“What a scrumptious range of topics you’ll enjoy in this potpourri: everything from animals to spirituality, loneliness to films, politics to love, family to death. [Connie Pursell] worked hard to produce these gems; the reader will have to work hard to grow in return, but the journey’s worth it. Pursell majors in nuances and the complicated. Everything life offers, like it or not, is fodder for her nimble, mischievous prose.”
In these essays I’ve tackled the serious and not so serious with a bit of humor and some erudition (my version of same). I’ve mixed the serious with the silly in some cases, because from my perspective it is the existential way, just like life. You just don’t always know where life will take you and I don’t always know where my essays are likely to go, at least at the outset.
In one essay I talk about a fantasy I had when I was young about being Jack Smith: “I had a fantasy about being Jack Smith. Not literally, of course. But of being a writer of his ilk, commenting on my everyday life (which was not much to write about in those days), making the mundane seem magical, offering a humble opinion on this or that, having people wake up every morning and read my words and having those words make someone’s day…. Back then, I thought that a destiny devoutly to be wished for.”
As a new writer in the essay genre, I started with that advice given to all new writers — write what you know. Well, what did I know? I knew my life and what I’d lived through, so I went back to childhood and recorded some remembrances. And there was more to remember than I thought there would be, once I got going. From roosters to piano teachers to high school practical jokes and learning-to-drive mishaps — somehow they all came tumbling out. That was for starters, and then I got to meatier fare, including kissing frogs, being unfriended, and finally some spiritual topics (my own version of “spiritual”).
It may sound like a jumble, but in my mind it is sort of logical. And that’s where it gets quirky, like a dream, shifting and morphing. Sprinkle in a little humor, and Voila! You get a little pulp to ponder and some levity to avoid a migraine. I found I was good at framing questions about the human condition. And since I don’t have all the answers, the reader is free to make up his/her own mind.