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Present Tense - Anna Rosenblum Palmer
There are times I feel younger than my age because of weird enthusiasms. Like when I lean in with glee to hear about a friends sexual interludes, or when I joke about nutsacks with my kids, and obviously when I pretend the pool cue is a tail and trot oddly around the game room. Then there are times when I feel about 16 for more sickly reasons. I measure up my outfits against other moms at school pick up, I force myself to stay late at a party for fear I will miss something, and when I rebel against an assignment as if someone were trying to lure me into their basement and feed me only salad for the rest of my life. Or something equally terrifying. In my early college years I walked around with perpetual writers block. I was surprised I could even move my body there were so many words stuck inside my head. I thought my condition was emanating from me like waves and wanted to warn people away from me for fear it was contagious. They were magical creatures these other students who could do things like start writing, stop to pee or even go to the gym and then START AGAIN. What was this madness? Since leaving school I have lived a life without assignments. Any deadlines I have are self imposed. The work I do changes with the month and my mood. There are things I have started and finished, and many more I have started and stopped. Never to START AGAIN. My wordpress blog dashboard is full of drafts. Probably a ratio of 4:1 to the posts I publish. My blogging style fits me. I write, I publish. There is no three. I skip the hard part. The review and improvement. The changes small and large. The rules of grammar. The need to weave in a different perspective for a different day. For the past year I have been sucking at writing a book. This thing is terrible. Unreadable. I have plugged away though, sometimes even reflecting and rewriting. Occasionally I add structure that might (in theory) make it understandable to someone other than me. One day I might do something with it. For now I am using it as practice, a place to experiment with voice, and even more so with a more disciplined version of writing. It is a story from my past. One I want and need to explore but it can come slowly. No has any expectations for a product. Not even me. This month I got back into writing short form work. I have a spreadsheet where I track the things I submit. Some are syndicated versions of posts I have made public on my blog. Others are originals. In contrast to my larger project I am trying to write in the present tense. Which is presently making me tense. Last week I sent a query letter to an editor at a The Good Men Project. In the ...