where fodder comes from

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I’ve been exhausting myself by writing until midnight or after lately. While I love that I’m writing for at least two hours each night, it’s getting me in trouble. I write so much that I’m wired and then I can’t sleep and then I oversleep and then I’m late for work and then my day is thrown completely off, and then, well, the cycle begins again.

So tonight I’m doing something a little different. I poked around in some old files for something a little lighter, something fun to play with that wouldn’t put too much of a strain on my tired brain. And I came up with this series of two-sentence reviews:

Book review by my dad:
Read South of Broad by Pat Conroy.
Sex Drugs and Shrimp and Grits.

Movie review by my mom:
Marley and Me is really good, but it makes me cry.
I’ve watched it eight times.

Movie review by my sister:
You should get cable and watch Lifetime movies.
That would cheer you up.

These were all pulled from old emails. When things were different, when my mom was still around and in good health, and when I had a better relationship with my dad and my sister, I would occasionally get these little movie or book reviews tucked inside emails about nothing in particular.

I’m an email pack-rat; I hardly ever delete emails. I have emails from Scott; threads of exchanges among Scott’s friends in the weeks after he died; letters from my mom that often told me, just by her choice of font and sentence structure, how she was doing mentally. I have  love letters I’ve sent and received from people who are no longer in my life. I can trace the timeline from the day I first saw Petey’s photo online to several months after I adopted him. I have an email I sent my mom’s best childhood friend after my mom died, and I have Andrea’s response.  There are resumes and cover letters I sent to potential employers; there are emails I sent myself as reminders to pay the rent.

The list goes on and on. There are 8,348 emails in my in-box alone, and they date back to fall of 2003 (prior to that I was, unfortunately, pretty determined to keep a clean in-box). As long as I keep this email account, as along as I remain an email pack-rat, I’ll probably never run out of things to write about.

And how cool is that?


Author: Kim Sharp

more later

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