Nice compliment from a friend who said my writing has improved. I have been blogging for six weeks a Poetic License Learners Permit of sorts. Yesterday I wrote a blog about Josephine Boneparte imagining what it might have been like for her to be in prison during the French Revolution called "Lucky Lady Liberty". I would like to describe in a humerous way what goes on in my head between me and my creative brain while writing.
Brain: Why the pig? That is undignified, make it a horse when referring to the ransom the husband must pay to organize the release of his wife from jail. And her names is Gabrielle. Me: Ignoring that the brain had named the character. My entire reason for pointing out the women with the baby in the jail cell was so that I could have a vehicle for Josephine to get a note to her friend Armelle hidden in her dog Fleur's collar. I didn't feel any need to elaborate on her life or anything yet I did for a bit and deleted it. My brain told me: why not have an inuendo of a rape of the woman with the baby by the jailor. Oh no, how bleak, how terrible I told my brain. No, no, no. Plus the focus of the story is about Josephine not the woman holding the baby.
Brain answers back: What about a hand job by the woman with the baby to the jailor? Me: Ick, double ick, plus you can't use the word hand job on a respectable blog. Well, except if you are Merryl Streeep in Iron Weed when she gave that old bum a hand job in the back seat of the jalopy on screen. I guess if Merryl Streep can give a hand job on the big screen and still be the most beloved actress of all times and win an Oscar for giving a hand job on the big screen that I can write the word hand job in a lowely blog. Meanwhile creative brain gleefully chanting: hand job, hand job, hand job. So are you starting to get the picture of what I am filtering here and dealing with. This creativity is annoying at times when unleashed.
I really enjoyed writings yesterdays blog on Josephine because for a few minutes I was following the character and watching what she was doing. She had come to life for me and I was almost just documenting her actions. That is a great feeling. A big of alchemy involved dontcha think? This is a higher place that I rarely achieve. Brain says: that other women in the jail cell, well what if hypothetically she had been raped by the jailor in the Robespierre terror sweep and now it is a year later and she is sitting in a window in Paris and wanting to jump out the window holding the newborn baby because she thinks he looks like the jailor and not her beloved husband. While her other child is nearby.
Just when she is about to jump with the baby in her arms she has a vision of the Virgin Mary telling her to not do it because the baby will do something great someday for the family. Although she has lots of visions since becoming a landenum addict buying it at the local pharmacist down the street. Her husband could never put two and two together about her dilated pupils and poor grooming and her addiction. So we never know if it was a real vision or the landenum talking. I guess a vision from Mary is a vision but I heard if you are high its taken less seriously by the Catholic church.
Me: That is totally crazy please be quiet creative brain. Oh by the way did the baby do something great for the family? Brain: no not really. Me: Why did you tell me the baby would do something great then? Brain: So you would keep listening to me. Me: Wearily inquires what did the baby end up doing with his life? Brain: Chicken Farmer. Me: get outta here how is a chicken farmer something great for the family? Brain: haha yes he barely scratched out a living, pun intended. Well, he did have a farm outside of Paris which eventually became a country house for his decendents and they installed a jacuzzi. So when everyone is in the jacuzzi sipping champagne they all toast the chicken farmer. So the jacuzzi was the great thing he did for the family. Me: Dear brain I am not listening to you anymore that is the most cockamamie bunch of crap I have ever heard. Do you have anything more normal to say.
Brain: Drag Queen or Transvestite which I like to lovingly refer to as TRANNIES! Me: That is not a common. Brain: The first baby that she was actually holding in the prison becomes a famous Trannie in Paris and treats his mother wonderfully. Although the chicken farmer son does well by her also having a large family so she has the best of both worlds. Trannie Theater and grandkids in her old age. Me: Oh they didn't even have female impersonators in the 1800's. Brain: Well not in Peoria but certainly in the red light district in Paris, didn't you ever see that movie Victor Victoria? Me: Ok, I give up with trying to lead this conversation or make total sense of this stuff.
Me: What happens? Brain: Well, the Trannie sends tickets once a week to his mother with the best seats in the house and she loves it because she comes in all jacked up on landenum and drinks as much liquor as she wants and laughs like a banchee, heeheeehee, occassionally the management asks her to lay down on a couch in the cloak room when she becomes to loud. Meanwhile nobody ever puts it together that she was possible accosted at the jail and that the Chicken farmer son names Rueben born 9 months later is possible the jailors son.
Brain: Eventually landenum becomes illegal and she switches to collecting figerines of shepherdesses. And as time passes the chicken farmer son named Rueben goes bald exactly like her husband and she realizes that all her moping around and everything was for nothing, and it only had been a hand job after all but being raised catholic she thought you could get pregnant from it. Rueben really was her beloved husband's son. Me: Anything else, how does it end? Brain: Well they grow middle aged, Gabrielle has a bad menapause the husband like I already said goes bald and they worry about money like everybody. Oh, that the Trannie son with the stage name of Collette rides with her on the train on the weekends to visit Rueben and his family, always dressed impecably in drag following the post revolutionary fashions with high heeled white kid boots and white gloves.
Brain: A few lose ends. What about the neighbor who had denounced her in the first place that you later deleted all references too? I saw you writing that she had been chased to the country and her business and apartment looted? Then you deleted the part of her husband having her murdered in the country? I saw that. I thought what you wrote about the snake of revenge is long was really a terrible metaphor and I was embarrassed for you. Me: I deleted it. I realized it was too dramatic. I thought ending with a looting was okay if it is a revolution? Brain: Just as long as you keep metaphors like that outta the story. Haha, revenge is a long snake! Me: Well you don't have to be mean about it.
So I didn't admit to myself I wanted to be a writer until the spring I was 39. I didn't write anything serious until I was 42 years old, a novel. I have a background in painting and did write a short novel about three artists who all come to terrible ends in 1980 at 19. I can type well and wrote an excessive amount for two years in my twenties for a job. Since learning that I wanted to write I basically blogged on a ex-pats site in my mid forties and since stumbled onto this place. Now I am 46 and have improved a little and feel more at ease with calling myself a writer.
Anyway that is the side story to Josephine Bonneparte. Gabrielle an honest woman holding her baby caught up in the Rospierre sweeps, Collette the drag queen although I adore the word Trannie, the baby that Gabrielle was actually holding when arrested and in the jail cell, all grown up and Rueben the baby she got pregnant with around the time of her brief jailing. Which ultimately proved to have been her husband's all along. The husband who is a nice guy and brought a horse or pig for a ransom to get her out of jail, the brain never gave him a name. Me I would call him Aubin.