Thursday, February 5, 2009


Our daughter Carolyn turned 16 last week and decided she's old enough for a part-time job. She's been visiting restaurants and filling out applications. She recently applied at a restaurant her older brother was fired from a few years ago.

Later that day at the dinner table she mentioned to him that she'd applied there and he said, "EEWH, I hope I didn't wreck your chances of ever getting hired there. If I did, I'm sorry."

I was happy that he'd matured enough to be sorry.

My husband Steve didn't think that was enough and said, "Matt, I wish you'd write a letter to the owner apologizing for your actions."

An uncomfortable silence clogged our dinner conversation (this is a good place for a strong metaphor and if I wasn't blogging, I'd star this section and come back to it in a few days.)

After a few awkward moments, Matt said, "Well, Dad, I bet you have a few letters of your own to write."

More uncomfortable silence. To my credit, I didn't start listing people Steve could write. And after a minute, I recalled a line from one of my favorite movies. "Everybody has to write their own letters," I said quoting a line from "Changing Lanes" and attempting to shift the conversation to a less stifling topic.


I love memorable lines like that. Some day, I want to write a novel that's full of them. But right now all my novel ideas are unfinished drafts on my computer.

It's so hard for me to devote substantial time to my novel ideas because I'm afraid the finished product won't meet my expectations.

I was speaking with a friend at work about my hesitations. She said, "It's better to do it imperfectly than not to do it at all."

Another good line. I think I'll make it my new writing motto.