i’m going to be giving my mom the url for this blog, so she can read the novel as i write it. that way, if she’s going to have a fit about my subject matter, we can get it out of the way.
when i told her i wanted to do this story, about a year ago, she said that it was a cool idea, that she understood wanting to kill someone that you love, and that she had a lot of ideas about how the siblings should die off, which was an unexpected reaction.
but times change, and when she sees some of the things i’m going to be writing, she’s going to want to take it personally. and this is what i have to tell everybody who comes to me annoyed becuase of an undoubtedly unflattering portrait:
it’s not you. that character is not you. it doesn’t even have your name. it’s several friends of mine who are real assholes. it’s me. i’ve got to go inside myself for all the awful characteristics of all these fictional characters, just like i have to do every time i write an unpublished novel. even tho the characters are nominally my mom and my brothers and sisters, they’re really caricatures of my own personality. what would I do? that’s what informs me. oh sure, i’ll use some of my mom’s quirks, some of my siblings’ unique challenging qualities. but i’m using more of my asshole friends’ qualities, and when possible i use their events instead of family history. but sometimes family history says it all. especially since i’m portraying everyfamily, or at least everydysfunctionalfamily.
so mom, when you read this, please forgive me for using your figure to poke sticks at. you’re not at all like that, and i honor your sacrifice and devotion.
love, your daughter