Well, I said I’d be posting less – yesterday – and here I am this morning. Very brief. I promise. One more thing.
I am going to be writing less because I am doing ANOTHER draft of Libertytown. It has been suggested I cut it by a third, that its main character, Parker, talks too much. Yes, he does. As do I. I trust the person who told me this, as much as I trusted the LitProf from esteemed MFA program who told me it was the best thing she’d read in years and resist the “inevitable demands you will receive to cut it down.” Well, I’ll have both versions then, won’t I? I do think it could use some paring and after a period of working on other things, I feel as if it is calling me back. So, back I go.
First, I want to thank the authors and LitWits who have given me such joy this week. I read four books – very different – but all passionately made.
- A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall by Will Chancellor
- A Tree Born Crooked by Steph Post
- The Elusive Embrace: Desire and the Riddle of Identity by Daniel Mendelsohn
- The Mathemetician’s Shiva by Stuart Rojstaczer
Books have given me so much joy, always. Bookstores, too. And I now have a new community with my friends at The Curious Iguana and the LitWit world on Twitter. Of the four authors whose work I read this week, all but Mendelsohn followed me on Twitter when I followed them and Post, Chancellor, and Rojstaczer thanked me for talking about their books. The Lit crowd – authors, editors, agents, publicists, those who report about the field – are an amazingly giving and supportive group of people. In fact, Libertytown was most recently read by my Iowa Workshop (not to mislead – summer session only, I didn’t go to the elite MFA program) mentor who suggested I shut Parker up. I spent decades in theatre and theatre training fields and while there were some lovely people and times, never was there this sense of community and honest, to the soul, deeply felt wishes for the success of others. And offers of help. Lovely.
I needed lovely this week because I am horrified by the goings on in the NFL – from the continuing saga of the Washington franchise refusal to shed its racist name, to the beatings of spouses and children, to the lies and cover ups, and, too, the NCAA reinstating Penn State post season privilege and the football coach there being the highest paid state employee in Pennsylvania? What? And the amount of taxes that go to support athletics. That the NFL is not-for-profit. That male privilege continues to be a virus infecting everything in this nation (world) and that when I mention it – I am attacked and trolled and even scolded by friends and family for it.
Sorry, I may be able to shut Parker up in Libertytown, but when I see such despair and pain caused by cultural-dysfunction and inequity, I canNOT be shut up.
And EVEN AS I SAY THIS – confess my own hypocrisy. I too have fetishisized white-male-privileged-superiority — this picture just yesterday caught me up, made me tingle –
– and while I can Tweet (and mean) things like:
I declare the phrases “man up” & “masculine only” & “no fems” & “not into gay scene” & “discreet” (or “discrete” for idiots) to be illegal
– and I’d have added an ageist remark to that had I had the characters to do so – and so, though I was kicked off Grindr for lecturing people about the language of their posts – I notice that most of my meaningless hook-ups and fantasies have had to do with those leaning toward the stereotypically, culturally privileged classes – like the guys above (although I am way more racially diverse than that – but, P.S. gay-sites – where are the people of color?). So, yeah, I’m a hypocrite and yeah, I, too, have allowed my brain to be washed by the white-hetero-male-wealthy-youth-cult-privilege culture – so, who am I to speak?
Whoever I am, I’m going to keep speaking. And try to keep growing and changing and calling myself on my privilege.
And reading. And writing. Because those bring me such joy. And, I suppose, I will continue to try to find enough characters (and character) to say what I need to say and maybe – in my own little way – make the world a better, kinder, easier place to be.
Bye, Loves. Must pack and leave this gig and return to my cave for six days until I hie to the country, the backwoods, the land of deer sharing coffee with me in the morning. So, like I said yesterday – posting less. LOL.