Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Writing for fun again: what am I to do? Can't help it!


So, my 70th year is almost over—doh! (That happens, Rachel.) It's been awesome and the next year will be awesome too.

An influx of maturity and wisdom never arrived, sorry to report.

But just in the nick of time I can imagine my next writing project. Thank goodness: there's nothing more fun than writing for fun.

Ever since finishing Scarlet Heels: 26 stories about sex, I've been almost 100% businesswoman—apart from a blissful stint as writer in residence at Lavigny. I've even stopped transcribing poems that dribbled out of my granddaughter's mouth because I felt I was invading her privacy.

Lately I have been inspired by Maud Casey, a wonderful young New York novelist who was with me at Lavigny. I've just read The Shape of Things To Come. She has that proportion thing right: the prose is exceedingly easy to read and understand and yet quite often there's a sentence that's so brazenly original and wise or mysterious or metaphorical, it's like a salutary slap in the face. I don't want to be boring or bored, but I don't want to be impenetrable or pretentious either. Maud is my model at present.

That, and reading a patchy book of memoirs by distinguished old NZers, yesterday gave me a vision of my next writing project. Very thrilling to see the way it could be, even if it never happens. I think I'm going to write random poems randomly related to life as an officially older person. Not unlike this blog, but as poems.

Odd and funny and real would be the goal. And not boring! I'm sick of oldies who relate earnestly how life was when they were young, how it's changed and what they think of that. I don't care.

I don't usually announce what I'm going to write: that's just asking for trouble. But I'm old enough to be pretty sure this one will happen. Not quickly, because I'm busy. But in a steady dribble, as is appropriate for an old lady laughing.

Writing for fun again—what am I to do? I can't help it.

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