Sunday, September 30, 2012


There are two books that I hold sacred. Not because they're the greatest books ever written, but because the impact they've had on me, personally, has been so great. These are books I'll always own, and always return to. Anyone who knows me well knows the first one is Louisa May Alcott's Little Women - the book that made me take notice of the fact that writing is, in fact, a thing worth doing, and that women can certainly do it. Also, that simple, true stories from life are worthy subjects in literature. The beauty of Little Women, in so many ways, is that nothing happens. Not really. It's not a book about an accident or a tragedy or a life-changing event. It's a book about everyday family life. Girls grow up, hearts are broken, babies are born, loved ones die.  Ordinary people interact with, argue with, make friends with, and fall in love with other ordinary people. None of it is earth-shattering.  It's not drama - it's life as we know it. And what a surprise that it makes for great reading.

But I'm writing, today, about the second book that I can't do without: Truman Capote's The Grass Harp.  Not as many people are familiar with Capote's novel as are with Alcott's. The two books couldn't be more different. If Alcott wrote about the small things that make up a life, Capote wrote (in this novel) about the big events that change a life and shift a person's trajectory, forever. I love this book in almost the way I love a good friend. It is not overstating it to say that reading this book for the first time changed my own trajectory as a writer. For one thing, it's humbling. It's simple and understated and, yet, as big as life. The prose is beautiful. The characters come to life. This is the book that made me take note that, oftentimes, the most important character in a story is the setting...that great things can happen when a writer embraces the natural world...that literature of the American South is as full of paradoxes as the American South, itself. The first time I finished reading this book, I immediately turned back to the beginning to read it, again - it moved me that much.  I return to this beautiful, little book often. I've lost count of how many times I've read it. I've read it during times of great sadness. I've read it when my life was in flux. I've read it while traveling to far-away places. I've read it when I've found myself unable to write. I've read it when something about the natural world has truly moved me. I've read it out loud to a beautiful woman, who begged me not to stop until it was done. I will always return to this book. It feels like home.

Happy birthday, Truman Capote.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Give It A Rest - NSFW

Lately, I've found the whole business of being gay really fucking exhausting. This isn't to say I hate being a lesbian...or that I wish I could switch teams (although, let's be honest - just about anyone who claims they've never wished for an easier path is full of shit.) I'm saying it's a freaking exhausting business, because there's so much to be said about it. And everyone has an opinion, good or bad. Chick-fil-A, Westboro Church, the LDS, those crazy housewives who hate JC Penney.....they're so sickening, so tiresome. And exhausting. Don't they ever stop? Don't they ever just get tired of talking about how much they hate me, and how I'm going to hell? Really, it's ok that you hate me. I don't mind it. Go ahead and hate me. Just shut the fuck up about it, will you? I GET IT, YOU HATE ME. I JUST DON'T CARE IF YOU LIKE ME OR APPROVE OF ME. I JUST WANT YOU TO SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT IT, ALREADY.

Here's the thing: since the beginning of time there have people who found homosexuality repugnant and evil. People who have written and passed laws to punish homosexuals. People who have restricted the rights of homosexuals. People who have dedicated their lives to smear campaigns against homosexuals. Hating gays is old as shit, but here's the thing about it: hate me all you want, disapprove of who I am all you want, tell me I can't marry a woman, or hold a certain job, or have certain that all you want. You can open clinics  where you try and "cure" gays, and start churches that force gay people to behave as straight people can do whatever the hell you want, but it doesn't change one very crucial piece of this whole puzzle: I WILL ALWAYS LOVE WOMEN. And not just women as an idea. I mean I LOVE WOMEN AND I LOVE THEIR VAGINAS. Pussies. Cunts. Quims. Bearded Oysters. Punani. Poontang. Fannies. Beavers.  Nappy Dugouts. Chochas. Box Lunches at the Y. Honey Pots. Hush Puppies. Cooters.  And, just so you don't think I'm all one-note and crude about this: I'm also attracted to the way women walk, talk, reason, laugh, tell stories, get shit done, argue, cook, have babies, and generally frustrate me and drive me insane. But, yeah, I like vag. I always will. No amount of back-assward-activism is going to change that about me - or about ANY lesbian - so what the fuck is the point?

Give it a fucking rest.