Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I'm just not that into you (right now)

Dear Fiction:

Hello!  I hope this correspondence finds you well.  I have been meaning to write you for several weeks now, but have not found the time nor the courage.  Fiction, we need to talk.

After careful consideration and much deliberation, I think we need to take a 'break'.  Not a break up, just a trial separation.  I think you are amazing.  I mean you are Fiction, god damnit.  What is better than Fiction? (answer: nothing, unless you are counting oreo blizzards).  You are smart, you are imaginative, you are lyrical.  You enchant, delight, horrify, and move thousands of people everyday on long commutes and the restless path to sleep.  You are amazing.  And always have been for the trillions of years you have been around.  You have your own Pulitzer Prize in your name.  You are the bomb.com.

Here is the thing, you are also wearing me the frig' out.  I have been trying to write you for quite some time now with moderate degrees of success.  You are complicated.  You require thoughtful plot, well rounded characters.  You need a clearly defined voice and engaging narrative.  You are looooong.  So long.  Even for a short story writer.

I also have to come clean.  I have been taken in by a foxy temptress.  One with cheap, easy thrills and a self-satisfying edge you never had.  Her name is Personal Essay and she is a vixen.  She makes it easy to write, quick to spill out ideas and characters and stories (because they all kinda happened already).  She can be trashy, I won't lie.  And she doesn't always require the same level of skill you do.  But she is fun.  And it's summer, Fiction.  The best time of year for fun.  I know you will argue that you offer up plenty of Jodi Picoult and Janet Evanovich for the season, but I can't write that kinda stuff, Fiction.  You know that.  My stuff is sad and weird and will never be what you are dying to curl up with under a giant beach umbrella as the sand sifts into the seams of your swimsuit and you slurp your lukewarm diet coke.

This won't be forever, I promise.  By the fall I will come crawling back, ready to snuggle under your densely worded prose and endless descriptions of dilapidated houses and well worn relationships.  I have loved you ever since I wrote that piece of crap story about a fountain in third grade that was such a horribly obvious rip-off of Tuck Everlasting.  You have my heart, Fiction.  And you always will.

But for now, I need a summer dalliance.  And this summer it is personal essays/David Sedaris impressions.  No, they are not great.  But they are easy.  And sometimes, when tube tops and flip flops abound, you just need easy.  So I am briefly trying to join the army of people already much more established on the interwebs writing bitchy snarky clever things about everyday real life to be enjoyed by the masses/lost in the chaotic traffic of the world wide web.  To that end, I have sent out two personal essays this week to actual factual online publications (which is why i have neglected you and the blog recently).  I know, when i get the obligatory "No thanks, silly Lady-who-thinks-she-can-write" rejections that you will have the urge to say 'I told you so.'  I will deserve it, but please be kind anyway.

Summer fling- don't mean a thing, Fiction.  But oh those summer nights...

hugs and kittens,
the Undisciplined Writer


Annie Boreson said...

I LOVE this! Don't know if Fiction understands that underneath that want to write David Sedaris personal essays is the overwhelming need for Fiction to come crawling...no wait, begging back to you. You want Fiction on his knees and offering up the best damn characters he has unleashed to date. Hold your ground, but just know that he will appear again with a French beret (no, not a skullcap) and offer something sultry and wise. Don't be taken for a fool. Wait until he returns with more. Great writing. I truly think this is funny, yet ingenious.

Jennifer O. said...

Ok, I'm in. Now a follower. This is too good to miss:)

PLus, I totally hopped on the Personal Essay bandwagon bc I'm too lazy to write fiction.

wosushi said...

This is too funny.

When I wrote a "rant" column for a magazine, I wasn't sure how I would be able to sit down and work on a lengthy fictional novel. I'm doing it, but I totally can relate to your letter.

Jamie said...

Woo! While I am one of those types who devours fiction on the daily commute, I am a big fan of David Sedaris as well, so submit away! I'm also looking forward to reading your observations on the good ol' hometown. ;)

p.s. normally I would just lurk, but today I goaded another friend to start his novel blog, so I'm feeling full of encouragement.

Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Ah! I, too, have neglected my fiction for essay writing and what a lovely break it has been. I have David Sedaris and EB White competing for my attention.

Anonymous said...

Yes, correctly.