• iMposter? Party Crasher? You be the Judge

    by Christy Sillman

    “Wow, everyone there is writing a novel,” remarked my husband Steve as we drove away from the iPinion party the other weekend.

    That’s because they are writers. Remember? I’m the imposter. The nurse-wolf in writer’s sheepskin clothing – except I haven’t come to eat anyone.

    I mean seriously. I was treated for dyslexia as a child. I spent most of my childhood in the “special reading” classes. My brother is the English major and married a newspaper editor — my talents have always been found elsewhere, never behind a pen (or keyboard, for that matter).

    The only writing I do as a nurse is in my charting, and there are strict legal rules about leaving all emotions, attitudes and opinions out of your charting. Your words need to be as sterile as your gloves. So, the basic writing requirement for my job is the ability to write English in a cohesive, logical manner. You’d be surprised how hard it is for some people to meet this qualification.

    So exactly how did I become a writer for iPinion? It all started with a Facebook status update — doesn’t everything nowadays.

    Having graduated from high school with Mr. iPinion, David Lacy and I shared many mutual friends, but weren’t ever actually friends in high school or on Facebook. I was probably snotty to him in some way, and I’m just waiting for him to wreak some diabolical and well thought-out revenge on me. But, maybe not.

    After seeing his highly intellectual and opinionated comments on some of our mutual friend’s posts, I decided this was someone I needed to be friends with. Mostly because I completely agree with his position on pretty much everything. Well, except for his love of running.

    So, I took a chance and sent him a friend request. I think he accepted it in like 30 seconds. Totally awesome for my anxiety-ridden anticipation of making a friend request and ending up in the “maybe” acceptance-risk category. We bantered back and forth, and soon he started plastering my newsfeed with information about his new website called iPinion. I thought it was really cool, and even promoted it on my wall. Then something totally unexpected happened.

    Mr. iPinion asked if I wanted to write for iPinion.

    Who? Me? Oh, I’m not a writer. I’m a nurse.

    Mr. iPinion assured me that I was indeed a writer, and that I should attempt to write something so he could see if his hunch would pay off.

    My first few columns were a little janky. I was trying too hard, and wasn’t really sure where my voice was in it all. I was also terrified of how stupid I’d look to David and all the other iPinion people. I mean, my brother sends my emails back to me corrected just for fun.

    I’m not a writer.

    But I found it to be challenging and exhilarating at the same time. I was getting feedback I never expected, and I had a picture on the homepage and everything! I kept thinking the caption under my face should have read “huh?” but it kept saying “columnist” instead.

    The columns have kept coming, and despite my continued anxiety that this next column will be the one that breaks my writer façade, I’m still here and I’m still writing.

    These are some amazing writers I have the honor of sharing company with, and I feel truly blessed by this gift in my life. It has brought so much to me, and has helped me redefine who I am and what I’m capable of. Not to mention that my nursing notes have become quite colorful within their sterile limits.

    This is not a ploy for you all to tell me that I AM a writer and blah, blah, blah.

    Don’t even waste your breath because I probably still won’t believe you. I still feel like the guest who’s visiting for dinner. I just beg that if I overstay my welcome, you’ll kindly show me the door before I become that idiot who crashes on your couch for three months.

    Until then, pour me another glass of wine and turn up the music.

      • David Lacy

      • April 6, 2011 at 5:51 am
      • Reply

      Took the friend request in 30 seconds … yeah … that would have been me. (Sighing/blushing)

      You always had a (poignant) story to tell so innately you were were always a writer. The cool thing is, professionally speaking anyway, you literally wrote yourself into the position over this past year.

      If you ever became that idiot who overstays her welcome and crashes on the couch for three months we’ll make you start paying the utilities. 😉

      But that won’t happen. So someone get Christy a refill.

      • David Lacy

      • April 6, 2011 at 5:54 am
      • Reply

      (Side note: How cool would this be if this WERE some well-thought-out diabolical revenge scheme!) That’d be pretty kick-ass on my part, just saying.

      • Yeah, I knew there was a dark side there somewhere but you never let it out. I’ve been very afraid that it would come out toward me but I’m glad it went to Christy instead.

      • Christy

      • April 6, 2011 at 6:44 am
      • Reply

      Yes David, but for me a 30 second response was glorious, I hate friend requesting people I’m not sure I’ll get a yes from. You saved me some major anxiety…don’t blush, I am super thankful for that.

