Random Task has nothing to do with this post. I haven’t even watched Austin Powers lately. But it’s hilarious. Oddjob becomes Random Task. I love it. Moving on.
You hear it over and over. People compare writing to giving birth. It’s a labor of love, yada yada yada, we’re all tired of it. I usually steer clear of the metaphor, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fairly accurate. Today, it strikes me as accurate in a way I never thought of. I’m waist-deep in The Girl From Hell, and the going is…by turns euphoric and gear-grindingly painful. At times like these, it’s tempting to say that it’s the most stubborn thing I’ve ever written, that it’s a breech-birth; it’s easy to hee hee hee and hoo hoo hoo and say nothing has been more difficult or bumpy. Yet, if I think about it, they were all like this. They all hit that point where I distinctly referred to them as breech-births. Even Secret Project S, which in retrospect feels like it ran like god damn bastards (Tremors) once it found its footing.
I’ve heard from those who have babies that you don’t remember the pain of the birth. After all, you’ve got a new shiny diaper-filler to show for all the huffing and puffing. So the struggle fades from memory and even moves into the realm of nostalgia. Such is the case for books. In a few months, I’ll bounce The Girl From Hell on my knee, and a few months after that I won’t even remember that I once wanted to shove an epidural through my fricken eyeball. Interesting, this human function of forgetting. I am continually fascinated by it. Which is why I want to read Angie Smibert’s Memento Nora, which has roots in that vein, and why I love Kundera’s The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. In my literary work, it’s a perennial theme.
Sidenote: If you watched Fringe this week then you heard the coining of a new fantastic word: Vagenda. As in, "that femme fatale is trying to seduce him…and she’s got a definite vagenda." Let’s make that fly. Urban dictionary, activate!