onto the new year

Cleaning up my reams of notes ready yet again to draft the last sequence of the book that I have not been able to draft since years ago when I wrote pages that have, very distantly, a sense of an ending. Here is a used up note:

What does it mean to have sex in this book. Possession. vs gift. This is what I think I’m getting at in the passage about sending messages at parties. Using person and using her house. How mean. Her position to give and to have power b/c of it and she’s devastated and culpable the way we all are. Attraction and repulsion and whether or not reader sympathy. How do our autobiographical self/spells contribute to our sense of identity on neurological level. Brain takes in sensory and makes sense of it in terms of your own narrative that makes you feel *located.* if the chemical balance shifts then that ability unravels and who is the person within the house who is home.

Meanwhile, I remain unsure about keeping up with this space. I have found it important recently as a version of what happens with any kind of publishing, which for me is about the tease of being seen and judged. I had an amazing conversation with my uncle recently about our brains. One of several things we have in common is a need to work alone without fear of judgement before presenting what we have done– something very very hard to accomplish but cognitively/emotionally and pragmatically. I wrote my first book thinking it would never get published, and then published it in a place I thought it would never get read (except by the editor of course– and he was so great… and I almost didn’t expect him to read it with any care — and he almost didn’t b/c of time etc but then he really really did…) — anyhow that real/imagined belief in invisibility, coupled with this romantic sense of being a writer who would write for posterity– for the image of being discovered in an attic after death and needing to leave something that was worth leaving– THAT has made it possible, in one version after another as my work HAS become more visible.  To write at all. That is something I have to keep imagining– and I started writing this ‘public journal’ imagining that no one would read it– it’s just a minor writer making quiet notes in a sea of blogs that shout into the party in the auditorium–

Because I hate being looked at and I hate being watched when I’m not ready– I can hardly bear it when I am ready.  I feel like I live through it, good or bad.  90% I live through it and 5% almost kills me and 5% feeds me for years. I hate the idea of someone looking at this with mean eyes, and I know that almost all the eyes that make themselves known on the internet are horrible– and that is why I have a few wonderful people in my life and many more wonderful ones I can admire from a distance, but can’t imagine going into that awful party in the awful auditorium– every so often one of those people looks at me with their awful eyes —

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2 Responses to onto the new year

  1. Who doesn’t hate being looked at when they’re not ready? Totally understandable. If you find that “almost all” the eyes on the internet are “mean,” though, perhaps you should find some new internet spaces to visit! (Surely this is not the case on your own website?) Who hasn’t encountered some snarkiness on Facebook postings? I find the majority of the postings neutral at worst, and enough of them encouraging or thought-provoking to make me feel my time online was not entirely wasted. I can’t imagine that the majority of people who read your work online are not enchanted or impressed by it, even if they don’t necessarily respond with online comments.
    I’ve just started to teach another short story class at Marin Academy, so please know that 18 more young people will soon be introduced to your work and will be writing little apocalypses of their own in a couple of months. (Meanly, I will make that a requirement.) I really do hope you don’t feel silenced and that you’ll be sharing more of your writing soon. But only when you’re ready, of course. Thank you again for your stories.

  2. lucy says:

    thank you for your kind eyes!

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