      Yeah, you’d win some revenge-of-the-year prize for sure! =)

      • Christy

      • April 6, 2011 at 6:57 am
      • Reply

      PS: Special shout out to David and Michelle Carl (My Brother and Sister-in-Law)….Michelle took the time out of her busy schedule as newspaper editor to read my first few columns and give me feedback. Thanks Sis!!

    • Christy,
      You’re full of crap! I was hooked on your first column. I sent you a friend’s request right away too. Your writing might not be as good as mine, no one’s is,(LOL) but what you have to say is meaningful, honest, sometimes technical and medical, but I need to hear it and you need to say it. Don’t ever think that you can’t write or I’ll have Steve spank you. Speaking of Steve, did he get that cat litter out of his man-cave?

      • Weinshilboum

      • April 6, 2011 at 9:26 am
      • Reply

      Janky my ass.
      You’re right: you’re not a writer. You’re a very talented writer. Period.

      • Sivan

      • April 6, 2011 at 12:20 pm
      • Reply

      A perfect piece for the birthday feature! I’ve been a writer since before I could write, Christy. When I was a child I would recite poetry to my mom and she’d take down dictation for me. Never once have I read one of your columns and thought “This girl’s not a writer.” Glad you’re part of the family.

      • This is good Sivan, I’m going to have to look closer at your stuff. Your mother must have recognized your natural talent and helped you develop it. My mother dumped me off at a convent of the Sisters of the Benedictine where I learned how to scrub pots and pans. I can only imagine and read through the writings of others what a normal family life was like. I absolutely love the iPinion syndicate that you are such a good part of. I am so honored to be among the syndicate family. My mind is unbeleivably twisted, it wanders in and out of the dark and the light. You and Christy are in the light. Watch for my head, it may pop out of the dark for a minute and then disappear back into the dark. My next col. I promise will be from the light as yours and Christy’s are. I like that “I could write before I could write” very good.


    • This piece is so symbolic to me, both professionally and on a deeply personal level. Christy, watching you develop as a writer over the last year has made it all worth it to me. The training wheels are off, baby! Race the wind!

      • Judy

      • April 6, 2011 at 7:27 pm
      • Reply

      I always read you Christy. You have your own fresh perspective and you are a writer.

    • Hey christy, this the first of “you” I’ve read, and i’ll be keeping my out for another column. I usually keep one eye in a socket, for some silly safety reasons.I instruct my second eye to be, cool,hip and free-ranging blending in with the crowds to bring home some–dare I say it–“eye dee yaz” for my next column. My third eye is out sick. I have pneumonia right now just to give my ALS a little punch and flavor. Hmmm, kinda tastes like Levaquin,or however one spells that kick-ass antibiotic. Gee whiz, Christy, if you’re not nursing , ahem, on Saturday afternoon,perhaps you’d slip out of your nurse uniform (this is sounding like a come-on, but I’m a happily married lesbian, and put on something comfortable, yet wild.Then hop on a Harley or Schwinn, and over to the Davis Independent Film Festival.
      “MY” film is at about 1:30. My pneumonia/ALS might keep me at home, but…perhaps I’ll give third eye another try. Cheers & Cheese,Cathy

    • Great story Christy. Writers are everywhere they just have to be found and you were.

      • Norbie

      • May 8, 2011 at 11:27 pm
      • Reply

      Seriously Christy, you could have fooled me… Although we all are proud graduates of Davis Senior High (“Go Blue Devils!!”), after some quick calculations on my HP Scientific calculator, I have determined that I graduated long before either of you were born…

      Our stories of meeting Mr. iPinion are pretty similar… I noticed David posting on a couple of friends fb walls and soon realized that news articles which make me “jump” also catch his attention.

      What is remarkable about the relationship is the small circle of friends. One of David’s mom’s colleagues at work is my younger brother’s best friend from West Davis Intermediate (WDI). I also know the family whom they rented a home from for a decade just west of DHS.

      David also made me the same offer… I declined for similar reasons but enjoy writing “FB Notes” (mainly for practice) hoping that one day I may actually come up with enough material to write a semi-coherent column.

      I am truly humbled to be considered part of “The iPinion Family”… Please Keep Your Incredible Heartfelt Columns Coming!!!

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