Monday, April 17, 2017

Turner Classic Movies and Boils

The other day (okay, maybe it was about a month ago or more) I was watching a tribute to Robert Osborne who has been the host of Turner Classic Movies… he recently died (okay, again, maybe it was more than recently). They were replaying Osborne doing an interview with Alan Arkin. It was brought up that Arkin had written about ten books, but he claimed he wasn’t a writer. It was something he did to fill the time in between acting jobs. He said a real writer writes every day—like having a boil—when the person writes, the boil bursts—but that boil is always there. The writer must write in order to release the pressure of the boil. Or something to that affect. I wished I had taken notes, but… I immediately understood exactly what he was talking about. I don’t have ten books published, but I am a writer. I do write every day. Oh I may miss a day or two out of the year, but I for the most part (daily) write down my dreams, a spiritual writing exercise and journal… babbling on about anything and everything… what Nathalie Goldberg calls, no wait, it’s Julia Cameron, what she calls, Morning Pages. And if all else fails with journaling, I am always writing a letter to some poor soul.

When I was a kid, I had a boil. On my left, upper inner thigh. Every morning my mom would squeeze that boil in between her two thumb nails releasing the yuck inside the boil. To me this was sheer torture and I dreaded waking up in the morning, knowing what would take place. This big pimply lump was an appendage to my thigh and I thought it never would quit refilling itself. I’d look away as my mom’s hard as steel nails headed towards the little red, snow-capped mountain. Some mornings while rubbing Mr. Sandman out of my eyes, I begged and whined, “Mom, do we have to do this?”

“Oh hush. Yes.”

I’d clench my teeth, eyes watering, hoping there wasn’t much to squeeze out… praying it wouldn’t refill itself again.

So, yes, I get boils… I am a writer you know.


  1. Lynn--This was one of the coolest posts I've read from anyone in a long time. Connecting a boil to writing? Brilliant of Arkin. Connecting YOUR boil to writing? Beyond brilliant AND heartfelt.

    Lynn, you're one of the truest writers I know.

  2. Great essay today! Right now, I have only a pimple to write, but love the boil as I have been there. This morning I am cleaning out my writing files...both sad and happy feelings!

  3. How did you do that? How did you make me wish I had a boil? You are amazing!

  4. Loved reading this, Lynn. A very interesting and apt observation.



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