The thing about art is that it has to be manic. The crest and trough heaving is necessary to be able to experience and capture and elucidate the joy and folly of living. When you find yourself surrounded by nurturing, intelligent women with educated opinions and firebrand ideals, you start to think you’ve only ever half-lived. And you’re right.
So, P-Town was fantastic. Two readings, four signings, a wine & cheese mingle, a panel, and an improvised speech about how “The Price of Salt” — which I haven’t yet read — deserved to be voted the number one lesbian book of the previous century. I came in third to “Oranges Aren’t the Only Fruit” and the winner, “Curious Wine.” More importantly, we had a fucking blast, and an opportunity to discuss the struggle to publish worthwhile books in this country, and why it’s more important than ever to pursue meaning, particularly as meaning is frequently in direct opposition to commerce.
The thing that got me, possibly more than anything else, was the writer Ruth Perkinson, and her efforts to make contacts with writers from other presses (in addition to bringing reinforcements to my second reading since I would be reading alone, and she wanted to insure I felt encouraged). Writers are solitary creatures for the most part, introverted and reluctant. When one of them draws us together, I find that wildly moving.
I’m to have my rewrite of my manuscript in to my editor by November 15th. I’m reinvigorated, and blissful. I’m on the crest, a wave that unfurls in a roaring rush, and promises never to break.
1 thought on “Post-Buzz and Still Dreaming”
I’m sorry I missed this voting business. I’m quite surprised that “Curious Wine” was the winner. It’s entertaining, surely. It contains transcendent sex scenes, endless lesbian processing, and an almost sickly-sweet ending. But it’s not, forgive me, really much of a story.
I have a hard time with Jeanette Winterson. There’s some level of bitterness and increasingly intentional obscurity to her writing that has always prevented me from feeling intimate with her stories. She is, of course, wickedly talented; I can’t deny it.
I’ve got a list of my own in mind, but I’ll stick to those mentioned: of the three, “The Price of Salt” is a revelation. A lovely book. It plays with the conventions of the Lesbian Pulp genre without ever surrendering. Of course, I think that’s because Patricia Highsmith didn’t give a damn for the conventions of lesbian fiction. I am fascinated by her, actually. It’s even more fascinating that, of all the books she published, “The Price of Salt” was the only one of its kind. I think it was enough.
I am enchanted to hear of your impromptu writer’s communion, as I was to discover your blog. No matter what anyone’s passion or profession may be, it’s always moving to share it with those who really give a damn.