heavy lifting

(19 january 2011)

so there was this little while last spring when i was all OMG, i, like, totally don’t have the time to work on jackie in paris, because jackie in paris is going to be soooooooooooo hard and i’ll, like, have to ratchet up the wherewithal to work hard. and that is, like, simply expecting too much.

then, as all times do, that time passed and for a brief shining moment there was a clearly illuminated path of how things were going to go.

i was going to write people letters. people were going to respond to them. and the book that i’d put off all along because it was so difficult was going to be the easiest thing in the world to do.

that clarity lasted about a week. then, as most always happens in cases of clarity, everything was muddled again.

because jackie in paris is, indeed, so hard, in the effort to unmuddle, i have flailed about grasping after anything i can find. essays! blogs! short stories! sex toboggans! huzzah!

i realized today that i am sloppily steering six ships at once.

this isn’t as fool-hearty as it might seem. short stories on sexy dancing provide an effective antidote to the sense of hilarifying fraudulence produced by being an unmarried, childless woman discoursing on the subject of “mothering.” and the amount of reading required to have something to blog about every day gives one a surprisingly odd lot to say outside that context as well.

so there is movement. these are, however, micromovements.

and when every movement is a micro-movement, it’s difficult to gain momentum.

i’m in this writing group. we meet in a bar with paintings of naked famous people on the walls. and so, in the naked lady bar last week, in the midst of what i like to call The Great “Footnotes: Friend or Foe” Smackdown, sensei asked me to take the ring to mordor. to essentially do with jackiebook, ver. 1, what i had originally set out to do, which was to make it a biography about writing biography.

this sounds easy.

it is not.

and yet, as i recently mined through jackiebook 1 looking for topics that would work as stand-alone features, i confronted the reality of how far it still needs to go. and i felt, for the first time, almost ready to pick it up again and push it there.

there is one tiny hindrance.

i have not needed the jackie magazines for the last five years. i was done with them and, accordingly, modified my renters insurance policy so they are a part of it and then stuck them away in the darkest corner of the top of my closet in nine boxes that weigh a solid forty pounds each.

the problem is this: i need those magazines. now.

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