ďHumor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility.Ē Ė James Thurber
Perhaps this is why I can recall tragic moments with a smile. Like the time I got a flat tire on the freeway and tripped over that dead dog. I mean, shit that happens that REALLY sucks NOW most always ends up being a great story later. I learned that a long time ago. I could turn my shitty moments into entertainment for friends, and therefore entertainment for myself, and suddenly I was thankful to have those moments in the first place.
Speaking of interesting moments, I had a great meeting with my new boss-man yesterday afternoon. When he asked me, ďWho are your influences? What do you read that taught you to write?Ē All I could think of was the hundreds of historical romance novels I read growing up, and Dean Koontz, whose poetic prose and magical suspense have held me captivated for over a decade. Boss man was expecting something literary. He must get that all the time. When youíre going for a job in writing and someone asks you who you are inspired by, I can see the desire to try and come up with a name that will impress or give some kind of idea as to your style.
But this is the deal Ė I donít KNOW what my style is. I have been writing for myself, daily, either poetry or diaries, since I was a child. I am influenced by everything I read, and I enjoy reading bubblegum fiction and the dictionary. I donít know the great authors, the literary authors. Someone recently wrote to me that I am his favorite writer, ďright up there with Sylvia Plath.Ē Iíve never read her. Iíve never taken a creative writing class. If I had to describe my style, I would say I honed my writing in such a way that if I were to pick up one of my journals a year after writing an entry, I would understand exactly what I meant and exactly what I was feeling the moment I wrote it.
Itís all been for me until now. Iíve never had anyone critique it, change it, suggest changes to itÖ itís just been so personal. Iíve always wanted to share. Last night, after a poetry reading, I came home with M.s. and pulled out my books (the ones Iíve written). I wanted to read it ALL, I wanted to read it all TO him. Validation of my existence? Confirmation of my growth? Vanity in action? Or allowing myself to become as vulnerable as I can to the man I love? Perhaps all of the above. This writing for a grand audience, about my life, about me, good and badÖ itís another step across the long bridge of effective communication that Iíve been trying to cross since childhood. Letís see how far I can get.