Friday, January 8

Every Kid Gets A Trophy by Liz Flaherty #WordWranglers


Happy 2021! This is my first post of the year. I've spent some time trying to think of something special to start with, something hopeful, something writing-related that would be helpful to people reading it.

The truth is that I don't have it in me today. I have already told Nan in panic-stricken messages that I can't write. The words aren't there. The ideas, always scarce for me anyway, aren't there, either.

I fully imagine my muse and my heart are in Washington, D. C., walking around bewildered, her mind whirling. This isn't my country, she keeps thinking, and back home, on social media, people are assuring her it's not. If she doesn't like the way things are, she should move, regardless of the fact that--yes, really--it's her home as much as it is theirs.

Oh, it's me talking. The muse has come home and handed over.

It is hard, I am learning this week, to write with a broken heart.

I write small town and rural, because it's where I'm from. What I love. Who I am. And in those small towns I write about, people are almost invariably kind. Quirky. They are who they are. They know each other's business, but they don't care. They have the key to their neighbor's house.

What I really write, I guess, is small town before social media. Before 2016. Before my family and I found ourselves referred to as "you people." Before someone told another woman she was "nothing." Before someone posted this on FB: "Biden. Pelosi. and Schumer better understand that american people are almost done talking. They better straighten their shit show up real quick."

The small towns I write, I realize, are the ones where every kid gets a trophy because participation matters. Where everyone is important. Where "love thy neighbor" doesn't depend on race or gender or income or who you voted for. 

And that's what's wrong with me. That's why my voice is silent and sad today. 

I apologize for being political here, but it's been a long four years. This week in itself has been long and sad.

I hope my voice comes back. I hope my heart can find the story in the small town I've named Fallen Soldier. And when it does, when I can write again, every kid will get a trophy and everyone will matter.




6 comments:

  1. I feel you, Liz. It is hard to write among chaos and we are in such chaos. But, you are one who provides escape from the chaos and tragedy in the world, so your voice will return and we'll be blessed again with a new Liz Flaherty novel! As our friend Connie Schultz says, Breathe. Hugs, babes.

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  2. I actually do have a key to an elderly mans house as we speak.. and if he passes away before me. I am to take his little old long haired chihuahua until his daughter can come for her... please write.. it is our escape...

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    1. Thank you. I will, I'm sure, but right now...right now it's as if the wounds are still raw. I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling this. Thank you for loving your neighbor.

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  3. Your voice did come back - in this beautifully written, heartfelt piece. Good for you, Liz! Your honesty is wonderful and refreshing.

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    1. Thanks, Janie. Sometimes it's like Anne LaMotte says, "bird by bird."

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