Thursday, January 13, 2011

If I Weren't A Writer by Patricia Sprinkle

When I consider what I’d have liked to be if I hadn’t become a writer, I have a problem—I‘ve already been a lot of things besides a writer: an Avon lady, Kelley Temp, day camp counselor, cashier in a university bookstore, receptionist for a small seminary, part-time librarian, editor, denominational executive, director of religious education, hunger advocate, advocate for foster children, hospital patient counselor . . . .  And yes, I really am two hundred and three. I just wear my years well.

I’ve liked every single job I’ve had. I didn’t necessarily love all the people I worked with, and I liked some parts of the work more than others—like the parts where I interacted with people. That’s odd, since I eventually became a writer where I sit home every day alone except for my computer, and don’t even interact via Facebook very faithfully.

Writing, however, lets me be all those things and more. In past years I’ve learned what it means to be a dairy farmer, an international executive, a pecan grower, a blue grass singer, and a genealogist among other things, then I’ve sat at home and let my characters become those things.

Still, if I had become what my husband swears I’m best at, I’d be Fixer of the World. I’d go around to businesses and institutions to tell them what they are doing wrong and I'd convince them that they could make more money or make the world safer if they’d fix a few things. Never again would you have to listen to a long message on voicemail before you got to the place where you could choose one, two, or three. Clothing stores would have LOTS of clothes for short plump people (like me) and not so many for short skinny people, which is the kind they invariably have too many of at the end of the season. No more speed humps to jar your car's suspension system on streets where children never walk (since they are driven half a mile to school). Recycling would pay for itself and show a profit. High schools would put all their students in a huge babysitting room each morning and only permit those who WANTED to study to go to class, so the others couldn’t disrupt the teachers and slow down the learning process. Publishers would heavily promote new and mid-list authors and let those who already make big bucks pay for their own publicity. We would definitely live in a better world.

So if you want to vote for me for Fixer of the World, write it into your ballot next election year and I’ll give up writing. Maybe. Or maybe I’ll write a book about somebody who becomes Fixer of the World.

Patricia Sprinkle is the author of southern mysteries and four novels. Her newest, Friday's Daughter, will be out in March, 2011.


Peggy Webb said...

Brava, Patricia! I'd vote for you for Fixer of the World. Your post was fun and lively. Thanks!

Anna Mchaels said...

Thank you for sounding the wake-up call for common sense. We need more of that in our world.

Man Martin said...

If you ever want an undersecretary for Fixer of the World, I'd love a shot at it. To start with, I'd make it illegal to wrap baloney slices in that red plastic. What is that stuff?

Anonymous said...

Maybe I can be your side-kick whilst you fix the world. I always love to help. :)