Zoom Meetings with your Book Club
Anyone who has ever tried to write a novel knows what an
arduous task it is, undoubtedly one of the worst ways of occupying
oneself. You have to remain within yourself all the time, in solitary
confinement. It's a controlled psychosis, an obsessive paranoia
manacled to work, completely lacking in the feather pens and
bustles and Venetian masks we would ordinarily associate with it,
clothed instead in a butcher's apron and rubber boots, eviscerating
knife in hand. You can only barely see from that writerly cellar the
feet of passers-by, hear the rapping of their heels. Every so often
someone stops and bends down and glances in through the
window, and then you get a glimpse of a human face, maybe even
exchange a few words. But ultimately the mind is so occupied with
its own act, a play staged by the self for the self in a hasty,
makeshift cabinet of curiosities peopled by author and character,
narrator and reader, the person describing and the person being
described, that feet, shoes, heels, and faces become, sooner or
later, mere components of that act.
I've been thinking a lot about what it means to have a published book, and what it means for me as an author to have people invest their time and money to read it.
And then I consider, beyond the book, what do I have to add or offer because I think the relationship between the writer and the reader needs to blur between what is real and what is true. That's the magic of reading.
Finding where that line exists between my mind and the paper is certainly the magnetic experience of writing.
2018 Nobel Prize winning Polish author Olga Tokarczuk, in her book Flights, awarded the Man Booker Prize, and translated by Jennifer Croft, says this about the writing life;
Mostly, I don't think you want to know I'm a mere mortal, and I write to be outside of time bound mortality. And yet, how do you trust my story if you know I can't organize my desktop?
In this regard, for me, Wikipedia is often, "TMI." There are a lot of things about the heroes of my inspiration I don't need to know about.
However, I was in the middle of a downward dog and another career when I started to write Cashmere Comes
From Goats. That was ten years ago. Maybe I can talk some about what it was like to be in my forties and pick
up my heart's desire after my original writing life was derailed by a very mean, humiliating teacher in grade six.
I'd like to offer what I've learned about taking back a dream and how to commit to its realization, against all odds. And the dream need not be about writing, but it might be.
Facetime and Zoom are not the same as in person, but the formats do offer a form of communication that I'm grateful for.
For example, it allows me and my 87 year old father to play Yahtzee on a weekly basis through our "tournament season" of October to April. We play for .25 cents a game. My dad usually wins. We think he has special Yahtzee powers.
Facetime also allowed me and my now husband Tom to have an 18 year long-distance love life. And I think the internet means that I can visit with your Book Club, any where you are, and anywhere I am. Maybe we can make contact about your dream come true.
Thank you for your interest. Art, writing, dance, music, craft, and nature are some of the most pure ways we
can build transformative lives. As much as I embrace the alone time of writing, it's now time to share in
conversation and community. I hope to hear from you.