In Which I Admit Something Unsightly

When I see something like this, I burn with jealousy. It’s good, it’s motivational jealousy, but it’s there. I want Pith to write awesome shit about how great my book is. I want people to point people to my book. In this way, I feel like a teenager.

When the Professor, her friend, and I had lunch, one of the things we talked about is how we were brought up to not really want anything, to not strive for anything, to just sit back and wait for God, as Divine Snowplow, to clear the way. And if He didn’t? Well, then, it must not have been something He really wanted for you.

So, it’s strange, in my late thirties, to come to this feeling of “Oh my god, I want that, too” so strong that it burns in my gut. It almost blinds me to reason–my book will just be that good, or better. No doubt. End of discussion. I will work and work and work.

I mean, seriously, what the fuck? Is this what drive is like? And where the fuck did it come from? Am I going to hit forty and suddenly start keeping a clean house?

One of the things I’m trying to get at in the novel is kind of this “don’t do anything, just wait for God to act” nonsense and how it relegates people to secondary characters in their own lives. One of the things Hannah–who is being forced by fate a little to learn to take some action, to do some things (including the Devil! Hee!), to kind of be the central figure in her own life–keeps running into is that this weird supernatural thing is happening to her and almost everyone she knows only has a Christian context in which to understand it, herself included, which, fine, okay. But more than that, because she’s a minister’s kid, a daughter specifically, it’s very hard for the people in the Church she encounters to understand her as anything other than, at best, someone in spiritual crisis who needs their guidance, or at worst, a pawn that can be moved around to their/God’s own end. But just being understood as someone who is, at least kind of, capable of self-momentum and not just waiting for the way to be cleared is nearly impossible for her.

Even, in the end, I think that’s what most upset me about the stuff with the Devil. Even he, old and knowledgeable in the ways of people, couldn’t understand that she was not intersecting with him to help him in his story, at least not solely. He didn’t understand that she didn’t see herself as a minor character in his drama with God. And if there was any hope of anyone who thought that way in the book getting that, it was him.

I think I’ve just flat out decided that Lurancy is the presence of God in the book and that Hanna never gets that. Hannah’s on a path to something else, so I think that’s okay. And I love the idea of God as an elderly Midwestern woman who possesses a girl.

But then I think, if I want the Scene to love my book, I should write something more straightforward. With less Satan fucking. You know, more appealing to more people.

But how can I tell the truth of the matter if I don’t tell it in a way that feels true to me?

Chapter Five, Ouch

I know I already wrote about Chapter Five and nothing has happened in the intervening hours except for a series of more horrifying nightmares. I wish it were considered good form to kick the creator of The Human Centipede because, though I would feel bad if he had to go his whole life dodging kicks, I wouldn’t feel too bad if he had to go a couple of weeks. Seriously, I haven’t even seen the movie and I have nightmares about it, still, just based on the trailer.

When the Butcher got home last night he asked, “What’s wrong?”

And I said, “I had a terrible evening. It turns out the Devil is a huge jerk!”

And he said, “This surprises you, why?”

And we laughed and I went to bed. But the truth is that there’s something about chapter five that is terrible to me. I’m not saying that it would be to you. It might not even be very good. Probably isn’t at this stage. But it hit so close to home for me that it’s still left me drained.

I was just thinking, I wish there were a slightly less Crystal Gayle-ish version of “Wrong Road Again,” and you could just listen to that and I wouldn’t even have to write this post. And I found Jack Clement singing it and his voice has the right edge of heartache and anticipation.