General

Into The Secret Diary

Yesterday was, as you may know if you use Instagram (and Facebook), an “unsettling” day of outages. Instagram was down for much of the day. Last night when my Insta appeared to start to work, I blurted out:

Then there was this yesterday as well. It is surpassed only by my uncle having read Passports and Frontiers in 2014-15 not long before he died… and I had fictionalized “him” as a major character. My cousin in New Jersey, prompted I gather from all of our exchanges about her daughter’s writings, emailed me that she had the other day bought ALL of my novels.

So awakening here in Britain this morning to find this email isn’t a huge surprise:

[Excerpt from my Gmail.]

But – it being far too early for anything, uh, alcoholic – it still merits at least a strong coffee:

[Photo by me, 2019.]

Specifically, 1) she bought the Trilogy: Passports/Frontiers/Distances re-published in paperback in 2018 in one massive arm-breaking volume. Now, I’m sitting here with my second cappuccino, with my mind all over the place about all that I had fictionalized in those three novels…

…about my novelist uncle, my grandmother, my grandfather, my parents, and others, and especially a period of my life in my twenties she never knew much about at the time. I’m also now as I type thinking about perhaps having to detail what is outright fiction and what is not – particularly when it comes to certain behaviors about which I’m not personally wildly proud.

Having it all read by someone I grew up with, it feels somewhat like the person got hold of a secret diary. It is a little unsettling. I was pretty candid in the books about quite a few personal things because, well, for the rest of the reading world it is fiction of course.

I suspect as well she’s gonna be turning those pages looking for herself. That’s almost inevitable. (“Am I in here?”) When you write fiction, those closest to you tend to do that. πŸ™‚

2) Also she got my Gone With The Wind Conventions: The Garden At Paris in paperback. Not quite as bad. But still… Oh. My. God. It may be set mostly in the 1780-1790s, but I don’t even know where to begin family-wise when it comes to some of what’s in that novel, as well as about other events and people…

[Excerpt from Conventions: The Garden At Paris. Paperback version. Photo by me, 2019. Click to expand.]

I have read occasionally of some of you who write who wish you could get reluctant family and friends to read your books. I’m the opposite. To my enormous relief, my novelist uncle had liked my first two books and thought I should keep writing; he didn’t care that I had fictionalized him and indeed he actually liked it. (So it turned out I need not have been been a worried mess about him seeing “himself.”) Still, I kinda wish family and friends would NOT want to read my novels.πŸ˜‚

Have a good day, wherever you are in the world. πŸ™‚

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