Sunday, March 14, 2010

Men's literature?

My husband read over something I'm currently working on and said, "This reads quite male."

The water from the tap had run over my glass before I knew how to respond.  "Male?  And how would a female story play out?"  I didn't say it with criticism, just curious, and also tickled as somewhere in there, I believe there was a compliment -- I think, maybe...

Hard hitting, short sentences, action packed versus copius description and flowery dialogue?  Hemingway versus Austen?  Rock and rollers versus nannies?  But didn't The Hurt Locker walk away with the Oscars?  What constitues female and male writing?  And can it be defined?

I finished Possession the other night -- I had tried to make it last as long as possible, like some piece of chocolate stashed in your night stand that you bit off inch by inch.  Books alter you -- or at least the truly fine ones do, and I love the imprints they leave behind.  This one did, so much so that I gasped at the end, gasped -- like some Victorian lady corseted into suffocation.  Now I am bookless, homeless, drifting -- suggestions -- please.

A full week of writing ahead.  Rejoicing at the prospect.   Also having my picture taken in a cemetary.  I will leave that to your imagination.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Guilt at not doing enough

For the past few weeks I've been awol on this blog as well as all the other electronic homes where I reside.  It's not because my muse has gone on a bender, but because my other social committments, aka, school auctions, those great time sucks that force you to spend most of your time nodding your head like those bobble head dogs on the dashboard of cars, have taken the center stage of my life.

This got me thinking -- as women, how much of our time is spent doing for others?  Now, don't get me wrong, this world could benefit from a ton more "doing for others."  Yet, at the end of the day, don't we ache for that one moment that is ours and ours alone?  We are someone's wife, mother, daughter, co-worker -- our names are shouted early in the morning and in the middle of the night, usually linked with a "can you, I need, where is, have you seen."  For me, the late night wailings make my eye twitch like something out of a Pink Panther movie -- hard wired to some remote part of mybrain that forces me upright when all I want to do is get three hours of sleep.

And the guilt, oh the guilt.   It's bad enough I was raised Polish Catholic with a German mother -- a veritable kilbasa of heart beating guilt right there.  Asserting yourself was not high on the menu -- where one did X,Y, and Z in that order if one wanted to be happy in life.

Virginia W. was right.  A room of one's own.  Where one can remember what is like to look at the sky, to swing on a swing until your lungs and legs hurt, to feel the heat of the ground on your back and smell the promise of spring below you.

What do you do that let's you remember who you are?  Tell me.