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Keeping Track

A room of one’s own.

It was spoiled of me. Self-indulgent. I thought I should be able to write anywhere and at anytime and I would not trick myself with stupid rituals and all the other trappings of « being creative. » Also the Bukowski poem, space and light, echoed in my head.

But Bukowski was a white man with few responsibilities, not a mother.  Read More 

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Signing Contracts

I have signed another book contract. I have been signing all kinds of contracts.

Even one I never thought I would do again: I plight my troth.
I recently signed a PACS: Le pacte civil de solidarité. Contract means both to shrink and to draw together.

I have been thinking about these words. Troth means truth. Plight means pledge. Our contract was for deeply practical reasons. And nothing like the first time  Read More 

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Mommy! I want a penis!

My daughter howled.

She was taking a bath with her twin brother. They were three years old. She was weeping and begging me to fix this problem.

It started when her brother had discovered he could put the shampoo bottle lid on the tip of his penis and it would stay there. He could then take it off. He could repeat this action. It was entertaining. Sophie watched for a moment. Sophie grabbed another lid, looked around for her penis, and then she began to bawl.

I am a feminist. I spent many hours in college insulting Freud and his stupid Penis Envy theory. I was not going to let this happen to my own daughter. Read More 

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Visiting Les Camp des Milles

There it is: an ugly red brick heap of a building standing alone on a flat open plain, a desolate wind-swept landscape, surrounded by train tracks and little else. In this building between 1939 and 1942, more than 10,000 people were imprisoned in terrible conditions. Most of the prisoners were not French nationals; they were refugees in France from totalitarian and fascist regimes. They came to seek refuge in the land of “les droits de l’homme” from Spain and Russia, and from pogroms in Eastern Europe. And then the Germans invaded. They were Jews, and Gypsies, and artists, and famous scientists. In 1942, 2000 people were deported directly from here to Auschwitz where they were murdered.  Read More 

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Got an agent

I am no stranger to rejection. I’ve had high hopes and seen them dashed. This last novel, I wrote to make myself laugh. Being so serious and “literary” was really not working out for me. I figured I would not get myself too worked up about publishing it. I set a goal for myself. I would find twenty agents to submit to. I would work my way down the list. If I got to the end of the list with no takers, then I would self-publish.  Read More 

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The Pitch

I am in the final (I think) phases of writing my novel, My Stray Guru. I am not sure how long I have been working on it. But I like to tell people that I am a writer and a failed novelist. This will be my fourth novel manuscript. Each one takes about 5- 10 years to write. I have come very close to getting one of them published. I have been hopeful and despondent. I have felt scared and brave. I have been angry and found laughter the best cure to existential despair.  Read More 

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