"You don’t have any sort of outlandish, shocking, extraordinary, horrifying experience without writing it down, because I know and knew that you forget things. No matter how outrageous and amazing and extraordinary and seemingly unforgettable an experience is, it’s kind of like a dream. It will erode inevitably, for me."
Conversations With Writers Braver Than Me #15: Melissa Febos - The Rumpus.net (via therumpus)
So I got to chat with Melissa Febos, over at The Rumpus…
"Success in the arts can be measured only by your ability to say yes to this question: “Did I do the work I needed to do, and did I do it like a motherfucker?"
On the Creative Nonfiction site today, a really great conversation between Elissa Bassist and Dear Sugar, aka Cheryl Strayed - a follow-up to their correspondence on The Rumpus that yielded coffee mugs and more bearing the Sugar quote “Write Like a Motherfucker”.
"Alleged “good” girls, like the kind I used to be, are the worst. We are complicit in upholding ridiculous, unrealistic standards to which others ultimately are held. We stand by, pretending to possess neither needs nor unflattering emotions, all the while hanging realer sisters out to dry. We allow them to be vilified for asking for what they rightfully deserve, speaking out when they disagree, daring to take chances, making messy real-life mistakes—including ones that lead to abortion."
Confessions Of A Good Girl by Sari Botton, excerpted from Get Out of My Crotch: Twenty-One Writers Respond to America’s War on Women’s Rights and Reproductive Health (via therumpus)
Today on The Rumpus, on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I come down from my high horse and confess to my two abortions. It’s an excerpt from an anthology I co-edited. Some proceeds go toward Planned Parenthood. (Warning: serious TMI in here.)
"I guess that’s the promise of a kind of psychoanalytic liberal culture where we’re supposed to be like, We know that we all treat each other horribly but at least we can talk about it to some extent. When we couldn’t talk about things directly, the writing space always existed. But it’s not like everybody should grow up to write books about their family, and everything that’s wrong with their family, and this is the way of dealing with it. There is something to be said for the openness to form, and literary form because it forces you to actually think about the other person, and their motivations, and to try to see them from all sides and to really write about them not as caricature."
— Marco Roth, talking to Sari Botton, in Conversations With Writers Braver Than Me #14. (via therumpus)
"My wife said this funny thing: “Now I understand that in your family you have to write a book in order to be taken seriously as a human being.” And that is sad, and true. And we probably could do a better job as a family not having to write books in order to consider each other as human beings."
So I got to interview The Scientists author Marco Roth for my series on The Rumpus. Even more than most of my other column subjects, Marco knows the perils - and imperatives – of writing about family. He’s a member of the hyper-literary Roth/Roiphe clan, which includes novelist/memoirist Anne Roiphe, and autobiographical fiction writer Emily Carter, among others. As I spell out in the interview and in the preamble, there’s been a lot of overlap in the family members’ writing, and a lot of hurt feelings. But somehow they all continue to respect each other’s right to their versions of the truth, and they go on, staying in each other’s lives.
I had this conversation with Marco a few months ago, actually. Shortly after we spoke, though, Hurricane Sandy disrupted my family’s life, and, by association, mine. And then, related to that, tensions grew between my father and me. I couldn’t go near this topic for a while, and had to shelve this.
Finally, a few weeks ago, I reached the point where I found I had to step away from my relationship with my dad, at least for now. I won’t go into details here right now. I’m sad and conflicted, but I am also able to breathe in a way that I hadn’t been able to for a long time.
It might seem ironic that I took this step after interviewing someone who manages to keep family in his life despite whatever any of them write. But this has been building, and all fourteen of the interviews I’ve done, so far, have helped me along toward this - something that feels essential right now. (via emilygould)
Report of $100 honorarium offered.
Report of no payment offered.
Help Manjula Martin compile this list of which lit mags pay writers, and how much.