving in my car, and even in my sleep. Soon, poem after poem materialized on my monitor. How good they were, was as yet to be determined.
Unfortunately there were a lot of restrictions on that web-site. No more then twenty lines and only a certain number of characters per line were allowed. My creativity felt stifled, deprived of its freedom.
One day, my sister-in-law Roseann, invited me to check out Writing. com. After exploring WDC a free membership was my goal, but all to soon my portfolio was filled. I needed much more space. What could I do to incorporate more of my work into my limited free space? My brain worked overtime, the answer soon came quickly. Combine several pieces of my poetry and unify it, so I did and "The Innocent Cries" was born, it is a heart felt salute to the victims of 911.
At the end of my first week as a member of WDC, my heart was broken, my first review came in via email. Although it wasn't a really bad review, my feelings of being a great poet were shattered. I discovered I had forgotten how to spell. I didn't even know there was such a thing as spell check. Devastation seeped within my veins searing each organ as it passed through on its way to my heart. After reading the criticism of my poetry over and over, anger soon replaced my disillusionment. How could they say my meter was off? What was meter anyway? That's when it hit me. There must be more to writing poetry then knowing how to rhyme. After taking most of my reviewer's advice and making the much needed revisions, the next review I received of the same piece of poetry, was a lot more pleasurable. Soon, everything seemed right with the world again.
Criticism has since found a safe haven in my mind and is now joined with some major opinions of my own. The most important thing I learned from this, was my work was still my own. I had the option to choose which advice to take and which advice to pass on. Not everyone found fault with my work, some saw its beauty. Some saw my raw creative talent and urged me onward. Encouragement was always their goal, and I accepted their help with gratitude.
After a month I decided an up-grade was definitely what I needed. With my new spacious port I felt free to explore the depths of my soul and put it out there for all the world to see.
The courage of reviewing others, took some getting used to. After all, who was I? I was just a nobody, an upstart with a faded high school diploma that was over forty years old. I didn't even know what a muse or meter was. I found it easier just to give a rating, then to give a review, so the coward in me won the battle, of to review or not to review. However, after several failed attempts at reviewing, something exciting happened. While reading someone else's work, I noticed many of the things others had criticized about my own work, it was right there staring back at me on my screen. Something finally clicked in my brain, I now understood part of the solution to some of my problems. My fingers, although tentative, began to click out my first review. My fear was gone.
One day after getting up the courage to enter a contest, I had to try and figure out how the WDC site worked. A telephone call was again placed to my daughter-in-law Jennifer, and we soon figured out how to post an entry. What would I ever do without her? Winning was not mine for the taking that time, but that did not stop me from trying again. Although I entered contests to win prizes, I quickly discovered these contests also helped me to develop new talents. After many unsuccessful tries, I finally won one of the contests and it was soon followed by other wins. Life was good.
Entering contests seemed to be a lot of fun, I especially liked the ones that used prompts. My creativity had been stifled for so-long, that my brain had become stagnant from lack of use. Now, with lots of encouragement from my second family on WDC, entering contests are like having a second skin, toughened and strengthened through time, trial and error, yet resilient to change and failure. Now, each day is like a new beginning, instead of a sad ending.