Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I am beginning to think that I may never have a normal night of sleep again in my life. It is 1:30 in the a.m. and I’m WIDE awake. My own fault, I guess. I went to bed earlier than usual.

I met my internet friend for a beer at 3:30, and that became three. I got home at 7:30 p.m. (or was it 7:00?), walked Ruby, ate some dinner (that included spinach and sweet potatoes, because I felt like I needed to counter the beer and burger I’d had earlier), watched TV on the internet, and went to bed at 9:30 p.m. Now I’m awake and sober.

I wonder when I’ll have to stop referring to her as my “internet friend.” As we were speaking tonight, I had a weird vision of myself with her in which I was introducing her to another me and saying to myself (my other self), “This is n., my internet friend.”

I talk to much. This is another thing I thought about while I was downing too many pints and talking to my internet friend (if you're reading, sorry I talk so much). Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with three of my classmates. We wandered Austin. I thought I talked too much then too. But maybe all writers talk a lot. Probably, I’m just justifying.

I began a new story two days ago. Actually, I got an idea after I re-read my blog entry beginnings, and all of a sudden I was writing a story, ideas coming faster than I could type. I had to interrupt myself writing the actual story to jump to the bottom of the page and just type out the ideas that were swirling around. In my head it already has a name: The Drowning Season. It is going to be as sad as all the others. One day I’ll write something funny. Or at least funny and sad, John Irving style. But for now, everything is just heavy and sad with endings like poison. It’s the best that I can do.

It is strange and exciting to meet other writers. I like it. I really like the people in my program. I really like my internet friend n. who’s not in my program, but over at the Michener Center. Writers. I’m surrounded by writers all of a sudden. Other people who make shit up all the time. Create people and conflicts in their heads. Or rather, on paper. Or a computer screen. Sometimes, after I finish a story, I feel so bad for my characters, I have to just cry. I wonder if they cry about their own endings?

Someone in my program said that after he met two of our professors, he thought maybe he wasn’t crazy enough to be a writer. You are, I thought. Yes you are. I can tell. I didn’t say it aloud. We all seem totally normal and oddball at once.

The same person asked if I use humor in my stories. No. Why?

You seem like you would. You’re pretty funny.

If only he knew how flattering that was. And untrue. I didn’t bother correcting him. I ruined the compliment by fumbling around trying to explain that occasionally I get lucky and write some funny instance, but that I can’t consciously set out to write something funny. [Like, last summer, a story in which a five-year-old asked to be a heroin addict for Halloween. A what? Her mother had asked her (as in, come, again?). You know, a drug addict, her child had said. And then there is a scene where they go trick-or-treating, and people at their doors say, What are you, sweetie? And she holds out her arms with drawn-on track marks before answering sweetly, a homeless junkie. I didn’t set out to write that, but after I did, I thought it was pretty funny.]

I didn’t share this example with the classmate, but inside I thought, I’m funny? Then I confirmed, I AM being funny, lately, aren’t I?

Okay, maybe I’ll try to sleep some more.

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