If you can't say something nice, at least make it funny!

Thanks for visiting Tinfoil Magnolia, a blog about my life, times, marriage, friendships and all the strange things that happen to me and with me. I hope you find something here that will encourage you, inspire you or at the least entertain you. And if it doesn't today, check back tomorrow because, my life? honestly...

Thursday, November 11


My NaNo Writing Spot
This month I am working on a novel. No, I don't have a publisher, agent, or any clue yet what the H-E-doublehockeysticks I am doing. I am just writing. And trying to finish. Later I will worry about rewriting, editing, paring down, plot lines, continuity, and the like. I don't KNOW how to be a writer. I don't have the first clue. I just sit and write what I dream up in my head. I don't have outlines, I don't have structure, like I said I don't know what I am doing. Just recording the thoughts that come into my head.

All my life, at least since I can remember, I have wanted to write books. I took the practical route in college and rather than getting the English degree that I had always wanted I studied business instead. Which provided well for me during the first 20 years of my career, but I never knew a day of work that was pleasurable. I loved people that I worked with but never enjoyed going to work much.  Only in my late 30's when I indulged my passion for the arts, returning to school to study graphic design, did I begin to recognize what truly being happy, fulfilled and passionate about your profession could be like. I had a design job and I actually looked forward to going to work every day for the first time in my life. I loved what I was doing. Only a year later would I allow myself to say "I am a graphic designer" because I felt like an impostor. 

This year I have realized something about myself. I am a writer. I have always been a writer, and I always will be a writer. Whether I ever have anything published, whether my novel someday becomes a best seller or languishes in the $3.99 bin at Big Lots, at heart I am a writer and I always have been. I don't need classes or a degree to make me that. All my life, I have written. From elementary school stories about pigs and a rooster who are BFF's to a horrendous 8th grade story about a blonde girl, a candy apple red camaro and a lifeguard that my teacher embarrassed the heck out of me with by reading aloud in front of the class. From bad teen angst poetry to lyrical research papers on photographers, designers, and pieces of art.

I remember in high school we had an English class one year in which we had to write an original short story every week. I always knew exactly what to write every single week. My best friend was always freaking out and saying she had no idea what to write about and I would help her brainstorm. Later in our lives, imagine my surprise when she became a photojournalist, and eventually received her own weekly column in our hometown's paper in which she had to come up with something to write every week. See, when I was younger, I wanted to have a weekly column in the paper. Like Dave Barry. A column where I could write about life, co-workers, my thoughts and whatnot with introspection and humor and a common touch to which people would relate. I wanted to be Dave Barry. A nationally syndicated writer with a weekly humor page.

And this, my friends, is the irony of the internet. Here I sit today, having just been struck by the lightning bolt of realization that this blog? Is. My. Column. This is the chance I give myself, and that is why I have been doing this all these months. In the world that is now ours I, and millions like me, don't have to wait for someone to notice, don't have to beg for editor approval, don't have to sit around and wish for creative outlet. This is my weekly column. (Of course I also don't get paid, but...)

I do have the desire to learn more, how to be skilled in the fine art of story crafting, dialogue and exposition. I will soon take classes to help me fine tune my writing, and I do still dream of being published some day. But I just want to mention here that back in May I posted a that I had made a list of things to accomplish this year, and last week one of them came true. I wrote a freelance piece that was published in the local paper and I have another to write this week. Do NOT discount the power of writing down your goals. Even when they seem to be out of reach. They are out there, for the taking.


  1. good luck!
    I don't think we can ever go wrong if we follow our dreams and work towards them.

  2. You are a great writer. I can't write at all, but I read a lot so I know of what I speak.

    BTW, I love Dave Barry. I was sad when he decided to give up his column.

  3. Hi, Marsha!
    Well, what first brought me over here was the fact that you studied graphic design (as did I way back in the late 80's in college) and I SO enjoyed being introduced to you through this post. You are right: your blog is your column and more people read it than I'm sure you'll ever realize. Scary and exhilarating at the same time, isn't it? I'm just finding this out myself! Looking forward to stopping by and getting to know you better.

  4. Thanks, ladies! I so appreciate anyone who takes time to read my silly thoughts. Welcome, wearingthin, glad you stopped by. Appreciate having a fellow designer. Be sure to check out my post on Comic Sans!

  5. Yeah, we're writers. While I'm at work, I'm thinking about my fictional people named Dean, Lark, Mallory, and a guy in a black suit who may or may not be the Devil. I also think about blog posts. Today, I planned a post I'll write tomorrow about my disappointment in my teenage daughter being a good girl in her musical choices and the lack of rebellion in my house. Our blogs are our voices. Our art is there for everyone to see. I enjoy your blog. Thanks for having it. Can't wait to read your novel and for you to read mine.