Sometimes, self thinks the reason she blog so much (and enjoys it so hugely) is that it allows her to string together all the odd bits of knowledge that reside in her head. That is, it lets her polish off each tiny scrap of knowledge, and string them together, and nothing of her experience(s) go to waste. Because, no matter how insignificant, they all go into this blog.
Writing a blog is not therapy. It’s a way she can share, can make her experiences “useful.” Otherwise, she’d just be a batty old lady spending her days puttering about and reading.
Today, self is racking her brains about where to send a very long story. As stories go, this is a relatively young one. That is, she thinks she began writing it just two years ago (In contrast, some of her stories take as long as seven years, from start to finish. This was actually the case with “Silence,” the only story of hers that ever got shortlisted for the O. Henry Literature Prize. And, come to think of it, that story is exactly seven pages long. Double-spaced. With lots of white space separating the scenes.)
Her new story is almost 9,000 words, and most literary magazines have length limits, usually around 6,000 words. But self’s story is too short to be considered a novella. Thus, it exists in a twilight zone, somewhere between story and novella.
(But, self, why look a gift horse in the mouth? Just be grateful you managed to write anything at all!)
Self pulls from her Pile of Stuff this evening an essay she clipped from The New York Times Book Review, several months ago. It’s called “The Writer in the Family,” and it’s by Roger Rosenblatt.
Talking about how his writing is viewed by his family, he says “as far as anyone in the family can see, I do nothing or next to it.” Which reminds self: just a few days ago, Kathleen Burkhalter posted on Facebook that someone seemed to think she “did nothing,” and Kathleen (who is, by the way, a very good writer, who maintains a blog in the midst of a very very busy life AND pursued a Journalism degree from Harvard University and maintains ties with writers from all over) said “I work very, very hard at it.”
Rosenblatt goes on to say that usually the writer in the family is “a quiet child who dresses strangely and shows inclinations to do nothing in the future.” Which is – how did you know, oh Dear Roger? That is exactly how self appears or appeared to her kith and kin. With this further embellishment: Now, everyone knows for sure she is crazy. Who’d write four books for no money? Only a crrraaaazy person!
The Man always tells self, with chagrin in his voice: “I know you’ll be famous, but after you’re dead.” Oh dear oh dear oh dear oh dear that is so so depressing.
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.