Dear Fury, How much of a claim do I have on my own life? Memories are permanent and I cannot help but have them jump to direct consciousness when I pass a familiar place, smell, person etc. Giving these memories voice distresses my family. I so very rarely make mention of trauma and abuse; I have to act as though hundreds of events simply never happened for the comfort level of the perpetrators. I feel like their anger is manipulation and denial. I am a writer, and a writer of non-fiction. I am being denied access to my own [Read more...]
Dear Fury #10: “What you write might hurt them… but please don’t let them take away the thing you love.”
Dear Fury, My problem is a bit embarrassing but since this is an anonymous forum, I’m going to let it all hang out. I’m a writer, but I’m not published. My kids know I’m a writer because I tell them I am. They know their dad goes into the office everyday and that he’s a businessman (whatever that means, uh-huh) but I stay home and write on my computer. They ask to see or read what I’ve written and everything (so far) is just on my computer so it’s not an easy or obvious feat. It’s not that I’ve [Read more...]
Dear Fury #8: You need to stop being so fucking delighted with yourself and learn to incorporate writing into your life.
Dear Fury, I have fallen in love in mid-life. It’s a passionate, wild ride for me right now with this lover, Wry Ting. My spouse/partner, the house, the plants, the laundry, the meals, the relatives, the holidays, my hair/teeth/clothes/nails – EVERYTHING – all is being neglected in favor of this lover to whom I attend night and day, in my room, which is totally overtaken with books, computers, printers, paper, notes, coffee cups, wine glasses, food containers, sheets and blankets thrown to the floor… secrets. A sign “do not disturb” hangs on my closed door. I have become a [Read more...]
Dear Fury, How can a gal reconcile her personal ideologies with the professional world? I understand that this world is filled with humans, and I sometimes hold people to higher standards than any mammal should be held, but there comes a point where the actions of others are frustratingly incomprehensible. Within Feminism (and surely all “isms”), there is shaming, ostracizing, and hypocrisy. I am having a difficult time reconciling the actions of people I know, love, respect, etc. and their ideologies. I often separate the person from the behavior because not every person is a complete sum of all their [Read more...]
Dear Fury #6: “Too often writers can fall into a bad pattern of circle jerking and that’s really unproductive for everyone.”
Dear Fury, There’s a woman in my writer’s group who is constantly putting the rest of us down. She’s the only one who’s published and it’s like she thinks she’s better because of it. I mean, why join a writer’s group if you’re going to spend it disparaging the others? For example, she told me my writing style is somewhat old fashioned — I use the word “nay” sometimes to mean “no” and the word “lest” to mean, well, “lest” and was told I shouldn’t write like that if I don’t speak like that. I told her tough shit [Read more...]
Dear Fury, I know your column is for writers with writer problems, and I’m not sure my problem falls into this category, though I’m writer with a problem. Hopefully, you’ll find it worthy of your scrutiny. Here goes: I’m a writer involved with a non-writer. This is a new paradigm for me, as I’ve always been preternaturally disposed to date other writers. Something that has not served me well. For the first time, the person I’m romantically involved with supports my writing. He is not in competition with me and/or my writing. The problem is not my writer, but the [Read more...]
Ed. Note: This opinion piece is reprinted from Talking Writing with the permission of the author and publisher. Q: Don’t male authors get asked dumb questions, too? A: Well…yes. And no. Pity the female writer. Not only is she less likely to get reviewed in major magazines and short-listed for prizes, she often finds herself on the receiving end of interview questions that would leave most of us mouthing three little letters: WTF? My frustration with author interviews came to a head last November, when Terry Gross interviewed Hilary Mantel on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air. Mantel has won the [Read more...]
Dear Fury, The MFA decision date is nearing, and I’m choosing between two great programs – in many ways, a lucky predicament. The “Nearly Perfect Fit” School is close-ish to where I currently live and I’ve recently enjoyed a full-fledged visit. The “Less-perfect But Still Very Good Fit” School is farther away, and due to financial constraints, I’ve only been able to Skype and talk on the phone with faculty members. However, when I visited “NPF” School, I picked up a *vibe* from one of the older male faculty members. A “creeper” vibe. He wasn’t outright “hitting on” me, whatever [Read more...]
Dear Fury, I am thirty. And I want to have a baby. But everyone tells me that I should wait until I’ve published a book to have a baby. This doesn’t make me want a baby any less. I want a baby because I’ve always seen becoming a mother as a huge piece of who I am in this world. Everyone tells me I won’t have time to write if I have a baby, and that my writing should in fact BE my “baby.” My writing is work — yes, work that I love — but it has yet to [Read more...]
Dear Fury #2: Besides, it’s that wounded look in our partners’ eyes that reminds us we’re all despicable people at heart.
Dear Fury, I’m a writer who’s about to marry a non-writer. My female writer-friends are urging me to get a prenup. Two of these friends have practically demanded I do so. One is much older and locked in a marriage she can’t leave without losing everything financially. The other has been engaged in an endless battle with her ex over the custody of their children, and also is greatly angered by the fact she was forced by the court to make a large payment to her ex-husband (a non-writer) because she completed a novel while they were married that will [Read more...]