Saturday, July 21, 2012


My last blog was entitled “Edith Emerges.”  Somehow, however, in the past month she’s gotten stuck in the hole she’s emerging from, probably from the waist down, since she’s a little round like her creator who is even rounder after a week that’s included Mexican appetizers and marguaritas and sixty people in her living room.  I thought that with that kind of stress, I would lose weight.  I, however, had to taste every enchilada, guacamole dip, Mexican meatball I created.  Not to mention the trial marguaritas.

So Edith got stuck. However, I need to be honest.  It wasn’t the south-of-the border party that stuck her. It was me, stuck deeply in my own hole of depression. You see, I had entered a screenplay, which I dearly love and which actually won small awards in a couple of contests, to a BIG contest.  For $50.  Tax deductible, I figured. I didn’t expect to win, but an honorable mention would have sent a surge of hope, as well as a reason for the next thrust of queries to Hollywood or whomever. Personally, also, I admit I was hoping for a pat on the back as an aging woman still hanging in there.  So out of 6000 entries, I did not make the top ten percent.  After a bout of wine-solace, I found a scrap of paper and a pencil and figured out that the contest managers had taken in, from the 6,000 of us with stars in our eyes, $300,000!  Minus, of course, the $5,000 prize and whatever an interview with a producer costs.

I wished the winner well.  No way could I write a dystopian movie involving four-breasted beings with six fingers, and who knows what else, in a ravished landscape somewhere east of Portland.  And then I gave a thought to the inhabitants of my real world, writers like me who keep churning stuff out, sending queries, paying sometimes to win or find a place for our precious words, hoping for . . . for what? 

And that was the question. Why?  And somehow as I squirmed my way out of my black pit, I found my answer.  I have a retirement fund; I don’t need money.  I have grandchildren who love me, so I don’t need fame.  I have at least fifty friends and acquaintances who have bought my two ebooks, so I have been read.  What more is there?

What more is that I need to get Edith, my seventy-year-old protagonist, out of her pickle.  Tomorrow she will escape to go on to get into more trouble.  Me, too.

Jo Barney Writes