shortly after I earned my bachelor’s degree I received a promotion, moved to california, and met a girl named leslie bell.  I really liked leslie bell.  short dark hair and lively brown eyes, a tall swimmer’s body, a willingness to laugh at the world and herself, there wasn’t much to dislike.  among other things, she introduced me to a little phrase that I occasionally use, leslie’s smiling image popping into my brain each time I do.  she used it to describe an activity swarmed with people:  it was wild–everyone and their pet alligator was there.  

everyone and their pet alligator.

as silly a comment as that is, it makes me smile, thinking of cheery leslie, picturing busloads and busloads of people, dragging their little pet alligators by the leash.

now you may not have the same warm and fuzzy association with that little phrase that I do, but hopefully the point of it is clear:  a group that appears to include everyone, including their wildest pet.

on to the point.

I am a writer, who, as I’ve stated before, has to write.  I can’t help myself.  however, I find it challenging to have the same drive/desire/destiny as so so so many other people, all of us aching to put our words out there in printed form for everyone else (and their pet alligators) to read (or otherwise devour).  it seems that everyone and their pet alligator wants to be a writer.

we all want to tell our stories; we all believe we have something worthwhile to say, and the yearning to say it.  I’m just one more, like everyone else, believing that I can create something worthwhile from small groupings of the twenty-six letters that form our alphabet.

it might be true that I know a few people who haven’t expressed to me their desire to write a book.  but those who have far outweigh those who haven’t.  we are a huge and varied crowd, each with a unique vantage point, lexicon, and way of expressing ourselves; there is room for all of us in this world.  I can either feel the support of the crowd, or choose to be intimidated by its roar.

at the present time I’m trying to navigate my way through online writing communities and author’s blogs . . . oh what a tangled web we’ve woven.  it’s easily overwhelming and an incredibly easy way to lose hours of your day.  I’d like to think I’m building little steps and stairways that will eventually lead me somewhere, but it’s not easy to tell.  I finally learned what rss feeds are, but I’m not yet ready to leap into the tweeting world:  I’m just not that succinct. or pithy.

so, here I sit, surrounded by pet alligators.  they seem to be kind, and of all varieties.  I’m sure they have much to teach me . . . I guess it’s my job to be open to what they have to share.