Tag Archives: Anne Lamott

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

41yP7zqWI8L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU15_I know I am by no means the first to cheer this wonderful book about writing and life and joy and jealousy and competitiveness and outgrowing that and love and loss. It’s one of the MUST READ¬†books in any writer’s (or person’s) collection.

But I had it out last night for some inspiration and came across the lines below and they made me laugh out loud. She’s commenting about how she takes index cards with her everywhere to note down things since she (like me and many of us) forgets them unless she does. I know I travel with piles of little notebooks to write down little phrases and such. (I hear you can also do it on Evernote but my battery runs down with astonishing regularity and there’s nothing to beat a pencil and paper in the rain.) She’s figured out how to fold the cards and her pencil so she doesn’t look bulky, even.

But here’s what she says about this need to write things down:

I think that if you have the kind of mind that retains important and creative thoughts – that is, if your mind still works – you’re very lucky and you should not be surprised if the rest of us do not want to be around you. I actually have one writer friend – whom I think I will probably be getting rid of soon – who said to me recently that if you don’t remember it when you get home, it probably wasn’t that important. And I felt eight years old again, with something important to say that had suddenly hopped down one of the rabbit holes in my mind…

Emphasis mine. How wonderfully witchy of her!

That’s the thing about writing. Because no one really KNOWS how it’s done, we’re all out here in the wilderness stumbling along, and the slightest little thing can make us feel eight again and hushed up again and told to stop that talking and shouldn’t you be doing something constructive? again.

Reading Anne Lamott brings me back. I may be only eight with little to say, but at least I have a friend here, and perhaps we can play with our word blocks together.

Come join us, if you haven’t already. Anne Lamott also writes great books on faith and life and so forth – depending on your religious stance, these may or may not be for you – but in all things she comes across as a gal I’d love to have a lemonade with and laugh til our stomachs ached.

And then we’d write. And write. And write.

Pulling a mate from a candy machine


Okay, I know my kids don’t want me writing about this. So they should perhaps skip this post entirely.

I just read Anne Lamott’s excellent article in Salon.com about her year on Match.com :http://www.salon.com/2013/03/31/my_year_on_match_com/

I could identify with it all. The men who are not as described, the ones who never call again, the ones who call too much. The ones who think they know more than you about everything. The ones who use up the 1728 minutes (or whatever) she describes, while you do your shopping list and think longingly of the ice cream in your refrigerator that seems oh so much more rewarding than what you are doing just then.

The “social smokers” who keep vanishing to suck back another tube, thinking you won’t notice that all of them smells and tastes like an ashtray. The political hounds who tell you about the world as if you have lived under a rock forever. The ones who are looking for a sympathy partner, to listen to all their problems with their “crazy” past partners. The ones who end every conversation with, “Shall I take the blue pill?”

My favourite was the guy who was an artist and wanted to discuss the shades of white. But found fault with my silver hair. “I’m visual” he said.

Or the other guy who texted me all the time but who had naughty pictures animate with his text so when I told him I was going skating on the Canal, it would change it to c-something else. Eww. Strangely, I felt I had to meet both of these guys. For research. In very public places, mind. Using an assumed name. Curiosity, you know.

One of my girlfriends says “What is it about over 50-year-old men? They all patronize!” Now I thought it was just me, at my height of 4’11 3/4″, that got the patronization thing.

vulpix_used_flamethrower_by_firecloak-d4u0gnrI’ve been patronized all my life and have developed a tendency to incinerate the patronizer. No mercy. Ever.

But she’s tall and gorgeous and they patronize her, too.

What IS that?

Like Anne, I think I am looking for someone to spend evenings with, not in acrobatic sex scenes involving pulleys and elaborate body positioning, but reading, watching TV, talking. Curling up in bed with. Getting up in the morning with. Lifting heavy objects with. Travelling with. Laughing with.

NOT someone who has spent too much time with online girls and expects me to shave every hair off my body and indulge in unusually strenuous activities while keeping up a potty-mouthed commentary. (Not that I’ve met any of those folks, mind – they just send me messages). Also NOT someone who tells me he is still married and looking for fun outside his marriage, because he no longer gets it together with his wife.

Fish or cut bait, fellah. Sheesh.


It makes me tired. I’d give it all up except that I still have this silly thought that I might actually meet someone interesting this way.

It’s obviously insanity. I should stop, but like the men, I suspect, the tendency to shop is too much. It’s like looking at one of those candy bar machines. Yeah, this one tastes okay, but I’d really like to try this other one…

And then it’s my cheapness. I paid for one site and I’ll be darned if I am going to take my profile off and let them have my money until I have used up every minute. I’m going to wrestle that chocolate bar out of its spiral if it kills me. At least for another few weeks, til my subscription runs out.

Besides, it’s spring. Hope springs eternal. Or is that Spring, hope eternal?