I have not been working on my book for a long, long time. It’s so hard to juggle all that I have, but I’m not taking on any new shows for a while, so I hope that I can dedicate some time to my writing when I’m done with these eight paintings
Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley, as it it is called for now – and I don’t foresee changing it – has been the toughest project I have probably ever had to do. I am reliving all the parts of my life – all the hardest parts of my life. Sure, I will be editing out the boring, the non-pertinent, the lengthy rants that are similar to my blog (because in using anything like those, they won’t necessarily be to promote, protect or to entertain), but the rough draft inevitably needs to be written. I’m living through all of it just the same.
It is much harder to remember it and write it out than it was to experience it at the time. Doesn’t seem possible, right? But when you are going through a traumatic event, you go into survival mode. We all do. We dissociate to some degree, or we find a way endure it. We have to. Then we move on. Because we have to. And in moving on, we most likely do not think about it. That just works wonders.
Diving in and out of this book is bitter sweet. I like writing about the first time the light bulb went off for me in terms of art, music, love, friendship, independence, and stuff like that thar. I’ve been writing pretty much in chronological order, so knowing that something horrible is coming up, just makes me avoid getting back to a writing session.
I wish it was done, really. I’m 75-80% finished with the rough draft. That is far from done. That is bare bones stuff. I have never written a book before. I know nothing about how it’s done. I only know how I am going to do it before I hand it off to the editor. She might change everything, but I know exactly how I am going to structure the thing – section by section, chapter by chapter, because sometimes the helicopter flies high over miles of mountain ranges. Sometimes, it flies lower and circles around a camp. And many times it will land so the pilot can get out to get a really good look at the dirt.
Some future problems with this thing that I needlessly worry about are:
SUBJECT: What the hell is this? A memoir? Autobiography? Creative non-fiction, Artist memoir? Family memoir? Music biography? Women’s biography? Religious biography? Dark humor – non-fiction, …and HOLY SHIT! I’m sorry. I was just reading something that I did not realize on Barnes and Noble. Is this true? Someone please tell me if I am misunderstanding this:
Is PUSH fiction???? It is filed under fiction. I’m having a heart attack! I did NOT know that!
I am totally baffled now. I will be back when I get my head on straight. I am just….baffled. I can’t finish this blog entry right now. Sorry.
7:16 PM Okay, I am back now. I’m over it. I painted. I got some stuff done. I made decisions. I feel better. Fuck it.
When I read The Color Purple, I was well aware of Alice Walker. I guess I was stupid enough to think that Push was actually written by a young, illiterate girl who experienced these things and still on her way to becoming educated despite being such a young, single mother.
Now, both books do not lie. I am not mad that it is fiction, because it is not a fictitious story. My mind was just blown, that’s all.
All this time, I have been somewhat modeling, or rather just thinking about where my book belongs in terms of Push. That book was giving me courage to tell my story! I figured it would be, if published, close together on the shelf in the bookstore. I felt like, if people accepted her story
and believed it
and still loved her
maybe I had a chance of receiving the same reaction.