Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mother Love

My daughter is the most amazing two year old in the world. She can sing songs, play drums, and behave herself for short periods of time. Not to mention she is stunningly beautiful.
But of course, I'm her mother. I would think all these things are mind-blowing.
Child-rearing is at once the most transcendent and most mundane act in the world. The majority of women end up doing it, with varying degrees of success, and it provides an instant bond. Whenever I meet another mother whose child simply did not sleep, I want to embrace her as we laugh at all the futile advice we got and crazy methods we tried. It is repetitious, as you sing songs over and over, discipline infractions continually, and draw one thousand and one circles on paper with purple marker. There is the daily grind of feeding, clothing, and diapering a child while handling life's other obligations, whether from an external job or the household job. And then there is transcendence.
It's the moment when you watch this small creature make a joke. Or when you see her share food with her doll for the first time. The complete miracle that your body created a tiny little person who is now feeding herself and talking in 4 word sentences. That somehow life came into the world through your own action.

Friday, July 26, 2013


So my writing assignment this week for Alice Osborn's class is 2 pages of dialogue, with particular attention to avoiding "said" tags and using subtext. She sent us, as an example, a short story by Hemingway. In the story, a couple is discussing an operation, which according to Wikipedia, is abortion. Now, I didn't get it. I was completely flummoxed and had no clue that it was abortion they were discussing. I was so distracted by trying to figure out what they were discussing that I missed a lot of the imagery. Am I stupid? I like to think I'm not. But this subtext was just too "sub" for me.
What I've learned is that I am probably too obvious in my dialogue. I'll be working on that. I'll post my assignment after I've gotten some feedback.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Little Fascist Panties

The icon of the Virgin Mary
Hides the wormhole vagina.
Princess Diana dressed in anarchist underwear.
Doris Day modeled Mussolini bikini briefs.
Audrey Hepburn donned Benedict Arnold boyshorts.
Mother Theresa wore angry g-strings.
Hidden, disguised, covered:
Our sexual cleft
Will emerge,
Will betray.

*The phrase “little Fascist panties” comes from the Tori Amos song “Precious Things.”

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Hero's Journey

As I have worked on my memoir for the last three years, I have struggled with an overarching metaphor to bring cohesiveness to my work. And finally I settled on the Hero's Journey. Thanks to George Lucas, most of us are familiar with the idea of the Hero's Journey. Any really good story follows the Hero's Journey arc. But what of the Heroine? Do women have their own journey? And if so, what is it?
Whenever I've looked into the Heroine's Journey, I find nothing. As best I can tell, any archetypal female journey is more akin to Maiden, Wife, Mother, Crone. Nothing wrong with that. I aspire to Cronehood myself. But it is not the journey that my memoir details. No, my memoir is the Hero's Journey. Call to Action, Death, Trials, Reconciliation with the Father, Ultimate Boon.
Maybe the idea that the genders need separate journeys is outdated now. Women are no longer given one or two options in life. What do you think?

And a shout out to Alice Osborn, who is teaching a course on the Hero's Journey starting this month!