Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Well, I'm feeling like a real artiste these days, by which I mean I've got all the requisite mood swings, am feeling about as social as a trauma victim and have not yet reaped any significant sum of money for my writing. Not only that, but the only real relief I seem to get from these ridiculous mood-swings is when I am listening to music. So, as I see it one of two things has happened: One, I have been swung back in time and am actually 16 again, OR, the fact that I have been giving so much more attention to my creative life in the past three weeks is actually stirirng up the troublesome, strange, beautiful world of the unconscious, which is known to pack a lot of chaos with it.

Since this is California, and I am a good Californian, it seems only right that I talk a tiny bit about what I have learned about myself in therapy, right? So, what seems to me to be happening is that this constructed edifice of a persona that I've diligently erected since about the age of 18 is finally starting to crumble. Not on its own; I'm willing it to. I'm tired of being the "busy, busy, busy" girl who can't show a crack in the veneer. Which means that the little banished drama-queen is returning. I remember these feelings, these moods. I know you!

It's all well and good for my writing, but I can't help but wonder if what is required of me to write is equal to a personality disorder or dysfunction, which is irritating. I hate the question: "does one have to suffer to make art." I really don't know. I met an artist, a pastel artist, actually who claimed to be and always have been happy. He certainly seemed happy, and truthfully, his art LOOKED happy. Lots of bright colors and happy scenes, rendered with a deft and skillful hand. But strangely, personally, I didn't feel the urge to want to hang his work on my walls the way I have with so many other artists. I look at what art is on my walls, much of it purchased by artists I or E. have actually known, and I see darkness, complexity, not straightforward happiness. The "happiest" painting we have is actually an Asian Monochrome ink painting done by a former teacher of mine. It isn't so much happy as just existing. The piece demonstrates the meditative state--just being-ness. So...what a strange dilemma, to want to BE happy, which I tend to be if I am writing, but to find that the act of writing temporarily makes me feel weird, moody.

So the new Harry Potter, copy number 5 million and sixty nine, or whatever, is sitting atop a high shelf, waiting for E. to take his test so we can devote hours to reading it aloud. I couldn't even read my friend Invisible Girl's blog entry yesterday because it contained spoilers. We've read them all that way. E. usually does voices too. It's fun. I can't wait. I'm not ashamed to admit that. Meanwhile I just finished Ursula, Under and my GOD what are you waiting for? Rush out and purchase it TODAY!! It is breathtaking. I want to have written it. It's a wonderful study on geneaology in the loosest sense of the word with compelling stories and characters and an exhaustive (for the writer, I assume, not the reader) attention to detail. This is the kind of book that makes me WANT to write a review.

So I figured out today what the content of the final chapters of Strange but Familiar will be. And as it stands it appears I have five final chapters to write and then I'm done with the initial draft. I'll do some fleshing out and then those crazy souls who said they would read it will be put to the test...

Now Playing: Suzanne Vega. Nine Objects of Desire.


At 6:11 AM, Blogger P. A. Moed said...

I think good writing always involves splitting open that protective shell we've erected around us. It's a good thing, but it is frightening at times. We wonder if we can piece ourselves back together again when our neighbor rings the doorbell or the telephone jangles. It's a weird deconstruction of self!


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