Thesaurus. Google. Notebook. Pencils. Laptop. Cellphone. Facebook. Lots of reading. Lots of life. These are the "tools of the trade" that we writers start with when trying to put words on a page.

By Trish Morgan
For the News Tribune
Thesaurus. Google. Notebook. Pencils. Laptop. Cellphone. Facebook. Lots of reading. Lots of life. These are the "tools of the trade" that we writers start with when trying to put words on a page.
Some days, it's so simple. The brain is a marvelous gift...full of a world of imagination. Thousands of thoughts and memories and words, words, words. Words and random sentences that come together - as if they must make their way to tell a story.
Sometimes, the words swirl round and round, and when jotting them down and bringing them to life - voila! - there is a poem. A poem that expresses something meaningful...something so personal - like a secret part of my soul is now in black in white.
My jumbled thoughts, scrambling around in my brain - ALL OF THE TIME, by the way - trying to make some sense, and make their way on to the screen or into my notebook.
I write every single day of my life. There is always something to say, it seems - whether it is posting on Facebook, writing press releases for newspapers or just simply releasing my most inner thoughts - and crazy dreams, even.
The writer's work is NEVER done, never enough. There is always more to say. There is the book - my book - that I have been writing for several years. It is filled with poetry and short stories of very special moments - treasures, really - my treasures, and my life's journey.
It is and continues to be a work in progress, and with just a couple of chapters to go, I face what many writers face. The fear of completion. The fear that when it IS finished and ready to submit for consideration, we face rejection. Rejection of our very soul in print. Rejection of who and what we are, having bared our very being...stripped down to the bone.
We remember the painful hours, and the middle-of-the-night composition of hopes and dreams and sorrow. We remember the solitude amidst the chaos of life - long hours of writing as life whirls around us - and even as the words would bleed and drip onto the paper, somehow with pencil in hand and eyes leaking memories on the lines of the notebook.
Someday soon, that book will be finished, edited and sent off to the publisher. And then, I will wait...knowing all of those words, those many, many most inner self now exposed to objective critique.
As for this weekly column, THE SIMPLE LIFE, can you imagine trying to come up with something to write about every single week? Trying to put together something interesting, important, relevant - and meeting a Thursday morning deadline at 10 a.m.? WHEW! Some weeks it is the biggest challenge! Other weeks, simple as pie.
Today's column is #45...meaning that for the last forty-five weeks of my life I have shared stories with this newspaper's readers about so many things. I have written about special people such as Jonathan Dayton, Alice Stephens, my parents and the blessings along the way during their cancer journey. There was a feature about Lisa Fazenbaker Bruckey and the Thanksgiving Blessing, and now her daughter has been inspired to share a blessing for school children.
I've written about so many other incredible, beautiful people - Don Stephens, Ali Barrett, Cheri Alt, Donny Ness, Nate Hines, Bryan Gue, Kenny Cooper and Coop's Bunns, Ally Norris, Chuck Green and his Back Street Reunion Committee in Piedmont, Connie Waterfall and the Shaw Mansion Inn, the late Chester Compton, Carla and Denny Brown, Will Hanlin - people who step up and make a difference in this life. People who expect no recognition for all that they contribute to bring light and love to all of us.
I've also shared my most personal journey - from a mother's perspective - of my life as a mother of an addict. That column was the most difficult one of the 45. It broke my heart, I cried as I wrote, I remembered the pain - still raw, so raw - seared into my soul. And I revealed it to the world, so to speak. One could say "I came out." The courage it took - well, only a mother experiencing the same journey would understand that. That column was written seven months ago, and I am happy to report that my son is now 20 months clean. Twenty months of a drug-free life - a good job, two children he loves dearly, a healthy recovery with wonderful support system through his NA meetings, and he is in love with his beautiful girlfriend. There is love, hope, courage, fellowship and peace in recovery. I have seen the worst, and I have seen the progress of recovery.
I suppose one could say writing is my least one of them. Ms. Agnes Laughlin, a teacher at the former Bruce High School in Westernport, was the first person who acknowledged that there was potential in my writing. I remember her words of encouragement, and how she told me to do lots of reading. I recall that she advised me to write about subjects I found interesting, and to describe how I write what was real.
Well, I did do a little journal writing after that, and a little poetry. But, I was a teenager on my way to love and heartbreak...but, ahhhhhhhhh...the love letters and the songs and poetry written just for me. Now those are some special writings I will always have, tucked away in a little corner of my heart.
Throughout the years of my life, I have done some writing here and there. However, writing became a serious endeavor in 1996, and since then, the tools listed at the beginning of this column have been my most trusted desktop pals.
Why do I write? It would be nice if there was a simple answer. It's complicated, really. I write when I feel led to write. I write when I've just awakened from a dream and feel inspired to say something. I write when I am passionate about something...when I am moved by something so magnificent that something has to be said about it. I write when there is sadness in my heart, when something tragic happens that I am personally affected by - I must write about it. Perhaps, in putting those letters on to the notebook paper and forming words, sentences, paragraphs...there is a story, a poem, a tribute to how I felt at that moment in time...and that someone, even just me, will remember what had to be said.
What's so special about being a writer? Nothing, really. As a writer, we can only hope that our readers can understand and feel our touched by them, be encouraged and motivated by them, and vicariously experience what the writer has to say.
It's not easy to put life into words on paper - knowing others will like what you have to say, or NOT like what you have to say. I suppose it is the same for an actor - who goes to rehearsals, studies her lines, learns her blocking, and then at each performance - does her best to present her character to the audience so that each theatre-goer can FEEL her character. An easy task? NO. But, we do it because there is nothing like becoming a character, working hard to create that someone, and then hearing applause and appreciation from others who felt the passion of the role and the play.
Same goes for the writer. Do we write for applause? Well, some do, I would imagine. But, not this writer. I write so that I can clear the cobwebs in my brain, set free the words that must be said.
The words that must said.