what made things better was another reader telling me things about the book that are so important to me are there in the pages legibly evident in her reading.  I dreamed intense dreams [a retreat/workshop space with lots of parties– I was placed in the group that turned out to be religious (I hadn’t disliked them and wondered, when I learned this, what this meant about me, if I was getting soft and lazy) b/c of the Apocalypses, rather than the group of edgy writers from Brown– and I was being played, socially, by one of the other alums– she was incredibly tall and had a tattoo on her back that looked like a beautiful piece of patterned fabric in rosy soft oranges and purples– I thought she was great and I felt left out but was also sure she had a thing for me and I also felt I didn’t really need her– and Coover was there playing guitar in a band made up of him and his kids– I record this here b/c it is about the lasting effect of my grad program–] and woke with something like flashes of possible concrete ways to make the book  clearer, cleaner, just images of what the body of the text might look like better.  And the sense that if I can do that, maybe I will be able to approach the things about plot and character that will make me able to love those aspects that I still feel I’m muddling through or resisting.  I don’t know what this will mean for my relationship with the first reader, if he will ever want to read it or me again, and that is more of a problem of humans than a problem of books I think.  I do not like to feel I’ve lost someone’s regard.  But today I do feel like this is just part of the arduous-ardor of making something difficult to make.

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