Readings and Rapture

So I had a little minor surgery on Friday and I’ve been recuperating all weekend, spending most of it watching movies and playing the most elegant video game on the planet, Bioshock 2, which is set in a underwater city called Rapture:


I took the day off of work today just to be safe, which is a rarity as Monday is payday at my job and no one gets paid unless I’m there to facilitate it. So I can’t not write something or I’ll really feel like a slob. I am only marginally driven at best, and this winter has been exceptionally un-driven for me, I haven’t felt the desire to write and no real urge to blog. I am not depressed, and am actually feeling very even and cheerful for a February, with a pretty hopping winter social life. I’m just sort of in a holding pattern when I’m at home alone with the time to write.
I have managed to do a couple of readings with my talented and far more prolific bff Ms. Zoe Hansen. She hosts a monthly reading with David Henry Sterry and along with letting me read whenever I want, she had me to fill in as co-host when he was out of town, so that was most educating and productive-feeling. Plus if I know I have a reading coming up it lights a fire under my ass to produce something new. 
David is a very generous person and posted this video of me on his site:


The lighting makes me look fat, goddamn it. I am not that big.

Reading your shit out loud in front of people is very interesting and probably necessary for writers. You get an immediate reaction; words ring differently when they are voiced, and people feel what you have written in different ways than you expect. It’s also nice to connect with writers, people who are interested in writing, and loving friends who indulge by showing up on a cold winter night to listen.

I have some mixed feelings about what I’m writing about, which may be what is stalling me out temporarily. At the moment I am an amateur diarist. I write my own shit down and through the process of blogging discovered that others find it interesting, which led me to the conclusion that I should/could write about my adventures in New York as a rock star/party girl during an incredibly fun and fascinating era which disappeared before most of us were prepared to say goodbye.

Everyone’s life story is interesting if written down properly. You can work in a factory every day of your life and still tell the most poignant life story imaginable. We all have inner lives, internal struggles, deep lessons, moments of inner and outer drama. It’s all in the telling. I love Bukowski and can read him for days on end because he takes the most mundane, shitty moments and turns them into poetry, comedy, tragedy, with the simplest of phrases. It’s about the writing.

Right now old tales are selling, and everyone’s got one, and everyone is telling them. And every time I extend myself publicly, another person comes up to me and says, “I have a bunch of great stories too. I’m going to get onstage with you next time and tell mine.” Which leads me to mixed feelings. In one way, the more the merrier! I want to hear other people’s experiences and stories. I love the idea of storytelling as art, keeping people and moments alive with our telling and retelling. It’s as old as the caveman and it’s a beautiful thing. I wouldn’t have been inspired to the life I lead in New York if others hadn’t done it before me.

On the other hand, I also don’t want to become part of our current “I want to be famous” cultural zeitgeist, in which there is an undercurrent of desperation for attention, any kind of attention, regardless of whether it has depth or merit. My “scene” is of the age where we are all somewhat forgotten, our moments in the hot sun behind us. Yet many are hoping to feel that warmth for a little longer, sometimes in any way possible. I wonder if I am feeding into something that I don’t necessarily desire to create, something that feels self-aggrandizing and a little desperate to me. 
I want to write. I enjoy it, I enjoy moving people, I enjoy creating images with a few words. I enjoy being moved by other people’s words. I like hearing and reading other people’s stories when they have taken the time to arrange them on a page creatively. But this energy of personal need that seeps into my consciousness through the words and actions of others confuses me and then shuts me down a bit at times. Where do you draw the line between creative expression and ego masturbation? It’s fuzzy; it’s a slippery slope.

For the moment I am just considering it down time and not worrying too much. If I ever write a book, I write it, if not, the world will be none the lesser for it and I can write my blogs when I feel like it and do readings here and there until there’s enough to put together in one volume. And lately I am thinking about possibilities for fiction, which is where I always imagined things would lead anyway.

So that’s my little state of the union. If anyone needs me today, I’ll be in Rapture, using plasmids to save the little sisters.

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