Writer, No Writing.

From only a few dozen episodes of Dora The Explorer my toddler has learned how to say “muy bien” and “gracias”, and I’ve  had a major life epiphany the likes of which shall forever change my soul. A dumb cartoon is a powerful thing, eh?

The premise of the show is that Dora is a Spanish-speaking explorer. I know. You wouldn’t have guessed as much. There is her little monkey friend, Boots (a monkey… who wears boots), a sing-songing map named Map (whose most noteworthy lyrics are “I’m a map. I’m a map. I’m a map. I’m a map. I’m a MAP!”), and a whole of brightly colored vista in which your child can save a baby mountain león, dance with a shooting estrella, and find the sacred corona of a struggling, half-submerged mermaid kingdom all in a tidy 20-minute episode.

My son is clawing his hands through the air because when Dora says “subir” you subir, sucker. I’m contemplating cleaning the bathroom again because by the fifth chorus of “I’m a MAP!” dousing my hands in bleach and going elbow-deep into a dirty toilet sounds like a pleasant distraction. Instead I sit tight, listen to the map’s celebration about being a map, and lose time by the most dangerous thinking.

In the time since I’ve last written on this blog: Syria got in a bar fight with the world, I got a dog, some teams played football, some teams played baseball, Miley Cyrus lost her manners , her pants, and her damn mind, my sister found out she was pregnant, I threw a baby shower, she went past her due date, my new nephew is a solid month old, I forgot to jog but never forgot a meal or snack or fourth meal, my pants shrank, the whole government went on vacation, we went to the zoo, Thomas watched two monkeys do unspeakable things to one another, the local weather girl got highlights, I almost burned my face off with some “gentle” ‘stache removal cream, and seven months of silence passed in the blink of a blogless eye.

I was noodling over how this fall off the face of Blog Earth took place, how I’ve spent much time doing nothing at all, how I haven’t been able to reconcile being a writer who doesn’t write when my son’s hollering broke through. “SWIPER, NO SWIPING! SWIPER, NO SWIPING! I HATE SWIPERS, MOM. I JUST HATE HIM.”

The clueless cartoon viewer should note that a highlight (or low point) of every Dora episode is when some Mexican wiener dog/ raccoon/fox creature attempts to steal something from Dora or Boots or even the map named Map. The aptly named Swiper just needs to swipe. In turn, your child is encouraged to verbally assault the poor bastard thief with a few hefty screams of  “SWIPER, NO SWIPING!” until said weinerfox finally gives up, fleeing with only a measly “Aww, man”.


   I snap at my kid to cut it out. I am embarrassed at my own bark but- like most of my parental shortcomings- decide just to go with it. I pass this defensiveness off as good parenting. “We don’t hate anything or anyone” I say. “Hate is a harsh word”, I tell him like the grand Mother Manners I am not. But what I truly *think is this: Leave me alone! I am the swiper who es no swiping. I am the writer who es no writing. And what an awful thing to be!


     If you don’t “do what you do” then what are you doing? If I am bone for bone and pound for pound made to write and simply don’t, then what happens? If we aren’t actively and everyday and all the time exactly what we’re built to be how do we turn out?  Does the Universe just kind of implode? Does the smoke shoot from my ears before my head bursts into flames? Do I just shut up already and pick up knitting?

      I have spent many mornings staring at a cobweb in a kitchen corner as the inside of my head races with punny quips and possible posts. I’ve laughed all alone in a grocery aisle to the punch line of a joke I haven’t shared. I’ve felt isolated without a few smart words or outrageous insults from readers coming my way. And it occurs to me that things are desperate when you miss even that one anonymous Extreme Christian’s daily comment reminders of what a godless whore you are.

I stopped writing and stayed stopped for a million little bitty and no big reasons. But it’s about time I got back to myself. As I attempt to crack the knuckles, dust off the old laptop, and get down to the business of being a writer who escribes, I’ll distract you from this rusty post with a bit of encouraging advice: Play on, Player. Swipe on, Swiper. Ramble on, Rambler. Write on, Writer. Map on, you silly little Map named Map.


What’s happened with you while I’ve been hibernación?

*Here are some dangers of thinking/ reasons you shouldn’t really ever take my advice completely/ flaws in my logic: Serial Killer, No Killing. Stripper, No Stripping. Dope Head, No Doping. Drunk, No Drinking. Liar, No Lying. Ke$ha, No… ick just stop. If you’re horrible then absolutely don’t be yourself. All the rest of youse, carry on.


78 thoughts on “Writer, No Writing.

