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by Hedgebrook Guest

When my author website came to life in 2011, my publishers encouraged me to post a blog entry two or three times a week. This sounded so simple and kind of fun. I had loads to say about my new book, about the writing life in Hollywood (moving from fiction to nonfiction) and about all the ways a woman creates opportunities to gain and share wisdom. Wasn’t the world waiting for my wisdom?

Four years later, I have posted three blog entries. Three. In that time, a new biography has been published (Angel City Press sticks with non-blogger April) and a wealth of experience could potentially enrich my blogging life, maybe even attract some followers among the curious souls who check in every once in a while to see if author April has posted something new.

So here is something new.

On retreat recently with my daughter Sarah, we had a chance to leave the city and bond anew – she on a short break from mothering her three girls and pursuing a graduate degree in theology and I taking a pause from a busy book tour. It was heavenly. Pine trees, cedar shingles, foxes, nesting swallows, fog horns, sea sprites. Nothing was missing, and our tranquility was assured. I had one overriding goal: to give Sarah space and plenty of quiet time for private study. That was our agreement. Easy!

scissorsIf only the Japanese Clover Spring Scissors sewing fabric thread cutter had not sliced into Sarah’s serenity. We were at the dining table sipping lattes. As is typical of me, I was doing two things at once, (actually three, if you count talking to Sarah) – making some notes on my iPad and finishing a sewing task, my small spring scissors doing its sharp little job. Sarah stood up, looking relaxed and happy. She was about to return to work when I decided to show her my sewing progress, at which moment an observer might have misinterpreted my weapon flip as the coup de gras in a game of Mumbley-Peg. My childhhood girl scout troop in Hyde Park, Chicago was the neighborhood champ of Mumbley-Peg pocket knife throwers. There was no badge for this achievement.

Trying not to take up too much of Sarah’s time, an artless gesture sent the Japanese Clover Spring Scissors flying from my hand, landing in Sarah’s ankle and falling to the carpet. We were both stunned. Sarah was marked with a perfect round puncture wound. The tiny red circle was for me a bullseye of carelessness and shame. Five minutes later the hydrogen peroxide was put away and the drama over. Sarah exhibited not an ounce of blame. She knows her mother so well and figured that my pain was as bad or worse than hers.

Why is it that the harder we try, the more likely we will over-shoot and bring about exactly the opposite outcome of our intentions? One time for an important dinner party at our art gallery in Hollywood (for the director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and his wife!) I was so concerned about the calibration of our oven that my fiddling resulted in a complete oven breakdown. Raw lamb was not an option, so forces were rallied to save the day. But I needn’t have been so over-zealous in my preparations. The lesson with my daughter: calm down and carry on.

I don’t think I will wait so long to make another blog entry. But you never know. I take great pleasure in reading other people’s blogs. I am open to inspiration and, of course, to feedback. I am committed to write again, before Sarah earns her divinity degree. Bless us, every one.


This piece was originally posted on April’s blog and can be accessed here: http://authoraprildammann.blogspot.com/2015/10/scissors-of-doom.html


About the Author:

april-fullApril Anson Dammann was born in Hollywood, California, where she still lives and writes. An award-winning screenwriter and producer of plays in Los Angeles, Dammann turned to non-fiction to chronicle the story of her husband’s grandfather in her first book, “Exhibitionist: Earl Stendahl, Art Dealer as Impresario.” Her next book is now available from Amazon and Angel City Press: “Corita Kent. Art and Soul. The Biography.”

Dammann is married to Ronald Dammann, president of The Stendahl Galleries, their family business, still operating after 104 years in Los Angeles. Dammann holds degrees from UCLA, the University of Rochester and La Sorbonne. She is active in the Writers Guild of America, Women in Theatre and Hedgebrook for Women Writers and spends about half her time on the coast in Gualala, California.




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Hedgebrook supports visionary women writers whose stories and ideas shape our culture now and for generations to come. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily representative of the opinions of Hedgebrook, its staff or board members.


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