Friday, February 12, 2010


I have not worked on my revisions to my second novel in several days. I spent Wednesday working on a paper for my Body Politics class, and then throughout Wednesday and Thursday I did allow myself to write scenes between my characters that wouldn't occur until 2018.

The first scene involved a mother, a father, a brother and a sister reacting to some unsettling news... and the fun was toying with their relationships. Mastering a father's disbelief, a mother's pragmatism, a brother's tendency to mock the situation and the narrator's teenage angst. A friend of mine comments that for an only child I tend to get many of these conversations very real, and I made a funny remark.

It's occurred to me that maybe they are real and I am imaginary.

My brain swirling with gender questions led to that conversation, and it had a very satisfactory conclusion. That gender identity and biological sex don't have to mean what we think they do. And since I have an outline for a story involving this young character that happens when she's 9, it's scary to think that there may be another in my head for "five years later." Isn't writing organic that way?

Of course, many of these ideas spurred by readings and homework never come to fruition. I haven't finished the short story about Mémère d'Amille taking in Jewish children during WWII, although I started it.

I read Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides during the last three days. Well-written, very rich in Greek culture, but the narrator glosses over his/her own situation, which leaves me wondering what the manuscript meant to achieve... I was disappointed that my questions were never answered and in a tome as thick as this, well, how do I end up so empty from the text?

What you read influences what you write. Both in style and theme. So, what do you read? Do you challenge yourself? We grow with the words, whether we write them or consume them.

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