Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Are You Hungry, Too?

*

Recent events have me considering the concept of hunger.

It's something I've mused on in the past, even written about. Here is the start of a novel I never finished about two siblings who are hungry, but deal with it differently:


Gabe is always hungry. Nothing ever seems to fill him up. There is not enough soup, not enough toys and not enough love. Mama says, “Boy, someone could walk right up to you and hand over a hundred dollars and you’d whine for one more.”


Mama can’t say that about me, though. I am happy with whatever I get. Maybe it's because I'm three whole years older than Gabe. Maybe it's because I have learned that there's no more coming and you'd better enjoy what's sitting on your plate. I guess age can do that. Teach you how to be filled up on half a bowl of soup, or half of Mama’s love.


I quit writing this novel because it began to feel too personal, too close.

Not the mother part, mine was very loving.


And not really the soup part, we weren't rich, but weren't poor, either.

But, something about living hungry struck a chord with me.


Longing for more, always wanting.


And, lately, that thing has been the publication of my work. Sure, I've had articles and music published. That was nice. But, like Gabe, it wasn't enough. I want more. I want an actual career as an author.

I'm willing to work, to push, to fight my own insecurities and laziness.

I'm willing to listen, and try and learn.

I'm hungry.

Are you?
*

29 comments:

Suzanne said...

Oh Tess. I'm famished.

Lisa and Laura said...

dude, I'm STARVING. And it's not just because I've given up carbs for the time being.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Absolutely! Great analogy! :0)

Sharon Mayhew said...

We truly are soul sisters. I looked to books and people in my community to quech my thirst, to believe in me, to encourage me, to help me escape. With all of my struggles, it all worked out well. My daughter will not be filling her first car up with oil and $5 worth of gas to go to job number three on the weekends. I've always been hungry; hungry to be the best at whatever I was doing. My thirst was quenched a bit last week with notification of my first publication in a magazine, but like you I want it all. Book tours, kick off parties, (yes, I know it's a thing of the past, apparently) book signings and school visits. Oh what a wonderful life it will be.

I raise my glass to all of our futures. :)

Ann Victor said...

Excellent beginning Tess. Pity you stopped the novel.

Kelly H-Y said...

Yes, yes, yes!!! Great post!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Ravenous. I'll scarf it up and be back for more.

Yunaleska said...

Definitely starving for publication :)

L.T. Elliot said...

I'm very glad you're hungry. I hope you're satiated soon.

Jody Hedlund said...

Don't you think that we can always be fixated on that hunger (like Gabe) if we let ourselves? After experiencing a writer's conference, I realized (or maybe I already knew), that there's always more and always better that we writers are striving for. If it's not publication, then it's to sell more books. Then if it's not more books, then it's to have a more popular publisher or to be more popular ourselves.

The hunger is there for all of us in one way or another. I think we can have a healthy appetite that drives us to do better and be better. But too often we let it take control and gnaw at us, until we don't find contentment with where we're at and what we have. I guess it's a matter of changing our perspectives and looking at that plate we're dished and seeing the blessings on it.

Scott said...

YES!

I think when we lose the hunger, when we fill ourselves up to overflowing . . . well, that will be a very sad day. I think, as writers and people, we need to strive for more, to hunger for more, but to find some sort of balance so that we don't . . . well . . . over eat or burn out.

Moderation should equal the key to success. We can fly, but if we get too close to the sun . . . well, like Icarus before us, we're going to crash and burn, or burn and crash in his case.

So, we need to tend to our hunger, not rush through (bad for the digestion, ya know), and keep the dream alive by feeding it moderately, little snacks in between, and all that jazz.

Hunger for dreams is a dang good thing.

S

Janna Qualman said...

Lovely! And entirely relatable.

Loved your unfinished blurb.

Janice said...

Love this post.

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

Somehow I'm oddly both hungry and content.
~ Wendy

Linda Kage said...

Starving! It's nice to see I'm not the only one. You so get us.

