Thursday, June 14, 2012


I wrote this piece a few years back.  I forgot about it.  I just came across it.  It still seemed relevant.
Why is it that whenever I have this great brainstorm — this real revelation that I feel will open the door to all that I desire  I find out that someone’s already had that same enlightenment and it’s no longer a big deal?  Why is that?  That never happened to my sister.  She’d have these incredible light bulbs go off — have a spectacular idea that no one was doing.  It was pristine  still undiscovered.  But she didn't act on them.  She just talked about them, got you excited, and then after a while, when you realized she wasn't actually going to move on her idea, then you’d start to read about it or hear about it on TV or be startled when it was the cover story on some magazine touting the idea as the next great thing. 

This happened a lot over my lifetime with my sister.  First it was personal shopping and doing errands and things for other people who were too busy to do these things for themselves.  Then it was bag lunches and gourmet take-out.  She was convinced that people were sick of the same old lunch stuff and if you packed a good old-fashioned bag lunch and went to an office building and offered them for sale, you couldn’t go wrong — a few years later the box-lunch craze took off and is still a staple of office meetings, field trips, etc.  Whenever I saw her ideas realized by someone else, it hurt me.  It hurt me that she didn’t act on what she intuited…which is why when I was finally resting at the end of my Nia class at the Y  after a challenging body movement session patterned after different martial arts genres, after I’d moved muscles I didn't know I had and was thankful to be meditating at rest on my mat, thankful I’d made it through another class and gotten some exercise for this out-of-shape-over-weight body  that the idea came to me … STUCK.  That would be the name of my book!  The book that I’d been thinking about for years and years and years.  The collection of creative non-fiction that I’d been writing but never doing anything with. 

This fall I was laid-off from work and I thought, "Now’s the time.  Now’s when I should work on that collection of my writing and put those pieces into some kind of order that makes sense."  But organizing them was the hard part.  What unites them?  What’s the thread that weaves through them, other than they’re about me and my life experiences.  And then there it was …"stuck.”  They were all about being stuck in a place that trapped one from moving forward  toward happiness, fulfillment, contentment, satisfaction, pleasure.  It seemed it wasn't only me that had these issues.  

I’d recently been on an informal women’s "retreat" and though I’d met these women a year ago, I barely knew them  save for knowing the most intimate fears of each.  That’s what happens in one these gatherings  you get a chance to open and unload the absolute best and worst you have to share and you get feedback and nurturing and a kick-in-the-butt and whatever else you might need because that’s what we’re all there for.  And then, you all leave and drive or fly back to where you came from and hole up for another year, stuck in the life you’re living and not really making progress.  

Oh, there are always one or two women who have made progress.  And that’s what you yearn for.  Someone else’s success at this life could translate to yours!  You might get the encouragement or the insight you need to make that difference.  But often you don’t.  You keep dreaming about it, pining for it, pondering why it isn't, complaining about the state of things that you can’t seem to change.  SO when I thought of the title STUCK  it seemed miraculous to me; as if I’d found the key to open that long closed door that weighed massively in front of me my whole life.

Charged with this new energy, sure that this title, this title alone would propel me toward the finish I’d long hoped for  I raced to the computer and Googled “Amazon” and typed in “Stuck” and not the first entry, but the second was:

“STUCK:  BREAK OUT OF YOUR EMOTIONAL PRISON AND GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE by John Volkmer   Dog Ear Publishing, LLC (October 25, 2006)

Book Description: STUCK! is a manual with easy-to-follow steps and exercises for those of us who feel trapped in a negative condition which blocks us from moving forward and experiencing an exciting and fulfilling life. Some of the feelings associated with this negative condition may include: I just live day by day and don't make any plans for the future. I don't experience joy in my life. I almost never finish anything I start. I have relationship problems. On some days, nothing is right…” 

Hmmm.  My great revelation was taken.  Teasingly Amazon asked, “Did I mean unstuck?” and that yielded not one, not two, but more than ten Unstuck manuals for how to get things done in one’s life.  Forget my book, I should forget writing, I should just be reading to make things happen.  Finding out about “Stuck” I felt stuck all over again.

Still stuck or unstuck, books or no books, it was up to me.  I had the power or lack of it to make things happen. The thought was paralyzing.

It’s been two days since I began writing this  two days more of being stuck.  I can’t use that title or its reverse.  I’ll have to abandon the idea and find something else to propel me forward, push me to writing what I want to say what I feel will help me and help others.  I don’t know that it will but it seems as if telling your story can produce wonders.

Take Jessica Seinfeld.  She wrote a book, Deceptively Delicious, about sneaking vegetables into your child’s diet  something many, many, many of the reasonably good and nutritionally motivated moms know and do.  A celebrity wife writes the book, it's promoted, and before you know it, she’s on Oprah 1,500,00 copies later!  Why didn't we do that first?  Come to think of it, apparently someone else did  was it copyright infringement?  There was a legal brouhaha.  The other mom’s book, The Sneaky Chef, got some attention  but not a million in sales.

How tough can this book business be?  
In some ways, tough.  Very, very tough.


  1. Denise- I say go w/ Stuck! There is something unique in your vOice no one else can touch. Know this! Cherish it, be in it my friend. So glad you are writing. No more need to to google.....:). Can't wait to see how you keep developing what you share.

  2. Teri thank you for your heartfelt encouragement! And thank you for reading!

  3. I disagree with your intro. This piece is NOT very relevant. It's good, but you are NOT stuck in the same way that you felt when you wrote it. You've created this wonderful blog since then and continue to update it. Love you. :-)

    1. Well, I agree that I'm not stuck in the same way because the blog has been a wonderful outlet for the writing...still, I am stuck in other ways. Ways that are important to my well-being and happiness...thanks for all the support Susan!

  4. Write the book, I'll buy it!

  5. I agree with Teri. You can't keep looking over your shoulder (although finding a 'Stuck' on Amazon was a neat verification of your johnny-come-lately timing). Do you idiosyncratic best and let the chips fall. A lot of 'cover' songs transend the original. Make 'Stuck' your own! S.

    1. Well, I certainly hadn't thought of cover songs surpassing their predecessors! Thanks for the push to move forward!

  6. I think we are all stuck in our different ways, and I think you are trying hard to be much less stuck. This piece is a good motivator for me too.