Friday, October 3, 2008

Okay, I Lied, So Sue Me.

Have another look at Sarah Palin. For all you (white men who are the only demographic that gave her a boost in the polls) take a look at Sarah at home, in the air, in the woods. So how do you like your UBERMILF NOW MOFO'S!

Thanks Linda, I needed that link!

On Stepping In It

I know of no other blogger whose writing is as counter productive as mine. I have never seen another blogger have to back track and retract her previous posts with the frequency that I do. Maybe it's time to shut the fuck up. Maybe it's time to take a break and read for a while. When you start congratulating yourself on your writing, it's time to quit writing. I'm sloppy in the extreme. Ignorant. Woefully under educated. Out of my league. Thoughtless, careless of other's contributions and feelings. And I can't seem to read when I write. It's as if there is a switch that's thrown when I shift from one medium to another that turns off every other creative function.

Shorter days sometimes trip the switch that is at the heart of a mood disorder. Today I feel prickly, pissed off, alienated, and mired in self loathing. I need to go out to the grocery store and I am dreading it. I have to work to assemble a disguise, so that my feelings won't show. I need to look normal. I need to make sure I am invisible. The barometer is shifting as a storm moves in. Maybe it's weather related. I have tools sitting on a table outside that haven't been used in a month. It's time to stop everything unrelated to some practical, necessary task. I need to make a list and make sure that somewhere on the list is read the book Nick gave me for my birthday. But mostly I need to shut the fuck up.

On Writing

Writing is my real love. I am a fast first draft writer. I'm usually happy with my first drafts, but when you write fast, you write sloppy. Down and dirty is what it is. It's raw and immediate. I sometimes drift from past to present in the space of a paragraph. I begin with memory and become snared in the story so that what I'm writing about the past becomes the present. But as fast as I write, I edit slowly, over and over, looking for these tense shifts, and again getting caught up in the immediacy of the story. Sometimes I am working on character's names, and all I'm looking for is a name here and there. Oh, I might catch something in one of these searches, but mostly not. So for thirty years I have been working on the novel, Maggy. Most of the poems I've posted here, were written in one flash of feeling or insight. But I have poems I've been working on for years. I may write them in a moment of inspiration, but I tinker endlessly. The short story is a new form for me. Again, these stories are all relatively new. The first story I wrote is the one called, Still Life. I wrote this story in the evening after the police left. It was a way to cope with my feelings after a burglary in my home. It's the only story I've been working for years. I'm satisfied that it's finished, but I bet a careful reading by any one of you might turn up a typo or punctuation problem. I'm too close to it, too familiar with it now to notice those mistakes. All the rest of the stories are very new, written in that fast all at one sitting pace, except the most recent, which is a work in progress.

Having a blog is a distraction from that kind of writing. Here I can write fast and let it fly. I may go over something a time or two, but mostly I write fast and post. I have a few readers of the fiction who have left comments here and there, but mostly these are brief comments. The one time I asked for editorial help I got it in spades on the story, The End Of Love. I asked my regular blog commenters to comment on that particular story, and to feel free to make editorial suggestions. It was like having a real writing group again. I've missed having the feedback you get from being in a writing group. I had 24 comments and they were all helpful. I made many changes, large and small. I think every change made the story stronger, tighter, and scrubbed it of spelling errors. I'm very grateful for that help.

Yesterday I got an email from a blogger who has never commented anywhere on my site, but who I have seen on other sites leave nice, interesting, intelligent comments. One of the things I noticed first was his avatar--his is a water color self-portrait. Diva and he and I are the only three I've seen. So to find an email from Steve Emery in my inbox was a big surprise. But what he says left me sobbing with gratitude. Kindness and generosity sometimes do that to me. It's never expected. I should work on my expectations.

Thank you Steve for your comment. I treasure it. It's both helpful and an encouragement to believe that I just might be on to something here. What follows is Steve Emery's comment.

Thanks for your comment on Vulture Peak Muse. It's interesting to me how the comments of other bloggers gradually accumulate in my mind until they form some tantalizing half picture. Then I have to go look for the rest, or at least as much as they reveal.

Your work is all compelling, and a bit frightening. Some passages ring with something like wry laughter (Lucy and the UPS man) and some drip with beauty (the description of the Willamina woods) - but others are so casually brutal, or so grindingly cruel. I can't help but understand and hate Maggy, and feel trapped between the two feelings. And the sharp edges and regret in some of the poems... "I spent my life retreating from desire."

Several times, lately, I've had the mental equivalent of stumbling on the scene of a crime - reading in several different blogs of the cruelty of men (and women) to women of extraordinary appearance. I have encountered almost no violence in my life since grade school bullying, and I am shocked by it in almost any form. I am deeply dismayed that people are repeatedly hurt for any reason, and the idea that one might be beautiful enough to continue attracting painful attention sounds like a nightmare. I would not have thought it common or likely but for stories I keep finding lately. Yours (fact or fiction or a combination - I don't know) and Liberality's, most recently.

Blogging opens up all sorts of places for everyone to view. I wonder if we are doing something truly new in this, or if it's just a new medium for some old business that found other expression in other ages, like diaries. I believe there is "nothing new under the sun," where humanity is concerned. Technology is just new varnish - the furniture is all the same.

But I doubt it was this easy to see and find so many people's stories, and to experience so many different people's pains and joys.

Thank you, again, for your kind words about my art. I admire the power of yours - though it leaves me a bit shaken.