HI BABIES happy new moon! & happy Diwali! The new moon is transiting through Scorpio and you know what that means: death and rebirth, transformation, cleaning out the closet of your heart. Throw out the shit that doesn’t fit you. It’s okay if you get a little cranky, change is hard.
I have been thinking a lot about how to hang out with the pain of people I love, because a lot of people I love are dealing with a lot of pain right now, because it’s a hard time to be alive and human and going around in the world, it’s a hard time to be poor, it’s a hard time to live in certain kinds of bodies and certain kinds of lives. It’s a hard time to have awful things happen in an otherwise gentle life. It’s a hard world to live in, the world we’ve been given. The world to which most of us did not consent. I have been saying you’re not alone a lot and it’s not you and no really it’s not you and really for real, it’s not you. Living with pain is hard and living with the pain of people you love when you are not in pain is hard because you want to fix it and you can’t, you want to take it away and you can’t, you want to undo all the things that are wrong with the world and you can’t. You can sit with the raw flesh and the gristle, you can think about the times you yourself were a walking wound making messes everywhere and leaving a trail of blood and spit and sweat and tears. You can be quiet. You can say I see you, I see you, I’m here. What else? I don’t know. I’m working on it.
This time last year, more or less, I was thinking about light and transformation and how many times my life has circled back on itself, how each of those loops has taken me to the same place and a new place all at once. In a different decade I sold books at a Margaret Atwood reading and last weekend I hung out with Margaret Atwood at a cocktail party (thanks Book Riot!!!!) and I got to say I’m a writer too (I didn’t say this, actually, I am terrible about saying this, my friend Stephanie told Margaret Atwood this on my behalf while I looked around in a panic) and Margaret Atwood asked me what I wrote about and I said Teenagers and Margaret Atwood said What do the teenagers do you in your books and I said Drugs mostly and Margaret Atwood (no beats missed by that woman I tell you what) said Oooh what kind. Then she told me what she’s working on. I’m working on something too I said. She kind of rolled her eyes. Of course, Margaret Atwood said.
Molly told me to read Radiance by Catherynne Valente and she was totally right, it’s gorgeous: space noir? undoing the story of the Sad Lost Girl? fairytale, decoupage, a book about velvet and sadness and glasses clinking and movies and stories and all those things pieced together in a way that made me want to throw out everything I’m working on and start it all over again but in a good kind of way, not a despairing one. I really wanted to read Emily Bitto’s The Strays but it was so expensive to order it from Australia! and then I met Emily Bitto in a bar in Brooklyn (she’s lovely), true story, and we traded books in the mail, and I tell you what The Strays is totally worth ordering from Australia and if you like complicated girl friendships (who doesn’t) and books about how artists fuck things up and replicate the same old while pretending to do things differently and feral girl childhoods and jealousy and making a life out of making art you had ought to get it from Australia too, or else you should just publish it in the US if you are a person who does that sort of thing. I read a popular thriller to see if I could figure out how to write one but it was awful so I’m not going to tell you what it was. Do me a favor and put a lot of love out into the world right now, and if you don’t have room for that know that a lot of that love is directed at you.
Kat Howard and Sofia Samatar’s Guillotine chapbook is almost done! I will tell you as soon as it’s ready. The cover is designed by Adly Elewa and printed by me and it looks so good.