Today, I treat myself. All aspects of myself I will only approach with kid gloves. I will not be harsh. I will be kind. Calm. Mellow. I will not be stressed out or surround myself with stressful people or situations. Today I am back from California, having miraculously not gotten sick despite encroaching sinus problems, due to a constant intake of homeopathics, vitamins, kombucha, nasal rinses with the Neti Pot, macrobiotic food, and a comically constant use of hand sanitizer in public situations. I am acting like I am some sort of athlete - like a marathon runner. Today I start work again on the rewrite. I have given myself two weeks to completely rewrite Part Two. Now it's been a month and I look at it and I think - wow, yeah, this all mostly needs to go. This is so rough, etc. Yeah, I get it. As a writer I can be very limited - I can only change when I actually see the problems myself. But can I do it? Can I be clear? Can I be brave? Can I be disciplined? I will try. I cannot fuck around. Today I surrounded myself in my office with at least 52 blue post-it notes that are some sort of map posts to this future, better, book. I have just looked over Suzanne's notes on my manuscript - her exclamation points and smiley faces. Before that John's notes: his YES-es in the margin. It's wonderful to have people who love you enough to write smiley faces and YES in the margins. Like cheering me on.
It is lovely to be home - towering trees outside my office window with their brilliant reds and yellows. I am drinking red tea. I am still totally unemployed, but I will think of that when this book is turned in. I did not get the class at Duke. I did not even get the security aide position at John's library. I am totally unhirable, maybe. I will consider getting a job at Whole Foods in the spring. I told all this to Christine Wertheim, after my CalArts reading, I had just met her, she was wearing this kind of magnificent red spidery shawl. I feel like I vomited out my life story to her, very quickly. Afterwards she said to me: You live a very charmed life. I do? I said. I didn't know what she meant. Maybe she was talking about privilege. Because yes I am absolutely privileged. To be able to write anything at all. To now have time and space to write. I didn't always. But now I do. I know this. I do know this. Charmed I do not know about. But lucky - yes. I think she actually meant that I was prolific. But the truth is that I tried to get Green Girl published for several years, no one wanted it, no one wanted me, I was desperate for it to be published. And to have two novels come out a year after each other - it just happened, I guess, that way.
Also: Roxane Gay wrote this essay at The Rumpus on idealism and politics and other things that like all of her essay writing is incredibly profound and sharp, and at the end she references the abortion scene in Green Girl, which made me happy, because it is one of my favorite scenes in the work, although the opinions expressed by Ruth and Agnes about the experience do not reflect the opinions, you know, of the author, as Ruth and Agnes are extremely apathetic and passionate only about the primacy of the self, and I hope, I hope, that I have learned to be a better citizen of the world.