Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Who do you think you are -- taking aspects of your life, putting them into books? Making a 32 page website for your books , taking pow-pow, ouch, eek, oh no, woe, dear God, help-help moments from your life and working them into 300, 400, 800 page tomes ...

Yep, that's what you did. And since YOU are writing this tirade as if you were a reader wandering into The Readery with all those books in a virtual library, you ought to include in your attack on Em, her wry, slanted, sometimes gnarled, knotted and twisted vision of life.

Hey, I tried to pull away from ME. Tried to write about Machiavelli and Savonarola, the Renaissance priest who burned books, made friends with up-and-coming artists, and had them arrested, tortured, burned at the stake. It didn't work. I couldn't find my voice -- couldn't find a place for myself in it at all.

And I tried to write about Clare Boothe Luce -- couldn't do it till I turned her into Cordelia/me. I had to invent a similar but different background for Cordelia, because Clare's reactionary politics made it impossible for me to BE her.

How dare you -- you, a high school graduate, valedictorian because you used your memory, your charm, your ability to work longer hours, harder, do things over and over -- you who walked out on college and hammered yourself into a dancer -- you're using your own little voice ... How dare you write?

I dare. It comes naturally to me. It's thinking and talking and listening and laughing and whispers, and innermost secrets, all balled up, compacted, and yet, easily accessible.

And so much easier for me than dancing ever was ...

'The only other thing I've done that was easy, was teaching children, telling them stories, enacting all the characters while inventing true imaginary tales.

What do you mean -- you mean true and also imaginary?

Yep. The oppositional aspects of real and unreal, are why I do it so well. When things don't fit, my imagination and warrior self (the cook, painter, dancer-improviser who is bored by steps), can mix it together and make it taste/look/feel right, and flow.

If you wandered onto a website like the one you've got, thanks to Fran and Sue and JD, would you read those books? Would you want to download all those pages about invented heroines who are all bits of her, the writer, the one who calls herself EM?

Mmm. I'd be curious. Critical, picky. Curious ... I'd give it a try ....

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