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Signing Up!
by Tzina Schwarcz

Should I sign up? I looked at the e-mail, enticing, pulling, compelling. Putting creative tension into my writing. Why would I want to do that? Life is sufficiently creative and tense; why would I want to add that to my peaceful flowing writing? Why would I want to add that course to my peaceful flowing life?

I sipped some kukicha tea, and suddenly had a strong desire to be back in school, shyly, hopefully, shockingly handing in a writing paper, and anxiously awaiting its return. I wanted to see all those red squiggles and marks; I wanted to try my luck at approval once again. I remembered how Miss Sara tried to decipher my obscure meaning, holding her head, and moaning that it's not for her Sunday mind. I remembered the exhilaration and amusement I felt when she looked so helplessly at my paper.

I wanted to write. I've always loved to write, and had been writing ever since my motor skills allowed a pencil into my grasp. But while washing out my mug, I wistfully replayed in my mind my mother's plaintive voice, cajoling me with the bribe of pizza; if only I'd hand in a written paper in 3rd grade. I couldn't. I couldn't hand anything in; unless it was original and amazing; I couldn't write something ordinary.

I wanted to write about life. I wanted to use my experiences as a base, and write to the world. And then I recalled how my little sister, reading one of my articles, commented; if you had had my writing teacher, you really would have learnt how to write. She made my day, (my week, my month, my year, my life!) and I tried attributing it to her youthful age.

So I wanted to prove it to myself. Prove that I can learn techniques and polishing and depth. Show myself that with the correct direction and nurturing, I can create writings; not only when there's a direct anxious flow of emotion aggressing to be released.

But to sign up for a course? To commit myself to a time writing session; to commit myself to getting an idea on time to submit an article? I could never force ideas, any more than I was able to force my toddler to listen to me! What would happen if my baby started crying hysterically in the midst of a torrent of ideas; like now? I wouldn't be able to ignore her; but I'd never be able to recapture the generous inspirational flow of electrifying words.

Then I thought of the fear of not creating anything decent. Of not even meeting the word limit. Of making a sweet fool out of myself by placing myself in the category of writers. Should I submit myself to the disgrace?

Should I dare try to find my place? So I stood there, drinking my kukicha and rinsing my cup and I signed up.

And now I'm stuck. Chicken Pox reared its head, the baby's teething, eardrum's busting, my week is exceptionally full. I'm thrilled to be a Mom, but can't meet the deadline. I've typed some lists on different topics, but nothing flowed, nothing hoed. Only my self-esteem was deleted. So I'll have to send my dilemma, and hope it fits the bill.

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