February 29, 2004

7:30 am. Astoria

(Astoria, NY - Feb. 29) - It's 7:30 am in Astoria, the most culterally diverse neighborhood in the country. In the morning darkness of my dwelling it's impossible for me to tell how the weather is outside because of the brick wall that has been view these last 10 years. Last night on the news the big weather story was that we are having unually warm weather. Today the temperatures are supposed to rise to the 50's. What do I have planned today? Not much. House cleaning. Yes. Picking up my laundry. Yes. I was too lazy to do it. The cost to have it done was $17 and change. I think this is and forever will be the best deal in New York. My laundry was as heavy as a small child, and pound per pound, it would have cost me a minimum of $12 to do it myself. For five more dollars, I had it done. It's enough to make a poor shlub like me feel like a rich shlub.

I might work on some fiction today. I've been thinking about my life and the people I know and it's been stirring up some emotions that can only be dealt with safely through the lives of people I make up to represent my friends and family. You write what you know. I know some things. But isn't writing about your life in fiction the same as telling other people about your dreams? Dreams are only really interesting to the dreamers and their therapists and even then therapists listen because they are employees, not truly interested parties.

Would you guys want to read a fictionalized account of my life? Is that what all writers do? Did Steven King write the book Carrie because he was picked on as a teenager and had amazing revenge fantasies that he could only apply in a world he created on paper? Did Theodore Dreiser really know a woman like Sister Carrie or a man like her paramour who ends up killing himself in the end because Sister Carrie leaves him? Did Shakespeare's heart get broken when he was a teenager inspiring him to write Romeo and Juliet?

Tell me what you think. No. Really. See if you can answer these questions for me either in my comment section or in your web log.

1) Do you think your life is good enough to write about?
If yes, do you worry that you will offend people you know even though you are writing fiction? If no, why not?

2) What type of situation (not the situation itself) would you like to fictionalize?

3) Do you have family members that make you want to rip out your hair (again no specifics necessary) to the point that you want to burn them in a story?

4) When you read, what type of stories do you find most entertaining?

These are not rhetorical questions. I'd like to see some answers here or on your blog.

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