Thursday, April 16, 2009

Upon further reflection.

Have you ever started reading a book and halfway through said to yourself, "Oh my God, I cannot continue reading this book. I HATE the main character"?

I did that this weekend. I started reading and the more I read the angrier I got. I actually became furious, even a bit shaky. I looked at the words and felt sick. I felt like throwing the whole thing in the trash and just being done with it. I love books and cannot imagine throwing a book in the trash. I can't imagine giving up halfway through...the only time I ever did that was recently when I was reading "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas". It pained me to do that as I love Hunter S. Thompson. But I couldn't get through it, and the book I was reading this weekend I couldn't get through either.

The problem is, I suppose, that this is a book that I am writing.

And I, unfortunately, am the main character.

I hate myself in this book. I hate this person from ten years ago. I hate how pathetic she is. How weak. How sad. I read and I feel sick. I feel like this can't be me. This can't be real.

It's real, though. The truth sucks.

Big Jim said things like, "Think about what your choices were" and "Think about how far you've come". He's right, he makes sense, but it doesn't always help. I told him how hard this is and how I'm angry all over again and he said, logically, "You aren't angry again Stephanie. This is the first time you've allowed yourself to be angry".

And I am. He is right. He's almost always right about me.

It's funny. I was so worried that about Jason. His feelings and how he would be portrayed. How twenty-three year old Jason would look to the world, when twenty-three year old Jason isn't thirty-three year old Jason. Not even close.

What I should have been worried about is how twenty-four year old Stephanie looks to thirty-three year old Stephanie.

It's not pretty.


marythemom said...

Have you thought about adding commentary from the thirty-three year old Stephanie or comparing and contrasting the thirty-three year old Jason? It might make the characters more likeable (and give you a chance to vindicate yourself).

Just a thought.

Mary in Texas

Jill said...

Mary has a point, it might not be your particular writing style, but it IS a reflection, so you could reflect freely throughout the book without compromising the content, per se. and I think if we didnt all hate ourselves from 10 years ago, then we haven't grown, at all.

eggplant43 said...

When I arrived into my thirties, I looked back, and was amazed I'd even survived. I've always viewed the 20's as the age at which we test all those thing we believe, and all those things we've been told about the world. This kind of on the job training is seldom attractive, unless you're a lifeless drone.

By the way, I loved the way you described the ugly book, took me totally by surprise. Clever!

mythoughtsonthat said...

My 24 year old self? Oh. My. Goodness! I wouldn't want to write about her either! But it's all part of the process. Peace.

PaintedPromise said...

oh good Lord there is NO WAY i could write about myself 10 or 20 years ago. i hardly even recognize that person! Steph, it's not about who you were... it's about who you have become! and you are THAT CHICK who is an awesome parent of two fabulous kids, the lucky owner of an incredible dog, and the beloved wife of an imperfect man (but ocming from one who knows, it's the beloved part that's important and NOT the imperfect lol). as the saying goes, you've come a long way baby! so don't hate the person you were - congratulate her for making something of herself instead of sinking into more crap which so many people do!

Bexterrific said...

Um, ok - listen up, sister: you are fabulous. Do you hear me? Fab-u-lous. Then AND now. And forever. Know how I know that? Because we're freakishly alike - and I KNOW that you would never say those things about me, correct???

Of course I'm right. :)

xoxoxoo, your cuz.