Everything is awesome
I like having a bit of a write (and evidently a lot of a rant). In my adult life I’ve now written three novels, two children’s fantasy novels and most recently a memoir or a me-moi as my daughter says. Add to that the three fabulous novels I wrote in Primary School (viciously slammed by the critics, siblings can be so cruel, but take it from me they were sensational) and I’m quite the novelist. So it surprised me somewhat when I told a friend that I’d just written a me-moi and they responded by saying, “Oh, are you still writing? I thought you’d give up now that you’d spent time in a psychiatric hospital. Wouldn’t you be unpublishable now?”
WHAT THE ACTUAL F!!!!
I responded with something resembling a sentence and then disengaged from the conversation as soon as was politely acceptable. Clearly they’re unfamiliar with Susanna Kaysen and the now famous quote from Girl Interrupted, “Don’t point your finger at crazy people.” Obviously nothing bad happened to them, I didn’t explode or bark or start wailing or use too many ors in a sentence or forget to use commas… I just muttered something about liking writing and then retreated to the blanket fort in my head. Here’s what I should have said –
Serious, literary, lego me
In 1979 two great things happened, I was born (shamelessly arrogant but I feel the sense of drama was required) and The Mad Woman in the Attic was first published. The Mad Woman in the Attic was possibly my favourite text that I studied in University. And you Good Sir should read it. Because not only would you lock away the “mad woman” in literature but also in society. As soon as a woman is counter to your understanding she is to be boxed up and put away. Did it not occur to you that not all who seek help are snivelling, messy haired, violent psychopaths? That we can be productive members of society? That perhaps the locking away and stigmatising of the “mad woman” is what forces them into violent gibberhood. And so what if I am a crackpot? At least I am in good company! Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Virginia Woolf, Luanne Rice, Elizabeth Wurtzel, Suzanna Kaysen and Patricia Cornwell have all been considered raving loonies at some point. They’ve all spent time in “supportive environments whilst they recovered from exhaustion.” So when you think about it, being barking mad would pretty much be a prerequisite. If anything I should be expecting a bunch or marauding female novelists to come barging through my door at any given moment in order to clutch me to their collective bosom and shower me with literary agents’ contact details. I too am now a raving writer. I too drink tea like it’s on tap. Ich bin ein lunatic. And honestly what real writer doesn’t have a scarf, a beret and a jumbo sized pack of antidepressants on them at all times? (I’m pretty sure I stole part of that quote from a joke about stereotypes made by Destination Saigon authour, Walter Mason) So just go take your snivelling comment and stuff it down you fluffy, lemon, jumper.
Oh, on second thoughts, it’s probably better that I didn’t say that. Let’s face it, if I did he probably would have just said, “Yeah, that makes a lot of sense if you think about it like a crazy person.”
Unequivocal proof of my madness, not even my kids are safe from me logoising them.