Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honoré Fragonard

Drabble 6 – Bluestocking

Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honoré Fragonard

Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honoré Fragonard

There’s been a blog post sitting in my drafts for over a week now. It’s not particularly inflammatory, I just hesitate to post it because it’s on the personal side and I also worry that it sounds a bit like I’m trying too hard to be smart.

always feel like I’m trying too hard to be smart. I played dumb in class to avoid accusations of being a teacher’s pet. I worry that my writing sounds too much like purple prose even though I’ll praise Angela Carter to the heavens. Don’t use too big a word or you’re trying too hard, don’t describe things or you’re trying too hard, don’t even try because you’re trying too hard.

Forget that. I’ll try too hard if I want to. I’ll tattoo Angela Carter on my bicep and imagine that every time I think I’m too anything she’s whispering, “So fucking what?” into my ear.

Here’s something writer William Hazlitt, considered the greatest art critic of his age, had to say about women who were too intelligent:

“The bluestocking is the most odious character in society…she sinks wherever she is placed, like the yolk of an egg, to the bottom, and carries the filth with her.”

Nice. Here’s to carrying the filth with us everywhere we go. Anyway, here’s a drabble.

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Pythia

Drabble 5 – Pythia

Pythia

Priestess of Delphi by John Collier

I have been in love with Greek mythology as long as I can remember. Artemis was one of my first girl heroines (they typically left the story of Niobe out of mythology books for kids), and I found myself loving the idea of living in the woods with a bunch of animals, a bow, and my friends.

My life has taken a very different route than one Artemis would approve of, but I’ve still steeped it in Greek and Roman mythology. Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Aeschylus’ Oresteia are two of my favorite books, and I frequently include the names of mythological figures or outright references to myths in my writing, because I like writing it as much as I like reading it elsewhere.

So, needless to say, there are some fancy mythological terms on my list of drabble vocabulary.

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Photomania

Drabble 4 – Photomania

Photomania

Image Source: André Mouraux via Flickr.

It’s only just occurred to me that I no longer have to sleep with the lights on.

All through childhood, I needed a light somewhere. If you could see the light, nothing (ghosts, spirits, owls, moths, and demons included) could get you. You didn’t have to be in the light, you just had to see it. Those were the rules.

Now I turn off all the lights before I sleep. Sometimes a streetlight shines in through the bathroom window. Sometimes it’s too bright for me to sleep. I’m still afraid of the dark, though.

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Grammatolatry

Drabble 3 – Grammatolatry

Grammatolatry

love language.

That might have come across somewhat in my last drabble, “Sonder.” I find language fascinating, in part because it’s continuously changing. I love slang and vernacular and punctuation not because they’re hard and fast rules, but because a simple change (the way that this seNTENCE SUDDENLY SHIFTING INTO CAPITALS has the connotation of rising enthusiasm, for instance) can mean a change in tone without us ever being taught that in school.

Language is at its most interesting when it’s evolving. While I wouldn’t say I worship language, I do have a fascination with it–hence this week’s drabble, “Grammatolatry.”

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Blackberries

Blackberry Picking and Poetry Appreciating

Blackberries

Image Source: Jared Smith via Flickr.

Poetry and I have a contentious relationship.

It’s not that I don’t like poetry. I do. I think I do. No, I do, for sure. I’m not sure I like writing it, but I’m blaming that entirely on my public school education and not poetry itself.

The problem is this: poetry, to me, is some kind of ethereal, ever-changing thing that’s alive and incomprehensible, like some kind of wriggling or slippery animal. I think I know a poem when I see one, but then there’s prose poetry. I think I understand a poem but then it’s not about appreciating life at all, it’s about capitalism and overconsumption. Poetry is rhyme and meter except that it isn’t, not at all.

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