Former high school friends find me on facebook. This happens to everyone who ventures onto fb-land. Maybe this makes you happy.
Most of the people who “friend” me, are nice people. They never did me any particular harm back in school. In some ways, catching up on their lives is good.
But here is the thing. I didn’t lose touch with most of them. No. Lose sounds so accidental, doesn’t it? Well, when I was 2 months away from turning 18, I packed my bags, got on a plane, and looked back reluctantly. I stayed in touch with one friend. One. We’ve stayed in touch for 20 years because she means an entire world to me.
Everyone else, no matter how nice they are, just reminds me of those high school years.
Did you like high school? I don’t understand people who liked high school. I’m 42, and still, to this day, when in my hometown I feel pressure on my chest, and I can’t shake the feeling that I’m going to be unable to leave. This irrational fear lurks in my mind that one day, no matter how far I go, I will end up back there. In which I shall go mad and drink myself to death.
But my hometown helped make me the writer I am today. So. Make of that what you will. I’m reading If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland. So far, so good. She mentions how our personalities are reflected in our writing.
A college friend has a published novel out,(you should read it!), and she mentioned to me how readers would come up to her at different events and talk to her as if they knew her. She, of course, didn’t know the first thing about them. But they felt they knew her because they’d read her book.
Last night I was looking over three stories I’d written, and the mothers in these stories are all horrible. They do terrible things to their children in one way or another. I do not think this means I hate my mother…but should I ever be a successful writer, there is a future college paper that says I do.
If someone read only my fiction, what kind of person would they think me to be? Who are you in your writing? Is it possible to even tell?
Is it just more self-obsession or part of the struggle to understand the self?