And I’m listening to Primavera, one of the more dramatic of Einaudi’s recent works, and so I am here, struggling with a slightly confused plot and a very frustrated MC, thinking about how in hell I got myself into all this.
And by this, of course, I mean blogging at 9:30 pm on a work night. Doing weekend Write Or Die marathons on Kamikaze mode, which is more than enough to give even a healthy, well-adjusted person a heart attack after the first hour. Tweeting to put that annoying cockatoo we owned when I was 16 to shame. Waking up mid-dream to rush to the computer and get down some crazy idea I had in my sleep. Mainlining coffee at 5:30 am so I can finish that scene. And agonizing, of course, over what people — my betas, my husband, my editor; my one-day (oh I hope) readers — will think of all that effort. Learning flow, and narrative distance, and literary device. Learning, above all, patience.
I think the point of no return was probably second grade.
Which is early or late depending on who you ask. An event sadly lacking in the drama that lands on most of my MCs. Instead of copying out the time-honored Roses Are Red for a Valentine’s Day class special I wrote You are my darling/You are my lamb/You eat pork chops/And I eat ham. I got to read it aloud, got to find out how much fun having an audience was, and promptly shut my thumb in the classroom door mid-triumph, slicing it open and giving myself, over the next three days of thumb-sucking, a pretty decent case of blood poisoning.
Yeah, I could have just stopped at the audience part, I know, but how interesting would that have been? Now there’s blood and a sense of foreboding that may carry you to the next paragraph.
See? I have learned something.
Anyway, that was it for me. Love of words, of the art behind putting them together in the perfect combinations –all of that came later, somewhere around third grade rewriting choir songs with my cousin (Bark The Hairy Angels Sing is still my personal fav), or fifth grade, writing a speech that was 90% eulogy for my godfather, or –well, really, whenever. Pick a day, there was something in it somewhere that made me want to write. I’d feel a little less self-conscious if I could point to to the first time I read Carver’s Cathedral, or Thomas’ Fern Hill, or Ginsberg’s Howl, all pretty huge huge moments in my life in one way or another, but the simple fact is, I was 7, I wanted to do something cool and different, and I wrote a piece of doggerel verse.
And I’ll tell you something else: I hated ham, but it rhymed, so after some moral wrangling I decided to put it in and just hope my mother didn’t read the poem and tell everyone what a liar I was. I guess I was destined for fiction all along.
So, yeah. There it is. And here I am. It all got very complicated somewhere between there and here, but I think I’m still having fun most of the time.