Sunday, September 22, 2013

Word on the Street

Chris, friend, student and blog follower, wrote to me yesterday, I am often surprised by how public you are with all the ups and downs in your life. I guess a blog is a diary in one form—“Up betimes and so to Dr. Grenville’s where we supped amply on mutton and brown ale.”—and meant to be an exercise in sharing, rather than hoarding, our feelings.

Well, yes - sharing. Just now, I was sitting here, feeling lost and sad, and my first thought was, Blog! One of my jobs is to chronicle the life of a writer - right now, a writer who has finished a big draft and wants to get it out into the world, without knowing its worth, its desirability to the planet. Maybe it's completely without value to you out there. One friend who read it wrote to say she liked it because she knew me, but she wasn't sure it would mean anything to anyone who doesn't. Devastating.

But others have written to say how much they enjoyed it and laughed and cried. Who knows? Right now, I'm just trying to figure out how to get it out. Because it's all very well to have written it, but it needs to be read. So this is a hard time, yes. Not hard like tragedy hard, like civil war and disease hard, not remotely. Just insecure and lonely and a bit sad hard.

AKA daily life.

I have a bad cold, which doesn't help. It was a grey and very chilly day, which didn't help. I made it to Word on the Street, where I met my daughter and her son. This is the face that greeted me:

And still, after they left, I was gloomy. Here were a million books and not mine. I passed the publisher that turned me down, and there was one of their authors, signing books. She looked about 18 years old. I hated her.

Okay, now I'm making drama for you, my readers. I didn't hate her. But I was feeling a bit Cinderella-ish. Pre-fairy godmother. And please, no jokes about a glass slipper in size 10 1/2.

Yesterday was heaven, even in the non-stop freezing rain, while I felt sorry for a friend whose son was getting married that afternoon at her home, supposedly outside, under the flowery bower they'd had constructed. I spent the afternoon cooking for friends while listening to the podcast of Eleanor Wachtel interviewing Roddy Doyle, wonderful, and then Sheila Rogers interviewing other writers, and then it was all cooked, and there was a wonderful dinner party in the rain.

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