Theoretically, I am very happy that I ended the month with 53,347 words more than I started it with, but in fact, I am in kind of a shit mood about it, which is so dumb, because there are actual problems in the world to be in a shit mood over and waaah, I wrote a bunch of pages this month is not one of them. But I'm not here to defend my feelings; I'm just here to describe them. Sometimes I have felt very good at the end of a project. This is not one of those times.
Probably because this is not the end of the project, not by a long shot, nor is it the glorious first draft phase when you're flushed with discovery, and every hour spent writing feels like an hour of intimacy with a fascinating new love. There is so much hard work to go, and so much self-doubt and second guessing, and sometimes it feels like I get a good idea, but then I pounce all over it and smoosh all the goodness out of it until it's flat and squishy, hokey and overdone. (That happened, like, six times from 2006-2008.) And once I've botched it, I can never get back to that original idea that was so good, like when you wake up from a dream and start trying to describe it -- "We were in some kind of...place...a school, or on a office, or an auditorium or something" -- and with every word you apply to it, you ruin it more, because that wasn't it.
Books I read this month while writing this whatever it is:
Jessie Sholl's DIRTY SECRET
Coming out next month -- a very accurate, honest, and empathetic look at her mother's hoarding.
Rachel Lloyd's GIRLS LIKE US
Coming out in April 11 -- a vivid life story/manifesto about commercial sexual exploitation.
Piper Kerman's ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK
Ooh! She went to prison! I always sort of wondered if I could make it in prison. Turns out no.
Caroline Kraus's BORDERLINES
Borderline Personality Disorder from the outside. Co-dependent Caroline suffers at her BPD BFFs hands. Emotionally gory! Fun stuff.
Steketee and Frost's STUFF
An engaging non-fiction overview of the psychology behind hoarding.
E.L. Doctorow's HOMER AND LANGLEY
Fictionalization of the story of the famous Collyer Brothers, who were, coincidentally, hoarders. Very well-imagined, not a lot of action, just kind of a'ight for me, dawg.
Emma Donoghue's ROOM
Yes, I read this icky bestseller, told from the POV of a five year old who's lived his entire life locked in a room with his mother by a psycho captor, and I'm sorry for being such a prurient sheep and so much Part of the Problem, but it was like a big dumb movie I couldn't resist, and it was secretly very satisfying, much like when I watched It's Complicated on cable.
Suzanne Collins' THE HUNGER GAMES, CATCHING FIRE, and MOCKINGJAY
Sue William Silverman's LOVE SICK
A woman's recovery from sexual addiction. Too much recovery, not enough addiction, but good enough to recommend.
Patti Smith's JUST KIDS
She was much cooler than anybody else ever has been or will be, so the rest of us can just give up.