In many respects I've been absent lately. Missing from my own blog, off tweeting or rewriting and otherwise tinkering with the first chapter of the novel and giving it a new title. It feels so familiar that I keep searching Wiki looking for it already taken by a better writer and published long ago. The Narcissist's Daughter is what I call it, but I'm haunted by the feeling that I didn't get it first. I have read so many novels over my amazingly long reading life that I often buy or check books out of the library that look interesting only to find, about a quarter of the way in, that I have read the book before. I've heard others of you say the same thing. I'm glad I'm not alone is this forgetfulness. Finally I Google it and what do you know, there it is, on sale at Amazon.com. I don't think I've read it because the author's name isn't familiar. Maybe one of you has posted it on Good Reads or Book Blogging. I get updates in my email. I go and look and I'm overwhelmed by the little bit I've put into Good Reads. I probably haven't updated it in a year or more.
I've stopped visiting most of you or only spottily, now and then. So obsessed with the news, that I tape all my favorite news shows so I can watch them without the commercials. Yet most of the day I'm tweeting with the news playing in the background. I'd be better served by listening to NPR or AirAmerica, rather than listening to what I'll watch later.
There is a bit of method in the madness to my obsessive tweeting. There are so many literary agents and publishers on twitter. They tweet tips for first time novelists. It's due to these tips that I decided to rewrite the first chapter of the the novel, The Narcissist.
I know, it was Maggy, but I like the ambiguity of The Narcissist. Who is the narcissist in this book? Judy, Maggy, or is it Chuck or Brent? Is Gramps the first and most important of the men, or is it Brent, probably the most damaged of the very damaged men who populate this novel? Men like those who, sadly, have populated my rather emotionally barren life. I say barren because sadness and failure do not make for a rich and happy emotional life nor do these emotions feel like healthy children. Fearing and eventually disliking the men you live with does not make for a happy life, and no matter what the other successes or adventures I've had, it's those failed relationships with men that have been most painful. But trapped like a bug in pine pitch my relationship with my interesting and difficult mother sent me on the search for men as damaged as the men in her life, the men who fathered me and later in her life, the men who tried to get between us. Families are sure full of good material.
If you have time and the inclination, take a look at the newley edited first chapter and tell me what you think. Is it better or worse for my tinkering? Leave bread crumbs.