"What they goan tell us about us, huh?" - Clipse, Ma, I don't Love Her (featuring Faith Evans)
Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times edited by Kevin Smokler (Perseus Books). There was a time when I fancied myself a writer, at the least, an aspiring one. I don't think of myself that way much anymore. I'm a blogger and an uninspired one at that. I go through my archives on rare occasion and find some of my writing -- true, honest-to-god storytelling whether it be autobiographical or fictional -- and I wonder where that went. I wonder where the time has gone? I blog all the time at LAist but I rarely "write" there. I'm too caught up in trying to get the information out and taking the information in. I've become an all consuming media beast. I'm no longer much involved in the conversation between the world in my mind and the audience I hoped to share it with.
Bookmark Now has forced me to re-examine my relationship with the words I so love. The language I used to enjoy manipulating. The stories I used to need to tell. The authors of each essay, almost to a person, speak of the work of writing with such passion that I feel shamed. I've lost my path. I want to get it back. I'm not sure I know how.
No, that's bullshit.
The how is to sit down and write. Write the story I've been thinking of about loyalty and loneliness. Tell you the tale of the mouse that is living on my patio and wants desperately to get into my house (in truth, I believe he's already been in once). Share my fears and angst and joy. My worry. I can complain that there's too much media. There are 800 unread blogposts in my bloglines and there are video games to be played and books to be read and DVDs to be watched and movies to be seen and TV shows on my DVR and comic books to be flipped through and email to be responded to and all that but...but there was a time, a more writerly time, when I would sit down at the computer just shy of midnight with headphones on my ears and a Smirnoff Ice on my desk and I'd bang out words. Words written in this virtual space but that I thought just might be worthy of paper.
Bookmark Now is funny and touching and intense and familiar. These are the voices of our contemporaries. People I enjoy like Meghan Daum and Elizabeth Spiers and Stephanie Elizondo Griest and new voices (at least to me) like Nico Cary, Kelly Eskridge and Nicola Griffith. They write. They blog. They just fucking do it.
For the critical eye it turned back on me, I must recommend it.
And, hopefully, I must write.