|Eight-year-old Olivia's drawing of me on book tour.|
I sent out the first draft of my memoir to several writer-friends who will generously provide feedback. One already sent me a message that so far she thinks it's "fan-fuc*ing-tastic."
I'm sure my friends will have suggestions that will improve it. That's how much I trust this group, my tribe. I've read a lot of their work over the years too, in unfinished and finished forms. I've taught some of their work in my classes. It's a wonderful thing having a tribe.
Dave says "first draft" is a misnomer because I've re-read the whole thing a few times, smoothing out the sheets, adding and omitting and refining. Plus, I read it aloud to him.
He was very helpful. He could hear when I'd repeated a word, or used a clunky one. He also corrected some details and asked me questions that helped me dig deeper.
I wasn't sure he'd want to hear the whole book because there's some raw stuff in there.
A friend of mine asked him if hearing so much about my past bothered him. He said, "No. I have a past too." In fact, we are grateful that the past made us what we are now.
Besides, he's proud of me. He thinks it's a good book.
My friend said, "He's a rare guy. Most guys wouldn't want to hear all these things." I wonder if that's true? I wonder how others have felt about their spouses' memoirs?
Dave has given me a gift, encouraging me to be true to myself . My mom gave me a similar gift years ago, telling me to never worry about what she might think of my writing. That's in the memoir. My working title is: The Footholds Will Appear: An Odyssey of Love, Sex, Spirit and Travel.
Soon we will be back in the Bay Area briefly, sorting through the remains of our things. I don't know what to do with the two boxes of journals--written from ages 8-51--that have been sitting in the dark for so many years. Now that I've written the memoir, they feel superfluous. I'm not a fan of re-reading my journals, anyway. Writing stuff down supports my creative process. I don't have to revisit them.
As I wrote the memoir, I combed through last year's journal--and now that journal also feels like old news. I've thought maybe I should ritually burn them to set the past free. Or have a party where everyone reads pages aloud at random before I toss them.
I've already started a new journal. It has a purple cover and beautiful, blank pages ready to be filled with the future.