Bumblepuppies, Blacklight Candelabra, “This week’s challenge has two parts. You will start by creating the constraints you’ll have to work with later. To achieve this, you will forge a chain.” We are to pose ten questions for ourselves, then answer them, and construe the answers into a blog post.
Yeah, actually. That’s freaky — it’s all about being submerged in an unnatural environment. A long time ago I wrote a story called “A Vast Chain of Dancers.” It was based on a description Aristotle had made of humanity through time. He said we are just that; a vast chain of dancers. My then-boyfriend said, “I have a little problem with a chain being vast.” I don’t think he saw what I saw; a chain as a net, as in chain-mail. I still think a chain can be vast and I still think Aristotle did a good job describing the generations of humanity, how we’re linked to each other. That was my first real writing experience. It was a story based on a then-occurring hopeless love affair.
I loved writing it and it was a way for me to make sense out of the experience I was having. I found that story — it’s as long as a novel — and I re-typed it into the hard-drive of my RIP Mac PowerBook. If I want to do anything with it, I will have to take the three extant printed versions and type it again.
Writing, which I’ve been doing as a full time job since I retired last fall, is a strange occupation. I have a novel — a good novel — published and out there. Savior. People have offered to review it (and didn’t) and I’ve solicited reviews from friends and acquaintances who then offered to review it, but none of them have. Reviews are essential for a self-published author. What this makes me wonder is if the book actually sucks and no one wants to tell me. Strangely, my cousin (whom I did not know when she read and reviewed the book) liked it better than the one most people think is better, Martin of Gfenn.
I think the novels are equally good, but the protagonist in Martin of Gfenn elicits a kind of sympathy I do not think Rudolf, the protagonist in Savior ever could. Rudolf’s story has a happy ending. As a friend said when I spoke with her about it, “Yeah, it’s OK, but I just LOVE Martin.”
It’s disturbing to me on a personal level because I know, deep inside, that Martin represents Kirk, my brother, and Rudolf is me. Kirk was a captivating character, beautiful to look at, extraordinarily talented, fun to be around, passionate and intense and doomed. While I can be charming, I’m basically introverted. Otherwise, I’m not completely ugly, moderately talented, often fun to be around, passionate and intense, I’m NOT doomed. Like the protagonist in Savior, I’m a person who has striven against my inner demons, and I have mostly managed to hold my shit together. I’m not burning my candle at both ends and giving a lovely light. I’ve already lasted the night. Prosaic.
My cousin, who loved Savior, is also such as one as I.
For whatever reason, Savior so far has only one review and while here, yes, I’m mentioning it, I haven’t really asked anyone why (and I’m not asking). Still, it’s made me wonder what is the point of writing novels. That’s a question I should either answer or forget. And so far, I haven’t decided which. Anyway, I’m am asking myself what is the point of writing novels. As for the other question? Maybe I already know that they [my readers] don’t want to hurt my feelings by telling me something I don’t want to hear.