WHAT HAPPENS IF I CAN’T KEEP QUIET?
This blog post, the last one I’ll write for Women and Words, is a heartfelt thank you letter to the two people who established this blogger’s collectiveeleven years ago. Andi Marquette and Jove Belle are taking a much-deserved hiatus from their tasks at Women and Words.
I only hope that they know their readers and contributors appreciate all of the time and effort they gave to maintain this blog site while they attended to their jobs, their family members, and their own writing careers. I hope they realize that they opened a new writing path for some of us.
Three or four years ago, I found myself in that uncomfortable place writers often label “between projects.” I felt so unproductive as I awaited the arrival of a new protagonist with a story to flow from their whispers to my fingertips, and from there to float across my computer’s screen. With the skill of a seasoned politician facing her inpatient constituency, I perfected the art of dodging other writers’ and friends’ frequently asked question, “What are you writing now?”
During the GCLS Conference in Washington, D.C. I had a sit-down with Andi Marquette, a writer whose sensibilities and keen intelligence I’d admired since the day we first met. In no time at all Andi convinced me to write a monthly blog for Women and Words.
Why? Because Andi was the best deejay the GCLS ever hired to program the music for the annual post-awards dance. Because Andi was someone who appreciated what it was like to be “the other” attending the conferences during the years preceding the GCLS’ policy to increase its memberships’ diversity and inclusion. Did she understand otherness because she was an anthropologist who had spent time appreciating other cultures, or was her understanding rooted in her sensitivity to people’s feelings? An admired linguistic habit of Andi-the-Wordster is her proclivity to sprinkle her writing with words/expressions spelled as she hears them. Websters Dictionary be damned. Marquetteisms like “ surusly,” “ermagawd,” “moar,” and “thank yuh, ver-a much” crack me up.
Jove Belle has rushed to my rescue more than once when my elementary level technology skills failed to solve minor problems that seemed unsurmountable.
Picture a chipmunk seated at a concert grand piano, attempting to play Duke Ellington’s “Concert of Sacred Music”, and you have some idea of how deftly I handled computer snags.
“Jove, please help me! I’ve launched my blog two days earlier than I should!”
“Jove, please tell me how I can transfer my blog from my Word file to the Women and Words site.”
“How can I get rid of that “type/choose a block” message?”
Lord only knows what Jove thought when she read my S.O.S. emails. I know that she never failed to resolve my problems.
Thank you, Andi and Jove, for giving your writers opportunities to stretch their skills, for offering your readers many chances to reflect and discover more than one side of an issue.
Thank yuh ver-a much!!
My dear readers, it’s likely that I still have more things to say. So, in the event that I cannot shut up, and you’re still willing to follow my thoughts and opinions, I’ll leave a trail of words leading to additional blog posts, should they arrive.
Renée Bess is the author of five novels, and the co-writer of the 2019 GCLS Goldie Award winning anthology, Our Happy Hours, LGBT Voices from the Gay Bars. Her new book, Between a Rock and a Soft Place, is a collection of her short stories, poetry, and creative non-fiction. Her publisher is Flashpoint Publications. www.reneebess.com
© Renée Bess 2021