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The International Writers Magazine: Life Stories:

A Wallflower's Rhapsody
Piper Davenport

I've felt the need to write and re-write and write again. The feeling is getting stronger. I think I'm almost ready to move forward with my own, personal story/stories. Is anyone out there, though? Is anyone listening? Am I ever going to get paid for this? Am I destined to be broke, jobless/without a career, boyfriend, life, love, friends other than the ones that I made in high school, sitting, watching television and eating potato chips?

Am I being sarcastic or am I serious? Will it take me as long to build up an audience as it will to finish my first novel? Will my past come back to haunt me? A decision that I made in the heat-of-the-moment that paralyze my voice? I ponder these questions as I wonder how to balance the responsibilities of life with my burning need to write. I've heard people, particularly other writers say that you are not a true writer, unless you write everyday. Well, I've been writing everyday but just not on my novel. Instead, this is my fourth attempt at trying to start a blog. Only, I'm using my real name now, forcing myself not to hide.

Will it work out at this one? I like the newness of I like the red, white and black colors. It reminds me of a newspaper, so I take myself more seriously. I'm surrounded in a community of other writers and there are no profile counts that serve to make me feel bad in my vain attempts at building a large audience. Cause that shit comes later, you know? I guess this is the closest that I'm ever going to come to working at a newspaper. But even those days, of job security, are a faded memory.

So, I write and wait for my turn. The day when my mother will finally be proud of me. Now, I'm starting to move into dangerous territory. How do we find that balance between privacy and confessional writing, which I love. Will the world ever give me credit? Will anyone ever care? Will anyone be reading me or will they say, 'Been there, done that. Girl, that idea of yours was featured in The Huffington Post just last week? Didn't you get the news flash?'

I'm 29 years old and still a wallflower. I haven't figured "it" out yet. My brother is younger than me and more successful. I'm the struggling writer and he's the corporate genius, the one that's smart enough only to wear blue jeans on Fridays. Me, I'm a tee-shirt kind of gal. That's me and no one could change that and I wouldn't want them too. I keep waiting for the day when I'm going to scream out but I'm past that stage. I'm over a lot of things, fatigued that I'm black and have no right to complain.
(And where is my check for this page?)

I feel like some obscure character that Judy Blume forgot to mention in Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret. But change the name to mine, Piper. Some people think it's dangerous for a writer to admit that they are this vulnerable but these days, baring all is how real women get attention, you know? Problem is, my breasts are a ten to me but what about the rest of the world? Are they graded on circumference or size? It's shocking but writers nowadays are having to write blogs, feature their best pictures on and even the dreaded myspace pages just to compete.
So many choices, so little time . . . What's a girl to do? I mean, the days of the mystery writer are over.

The cost of gasoline right now has severly dampened my social life. Trips to the other side of town to visit friends are seen as vacations from everyday life. So, in the meantime, I write and every day, I get closer to finishing my first novel. I get closer to actually accomplishing something with my life. I move closer toward feeling some real dignity in my life. As I go back and try to correct my mistakes, I find that I make bigger ones before it finally hits me and then I understand that I'm not supposed to.

A few months ago, I was on the path to the dark side, a term that my neighbor told me and that the media seems to be having a heyday with. But for them, it's all about ratings, shock value and pushing forward. Those words have meaning in my life, though. I was on the road, searching for my ruby red slippers but when I found them, they were without the glitter. They were just as glitter is described in Jane Eyre without the gold backing. In fact, I should be just be grateful to be alive.

Maybe I don't understand the world yet. To me, I see the world as a pot of dying flowers. Someone must breathe on them but they can't because they are suffocating. And I was suffocating. Searching for the air to breathe in and surround myself with. But the air was already there, otherwise, I might not be alive and I had to learn to laugh again. I had to learn to brush things off, which isn't easy for any creative type or artist to do. We live through our work and then send it off into the world. But sometimes, things are not finished. There is more to be said and I think that's why I didn't write for three months because I needed to go into my own little cocoon and re-emerge as a butterfly and here I am, reintroducing myself to the world. Or moving away from the wilderness, not knowing how long it will last but moving toward something else anyway.


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