Originally published in … actually, I don’t know. It was written a while ago when I was in Portland.
Gimme An “S!”
I want a cheerleader.
I want a pom-pom squad of jumping, perky personality. I’m talking “Today Show” Perky. Someone who would make Katie Couric roll her eyes.
There is always room in this existence for a cheerleader. Someone who, no matter what the circumstance may be, is always around to give you an “S” — just because you asked for one. Someone who doesn’t care if you’re down by fifty points, or you feel like you haven’t accomplished anything. We should all have one. She should be waving her pom-poms as our mothers give birth. Forget having soon-to-be-fathers as coaches — put cheerleaders in the delivery rooms.
And it’s not just the fourth cup of coffee talking. It’s not the afternoon of possibilities I’m watching pass by from some bookstore’s upstart cafe window. I honestly require some spirit.
I have four novels started. I’m ambitious. I have even more that I think of writing. That’s what I do. I think about writing. Most writers actually put pen to paper, or fingers to keys like struggling pianists. Me, I’m an idea architect — that’s not the issue. Maybe it’s that I’m not quite tormented enough. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink to excess or have some oppressive addiction. I don’t even have a dead-end marriage. I’m an average woman looking to avoid Normalcy. You can’t squeeze inspiration out of that.
I need a “Yay, team!”
Wouldn’t that be a gas. There you are, struggling with the same paragraph you wrote two days ago, and some perky, always smiling cheerleader does a jumping split behind you. You’d finish that book just to shut her up, wouldn’t you? Sometimes, muses need to be bribed a little. I think I’ve found my larceny.
Gimme an “S”! For a start.
Cheerleaders-for-hire. Have pom-poms, will travel. We have spirit, yes we do! We have spirit, how about you! I can see the commercials now.
Tired of feeling down? Looking for inspiration? Have we got a deal for you —
I can see them prancing with pom-poms bouncing and hissing colors. Giving someone a reason to smile. A laugh to ease the frustration of not having gotten that job, that promotion. That publishing deal. Building pyramids in someone’s living room. Shouting in my ear with a megaphone. Spirited Professionals are ready to assist you!
N-O-V-E-L! What’s that spell? Novel! Novel! Go! Rowan!
Of course, I’d complain about character development just to make them spell the whole thing out and then find something that rhymes with development.
The reflection in the window of the cafe belongs to me and the busy downtown behind me, with its fountains courtesy of some city artist. The window becomes the house of a smile. And hands lifted, sans pom-poms. But it has to start somewhere.