At least, back to feeling like I could easily play normal.
And with this thought comes an entirely unrelated confession: I let my mom read the giant spider story.
It was a moment of weakness and confusion, riding in the car with my parents to Cocoa Beach, still reeling from all the people I'd met and the stories I'd heard. I opened my computer and wanted to write so badly, but felt too mentally and emotionally spent to do anything about it. I could have just put the computer away and gone on listening to whatever was on the iPod. Instead I said, "Here, Mommy, do you want to read my story?" and passed her the laptop before I could stop myself.
I don't know why it's any different. I'd let my friend Becca read it, without the slightest second thought. Then again, Becca is 16, and I wrote the story with her age group in mind. My mom is almost 60, and the second after I put it in her hands, I wished I hadn't. My mom HATES spiders. My mom does not do scary or sad or creepy. I usually don't, either, which is another reason I was afraid to let her read it.
What if she thinks I'm unstable? What if she says, "Where did this come from?" Or, worse, "What's wrong with you?" I mean, that's what I would have said. Giant spiders? Really? A), that's lame, and B), disgusting. You can do better than that.
Those are the things I would have said to myself. All leftovers from how I felt in creative writing classes at Union. "There's no such thing as [insert whatever I had made up here]." I know. I know there's no such thing. So... why am I writing about it? Am I... Am I not fit to write about grown-up things? Non-pretend things?
It was all food for my internal editor. I've only recently learned to turn her off, usually by saying: "No one else is going to read it, Lu, so chill out." Lu was okay with this. Lu has let me get a lot of writing done in the past four months, all under the conjecture that it was for our eyes only. And Joshua's, but he counts as one of us, too.
You can imagine Lu's tirade against my peace of mind while my mom read the story.
"She hates it she hates it. She thinks you're insane. It's bad enough her son has problems, now her daughter is writing stories about monsters eating people."
You can, therefore, also imagine my surprise when my mom turned around and said, "I really like it!"
Naturally, I tried to squeeze from her that she was only saying that, that it was actually really twisted, that it embarrassed her that I had written it, but NO. She genuinely enjoyed it.
I said, "But you hate spiders!"
She said, "I know, but I liked the story."
I said, "Becca liked it, but she's 16. I didn't think someone your age would like it."
She said that was silly. She said that it was just like hearing me telling a story out loud, which isn't something I had thought of. She said that was a good thing.
Now, don't go taking this the wrong way. Regardless of the warm feelings flying around here, the story is not where I want it. And I strongly feel that anyone who is not my teenage friend or my own mother (or my husband) would sort of laugh at it. And that's okay, because it's goofy. And it's not a priority, which is incredibly liberating. I'm in no rush AT ALL. I'm only enjoying the ride. And I'm learning that maybe Lu is crazy. Lu needs a hot bath and some chocolate chip cookies. Lu needs to take up some other hobbies. Something meticulous, like cross-stitch, so she'll leave me alone.
Funny how letting my mother read my writing brought about such a break-through for me. Remember my whole, "It's all fun and games until someone I know reads what I wrote," debacle? Well, maybe it's not that bad. If my mom can read my story, a wacky blob that came out of my own head, and not run away screaming... then what's to stop me?
It's like graduating from writers' kindergarten. Let's all go get some ice cream. Actually, no, it's too cold for that*. Let's go for a peppermint mocha. Yum.
Speaking of Yum, has anyone here listened to David Mead? Yes, the David Mead from the title. Go do that, if you don't mind. His album Almost And Always is my Current Favorite Music On Earth. Every time I listen to it, I can't help but say, "Soooo pretty!" over and over again. "Twenty Girls Ago" is my favorite song, thought it's difficult to choose just one.
And check out the cool (if slightly creepy) cover!
|I like it. I think.|
*I say "It's too cold for that," because I feel that's what I ought to say. Truth is, I had gelato last week when there was snow on the ground, and I do not regret it at all.