today my family invades my peaceful denver writing retreat. cue alien invasion film score.
it’s always interesting to see the different reactions when i tell people i’m a writer. i’m almost to the point where i can predict it based on context, or even location.
on ello or goodreads for example, most (read: not all) people seem to think — absent any other cues — that writer means novelist, as in someone who plucks wisdoms from the tree of life, wraps them in lyrical prose, and sends them to you like a love letter.
yeah, i’m not that kind of writer.
i have nothing against it, to be honest, just like i have nothing against historical romance or children’s books. however, i have found that most (read: not all) people who go in for literature exclusively — which is very different than reading from a mixed palette — tend to share a certain socioeconomic status.
also, i distrust people who, merely for the sake of enjoyment, savor the pain of others, like emotional vampires.
it’s been said by smarter women than me that the literary novel arrived rather late in art history and that there’s nothing to suggest it will persist. it might be overtaken by film, for example.
the stories i tell are the stories people have been telling — as far as we know — for as long as there have been words. not those that examine our peccadilloes through the glint of the jeweler’s glass, but those that take us away. stories you would tell huddled around a hearth or campfire. stories about gods and monsters.
and ghosts and ninjas and wizards and dinosaurs and dragons and giant robots and swords that can cut through anything and a nameless evil that seeks to cover the world.
high greek tragedy was filled with this stuff, and shakespeare was the dime-novel pulp of his day, writing about witches and fairies and political assassinations.
i don’t know about you, but i have had enough faults and false starts that i don’t enjoy recycling those of others. of course, your mileage may vary.
art by Jakub Rebelka