I write narrative non-fiction, not memoirs, I've discovered. To sell memoirs you need a 'platform.' I'm busily constructing one in the back yard out of orange crates, but apparently that's not good enough. Paris Hilton has a platform; I have 'auto-biographical narrative non-fiction' if I ever want my work to be published!
I used to write poems and fiction but it was all a little too dream-like for me. Not tethered to reality the way my account of being married to a Mexican heroin addict turned out to be. Of course, I now have the problem that everyone assumes this Cambridge educated (well, for two years anyway), polyglot and quasi social scientist could never have been so stupid as to actually get herself into the situation she describes - prostitutes and drug addicts? Drug lords and gang members. Surely not!
I'm afraid it's all true. What some writers will do for material.
Because nothing else makes sense.
I read Laurie Graham for wry British humor and excellent dialogue (I loved 'Future Homemakers of America' - unfortunately 'Ten O'Clock Horses,' 'Dog Days, Glenn Miller Nights' and 'The Dress Circle' are out of print but are well worth poking about for in used book stores). Kate Atkinson provides a 'jolly good read' and wonderful asides - it doesn't matter which genre she writes in, I would collect cereal packets if she wrote the blurb on the back. I read Elizabeth Berg when I want to feel it's okay to be me, Anne Tyler when I want an American 'jolly good read,' and Jane Hamilton when I want to be reminded of the calibre to which I aspire (but only if I'm reading a humorous book at the same time). Sandra Cisneros ('Caramelo') is my favorite Chicana author; 'Mountains Beyond Mountains' (Tracy Kidder) probably has had the most profound effect on my life; Alan Bennett is a genius; Mesdames Zoe Heller and Zadie Smith are also favorites; but if you want a real undiscovered gem, read the books by the anthropologist Nigel Barley. They are excellent training for social scientists and novelists alike.
Lou, thanks for liking my story!
New year nearly starting--do write and post something new before too long! Meanwhile I'll keep reading what there is.
Lou, just had to say again: "Noreen's Birthday Lunch" is such a terrific story! Powerfully understated writing. So much truth in this one
My first intro to your work was with Noreen's Birthday Lunch which I so enjoyed. I see I have many more pieces of yours to read, and I look forward to diving in!
Subtlety does indeed have its dangers, but I think you navigate it well, and sometimes we readers feels outright honored by subtlety. Of course we have to get it first. Nothing worthwhile without its risks!
Lonely hearts and locked hearts - we're a real pair, I think!
Thanks for your kind comments on "Sanctuary" - you hit the nail on the head!
I visited that part of the world and found it so interesting. And there was ample loo paper by then...
Lou, it means Red Color Press in Czech (no beer, sorry!)
Aw, I think that's why I'd make a good publisher again, I like to encourage good writers just as much as I like writing.
It's alright. Pardon the Americans their ignorance.
Lou, as always, thanks for your kind words and support! And you, my dear, are a writing dynamo - amazing work!
Lou thanx, for your comments, and reading your profile, u must must read my piece "Breathing" i think you will relate!
LA lady, you crack me up. best of the brits award to you. i dub you my personal comedic genius. if i may.
Thanks again, Lou, for your wnderful comments on my poem Laughter.
Lou, I wanted to thank you for your reaction to my story: The Great San Francisco Poetry Wars, 10.
Thanks Louise for the kind comments! Ah, Sevilla, I know it well and am looking forward to reading your story. Feliz año 2010
Louise, Thank you so much for your comments on my story. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and look forward to reading your work, too.
Hi Louise, I think that the writing quality here at Fictionaut is of overall high standards--more so than many of the online groups--and so the critiques are much more expert. I think you'll enjoy the opportunity, the reading, and the company.
Thanks D.P. Your comment inspired me to write a poem about joy, so I guess this writer community thing is working! Too bad the poem isn't any good.:)
Wow, that is one powerful smile, Louise. Welcome to Fictionaut. You'll find every kind of writer imaginable here.