Lance Mannion died — real name Dave Reilly, was a well known figure in ‘left blogistan’ back when that phrase meant something, back when I used to post thousands of words a week to my own Typepad blog. He started his blog in 2004 and kept it up until his death. Respect.
This week I went home — my other home, I mean, the village where I grew up in Western New York. I say ‘village’ though my family actually lived in a hamlet (pop. 800) bordering the town (pop. 1,500) which contained the village (pop. 500 then, now down to 380), and my school was actually in the next town over (pop. 2,000). Well I went there anyway, handled some things, and one night in the hotel I thought that I’d forgotten how to sit down and just write. My daily leisure/work activity, one of my life’s loves. No idea. It comes and goes, I guess. What was missing was wanting: I couldn’t write because I didn’t know how because I didn’t want to, really, though I wanted to want.
Wanted in other words to believe myself whole. I’m tough to convince.
All through spring and summer I worked on the tarot book. It’s a ‘book,’ did I tell you? I printed a couple copies just to get a feel for it in the hand, see if the pages were page-sized, if I could stomach the ‘style’ and ‘personality’ and ‘dubious fact-claims’ of the thing. My first response:
… And was shocked to find that the early chapters, on the ‘earthly’ trumps, are much better than I’d given them credit for, while the later chapters just tired me out. … Anyhow I’m proud of myself for having written it, and proud of having faced my ambivalence to read and discover and be surprised. Proud of giving myself the opportunity to be proud.
Well, it’s a book. Next question is is it a good one, and no I think no I won’t no — it’s maybe a good something but prolly a middling book. Or else I’m being too hard on myself. Or else I just can’t tell it’s too close it’s too personal. Or else I can’t yet tell and need someone else to read it. But then once read it schrodingers into being for real and how can I back out? Who’m I obliged to at that point? On the other hand I had that shit novel from 2008 that I binned without great regret after a couple of people read it without great pleasure. Precedent: there is it.
You didn’t come for this sort of thing, we know. We sorry.