Wednesday, September 26, 2007

















Every once in awhile I brave the dark corridors of my closet, or a filing cabinet and throw things out. The truth is, if someone crept in while I was away and threw everything out that is in the back in a box, I would never miss it. But once you expose short stories and letters from camp pen-pals and dusty little buttons from your grandmother to the light, they somehow reclaim a feeling of importance. How did I live without that? I finally threw out all rejection letters that didn't have a note of positive in them. It's strange to read the rejection letters next to the acceptances. In one breath my writing hasn't caused them to fall in love, and just a page away, it has.

To one editor, my writing was melodramatic. To another, it was stellar. How strange. How maddening. How funny a way to look at oneself.


Mostly I like to read my old writing. Stories and vignettes long forgotten and abandoned, half started about obsessive-compulsives with dying mothers or ticket scalpers or virgins in Italy. A strange melange of thought and dream, these papers. I still miss the rapture that came in those days, when writing felt alchemical--transformed me from screwed up girl into someone with a sense of purpose.

Writing still transforms me, or maybe more accurately it keeps me balanced, but I am often mystified by the girl who wrote a particular paragraph. Wondering who I was at that given time, with only those few sentences there to explain anything.

3 Comments:

At 12:54 PM, Blogger Travis Erwin said...

I jsut recently sold one of my older short stories that had been siitting around for years. you just never know what might happen whe you go digging around.

 
At 8:12 AM, Blogger Ms. Theologian said...

When taken as a whole, it seems much more clear to me how much editorial comments are just one person's opinion. Love that.

 
At 4:53 PM, Blogger Maryanne Stahl said...

>>But once you expose short stories and letters from camp pen-pals and dusty little buttons from your grandmother to the light, they somehow reclaim a feeling of importance.

I love those moments.

 

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