I am beginning to think, in my extremely limited amount of experience, that the last 1/3 of a book is the hardest to draft. After this will come revisions, which will be its own brand of entertainment, but I’ve had so many false starts with this last 1/3 that they could add up to become their own book. Or, at least, a novella. I keep changing from first person to omniscient. Adding sections. And, always, erasing, erasing, erasing. I think the difficulty may be in pulling everything together, although it’s hard to know — maybe I’m just heading down the wrong path. In the meantime, I keep beating my head against a boulder and wiping away the blood.
Part of being so stymied with this last third of the book is that floundering with my own work means that I’m infinitely more prone to comparing myself to others. The last four months of my writing life have been stuffed full with comparisons to friends, soul-sisters, and acquaintances. Books sold. Books released. Time spent at MacDowell and time preparing for Provincetown. I won’t go on, because really, who cares? It’s all chatter; it’s unimportant. I’m doing my own work and I trust that my work will be good. A bonus is that I have a wonderful team of cheerleaders. Another bonus is that Dani Shapiro writes blog posts like this, which reminds me that writing in the dark is both beneficial and to be treasured.
Now is not better, H. says.
For those of you not following me on Twitter (would you like to?), the latest news about my ovarian cyst is that it spontaneously ruptured on its own yesterday, which caused immense pain — but also means that I won’t require surgery to have it removed. (The likelihood of requiring surgery, had it not ruptured, was probably pretty high; my cysts tend to not resolve on their own.) I have a small prescription for Percocet now and will be working from home for today, at least. And hopefully the pain resulting from the rupture — I won’t get into it, but it has to do with the liquid from within the cyst irritating the abdominal cavity, etc. — won’t last for too long.
The upside, of course, being that I’ll most likely still be able to go to the writing residency at the Vermont Studio Center, as planned.
The downside, of course, being that I now have a track record for being a “cyst maker.” This will likely happen over and over again for the rest of my life, with perhaps some cancer scares thrown in for good measure (as with the first one). But, well. Bird by bird.
I’d like to make a small clarification here about the name change going on in my life. The ball is rolling to have my name legally changed. I filed papers with a lawyer yesterday to instigate the process, which is making everything feel very real to me. I don’t tend to do these types of big things lightly — I have no tattoos, and was gunshy about getting engaged even after six years of dating my now-husband — but this feels like something that I deep-down want to do.
What does this mean for you — “you” being my long-time readers, long-time friends, new friends, acquaintances, BFFs, etc.? Once the change officially goes through, I’m going to release an email announcement, which I’m also going to repost here. This missive will include information about what sparked the change, what to do if you “can’t see [yourself]” calling me anything but Meggy/Meg, and other matters of importance.
In the meantime, I’m going to exist in a weird state of limbo in which some people are starting to call me Esme and most people are still calling me Meggy or Meg. Both email addresses (meggy.wang and esme.w.wang) are functional, and I check both of them.
May you have a wonderful day. I’m closing out the last of my morning activities before launching into day job duties, which means more espresso in my little birdie cup, cuddling with my fellow, and changing into Real Person Clothes. Love, love.