Writer, Also Good With Scissors

This is me with James Blake.  He’s cute, huh?, and smart as hell, and a work-horse on the tennis court.  I loved him with his dreads, I love him bald; I loved him winning, and even better losing.  He’s a phenom with a story.  And I want to write a sports memoir.

I’m putting this out there:  are you an athlete looking for a writer?  I’m right here.  James, I’m talking to you. Maria Sharapova, do you feel misunderstood?  Elena Dementieva, Andy Roddick, Phil Mickelson, Annika?  You tennis players and/or golfers who want to tell your story, I’m your ghost-writing dream.  Man or woman.  Call me.

I’m a writer.  It took me a long time to say it without hesitation, but this is how I identify myself:  What do you do?  I’m a writer. It slips right off my tongue — sometimes like summer honey, sometimes like snake venom, but either way it slips out pretty easily these days.  Baptism by written word.  Go forth and type!

I once read a book, I think by David Morrell, where he said (basically) Never Tell Anyone You’re A Writer. You’ll inevitably get those painful responses like, “I’m thinking about writing a book!” and “I’ve had the most awesome life, you should write MY story!”  To which I always want to say, “I can use scissors pretty well, I’ve been practicing, wrapping presents and whatnot, and I’ve been thinking about neurosurgery.  Think I can practice on you?  Asshole.”

But recently it’s not been that at all, it’s been a bit weird, the tattle-telling of my profession.  At a new doctor’s office, he might read my chart and say, “You’re a writer,” and blush before asking, “What do you write?  Where and what have you published?”  I answer, and then more blushing and questions.  They can hardly look me in the eye.  Like I’m the most interesting person they’ve met.  In years.  I can’t even tell you how much I love this, this validation.  It makes me all warm and mushy in my innards, like cream of wheat.

It won’t last.  I know this.  But for now I’m taking it for granted because pretty soon someone’s going to tell me that they, too, want to write a book, and I’m going to want to strangle them with barbed chicken wire while smiling and nodding.  But for now, for this week anyway, I’m a writer.  Unless I’m sitting next to you on an airplane — then I teach Middle English Poetry or Differential Calculus.

P.S.  James Blake wrote a memoir a few years ago.  It was terrible.  I’m thinking more along the lines of J.R. Moehringer’s writing of Agassi’s book, OPEN.


7 thoughts on “Writer, Also Good With Scissors

  1. josephinecarr

    After nearly thirty years saying, “I’m a writer,” I still feel all squirmy inside. But, truthfully, I like hearing about others who want to write. It’s okay by me. I know, most of ’em, won’t. And those that do? Hey, maybe one of ’em will write a book that keeps me up reading late into the night, making my skin tingle and my heart knotty.
    That’s okay, too.

  2. amyg

    that picture would be hanging on bedroom wall opposite the wedding photo, for sure. damn HE is good looking. (wouldn’t you know it, i love tennis too. #1 varsity doubles, FCHS, ’92 & ’93. once i burned a hole the size of an orange in my tennis skirt on the way to a match when i threw my cigarette out the window and it came back and landed right on my lap. i had no idea til i felt it burning my leg. )

    my “i am a writer” response is still in the newbie stages. i say, “i write.” like i haven’t earned the ‘r’ yet.

    love love love the scissors to neurosurgery leap.

  3. Downith

    Teri, were you watching? I just finished watching Andy Murray get through. And as I sat here chewing my nails, I thought I wonder if my WRITER friend Teri C is watching.

    1. Teri Post author

      I WAS watching for a bit. I made it midway through the 2nd set until I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. I was worried about Andy when I clicked off the TV, so I was thrilled to see he made it through. That Ferrer is such a workhorse! I hope like heck Andy has enough left in his tank to polish off Djokovic.

  4. glasseye

    I don’t admit to being a writer, no matter how much I write. It seems too early to aspire to that title, as though I haven’t yet paid my dues. I don’t know what the hell I’m waiting for. A pen-shaped scepter, maybe?

  5. lisahgolden

    I love that photo! And the fact that you can stake a claim on the word that makes so many us feel like poseurs or worse. And I love it that you want to write sports memoir for athletes. What a cool idea! I hope they’re listening to the message you’re putting out there.

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