One year ago about now, I was nervously waiting for the derailed NY Observer article to be published (it wasn’t). Today, I write this post with a book contract sitting all shiny on my desktop. Sure, it’s not a contract for my book—that is a book for which I hatched the idea out of the freshly fluffed fields of my imagination—but it’s a book contract nonetheless. In the intervening twelve months, I have gleefully left my Ph.D. program and have had two articles published in Penthouse, been paid to write for Sappho’s Girls blog, penned an introduction to an erotica anthology and had two more stories accepted for publication in anthologies in 2008. I’ve done a reading at Rachel Kramer Bussel’s In The Flesh reading series, been interviewed by the legendary Susie Bright for her podcast and the ineffable Alana Noel at Lust Bites. I like getting paid to write. It’s pretty much the grooviest.
In the past year, I’ve come close to getting engaged, come close to breaking up, and somehow come closer to my boyfriend, Donny. Though we have yet to resolve our relationship in easily parsed ways, we love each other great big fat lots. I have written virtual reams on Donny’s terrible beauty in bed. I don’t think I’ve written near enough about how very good he is at being my friend. He listens, even when he doesn’t seem like he is, and he surprises me repeatedly with how well he knows me. Trying to express my feelings for this man makes me tread on uncomfortably well-worn cliché territory. I’ll stop now before I write something your aunt would want to stitch on a pillow without irony.
And as for me, the inside of me, that pulsating and wormy-pink beating grey matter, I’m feeling pretty good, in general. Sometimes I feel frightened. Other times I feel confident. Most times, I feel a mixture of the two. I’ve seen my engagement flicker before my eyes like an apparition. I’ve experienced the thrilling cognitive dissonance of my birth-father’s return to my life. I’ve begun negotiating a successful move from academic to writer. Oddly, in the face of it all, I’m relatively shit-together, actually, which continues to shock me when I stand back and look at my relative shit-togetherness, though less shocked as I used to be, thus testifying to the aforementioned state of being shit-together.
(Parenthetically, one has to marvel at that particular scatological metaphor. I suppose it’s better than being shit-apart, but as a metaphor, the phrase “shit-together” really only gathers steamy luster when imaginatively juxtaposed against its opposite. No one wants to be shit-apart, but one only really wants to be shit-together when one imagines the alternative. You have to wonder if “shit-together” has been subject to scrutiny by William Safire, or if he found the term too cloacal and unsavory.)
With the hindsight that is if not 20/20 then is at least less fuzzy than my oft-myopic vision of the present, 2007 looks pretty rosy, however studded with the pricking thorns that make roses interesting. After all, if it were all milk and honey, I wouldn’t know what to do with it. It’s only through confronting adversity that I find I have the sterling stuff.
Here’s a look back at 2007, and here’s to you and yours and wishing you a simply smashing, if shit-together, 2008.
In January, I considered the bloody pleasure of menstrual sex, did my best not to flip out over my boyfriend’s virtual indiscretions, and evaluated the pros and cons of writing a blog with, if not about, sex.
In December, I gave thanks to the kindnesses of strangers and opened a great fulsome can of writhing worms when I opined that, contrary to conventional wisdom, women do not have an easy time getting laid.
Enjoy your New Year's in whatever manner you see fit and wish me an easier and yet paradoxically interesting 2008.