I was in the salon after work last night, sipping a glass of wine and perusing a magazine. I came across this excerpt from an Erica Jong novel, and I think Ms. Jong wrote this particular chapter specifically for me.
First of all, Ms. Jong included one of my favorite Dante quotes. We’ll get to that. Secondly, she lit a fire under my Muse’s ass, and sent him speed-racing back into my life. [Yes, I know Muses are female, mythologically speaking, but mine is a man, so take a hike, hero.] I’ve felt Mr. Muse’s eyes on the back of my neck since January, and he has finally and ineluctably revealed himself. Thank you, Ms. Jong. Thirdly, her editor has her pegged. I’m having that conversation with my future editor. I guarantee it.
Ms. Jong gave me some pertinent advice for the writing conflict I’ve been dealing with as of late. Here’s what she told me:
“Don’t cut funny. If it’s funny and forces you to look at yourself honestly, how can you cut it? If you’re writing and don’t feel embarrassed and you don’t feel nervous, then you’re probably not writing anything interesting.”
and . . .
“The most uncomfortable things I did, I did knowing in my gut that I would write about them. ‘Amen!’ says my demon. ‘Amen!’ And thunder breaks and lightening flashes because demons aren’t allowed to say, ‘Amen!'”
That, my friends, is exactly what I needed to hear. I am secretive by nature, so you won’t see all of my mess on display here. But you will see more of it somewhere. Just wait.
To finish, we’ll throw in two quotes.
That Dante quote (in English, though I prefer the feel of the Italian): “Our panderer was that book and he who wrote it.”
And the theme of the month, from Robert Greene: “People secretly yearn to be led astray by someone who knows where they are going.”