Saturday, April 17, 2010

To the Women - Make Use of Time

I've been in Jackson, Mississippi, since Thursday. The heavy hotel curtains have blocked out a good part of what I think must be a blue morning, only the other hotel rooms face mine so I can't open them quite yet. I've been up since 5:30 a.m., thinking about what's next. I came to Jackson for my film, the one I told myself I was over and then decided, showing it one more time wouldn't hurt. And it didn't. There was a lovely crowd for it, all quite complimentary and encouraging. Lots of questions at the end of the film. For me though, it was wonderful to see it one last time of such a big screen after working on a 14 in. screen for so long. Part of me is sad to move on from the film: there were so many conversations and friendships that grew out of the process. Another part of me is ready to put it to rest and focus on the book.

If I haven't mentioned this already (though I'm sure I have) the book is an outgrowth of my written thesis on the history of Thacker. Only after meeting with my editor yesterday I learned that rather than a stuff analysis of the show, he'd like to see something more personal. In most academic books, authors clearly identify who they are in relation to the subject they are writing about. I do the same in my thesis, but for the book, my editor suggested that insert myself into the story throughout. You can imagine the relief I felt when he told me this. To any naysayers of my version I can say, Listen, this is through my eyes. I hear pens are cheap these days, why don't you write a version of what you think happened.

So I am eager to get back and commit to my story perhaps in a way I was not able to as a graduate student when the demands of academia push my personal feelings, which I believe are equally important, into the margins. I told my friend the other day that I plan to commit to this writing the same way a southern woman commits to planning her wedding: fiercely and without regret. When so many things feel up in the air, it's nice to know that there is the permanence of words on paper.