Wednesday, September 15, 2010
It feels like battle fatigue. I had a form of that growing up and it never quite ran away.
I look back at that sentence and my first impulse is to fix it, but that Freudian quality is just what I'm talking about. I thought it would be easier after I recovered from being my mother's caregiver, but the financial disaster her illness created for me is still (six years later) rippling out into the rest of my life. And it makes me feel like selling my jewels to keep the farm. Instead I sold the farm to keep the farm. This is the magic of the Reverse Mortgage. Next, if I can find that top hat, I might try a rabbit trick.
The book I wrote, The Narcissist, is about my nightmarish relationship with my strange mother. I thought when I finished it things would change. I now wonder if I can't write a query letter because I'm not done with the book yet. Does it need a rewrite? Why can't I write a synopsis? What's the book about again?
I felt a few moments jubilation when I thought I finally figured out the device to bring the narrative into the first person present tense, to hold the story together, to give it a focus, to keep it in the moment, to give it life. I did that last rewrite and thought I was finished. But then the next step would have been to write a query letter and a synopsis. I'd have had to pick a genre, and sell it like cereal. Is it my desire to be discovered and thus forgo all the grubby work of finding an agent and getting published? Oh fiddle de de. Am I just a dabbler?
I did have a Scarlett O'Hara moment, thinking "I'll think about that tomorrow" the last time I pondered the Query quandary and then promptly followed my bliss into a flirtation with a man I've never met (nor ever will) which temporarily revived my libido and was cause for some slightly reckless solitary celebration and that turned into the first six chapters of a new book.
Then someone talked me into joining Facebook. I wish I knew which one of you to blame for this time-sucking obsession but it's the reason I can't writing anything except the occasional comment. It isn't Twitter's fault this time. Facebook has me stalking the great news story and friending my favorite reporters. It's Facebook's fault.
At about the time I joined up, Fairlane (a man who used to scare me) asked me to contribute to a new blog, Black Magpie Theory. I kind of worshipped Fairlane from afar, years ago (how sick is that to worship a man who scares you) so my ego made me say "yes" without giving much real thought to it. (I think some version of this is what was wrong with all my relationships with men.) And then insecurity set in. And then the invitation became a meeting, and then the deadline became a reality. I couldn't meet my deadlines. Other writers (like Lisa and Tengrain) said it better, and I wasn't posting much on my blog either. You know the rest. I'm not writing.
When will the dry spell end? Your guess is as good as mine.