Why do I write? — A question revisited

Five years ago — yes, five — I actually published on this blog a four-post series that explored the reasons I wrote. I called the posts, “The Whys and Wherefores of It.” (See Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4.) This time I enrolled in a course over at Blogging University, and Day One has me facing that question again: Why do I write?

I’ve decided to answer the question on free-write mode, and later compare the consequent post to the ones I wrote in 2011.

I write because I believe I have something to say that is worth “putting on paper,” so to speak, and possibly even worth reading by others.

I write because it’s therapeutic to me to document my thoughts, and helpful (on top of being nostalgic), cathartic, even, to be able to read and relive later the way my younger self processed and understood things and life. Recording myself through writing is in itself a way for me to thresh out and make sense of my world. By my writings, too, I am able to chronicle and track my growth as a person.

I write because I simply love putting words next to each other, I love weaving small and big pieces of me through words, and I love how with the right words I am able to create material that is of consequence to me and that may reach and affect another human being (in a positive way, I hope).

I write because I need to.

I write because I believe I actually express myself much better in writing than in speech. I am hardly articulate, am not a good conversationalist, not a quick thinker who can spew witticisms at the snap of my fingers. I can write without inhibition about how I think and feel about anything, though. In writing I can dive into the farthest recesses of my introspection and return to the surface with pearls I never even realized had been forming. Or something of the sort.

I am my truest self when I write. So I simply cannot not do it.

A to Z Challenge: Jealous Janet (very late post for April 12)

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St. Thomas Academy High School Class of ’96 – Homecoming Reunion
Celebrating 20 years of greatness

Janet headed straight for the bar after having freed herself from that Cathy character. For the life of her, Janet had no recollection whatsoever of having known anyone named Cathy in high school, but she’d kept insisting they were friends! Goodness!

Poor Karen, Janet thought, shaking her head. Cathy had been firmly holding on to Karen’s arm when Janet pulled away and made her quick escape, mumbling vaguely about her tummy being upset.

Halfway across the hall Janet caught sight of Freddie, leaning on a wall, looking back at her. She began to smile but realized as she got close that he was eyeing somebody else. She looked behind her and saw Melanie, chatting away with her usual sidekicks. Some things haven’t changed. Janet took another look at Freddie and felt just a tiny bit sorry for him. He did not age very well. His hair was probably his one remaining asset.

How could you still be into her? Freddie and Melanie had probably been together all of two months in junior year, but he had pined for her all the rest of their high school days. Janet had seen it all. She had been pining for Fred, but he’d hardly ever even looked at her.

Janet decided to approach Fred. She silently stood beside him, and it took minutes before he turned to her and gave her a vague, unrecognizing but polite smile. Then he promptly turned his attention to Melanie.

“The picture hasn’t changed much, huh? Me, looking at you, looking at her.”

Freddie frowned and turned to her again, his eyebrows scrunched. “I think I remember you. Um, Janice?”

“Janet. Never mind. I’ll leave you be.”

She walked away as fast as she could.

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A to Z Challenge: Immaculate Isabelle (very late post for April 11)

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St. Thomas Academy High School Class of ’96 – Homecoming Reunion
Celebrating 20 years of greatness

Leo saw her entering the hall, radiant as ever in her white dress. Isabelle floated in the midst of the chattering, shrieking, hugging mass of bodies around her, smiling earnestly yet reservedly at her old classmates.

“Quit staring. Your eyes look just about ready to fall off and roll on the floor.” Paul was chuckling.

Leo continued to watch her with a dreamy expression. “You know how it was, man.”

“You know she never got married, right? Apparently no one could meet her standards. Not that I have to tell you.” 

Leo kept silent, choosing not to address Paul’s mocking tone. It still stung him though, the memories of having been turned down repeatedly. She’d just preferred “to focus on school.” She never did have a boyfriend, but back then, and even now, she always just seemed…happily pristine, somehow.

“I never did get her. And I don’t think I’ll ever understand. I mean, who walks like that? Damn, she’s still awesome.” Leo couldn’t keep from blurting his admiration.

Paul’s chuckle turned into a guffaw. “Man, you need a drink! Just drown your decades-old sorrows in gin.” He dragged Leo to the bar.

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A to Z Challenge: Hysterical Hilda (very late post for April 9)

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St. Thomas Academy High School Class of ’96 – Homecoming Reunion
Celebrating 20 years of greatness

Hilda looked like she was hyperventilating.

“WHADDYA MEAN I’M NOT ON THE LIST?!”

