also made me feel a little like a writer again when awp chronicle asked me to propose an essay based on the Magic and the Intellect panel. so I was thinking about how to do that, including how I hate writing essays, and why would I write one when I am struggling to find time to work on my book which I love working on without qualm, and in the process of thinking about why I hate writing essays, especially the kind suggested by their format-request-statement, I thought: “magic breaks or slides away from form” and it does that b/c its nature is transformation, (duh, right? trans form). So that accounts for my attraction to it and my suspicion of things that purport to being magic but are not magic and why I have struggled so incessantly against the conventions of my job as a teacher not to mention every idea about fiction I ever had.
Plunking this from my notes, here. Not sure when I noted it:
What if in order to write the novel I have to write the memoir. How boring, a memoir by a writer, when wouldn’t the nicest memoirs plop into life by people who did not write so that we readers would get to know something not so bookish? What an amazing life you’ve read, you should write a memoir/ oh you’re a writer have I got a story for you. How terrible the time in the study it takes to learn to write. How am I supposed to have had anything else happen? The things that happened to me in my life happened to other people. I was safe enough to stand in the corner and jot it down. I was scared enough by what happened to other people that I looked at them through the first and third person. I was reading, just now, a book by a writer I know, a novel, a scene in which the narrator’s mother, dying says something affectionate to the grown daughter at her bedside. A knowing exchange is depicted. And if I think of that scene between me and my mother—