Synchronicity is not my thing. It’s too subtle and I’m a two-by-four kinda gal. But strange signals are coming to me in such rapid succession, even my gray matter is a’swirl.
The year began with a fall out over a book I wrote and three scenes I included – with permission – that, upon reading – made the permission-giver feel funny. I had already had a contract with a film producer who LOVED those scenes and there it was, my childhood friend had peed on my livelihood. Regrettable. The issues got sorted on…mainly by me working up something with equal humor – and I went on my way, swearing not to hang out with people who didn’t understand where creativity came from.
After passing through my childhood friend’s first bad reviews, I encountered a readership that was wildly curious about how much of the heroine was me and what did my husband think about all this? He read it and helped with typos. If a man knows art and creativity, it’s him. He was happy his wife was busy and fulfilled. Besides, he’s got better things to do, what with his own books and all.
Years after that first book came out though, my husband my husband – a man of few words – yelled “THAT BOOK WAS ABOUT ME!” Someone else had brought it up at lunch and I had forgotten I had written it.
I began remembering other scenes of writer discomfort. A friend, after writing an amazing memoir of how her father created a baseball team instead of a family, met me for dinner pale-faced and announced “my mother is reading the final draft” as she pulled up her chair. I remember her talking about what a tense week that was.
To add fuel to my fire, I hit Elena Ferrante’s second half of her final book in the Naples series and it was all about her neighborhood hating her writing about her neighborhood. The Solaras threatened her and she saw how gross the place really is. I thought “same old shit” as I read but don’t tell me! I’m not finished with these remarkable books yet.
Finally, on a much more serious note, another writer, now in her late 80s, called today requesting I remove two pages of text that disturbed a family member. I heard the pain in her voice and I knew exactly where it came from: the creator inside wants to protect what is so difficult to show to the world.
I told her what I tell all my writers: You’re not going to do it, are you?
To a person, they say no.
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