Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I've posted a thousand times on this blog. Wild. And I'm still just getting used to it. Someone told me, if you don't blog every day, you're not a blogger. Which is nonsense, really, but it gave me the impetus to keep doing it.

Well, today a close friend of mine posted this on my FaceBook page, and it got me to thinking of how much of a writer I am. Especially when I'm whining about it. And bitching. And moaning. And snarling. And how I can't imagine not doing it.

I've actually tried to stop, a few times, but it's like an addiction -- you can't let go unless you really, really want to...and I've never really wanted to. I like living with my characters. Sometimes they're more real to me than reality (hence the set-up for LD cutting so close to my bones).

But it is like magic. I remember when I was younger, right up through college, sometimes when I was reading my mother or grandmother had to actually poke me to get me to pay attention to them, I'd be so deep into the story. Science Fiction. Suspense. Horror. Mysteries. Classics. If I got hold of a book I liked, I wouldn't want to leave it.

Of course, I've also read things I couldn't get into, but usually it was because of the way in which it was written. I didn't like Russell Banks' "Continental Drift" because it wallowed in misery, and someone told me I didn't have the stomach for reality in fiction, which is nonsense. Dostoyevsky and Turgenev are hardly bastions of sunshine and light in their works, but I loved "Crime and Punishment" and "Fathers and Sons."

And also it depends on the translation. I tried to read "War and Peace" because Tolstoy was so highly thought of as a master of character, but I just could not get into it. The style was arch and tiresome. But a few years later I happened onto another translation and gave that a chance, and it was so mind-blowing, when I learned the translator had also done "Anna Karenina", I read that one too and fell in love with its creator. The same for Robert Musil's work; I tried to read "A Man Without Qualities" and was bored out of my mind, but then a new translation came out and it was much better.

I doubt any of my books will ever be translated into other languages, but that doesn't matter so much to me. The whole process of writing is my meaning, now. Even IF, which I've bitched about a lot...I haven't been fair as regards it. Vinnie's not my character...and yet he is. Like he's more than a stepchild while less than my flesh and blood...and I deeply resent anyone messing with him, even the guy he's based on.

And I guess that's the truest mark of a writer -- my characters are mine, no matter whose they are; do not mess with them.


Writer said...

Congratulations on the 1000! :)

I wish I was addicted to writing. I want to be a writer but there was a period where it seemed everything I wrote was being held against me (damn, ex-boyfriend!) and so whereas I was protective of my writing/inner life before, now I'm so protective of it, I don't write at all.

JamTheCat said...

It's an easy addiction to fall into. Of course, it helps not having a boyfriend...but I know what you mean. Of course, I AM the guy whose first published book was titled "How To Rape A Straight Guy" and who had to actually say on the Amazon page, "This is not a step-by-step manual."

Try it, again. Treat it as therapy. It's great for that.