Friday, November 14, 2008

3 years late

So it is never too late perhaps. I drank a strong cocktail last night and it has brought me wisdom. I finished reading a novel that was okay, but not great, I had a four and a half hour conversation that I thought (at the time) was probably wasting time. I drank a fair amount of exorbitantly expensive vodka given to me by my once best friend and muse.

I woke up this morning and I knew what was wrong with a novel I had completed 3 years ago. It was a book shortlisted for the premiers awards, a book I tried to re-write, knowing that it could be something great if I hacked it into shape. It was a fragile thing of words and paper and couldn't stand up under my kind of over-zealous pruning. It went into the metaphorical drawer.

This morning I solved the puzzle. How did I make such an obvious mistake. I was swept up in romance. I wanted to believe in love. I wanted to believe in constancy when everything shows me that nothing is constant except my own stubborn nature. This is not a love story although I wanted it to be. It is a story about damage. All of my stories are about damage. I grin and talk on radio about how it is all good. All a part of the learning process, but he is right of course. I am a hard exoskeleton made of scar tissue, healed so stubbornly and quickly that even love could never carve through it. So with this new knowledge, I realise that my memoir is also flawed, as is the poor new thing, my brain book, and I am already forcing the embryo in the direction of my choosing.

I read a post that Christopher has written and I know I could never write like that because it is honest. There is nothing about me that is honest. It is all true, surely, but it is not honest. The honest core of me is so hidden that perhaps it does not even lurk inside me anymore. Perhaps when it emerges it will be something dark and wicked and untouchable. I heard a rattle of it in my four and a half hour conversation. I felt the sharp electric shock of some kind of truth.

I must go back and rewrite that book while this one trickles out into existance. Two books at once. I wonder how this will be done, but it will be. Stubborn scar of a girl forsakes the real world for the impossible dream.

Put your money on the table now because I will be out on the back deck crying before Christmas. That is a promise.

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