      1. I don’t think I got that from Dora, but who knows. I also love how many typos I had it that comment. Stupid computer. It’s supposed to say “I’m so excited!” and Go Tori Go!

        Instead I look like someone who can’t speak English let alone Spanish.

  1. Hello! I can only imagine how hectic and time consuming life must have been to make you disappear for a while. But it’s great that you’re writing again 🙂 I understand feeling like you’ve lost identity if you don’t write. I feel the same very often.

  2. Hey Tori– I was *just* thinking about you and wondering how you’ve been doing! (So maybe I can even take credit for you writing this blog post. It’s like I manifested you, right?… Right?… [crickets chirping])

    You are not alone in the zero blogging department, sista. Dear God, no, I think the last “post” I wrote was in May. But in between then and now, I’ve had mini revelations about life (flowers are pretty!), major revelations about life (I am an endless being of potential), a facial for the first time ever, trips to Vancouver, trips to Phoenix, a soul-shaking experience at a Depeche Mode concert (LOVE), and more harbour takeout food than you can shake a stick at. One of these days I’ll start writing again… thanks for the motivation to BE myself and to OWN my natural talents. 🙂

  3. I had to wipe the sleep and puss from my eyes – The Ramblings? Is it possible? And then cautiously, furtively, worrying what it might contain, I opened it, to great relief that all is well in Tori Land and you simply had a case of the Writer-Gone-Missing. Geez Louise it’s about time you landed in my inbox.
    Happy you’re back and all is well. Well, besides Dora. This too shall pass.

    1. Did you worry it was a pipe-bomb? Like the e-mail kind? Like maybe that’s why I disappeared from the internet, turned into one of those crazy Unabomber types and went off the grid! So glad to be back. I’ve missed you, lady!

  4. Well, I’ll be damned. My favorite godless whore is back!

    Nothing much has occurred around these here parts. Other than getting married, that is. And taking a trip to Denver to watch my favorite NFL team play. And my townhouse nearly burned down. Hey, other than all of that, not much new to report!

    Welcome back. Really good to see you. Hope you stay for awhile.

    1. Whorin’ it up since 1987, sir. That’s what I’m here for 🙂 Also? Ugh. This is why I get sent to the bathroom when we’re out to eat. Food always comes as soon as I leave. So sorry to hear about your townhouse :(That’s scary! And so pumped to hear about your marriage! Belated congrats, man! Can’t wait to get all caught up with you guys!

  5. Tori, you just keep on Toring! I’m glad you’re back in the writing game. It’s amazing how easy it is to fall into the comfortable extra-fluffy couch coma of not-writing. Not because you don’t like writing, but because it requires 1000x more effort than just sinking deeper into the cushions and finding out what honey boo boo is up to these days.

    1. It’s true. Relaxing trumped thinking and all of a sudden a giant chunk of time passed! Although, HGTV was my show of choice. I’m a Southerner, but I can’t for the life of me translate Honey Boo Boo. It all sounds like sloppy Spanish to me 🙂

  6. I think I should share co-ownership in the telepathic conjuring up of your writerly spirits. Or maybe we’re all just cosmically linked some way? Or…something less…weird. Anyway, you’ve popped in my mind a lot lately, too! I was so excited to see a new post by you this afternoon. 🙂

    A lot has been happening in my neck of the woods, most of it revolving around the new, albeit temporary (sigh), full-time job I’ve acquired. I’m teaching 6 classes (5 of them are different from one another), and I have about 160 students this semester. I’ve basically been living under paper. Like a silverfish. That’s gross. No wonder I never get invited places. Anyway, I’m glad you’re back and I hope you are able to keep regaling us with wonderful stories of whorishness and Dora. I hope to return to the Blog World myself one day. Welcome back!!

    1. You girls are powerful, all bossing me around with yer brains! YOU, dear, sound totally busy. It makes me realize how lazy I’ve been lately. A 20-minute walk or sweeping the floors seemed like a hectic, packed, I-CAN’T-HANDLE-ONE-MORE-THING kind of day. Clearly, I need to up my game!

  7. Hey…I think I recognize that little avatar that popped up in my Reader. I have been semi-off the radar lately, but nowhere near your level. You win the “life is just too damn busy right now to blog or read” prize. Hope you don’t expect a trophy.

    Nice to hear from one of my favorite godless whores.

    1. Just as my whorish sisterhood, I aim to please. Ewwww. So glad to be back, although I haven’t been busy or important or making any great progress in my time away. Just eating myself towards sleepy and then napping it off 🙂

    1. Haha. Dora would find me with the use of her trusty map because he’s a map, he’s a map, he’s a map, he’s a map, HE IS A MAP, Y’ALL! Really happy to be back. I’ve missed this bloggy banter 🙂

  8. You had me laughing with the things going on in your life since you last blogged! My husband and I are trying to think of various DVDs we should buy for our son, as I really don’t like the cartoons on television (very violent – woah!)…. The purple dude is totally out… and now I’m thinking Dora might be too. Lol.

