October 15, 2011

My book list! It's shrinking! My neurosis! They're growing!

First of all, today I am THRILLED to report that I have finally, after months and months of labor, finished reading George R.R. Martin's A Dance with Dragons.  I finally know all the plot-points that have been giving my brother heartburn for a few weeks, and I, too, am mourning the (possible - you never know with Martin) loss of a beloved character or two. 

I called it "labor," as the book was over 900 pages and was a hardback, so that thing was heavy!  And holding it up while being all sleepy and cozy in bed was difficult!  So as sad as I am to say goodbye to the characters of Westeros and Meereen and Bravos (eek, I'm nerding out again), I'm happy to put that heavy tome away and pick up something...lighter.

At least, it's physically lighter, anyway.

Because, after months of reading an epic fantasy, what's more soothing than Meta Maus, the collection of stories behind the creation of the heart-wrenching, Holocaust-based graphic novels, Maus and Maus II

Right?

Hey, at least it's a tiny book, comparatively speaking. It doesn't hurt my arms to hold it up.

I started it last night, and was immediately reminded of:

1. Why I think Art Spiegelman  is so brilliant; and

2. Why I think my neurosis are getting worse lately.

Ah, neurosis. Why do you plague me so? You could be from writing, you could be from having a kid, but you are there and you are making me crazy!!

My first issue yesterday came during a meeting at work.  We were talking to a client who happens to be at a boarding school, and for some reason I started obsessing over the idea of sending little Zoe to a boarding school.  I started imagining what it would be like. How I would say goodbye. How she would cry, and I would cry. And then I realized...I was literally writing a scene in my head.  A horrible, terrible, sad scene that is NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN IN REAL LIFE! But there it was. A simple work meeting, and I was off and running on a new short story.

Then last night, when I started reading Meta Maus, I read about a man who was a prisoner at a concentration camp who had to choose between saving his own life, or that of his father and child.  He chose himself.

And suddenly it was all I could do to not cry, imagining being the person who had to make the choice. His life or his child's? His life or his parent's? How can someone live with themselves after choosing themselves over their CHILD? So there I went again, imagining. Picturing. Composing.

Yeah, it kept me up for a while. And when I finally fell asleep, it was a sleep plagued with a nightmare so vivid, so detailed, that I know I have ANOTHER story to write.

Yep, it's never going to end. 

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