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When I was in my thirties, I returned home and moved back in with my mother after struggling during my twenties as a situation comedy star wannabe in Hollywood. My mother Doris, a South Bronx native, gave me two choices.
“Sorry, but you can’t lay on the couch in a fetal position and have a nervous breakdown. You can, however, do two things…work or school. Or both!”
Being the ever dutiful daughter, I worked part-time and returned to college. It was during those four years that I learned I inherited a hearing impairment gene and I learned I was cognitively dyslexic. The latter explained much of the pain in my early years that I went through trying to read. But, losing my hearing, well, it is what it is.
Reading is not my favorite thing to do, but when I DO read I try to find things that capture my attention. Some things are suggested to me like David Sedaris’ Naked. I was inside the now defunct Stacey’s bookstore and I happened to pick up one of David’s books as suggested to me by an old friend who said David’s style seemed similar to mine. I thought to myself…
“I have a writing style? Wow, cool!”
I had never before heard of David Sedaris, but knew of his sister Amy and her “Strangers With Candy” tv show. I opened to the first few pages of Naked where David pontificated about having the “servants wax his coins…” or whatever it was. Suddenly I got the part when his mother yelled at him to stop playing around and dressing his cat like a “…two dollar whore.” I was hooked. What a great imagination David has. And what a great way to start a book.
Some books I find accidentally. I was in Starbucks a couple of years ago and picked up the book, The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein. Not a fan of sentiment, but I thought for a guy the book was very sensitive. And it was intriguing, I mean I know nothing about the mind of a race car driver. But, the dog…ah, forget about it! I cried for days after I finished that book, and I hate having emotions pulled out of me. Good read, talented writer.
Sometimes I find writers that I had never before heard of and when I read one of their books I am hooked. Charles Bukowski’s Post Office, for example. Wow, what a salty, bitter, talented writer Bukowski was! What a character!
The Metamorphosis I read for a college assignment and against my wishes. What a truly disturbing book that was! Sometimes when I am in my living room and I approach my bookcase I turn away from Kafka’s Metamorphosis because I can still see Gregor as a big ole nasty puss-filled roach! Yikes!
The point of this long-overdue post, I am busy preparing knitting samples foe the holidays, is that I learned after I left Los Angeles what a true “artist” I really am. Despite hearing impairment and dyslexia, college and having to work a nine-to-five from time-to-time to support myself, I AM an artist who knits, crochets, paints and more importantly, writes. I am an artist and artists NEVER give up what helps them to breathe. With that stated, I will continue to read what catches my fancy and I will write with whatever style suits me. And, since I can’t focus on reading for more than a few minutes at a time I will hire an editor for my own work, well I have no choice. But, I do edit my blogs which can be a “do” and a “don’t.” By the way, I read Naked in six days which for me is an Olympian moment! #proud
One last thing, I DO read female authors, I am discovering many female authors everyday. Those I have read, Zora Neal Hurston and Toni Morrison, both introduced to me by mom, a voracious reader; Terry McMillian, Maya Angelou; Maxine Hong Kingston and Any Tan to name a few. Funny, I have never read Amy Sedaris, guess I will have to now.
The more I discover authors, when I DO read, authors both new and legendary like the great James Baldwin, the less insecure I feel about being dyslexic.
That’s all for now. Until next time…
Please pick up my book “Spoiled Beyond Recognition” TODAY! http://www.ldsargent.com/Spoiled.html