Tess said...

Suzanne: so ready and waiting are we

L&L: no carbs? oh no! why not no air? That would be easier for me... jk!

Kristen: glad I'm not alone

Sharon: I am so happy for your success - can't wait to see the article.

Ann: I might come back to it someday....I just didn't really know where it was going, you know? I got stuck on page 37.

Kelly: hooray for really wanting the dream, right? For being willing to scrap for it a bit.

Tricia: scarf is a fantastic word! it made me giggle a bit this morning, thanks :)

Yunaleska: we'll get there...bit by bit.

LT: don't know if I will be...but just suddenly aware of the level of desire and willingness to work...

Jody: yes, your are right - we must keep it in check. It's just the desire to work and fight and keep trying that is suddenly so clear in my mind.

Scott: nibbles, eh? snacks? keep it lean...keep it hungry...I like it ;)

Janna: oh, I love relating so your comment makes me happy :)

Janice: thanks, friend!

Wendy: what a wonderful outlook to have. Very healthy stuff.

Linda: what a kind thing to say, thank you!

Crystal said...

Tess, I'm STARVING! I brought my fork and knife along . . .

But seriously, yes, I understand what you mean. You've eaten a little bit here and there, but you want the the WHOLE meal to satisfy that gnawing in your gut of becoming an author and publishing a WHOLE novel. I don't know if I'm making any sense here . . . haven't had my coffee yet . . . but, I think we, as writers, can all relate to that hunger . . .

And Tess, I really like that excerpt from that novel you quit . . . you really should have kept going with it! I'd definitely want to read more. It immediately brought to mind writers like Cynthia Rylant and Ruth White (Belle Prater's boy). . .

Good post, Tess!

Davin Malasarn said...

Tess, as soon as I saw your question, I felt it apply to my writing as well. I do feel hungry. I want so much to share the story that I have written with people. You are an amazing writer, Tess. These two paragraphs are so well-written. I feel very confident that you will get published and that you will do well. Even though I'm on a reader of middle grade fiction, I can't wait to read your work.

Lazy Writer said...

Starved!

Solvang Sherrie said...

I'm starving, Tess. Dying from hunger.
I hope we get to eat soon!

lotusgirl said...

Oh, baby! I'm hungry too. I love your beginning there. I understand though when things get too close. Even when they have nothing to do with you personally. It's the feelings behind the story that matter.

Tess said...

Crystal: you make perfect sense and touched on something I hadn't considered...maybe it is because I had a tiny taste as of late that my appetite is so voracious.

Davin: your kind words mean so much - yes, it is that longing to share, to be seen to be heard.

Lazy: hah!

Sherrie: me, too! here's raising a glass that we will :)

lotusgirl: yes, somehow too close at the time. Maybe someday....

MG Higgins said...

Count me among the starving.

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Yes, I know exactly what you mean about that "hunger" and I sometimes feel like I am starving!

Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

Yes I'm hungry. But I'm tired too. You know?

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

I'm gluttonous. lol. But willing to work for my dessert. :)
I tagged you on my blog today. I figured it was appropriate since you were such a big help with the issue of using lyrics in our manuscripts. :)

Jill Kemerer said...

My stomach is growling, and my mouth is hanging open with drool dribbling out. Yep. I'm hungry. Have a great weekend!

dellgirl said...

Great post, Tess. I love the comparison you made here. It describes me to a "T".

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Lady Glamis said...

Great post! I'm glad you're hungry, but I hope you're keeping a good balance and letting other things in your life fill up the corners of that hunger, too. Knowing you, you are, of course.

I'm not hungry right now. I'm really full, actually. Monarch's almost done, I've been spending more time with family, and some hardships have really put things into perspective for me. Publishing and getting an agent suddenly doesn't seem like such a huge thing for me right now. It's so great to see everybody else climbing up the ladder, though! For now, I'm just happy to finish my book and know it's good. :)