Saturday, March 25, 2017

The goodbyes

This week I said farewell to a pair of people who have played strong roles in my life. Both writers, both guys, one dead, the other alive.

Neither was perfect. Both pissed me off. Both meant something to me. These things are not mutually exclusive. 

There is not much else I care to say publicly about that, which is unusual for me, but exceptions may be made for everything. All I will say is that after a long time I made a choice, said what I needed to say, and now I have found some element of peace and closure.

Friday, March 24, 2017

My eulogy for Wesley

I want to tell you a couple of stories about Wesley. The first takes place maybe a year or so ago. I’d posted a picture of my son and I on Facebook. We were in the hospital. He was less than an hour old. Still had the clamp in his navel and everything. Tons of likes came in. Comments like aw, how sweet. Beautiful. Then came Wesley, written in all lower case: well, that’s kinda pukey. That was Wesley.

But Wesley is the reason I wrote my book. I told him about it before I told anyone else – including my husband – and he simply said, “Sweetheart, go for it.” Those four words have echoed throughout my brain for the last decade while I’ve struggled with this project, through the rejections and the acceptances, the failures and achievements. Sweetheart, go for it.

That was Wesley too.

I can still hear his voice, so how can he be dead? And yet he is, and we are gathered here in his memory. He’s up there with a martini in one hand and a cigarette in the other, and he’s probably telling at least a few of us to go fuck ourselves.

I hope I’m one of them.

But here’s the thing: for all the pain he carried, the pain that eventually ended his existence, Wesley was here. You Are Here, the name of his book. And yes, he was.


Thank you, Wesley. Thank you.

At a loss

I'm going to give a short eulogy for Wesley at the memorial today. I'm sure I'll find some words, but right now I'm not sure what they are.

What do I say?

Mentor.

Brilliant.

Jackass.

Any of it? All? None?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Parents who write

The fantastic Julia Halprin Jackson recently interviewed me for her blog. I'm honored to be a part of her project, which she describes thusly:

I am a writer and mother to a 10-month-old girl.

Sometimes I feel like these two identities are in conflict. Other times, they are one and the same. Who are we without our words, without our family? ...

While I grapple with that question, I decided to turn to a community of writers I know who have had children and ask them how they feel. I want to know if becoming a parent impacts the way people write -- if it rewires the way we think.

Thanks for letting me be a part of this, Julia!