Off Topic: This Is For Katie
Katie, you are awesome.
Background for everyone else. When I say that I have the taste of a 12-year-old girl [Boot Camp Moment, RibbonFest], Katie is the 12 year old I have in mind. She’s out of college now. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Katie’s mom was my college roommate, my after-college flatmate, & my maid of honor. At that time, everyone knew me as Kathy. I changed what I wished to be called when I married and moved to a new state.
I vividly recall the one and only time Katie & I met IRL. (My memory says 12. She says she was 11. Mox Nix.) Katie was intelligent, fun, & we shared a taste in books. She was the one who recommended Tuck Everlasting to me. I don’t remember what I recommended for her, but I do remember hopping up and down in a bookstore, telling her mom, ‘Katie has to read this, and this, and this.’ Having known me of old, Katie’s mom was not put off by my rabid fangirl routine. I was so enchanted with young Katie that I asked her to contribute to my USCTA News Column.
Since then, I have cyber-staked Katie’s life and career both because she is her mother’s daughter and as a person in her own right.
Earlier this month, I went up to New York City for a dose of big city life. Katie’s mom came down for the day to catch up. She told me that Katie likes her job but wishes she could write more.
That one’s easy. Apply butt to chair is advice in every writing manual I’ve ever read (when I should have been writing). You don’t wait for inspiration. You don’t require the perfect setting, the perfect idea, the perfect pen/software. You simply need to make words happen.
I know this. My previous Facebook profile photo was Idris Elba telling me to get off Facebook and write.
Now, I have Gandalf saying the same thing.
Whether I do this is not the matter under discussion at the moment.
I was also envious. Katie knows what she wants. She wants to talk about movies. She sees her life in movie frames, “Receive your hard-earned college diploma? From the stage, everything looks like it was shot by Roger Deakins!” OTOH, yesterday was my 53rd birthday. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Katie has a path. The answer was obvious. To me.
So, I wrote her a letter, which I emailed via her mom. I took 500 words to say, Write More. I suggested possible outlets. I offered her guest post space, I quoted Scalzi. I closed by admitted that organizing other folks is infinitely easier than organizing one’s own life.
I am not subtle. Full of my enthusiasm for the possibilities, the words came across harsher than I intended. The letter made her cry. It made her crawl into a fetal position. I know how it feels to get advice that makes you pull the covers over your head [And Yet More Existential Blathering]. It sucks.
However, Katie chose not to eat her bodyweight in cookie dough [Energy Usage]. Instead, less than two days later, she came roaring back with her first blog post, This Is for Kathy: Here We Go. No private resolutions. No quiet intentions easily cast aside. She put it right out there, “Here I am world. Watch me.” Two days after that, a movie review, When a Member of Your Own Gender Picks Up a Lightsaber.
I wanted to comment, but I couldn’t think of anything more eloquent than, ” … ” Speechlessness does not come easily to me.
Katie, we will met again, one of these days. Meanwhile, I will be following you virtually and cheering every step of the way. Only less of the “pretty useless” comments, please. If I can imbed videos [Video for Foto Friday, I had help] and post GIFs [Text Art: Show Today, I recommend non-looping], I know you can figure it out.
Plus, I will attempt to get my own shit together. You deserve that.