Thursday, February 08, 2007

jimmy olson, johnny memphis

I’m happy to report three of my essays will be appearing in the next issue of Pebble Lake Review. I have been amazed, overwhelmed in a wonderful way, by the response my essays have received, a form I never even considered until two years ago, a form which I now adore.

I have the idea of a blog to thank for introducing me to creative nonfiction, a blog on which--I was continually reminded--I wrote considerably "un-blog like" lyric essays. I love writing essays. I love having an immediate audience to read them, three hundred audience members each day! I am working on a collection of essays, both new and from this blog, and I am excited about the potential of the genre both as a writer and as a reader.

I am also working with a talented and offbeat designer to launch an author website. When that site launches, I plan to end blogging in this form.

I will still write essays and publish them, the same way I write and publish fiction and poetry. I will post news about these publications, but in truth, life is too short for me personally to be interested in internet community or conversation with strangers. The conversations I have are over hot chocolate. The community I have calls. I have too much to do. The sky is too big, and my stepson wants to read me a book.

Writing is one part of my life, a big part. The internet is part of my life, as it is part of all of our modern lives, a much smaller part (witness my delay in responding to e-mail). But these parts pale in comparison to the role family, friends, and love plays in my life. They are what I live for. Love comes first.

I am a real person. My family is made up of real people. The world gives back to you what you put out into it, even "anonymously," even on the internet. Mental illness is not an excuse for hurting another person, or trying to, or wanting to. Neither is loneliness. Neither is unhappiness.

I was unhappy once too. Do you know what I did? I cried.

And then I wrote it down.