Monday, June 21, 2010

Other Blogs

I like "Once Written, Twice Shy" and I thought the advice strange that if you are embarrassed at the idea of reading what you have written out loud then, well, you shouldn't write it. I find this impossible. I am embarassed to say I need to go to the little girl's room so I can't possibly write anything at all except maybe "See Dick, See Jane, See Dick Run."
Scarlett Parrish is blogging about her writing on her blog and how many words she gets a day is often in her blog and some nice pix of beautiful men.
So many blogs, so little time.
I found a blog by a Dorchester Media author who lives in Jersey and scurries all over New York City who posted pix of her dog, her boyfriend, her clothing, her friends, restaurants and took pix of her food before she ate it. I found it a strange experience and read a lot of it at one time. To immerse oneself in someone else's life seemed odd, but at the end I decided it was too Second Hand Rose for me. I wish I could remember this author's name, but I can't. If there was a plot to it, I swear it would be a novel. The only thing is, nothing much happens and I am at the end a tad jealous of someone who gets chocolate delivered by jet from Europe that must be eaten in 3 days because there are no preservatives in it. I want to eat that chocolate, darn it, and not just admire it in pictures.
I think that is the thing about novels and about any of us, we must identify with the character. I myself who have lived from upper class to middle class to lower middle class to below the radar that I kind of identify with everyone. Still, it is your poorest moment in life I think you identify with more. I see homeless people with a kind of sadness because given the right amount of circumstances it could be anyone. We say this but we don't believe it. The intelligent ones are truly below the radar and can't be seen.
I think you are made from your past like clay in a sculptor's hands, and you cannot be heard when you say you want to be this or that. The past comes back constantly the older you become it seems to me. The ability to forget the bad parts is a sort of talent I wish I had, I've a friend like this. When pressured and questioned closely, she still doesn't remember some bad stuff. I am convinced she has the talent of selective amnesia. I think there is a sort of concreteness to memory that cannot be manipulated, not only that, experts say the more times we remember the more we beat a path to that memory in our brains and strengthen those synapses. I think that is what Jackson Browne meant when he said.
though the future is there for anyone to change, don't you know it seems
it would be easier sometimes to change the past
The blog "The Newbie Guide to Publishing" has a lot of good advice I am told, although I haven't read it that much myself.
Anyway, what I mean about memory is that you can learn to forget, I have. It's easier to forget than it is to become a different person and change your future. I think that is what he meant.
Blogging though is used perhaps too much for promotion I guess but that's the way it is. I am old enough to remember when we were being told that television would be a great way for artists to show their work. Hmmm. I don't think that ever happened. We didn't have a television when I was a kid until I was about 10 yrs. old. I remember playing marbles laying down in the dirt, hanging ropes on trees so we could swing like Tarzan, and making paper jewelry. I didn't miss television at all.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Be Anything You Want To Be

My friend Sherry called me one day to tell me she had had a dream. She talked on and on about it.
She was standing at the top of a red velvet staircase. The air was tense and she knew an important decision was going to be decided by her, which was whether to go down this staircase or turn away from it.
She just knew this dream was very important. What did the universe or whoever want?
I think I know now.
Trembling on the edge of sixteen, she had to decide whether she would cling to the values of her grandparents who had raised her or strike out on her own and be unconventional. (She chose to be unconventional, eventually.) What was odd was her striking innocence when it came to knowing that the person she was befriending or agreeing to date was a bad person, she was abused again and again by people. Her first husband beat her, wanted an open marriage, and turned out to be gay in the end.
Sherry often told me that that was all you could expect from people.
Her assumption was that all people were bad, this is the way it is.
Poverty itself will bring you in contact with a great many bad people and she was sent out into the world without even a dollar to call her own, nearly starved to death before she finally found that waitressing paid well. The waitressing she did became the death of her because everyone went out drinking after work, blowing all the money they had just spend the evening making. She found living with her abusive husband easier to bear when she drank and she became an alcoholic. She was so proud the day she called me and told me she had managed to beat him up instead. She was working hard and he was not so she was able to beat him up, his muscles had turned to jelly on a steady diet of beer and Cheetos. She was happy. Then she divorced him, got the car and kept it in his name and then didn't make a single payment so to ruin his credit.
When her grandparents adopted her, they told the judge they would take care of her. What they did was make her into a household slave who cooked all the meals and cleaned the house and picked up their poodle's poop and then telling her that her mother was a slut and she had bad blood, just like her.
All of this is so sad that sometimes I feel like if I cried about it I would never stop, like some crazy looney and then pull all of my hair out. She was my friend, in fact the only person who would be my friend in elementary school. I was one of those girls nobody talked to, an outcast who they would pretend smelled bad. (In fact, I bathed twice a day, convinced that I did in fact, smell)
If I could go back in time I would tell her that never mind the red velvet staircase and never mind those people who tell you who you are.
You can be anyone you want to be.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Book in progress

