As the editor, I see so many emails and comments from readers about their love for our site, and it humbles me. The site has a life of its own, and I think Rachel discovered its true essence and describes it well in this post. Thank you, Rachel. To the readers, I think you’ll like this post. We hope that you feel the same way.
When I first saw the link for Two Drops of Ink I thought, “What a cool name. I wish I’d thought of it.” Then I clicked for a visit because the name drew me in.
As I pondered the site, the name, the purpose, the pages, the variation of writers, the rich tapestry of words that was being woven, I wondered, “Why? Why ‘Two Drops’?”
Two drops of blood? Just open a vein. Drops of color? Writing rainbows. Two drops of inspiration? Is this what needs to get started. Drops of water? Turn on the faucet.
What I like about Two Drops is the slow, quiet atmosphere, like a dinner party with the very best conversation. I can’t possibly read everything here even though I want to, but I don’t feel rushed to take in more and more like I do at other places. Like the crowded house parties in Milwaukee. No pop ups. No flashy “Don’t miss out!” messages along the sidelines. There aren’t any guilt ridden reminders pointing a finger, making me feel small and insignificant: “See what everyone is talking about,” or “Don’t miss out on this,” complete with headline subterfuge – the lie that never delivers.
At Two Drops the welcoming feeling brings me back again and again because I know it will be there when I’m ready and I know there are more writers to learn from. I can read a few of their things, leave a comment, go to their site, find out what they are all about, and not feel like I have to sign up for the year long course that’s gonna cost me $99.95.
Have not the ancient ones told us the guilt trip leads nowhere?
I have so many more writers to meet. Poets. Novelists. Teachers. Sometimes it overwhelms me. But then we are back to guilt again. Just say no to guilt. Do what you can. Read what you can. Make connections with one here, another there. It’s okay. I’m an introvert that can only handle a few friends at a time. Be at peace with that.
After that first visit, I didn’t go back to Two Drops for a few weeks. And that was okay. I didn’t get the email saying “We noticed you didn’t sign up for blahblahblah” or “Hey! You missed the webinar!” Just a few gentle reminders about new writers joining in, new funny stuff to read when I get time, a new book to consider buying. Slow. Gentle. Accepting. Quiet. Like the best retreat in the world.
After I was accepted for publication I felt honored. I told everyone I knew about Two Drops. Most nodded, “uhuh … did you see that Facebook cat video post going viral?” That’s okay. Few get it. I’m okay with that. Two Drops probably isn’t noisy enough for them, not scandalous or splashy enough. What they don’t understand is that true scandal comes from the deep searching within ourselves.
And most people can’t handle that.
Then I pondered again the meaning behind the name. Two Drops. I can hear each drop hit the paper as I prepare to write a note to my mom, a last of the breed of letter writers. The quiet “splot-splot” as I get the ink moving in my precious fountain pen. Splot. Splot. I get my brain in gear, coaxing the thoughts I had the day before to come back to me. Yes, it’s messy, but it’s also contemplative. That’s by design. Like shooting a musket. Why would you take the five to ten minutes to front load a musket (yes, I know, the really proficient ones can do it in 30 seconds) just to take one shot, a shot that will most likely miss the target because the sights are ancient and crude; when you can pop a magazine of nine into your .22 (with scope and laser) and have done with it? Why would you fight a messy fountain pen, getting ink everywhere, just to write a letter when an email would do … or even a good Zebra.
It’s the process. Writers are the few folks still around that understand the concept of time. Time does not run at the same pace everywhere. Friends who visit us (out in the boonies) say time slows down when they get here. Time stops in other places … the Grand Canyon … on the banks of the Mississippi … deep inside the Apache Indian Reservation. Writers slow down time. We have to. We bend it to our will, adding short Clippy sentences to the action scenes creating tiny microsecond bits. Speeding up the description scenes to bring in aromas and sounds, making them rich enough to savor, urging the reader to read that paragraph again.
Two Drops, don’t change! I know you’ll have to change at some point, perhaps, as you grow, but don’t be a Phoenix. Phoenix in the 70s was still a cowboy town, easy-going, some rich people doing great things, but a slow-steady-don’t-rush-me kinda place. The last time I visited I was appalled that the Phoenix I once knew was now a massive, spreading, rushing thing. The desert where I shot at rabbits was now a mall. The rocky open nothingness for arrowhead hunting was converted to yet another suburb. Sprawling. Faster. Smoggy. Peace-less. Don’t get me wrong. If you turn into the New Phoenix, I’ll still visit. But I won’t want to live there.
So, raise your wine glass (I’ll take a chilled pinot noir, please) to Two Drops of Ink! Thank you for inspiring us. Thank you for noticing us. Thank you for empowering us by reminding us: We are writers.
Can you hear the drops gently falling on the page?
Time to write.
A Few End Notes:
“You simply sit down at the typewriter, open your veins, and bleed.” – Red Smith
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” – Louis L’Amour
Zebra F-301: my favorite kind of pen, second only to the Pilot 0.38. … am I the only one that notices pens run out of ink much faster now than when I was in college?
Rachel H.T. Mendell
Rachel H.T. Mendell writes freelance from home in her office that she grabbed when her sixth child moved out, which is much nicer than the converted closet she wrote in for almost 20 years. Rachel writes novels, poetry, plays, essays, columns, articles, short stories, long letters, devotionals and experimental allegory. She has been published in various magazines as well as the Galion Inquirer, The Morrow County Sentinel, the Crestline Advocate and online at Richland Source. You can find a few of her articles in Heart of Ohio Magazine and floating around cyberspace. She keeps a blog, Domestic Mobility (http://domesticmobility.blogspot.com), and has recently started a website (http://www.rachelhtmendell.com). Rachel happily answers emails at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is married and has seven children and one grandson. When Rachel is not writing, she’s gardening, caring for chickens, rabbits, and cats. She lives with her family in Morrow County, Ohio.
Published posts on Two Drops of Ink:
Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing
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