    1. Dora is GREAT for kids (Just dreadfully boring and repetitive for the parents)! I know what you mean. Thomas tried to watch another cartoon channel the other day and it was all weapon-wielding super heroes and scary villains. The kid already wants to wrestle and scissor-kick anything that walks. The last thing I need is a cartoon teaching him more moves 🙂

    1. Well, it started as a way to simplify. Before I knew it I wasn’t just not blogging, I wasn’t doing much of anything. I thought about how much I used to cram into any given day and felt pretty lazy about the whole thing 🙂

  9. Judging from the amount of comments here, I think it’s safe to say you’re been sorely missed. I did a double take when I saw your post in my inbox. “The Ramblings? Wait, sounds reallllly familiar. OMG no way. Tori???” So yeah. You were missed. 🙂
    Mini life update: I’m now in London. If you fancy some chilly weather, high tea, and great architecture, please come on over to visit. Don’t forget a nice coat. You can still get away with wearing PJs as long as you have a nice coat over it.

    1. London sounds amazing! It’s cold here, too… just without the fancy high tea or great architecture (unless the new strip mall counts as artsy!). So glad to be back. I’ve missed you guys!

  10. So glad you’re back, Tori! I’ve been in the “writer, no writing” funk many a time and understand how you feel. Just last week, I started writing again. Soon, I’ll be updating my neglected blog, which hasn’t seen a new post since July.

  11. Well, I have to admit that you have crossed my mind several times since you’ve been not-posting,,,,”how the h-e-double hockey sticks did she write so much with a little kid?!” I am a-struggling to fit writing/blogging into my existence as a new mother and the best/kindest/sanest advice I can give myself is to just take a break/slow down/and just enjoy what you can of the blog-o-sphere – priorities shift and that’s okay… 🙂

    1. If you just cut out a few small things from each day (like SLEEP, EATING, BATHROOM BREAKS) it’s really a breeze to fit all the writing work in. Ah hahahaha. I’m just kidding. Mamahood definitely takes first priority and first chunk of time. I started writing at weird hours and maybe just a few sentences at a time. It might take me a week to finish one post, but it was writing!
      I like your philosophy: slow it down, take a breather, things will get done when they can. No rush!

  12. Like many others here, I have wondered where the hell your godless whore ass went. Welcome back, baby. (No, I didn’t become an extreme Christian while you were gone. I simply remained a smartass.)

  13. Stopping doing what you do can happen so easily sometimes, I know. I’ve been there. And you know it’s something you’re really supposed to do because it feels so good to be doing it when you get back to it. Glad to have you back!

  14. Tori, my rambling, wandering friend, I MISSED YOU!

    A writer who no es writing is usually pent up and miserable (it’s possible that is just me…).

    While you were out, I trained for and ran a half marathon, went on a dream vacay to the gorgeous Caribbean, woke up one morning with a kid instead of a baby (what the freaking heck?), started writing consistently, began work on my bachelors in Creative Writing, met lots of awesome blogging peeps, welcomed my brother back from Afghanistan, read a lot of books, had a lot of book-induced hangovers, became completely addicted to Goodreads (I can quit at any time), bought my domain, and generally just did all the other boring things I do all the time.

    Glad you’re back. If you ever do this again, I will cyber-annoy you until you come back. It won’t be pretty. 😉

    Writer, get to writing!

    1. Annnnnnnnd you’re the most productive human being on the face of the earth. Sweet Jaysus! Did you sleep at all? Any snack breaks? I feel like I’ve had a full day when I manage to shower and unload the dishwasher. Clearly, I need to up my game. You es winning at vida, chica!

      1. I forgot to mention that I generally look like death eating a cracker. There are side effects to this insanity, apparently. I’m coming down from the crazy high, though. Going into hibernation mode for winter.

        You’re going to write about all you’ve been up to, right? I’m dying to know. I hope you and your awesome family are doing great.

      2. I was going to spend the whole first month back telling you guys all I’ve been up to but then it all just turned into one post titled “NAPPING & STUFF”. Pretty boring! I wish I had some exciting adventures to share 🙂

  15. SO glad to see you back!! I came here for a few months after you stopped and then decided that maybe you quit for good. But I’m so glad you didn’t!! Thank god I visited SITS today 🙂

Ramble on, little rambler...

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