“Um. Hilda.” Zen tried to keep composed.

“That’s Councilor Hilda for you!”

“Okay. Councilor Hilda. I’m really sorry but you’re just not on the list. The only ones here are those who actually graduated in 1996. You transferred before the last year. You left. In fact I…”

“What? In fact you what? I dare you.”

“Okay. Since you dared me. The fact is I don’t know how you got an invitation in the first place.”

At this Hilda’s faced turned crimson. “Oh, I swear I’m gonna have your files dug up.”

“Uh-huh. No really, do tell me how you got one. I was on top of invitations, and I know we didn’t send you any.”

Hilda’s voice could be heard throughout the hall now. “If Sammy didn’t send me a copy I wouldn’t have learned of this atrocity that you committed against me. I swear you’re gonna pay for this.”

Hilda promptly turned and left, her heels clanking loudly.

Zen just sighed and shook her head.

“Ooookay then. Next!”

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A to Z Challenge: Gregarious Gloria (very late post for April 8)

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St. Thomas Academy High School Class of ’96 – Homecoming Reunion
Celebrating 20 years of greatness

Ow.

Gloria pressed her forefingers into her cheeks and flexed her jaw several times. She looked at her watch. Wow. That had been one whole hour of non-stop smiling from ear to ear, screaming and chattering, shaking people’s hands and receiving bear hugs. Her face muscles feel over-stretched and sore. Ugh.

Thank heavens for the loo! She didn’t need to pee or anything but she had to come here, this was the only place where she could sit in peace.

Gloria closed her eyes and would have dozed off, if not for the noisy, giggling new arrivals.

On with the show then.

When she opened the cubicle door, she found Sheila and Naomi touching up in front of the mirror.

“And I can’t believe how fat and bald Tony has….Gloriaaaa!!!” Naomi cut herself off and shrieked at the sight of her.

“Naomi! Sheila! Oh my, oh my, look at these beauties!” Gloria shrieked back and hugged her old classmates, even as she inwardly groaned. Her face still hurt.

Just a couple more hours of this, Gloria. You’ll be in bed with your book again, in just a wee bit. Soon, soon.

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A to Z Challenge: Fine Freddie (very late post for April 7)

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St. Thomas Academy High School Class of ’96 – Homecoming Reunion
Celebrating 20 years of greatness

You still got it, Freddie. 

Freddie winked at the mirror and practiced his winning smile one more time. He patted his belly, tried to suck it in for a few seconds. Ooh. Too hard. Really just have to wear that damned coat. 

He couldn’t wait to see the look of admiration on everyone’s face. He could already hear them in his mind, exclaiming how little he’d changed. Of course, there would be some who’d be too proud or insecure to approach him. And some would just hang their heads in shame, like Melanie and her cohorts. I bet she’s gotten so fat, maybe she’s got a dozen children and lives on hand-washing her neighbors’ clothes. And… 

Freddie stopped himself. He’d promised to quit thinking ill thoughts about the woman who had dumped him twenty years ago. He gave his reflection a good, long stare.  Get a hold of yourself, Freddie. You’re fine. You’re looking fine, doing fine. Just look at those dimples. And that thick, wavy hair. Still got it. 

He took a deep breath and took off, remembering to pick up his coat on his way out.

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A to Z Challenge: Enterprising Evan (very late post for April 6)

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St. Thomas Academy High School Class of ’96 – Homecoming Reunion

Celebrating 20 years of greatness

Clunk, clunk, clunk. Bang! Clunk. Crrrack!

All the rattling and clanking and banging made people stop in their tracks as Evan drove by in his big, red pickup truck. The looks on their faces–some puzzled, others annoyed–made him chuckle, and added to his excitement, too.

He made a mental checklist of the things he brought with him: A hundred and fifty pieces each of souvenir buttons, Class ’96 commemorative shirts in six sizes, mugs, shot glasses, teddy bears, pens and pen holders; and a couple of treasures he hoped to auction off: his dusty and beat-up St. Thomas Bears mascot costume and his copy of their yearbook. It was the only one, to his knowledge, that had the signature of every single member of the Class of ’96. He couldn’t wait to see how much it would fetch!

Evan had spent the last of his savings on the merchandise he’d had produced for selling at the homecoming, he didn’t even get to have his pickup repaired. It was in such bad shape that no one could’ve missed its arrival in town with all the noise it made. Never mind that, he thought. After I sell all this stuff I’ll have enough to start over. 

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