Some writing I found in my files from around New Year’s time…
”Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.” Brad Paisley
Why the comma? I want to delete it, but it’s a quote, so I cannot. Squiggly green line beneath; Microsoft Word agrees with me that the comma shouldn’t be there. And who is Brad Paisley? I’ve heard of him, at least. Brad Douglas Paisley is an American singer-songwriter and musician. His style crosses between traditional country music and Southern rock, and his songs are frequently laced with humor and pop culture references. Thank you, Wikipedia. Also, he’s 5’9” and was born October 28, 1972.
I was six, living in Orange County, California, but soon, before Thanksgiving of that year, to be transplanted to Wyoming, the place I consider home, still, though I haven’t lived in the state for nearly twenty-five years. My dad was a California highway patrolman. Motorcycle cop. I was too young to know much about it, but in later years, when we watched CHiPs on t.v., it seemed that was his former job. Except I’m sure there was real life drama. L.A. in the ‘60s, you know. He recognized all the highways on the t.v. show. I recalled seeing a framed picture of him on his motorcycle. His uniform seemed, to me, identical to that worn by Ponch. Erik Estrada. My dad had been in a couple bad accidents. Bad enough that he needed to retire from the California Highway Patrol. And then he was the new police chief in Riverton, Wyoming, population 7,000, right in the heart of the Wind River Indian Reservation. To me, a kid, it seemed he got the job instantly, effortlessly. But I later learned that he almost, instead, became a manager of a Stuckey’s roadside store in the middle of nowhere (Nevada?). I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like, who I would have become if I had grown up working a cash register in the gift shop, waiting tables, chitchatting with tourists, constantly walking the thoroughfare that, I’m sure, moved plenty of drugs across the country. My dad was also an alcoholic. I’m guessing that wasn’t on his résumé. And so my siblings and I, we grew up in Wyoming. Small town, small farm, riding in the back of the pickup with our friends, my dad doing 75 down the two-lane highway, always with a gun and a fifth of whiskey beneath the seat.
The quote, the tomorrow quote, is at the top of my news feed when I open Facebook this morning. Of course, I was supposed to see it last night, New Years Eve. But I was asleep by ten, maybe eleven. Had to read for a while. Still, it hits me like a brick in the face, about knocking me off my chair. Just what I’d been thinking about for a new year’s resolution. Daily writing, quick daily blurbs, which, if I stuck with it would turn out to be a 365-page something. I won’t say a book. Should I call it a journal? Though I did read the quote quite literally. Like, this page right here really is the beginning of my 365-page book. I wrote “365-page” with a hyphen, I noticed. Makes me wonder if there should be one, a hyphen, in the quote. Two mistakes in one quote? Shouldn’t be posted on Facebook, in my opinion. Unacceptable with even one mistake. But my brother posted it, I’m looking at it, and I know it means I’m supposed to get started. Now.
I type the quote. The tomorrow quote. The one that is getting me going today. I’m doing this. I’m really doing this. I’m writing! I’m not thinking about writing; I’m not mulling ideas around in my head; I’m not telling myself that I’ll be starting soon; I am actually typing. I have written on the first day of the new year.
It was fun to come across this piece of writing of mine in October, ten months later. I stuck with the daily writing for about ten days. It was enjoyable and I didn’t want to stop, but Winter Break ended and I went back to teaching and there just wasn’t time to sit down and write every day. And I think, then, that I was thinking that it was an all or nothing deal–write every day, like I said I would, or write nothing at all. So I kind of gave up on it. But I believe that a seed was planted, for look at me now–blogging! And posting something every day for the entire month of October!