For a long time I didn't get it. The twitter thing. Zip, zip, zap. People were funny. Or trying too hard to be funny. Or they were letting everyone know where they were PRECISELY. EVERY. MOMENT. Want to watch an introvert cringe? Map their whereabouts. Then publish their every move. It's enough to join the Witness Protection program.
But then - something happened and the tweets were not just 140 characters of move and lunch such. They were continuing conversations. Between strangers. That little by little and by continued conversations were no longer strangers but HUMANS connected in really odd ways. Someone has a penchant for Vintage Baseball and bam bam - they tweet from Tennessee and get a response from JAPAN. From a person. With a name. And a common connection is made. And that connection is part of the #story thing. AND THAT'S a part of MY thing. A very, large part. Let's call it a mass consumption of obsession.
I realized that the conversation also wasn't between people of like circumstances and agreements the way our friends on facebook can sometimes be. It was the wide, wide world. And, all I had to do was listen. And, that is something I know how to do. Tell me a story and I'll stay awhile.
It's also given me a great opportunity to hashtag to my hearts desire. Not the ones that might already be in existence or hot hot trending but the ones that come from my heart. Like when I recently wanted to shout out to some special women in my life and referred to them as my #soulsister tribe. It didn't take long before one soul sister ran with it and appropriately improved the # to #soulsistertribe And look - a whole new sub-univerise is born.
Amen. And as the man Joe sings - I get by with a little help from my Friends. All gazillion of them from around the world. #twittertribe
1. Work in a Bookstore. You love books a lot. Maybe you could work in a bookstore.
A. I could.Of course that's a bit like telling a crack addict they need to work in a meth lab. Last time I worked in a bookstore I could never get the books shelved with my left hand because my right hand kept ripping it out and putting it behind the counter going, "mine, mine , mine" like a twisted gollum whispering precious. "The stories I must have the stories." So I would end up owing the store more money than I made.
2. BE ON THE RADIO -
A. Also a lovely suggestion from an author buddy who declares on a regular basis that I have a great voice and should be on the air. Since I've had a radio Program on air for eight years in Nashville I might tend to agree with him. (Cept I think he's talking about the paying kind not more labors of love. Thanks, MM)
3. A SPEAKER/STORYTELLER - "You ever been to Jonesboro or some place like that? You should just tell stories for a living. You're really good at that. Why can't you make money telling stories?"
A. Those novels were kinda meant to do that and by God's good grace I do get hired to tell stories and inspire people in all their beautiful humanity to be more human - just don't do it frequently enough to buy Mama latte's too. And that's important.
4. TEACHER - Why don't you teach? You should be teaching at one of those colleges around here somewhere. Surely they would hire you for something.
A. Dare you to hook me up. No, I triple dog dare you.
5. THAT WOMAN THING - Why don't you work for that woman thing at Scarriet -Bennett? They would love you, just love you.
A. See 4A
6. IMPROV ARTIST - You should be on stage because you have a fast brain and you are funny. Like a comedian. But one that can make you cry. You know, like when you make people laugh and cry all at once. You should do that. That would be good. Seems to come natural to you.
A. Laughing and crying? Gettin' more natural all the time. Maybe I could get a can and go stand on Broadway Friday night and just see what the cat drags in and drops in the can.
7. RODEO CLOWN - I hear they get paid decent and that way you could travel and see the world one back road small town at a time. It would give you some good material for stories.
A. Got more stories in me than I can tell before the day I die. And, if I put on a clown suit and show up at my sister's door that day will come much sooner than later. (Sister is a card-carrying I hate clowns member.)
8. SPECIAL EVENTS - You should do those things cause you are very good at things that require eight arms and six eyes. And you can kinda pump people up while you are calming down at the same time. Matter of fact - how do you do that?
A. Ever had a bouncing baby on one knee singing daddy gone a hunting to the tune of froggie gone a courtin and typing furiously with one hand to turn in something that might be approaching the APOCALYPSE of deadlines? No? Well have you ever had AN auditorium full of people expecting RICK BRAGG to walk on and be his every-loving charming self and woo them with words except his plane got fogged in and he's not making it? So yes, I must say I have experience in this area. (I'll have to sit on that story and how it had a happy ending for all until another time.)
9. BABYSITTER - You are really, really good with babies. They seem to like you. You can rock them to sleep. You have a natural touch. I bet they are in demand everywhere.
A. NO. They are precious little pods and that's how they trick you because you will stand on your head and whistle dixie if it will get them to laugh and you will motor boat and airplane to get them to eat and you will tie them down with one leg over them while you wrestle their dirty little diaper butts to change them and you will sing them to sleep and tell them stories and THINK you will have half an ounce of energy left to wash your fact and write 500 words and you will not. You will not even be able to type a Title before you fall asleep.
10. WRITER. You know what I think? I think you should write cause sometimes you are really pretty good with them words you got.
A. You know what? I think you. are. right.