Knock on wood, I've written a book. It isn't finished but it's done, I mean I know what I'm going to do with it and have actual words to go with it and an ending and a beginning and a middle.
Now what?
It would be easy except there are all kinds of obstacles like no computer and that's like no way Jose, I mean I have a pc just no internet but I do have a warranty but no way to travel the one hundred miles to the store and have it repaired. So I feel like holding a sign up at any intersection begging for money to have my pc repaired as this book is singing in my brain and I've always wanted to do this, by God, and there should be a way, the Red Sea shall part, money will fall from heaven or heaven help me I can find a job. No one in the family understands nor will they lend money while they buy bigger & more impressive phones, that this is a burning lifetime desire and nor do they understand that while in the past I have been sort of talking about & never doing anything about writing now I have, really, really done it because when I talk about my writing their eyes glaze over or they act like they smell an unmentionable smell and manners too good to mention it.
Holly Lisle says on her site to never expect any help or support from family. It's true. Unbelievable but true. Writing is never thought much of until it brings in actual cash and until it does it's a pipe dream, a fantasy of crazy people like you. You're nuts.
Polite society acts like you've seen UFO's and been abducted many times, people think you're trying to act like you're better than they are and by God, you put your pants on one leg at a time just like they do, (My Dad said this koan constantly, like it was impressive and I felt that my intelligent father talking about pants and pant's leg meant something else entirely and I was too stupid to get it because talking about how people put their pants on and whether they do it like you do is incredibly stupid) and why don't you do something you're actually capable of doing like working at the EZ Mart because you are ordinary just like them, you grew up right in their neighborhood by God and writer's are people who went to college.
In fact, I believed that writers were like experts and authorities and what they wrote was the absolute truth just because someone printed it on paper and put in between cardboard covers with a title and everything. I remember when I discovered that the author of "Flowers for Algernon" wasn't a shrink and was in fact in therapy himself. Some of that stuff he just made up. Stephen King says people typically believe that fiction is real and that non-fiction is false. I believe everything I read while I'm reading it, which is just me I guess.
In fact some of us have to do something when people say we can't do it, stubbornly and stupidly. Like me. I wrote a book, sort of. Just need a few more polishes 'till it shines.

Jennifer Weiner

The book is "Goodnight Nobody"
She is a wife with 3 kids who sets out to find out who murdered a woman in her neighborhood that she barely knew, just because she needs something intelligent to do and she used to be a reporter for a tabloid who reported on celebrities and their latest rehab visits and affairs, but a journalist anyway! She lives in Connecticut in the wealthy neighborhood, she feels stupid talking about whether the milk at the store is really organic or not and feeds the children McDonald's food which would cause a scandal so she hides the evidence and wipes off the ketchup before going somewhere. She married someone she didn't love, but merely liked and when an almost lover from her youth appears she starts to wonder if she didn't make a mistake and if she did, how can she fix it now with 3 small children? She has not made a single friend in the Martha Stewart clone crowd and nor is she happy paying 2 thousand a month for the exclusive nursery school her kids go to because all they do is watch the kids finger paint.
Yes, she mocks the rich even as she is one of them. She feels out of place. Then she finds out her best friend who is an intelligent Paris Hilton had her almost lover almost deported out of the country.
So who killed this woman who had ghostwritten a column called "The Perfect Mother" who really did seem to be a perfect mother who is found laying on her kitchen floor with a knife in her back?
This is the same author who wrote "In Her Shoes" and if you didn't read the book then you probably saw the movie.
I have not finished this book yet, because I am so enjoying the journey of reading it.
As for what the title is about, all of you with children know the famous book "Good Nite Moon" for wee ones in which the author says goodnite socks, goodnite clock, goodnite nobody and in the book the child Sophie asks "Who is Nobody" and she says she doesn't know but she thinks that Nobody is her. Her husband is seldom there and she has no friends and her children seem to be always wailing or crying or spilling something on her constantly, as any mother knows. This book talks of motherhood as it really is, though she loves them. She is so easy to identify with and writes so clearly one could laugh out loud with her and feel like she is a friend.
She certainly seems like she would be a great friend and she has written a very good book.