Writing life: A question of sanity

Boy, have we got lots to talk about. Welcome to my column, Write Out of Her Mind. As you get to know me, you’ll see the title fits. My mind is a busy place.

I have two kids, two dogs, two hamsters, one turtle and a cat. I have only one husband, affectionately known as The Carpenter. If I could find an electrician or a plumber to round out the number (and actually finish a renovation project) I’d be open to it.

This column exists as a response to a life-long question posed to me on a regular basis: “Are you out of your mind?”

Since my awkward childhood days, I’ve heard that question posed millions of times, in many unflattering tones.

It was usually based on my personal moments of self-proclaimed genius, such as boy crushes or hot ’80s fashion choices:  “Are you really going to wear that? Are you out of your mind?” 

That question has haunted me ever since.

When I proudly announced to my father that I was going to go to university to become a writer, his response was, “Are you out of your mind?”

The same response was garnered when I switched diplomas to the equally unemployable major of Canadian history.

When The Carpenter and I were broke and mortgaged to the hilt, I suggested we have another child. He asked the same question. “Are you out of your mind?” (Poor man; he’s so easily convinced). For some reason, the status of my mind has been in question for my full 39 years.  I suppose I should be insulted; paranoid even.

Writing, as an occupation, was a romantic concept but not necessarily the most direct path to success. Well, unless you write about boy wizards or teenage vampires.

I can write only about what I know and I never met a boy who really was a wizard (though I fell for a few who promised they were), and I would rather not comment on my experiences with teenage vampires (my mother will read this, you know). I suppose it depends on how you define success. I’d just like to get out of over-draft.

Sometimes it takes a crisis or a major shift in consciousness (or in my case, both) to really snap us into our own reality, into actually listening to the noises in our head. Call it instinct. Call it divine intervention. Whatever it is, I know that I am in my right mind when I am in my write mind. So the simple answer to that old familiar question is, simply put: Yes, I am absolutely, deliriously out of my mind and have never been happier.

I warned you, it’s busy in here. I’m looking forward to our weekly conversations. We’ve got lots to talk about.

The Carpenter is now on full alert that anything he does can and will be published in this newspaper for all of Wellington County to read.

Boy, I’m really going to enjoy this.

Talk to you next week.

Kelly Waterhouse