Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I am such a sucker for literary romances. Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning? So sweet. John Stuart Mill and his wife, Harriet Taylor? Wow. My textbook says that "Mill claimed that she deserved equal credit for his works, calling them 'joint productions' of their intellectual life together." And he was enough of a father to the children from Harriet's first marriage that Helen, Harriet's daughter, was his companion after her mother died. Wow.

Let's just say while a dynamic like this isn't required in my marriage, it sure would be fun.

I think I really like Victorian British poetry in general. Prose is pretty hard to slog through simply because they had a different way of speaking then, but the poetry is *beautiful*.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

happy birthday to me

This is my kind of birthday.

It all started at midnight when all of my neighbors started showing up to wish me happy birthday. I finally went to bed at about 12:30, and sometime between then and when I got up at 6:45, my roommates (esp Natalie, 'cause she's really good at it) decorated my apartment!

And Chelsea got me presents! And bought IBC root beer!

And then the roommates all chipped in and got me flowers!

And Ann made me a cake!

And I have like 12bizillion notifications on facebook!

And my little brother sent me a text message!

And everyone at work was really nice!

It's been wonderful. :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

River of Names

I've just finished some emotionally intense reading -- all the more emotionally intense because the story is like the author's reflection. Not quite her life, but then it is.

She's lesbian, poor Southern, sexually abused, so many things that I'm simply not. But I read her and I'm astonished and gut-wrenched and left emotionally gasping. And a part of me says, I want to write like her.

I asked my Creative Writing professor recently if it was possible to write too much from one source of inspiration, namely from one's own experiences. He said no, of course not, but I didn't believe him. But after reading Dorothy Allison's River of Names, it's easier to believe that who I am, who I really AM, without shame and without contempt, can make a compelling story.

Now, I do not come from the kind of families that Allison writes about...no incest, no gory death, nothing like the twisted emotional framework on which her stories rest. My stories don't go to the depths of horror because I've separated myself so much from the terrible things in my life that I can't separate myself from the stories. I have no desire to relive those things, to imagine the things I can't remember, to fill in the details of what I know. I don't want to know just how much those things affected who I am. I just can't write that story, not yet. But maybe someday when, as Allison says, I have a "boring, uncomplicated life [and can] write emotionally intense complicated stories," it will come out.

But I need my life to be boring in that particular aspect, to have closure on my family, the violence, the emotional abuse, the mental illness, the neglect and abandonment and drug abuse, and let it all make sense instead of just being out of sight and out of mind. That's why so much of me hopes and promises to work for a much different kind of family -- so I can make up for the family that I don't have. I think it would make a wonderful Mormon story...I suspect that's the audience that would understand my horror best.

Someday I'll be able to take my own pain out of it, and let the reader decide for themselves how they're going to deal with it. I had to figure it out; why shouldn't they?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Too Much of a Good Thing

I've come to a sad conclusion. I have too many friends.

For a lot of people, that statement is simply impossible to imagine. For someone who would much rather have very few, very close relationships, the prospect of having ties to about 20 people in about 4 different groups is profoundly daunting.

I can already see things that this would teach me, ways that this situation will expand who I am. But my comfort zone has already undergone some major readjustments lately!

Mehhh. Someone tell life to leave me alone.