Originally posted on Friday, November 24, 2006 .
Okay, I'm going to whine again. I was in a car, on the way to the airport. I'd just been a panelist at the Southern Festival of Books in
So, I was in the car going to the airport. There were two other novelistas in the backseat on the same mission. One of them I recognized from the previous day when we had driven in from the airport together. They were chatting, so I turned around until I had reached Maximum Neck Twist, and introduced myself in the general direction of the two voices, since I couldn't see their faces over the front seat headrests. I waited for someone to dodge around the obstacles and offer a handshake or a name in return. I got a brief, totally disinterested Oh hi, and the twosome resumed their conversation. They managed to convey – as only girls can, I don't give a damn what age they are —that I was intruding, and being really pushy about it. Like I said, I couldn't see what was going on back there, but I just knew eyes were rolling. And Some People Just Don't Know When They're Not Wanted looks were being exchanged. The reason I was so sure was, at that point my own girl history had kicked in and I was once again on the playground of
The problem was, when I met Professor A on the previous day —I'll call them Professors A and B since I want to rise above petty name calling—I made the mistake of admitting that I have a show business background, that I'm not sure you can teach creativity in a school setting where you have to give out grades, and I figure if people don't have a good time reading my books I've failed. These women, I gathered, from my listening post in the front seat, write "literature." I think I heard about a plot including a couple of dead babies. I know I heard that they feel it is a mark of their success if they get bad reviews.
None of which explains or justifies the fact that I knew one of them was going to be going home to
The flip side to that is, my women friends are also my rocks. Nimet and Melissa who are not pet people will listen for hours while I weep over the loss of one of our dogs or cats. My friend Ellen, who was my teacher on the very first book I wrote, will still talk me through writer's block, stalled plots and the massive attacks of self doubt which I refer to as the devil voices. We have an enormous power, we women. I want to write more about that later.