I'm Veronica Corningstone…and thanks for stopping by.

January 3, 2009 at 8:29 pm 3 comments


I’ll admit: I started this blog out of jealousy.

Yes, I know I seem mild-mannered and laidback – some might even call me passive – but deep within me lies a competitive streak.  I want to do it all and be the best at it as I do it.  Is it Super Woman syndrome?  Possibly.  Is being the best at everything achievable?  Definitely not.

However, my jealousy was stirred by the fact that my brother, Dan, has a blog.  Dan – who gets up at the butt crack of dawn to go to work, who has three children, who takes 12+ hours of college courses each semester and still finds time to coach my nephew’s basketball team and volunteer as the youth director at church.  It’s no wonder he’s had chest pains recently; I get them just by thinking about his hectic schedule.  Somehow, he finds time to regularly post a message on his blog.  And he’s not just writing short missives on the latest sports scores or what’s happening in his children’s lives, although those posts make it in there, too.  Dan writes pieces that are often thoughtful, frequently pee-your-pants funny, and I am impressed by the depth of his insight and his ability to convey his humor into the written word.

That’s where I get jealous.  I’m supposed to be the writer in the family.  Dan is supposed to be my jokester younger brother.  How dare he write things that can make people laugh and think?  And worst of all, how dare he write things well????

I have always fancied myself to be a writer.  As a teenager and a young adult, I poured my overflowing emotions into poems and stories.  I would often vent my feelings by writing letters that were never sent and keeping an infrequently updated diary.  After college, I turned my love of words into a career, working as a communications professional.  I would craft educational documents, letters to customers, copy for catalogs and mailers, and verbiage for websites.

Maybe that’s when I stopped writing for myself.  I would spend eight hours a day at my computer, putting words together for others, and by the time the evenings came around the creative vein had been tapped out.  I simply had no more words left.  When you write for a living, writing for pleasure is, in the words of the very wise Bridget Jones, “a bit like being a dustman and snuffling through the pig bin in the evening.”

And now I have a different life, one where I focus instead on my husband and child and all the things that come along with making a house a home.  The precious moments I have to myself I spend reading words that others have written, curled up on my bed with my nose in a book.  I have never lost the desire to write a book, to create stories; I have lost, however, the discipline to carve out time to devote to writing.

One of the books that I recently devoured was The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.  Pausch, a professor, was asked to give a lecture in a series at Carnegie Mellon University.  Specifically, the topic was such: what would he say if this were the last lecture of his career?  For Pausch, the topic was poignant, as he had recently been told his cancer was no longer treatable and he had less than six months to live.  Instead of being maudlin and despondent, as you would expect most people in his position to be, Pausch challenges his listeners to rediscover the dreams they had as children.

Pausch’s directive made me think about my childhood dreams.  I had two big ones: 1) become a major pop star like Tiffany and Debbie Gibson (shut up) and 2) become a published writer.  At this point in my life, I have pretty much accepted that #1 will not be attainable.  I am too old and too ordinary for the bright lights of pop stardom to ever shine on me.  The goal of being a published writer?  Still completely doable.  It’s a career that doesn’t care how old or how ugly you are.

So I decided that if Dan can find the time – did I mention that he also runs a volleyball league and tries to spend time with his wife from time to time? – than I have no excuse.  I don’t promise to be profound and I can’t say I’ll ever be as funny as Dan.  I can promise, however, that I will write about life and hope that someone out there connects with what I have to say.  That’s about the best I can do.


Entry filed under: Life in general.

What's in a name?

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rich Albert  |  January 4, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Hon… anyone that doesn’t know about that competitive streak you’ve got… well, they don’t really know you yet! LOL

  • 2. Natalie Woolsoncroft  |  January 5, 2009 at 3:48 am

    Oh, My Amy .. you are so talented and by the way you still can be the next American idol .. ! How fun .. I would re-read everything and ponder when everything just flows from you .. Great job and I look forward to the many more entries

  • 3. Dean-o  |  January 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Fred, thank God you and Dan got some of your mom’s genes, with both of you being “published” writers and all. Doesn’t a blog count as being published? Anyway, while your writing styles are somewhat different, at least I can see the Claycamp humor coming out in both. Makes a dad proud! Even if I did give you ugly feet and nocturnal noises.


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