Thursday, July 17, 2008

Gut feeling

Writing class has gone very well for the most part. I hope I'm giving them enough balance between time to work, time to move, time to socialize. I feel that the socializing is pretty important for teen writers -- heck, it's important for adult writers.

I keep saying this is an isolating profession, but I don't know if that's true. It hasn't really been isolating for me. I've made some of my best friendships in the writing community -- and I do feel I've found my tribe after feeling just a little "odd" and "outside" most of my younger life.

I'm worried about Maverick. In a way that sick, anxious feeling in my gut only goes away when I distract myself. Writing classes were good for that. Someday maybe I'll be able to write about this, but I'm still not interested in making myself a target. I love my boy. I'm heartbroken about some of the choices he's making. I wish the world was different. But if it was different, there would be other things to worry about.

I'm ready to learn to pray again.


Monday, July 14, 2008


It feels strange to be posting here again, having finished with my "anonymous phase." But the idea of writing whatever I feel like without a real audience is appealing.

I did the AFSP suicide prevention walk last month in Seattle. It was amazing. 17 miles. Took us 8 hours. My son, Maverick, walked with me and that was the best thing of all. To be around so many who had lost loved one and who could say the word "suicide" without laughing or flinching was mind-blowing. I thought at first that I'd feel out of place because Dad survived. That I'd have no right to tell my story. And I kind of didn't want to tell it all that much. It felt good to listen. My feelings about Dad are still loaded.

I called him from the walk and thanked him for having taken the gun out of his mouth. He had been sleeping and he had no idea what I was talking about. He said, "I don't have a gun in my mouth. I have sleep. In my mouth."

I worry that he's winding down -- that he's failing. He has memory lapses. He is 80, after all. I need to clean his apartment, or hire someone to clean it. I'm not as good a daughter as I wish I were.

So having finished my last novel, I'm playing with the idea for the new one. It keep getting further and further afield from parental suicide. At the moment it contains time travel. And I still don't know if I can write it. Didn't I already write about this?

I've had 23 extra years with Dad. I haven't used them particularly well, but I've had them to come to terms with things. He's incredibly homophobic. He pretends not to know Maverick is gay. I wish this were not so, but there it is. And yes, that was a deliberately ambiguous sentence.

I can almost deal better with dad in writing than in person. But does that mean I've simply created a character called "Dad" and that's who I'm interacting with?

This is a great deal more angsty than I intended. I think I'd better get my lesson plan on humourous essays done.