Wednesday 8pm EST
Dr. Peter Sacco on Matters of the Mind…
Nina chats with Peter about
“Dumped:Stories of Women Unfriending Women” among other stuff (like, is it a coincidence that this is Women in Horror Month and we are talking about women’s friendships???????)
Tune in tonight!
Are we OK if I’m not funny today? Can I just be reflectively 64 years old? Overwhelmed and possibly inarticulate? Valentine’s full of alternative meanings?
Did anyone notice these articles:
“Sponsored by my husband: Why it’s a problem that writers never talk about where their money comes from” Salon.com 1-25-15
“This Writer is Sponsored by Herself” Brevity Non-Fiction blog 1-29-15
They are kinda revolutionary. Should be causing mayhem. Because we don’t talk about this stuff. Even I don’t, with my big mouth about everything else.
They sure caught my eye as I pulled off my hoody and pulled on my Spanx getting ready for work the other morning. Said work is my day job and requires grooming, a long commute, lots of regulated paperwork. Mascara.
I snorted as I read the articles, with one eye on the screen and the other on my makeup mirror, snorting both out of the breathless discomfort that pulling on restrictive undergarments causes, as well as in an attempt to rid my mind of what life with “sponsorship” might be like. Another snort masqueraded as a sharp cleansing breath to rebalance my cognitive dissonance. Nothing helped.
(And NPR was on in the background reminding us of how many millions were anticipated this weekend for Shades of Grey or some other ridiculous corporate sponsored all-American event.)
I have always been a career-oriented feminist, equal life-burden-sharing with my husband who would secretly love to be able to “take care of his creative wife” but we do not discuss that. How can I ever be honest about how, just maybe, I have been jealous of all those “sponsored” women I have known in my life as a “hard-working artist and writer and mother who also has always had a responsible day job?” Just watching myself write this makes it seem like I’m spitting out the words. What would it feel like if I were to actually question where I might be today if I had more time? Less pressure? Am I the only one who worries I might lose my mind if I reviewed my life with any real scrutiny?
This is my self-talk: “You are so lucky to have your job. You help people. You are so much happier aka sanctimonious than if you were languishing in your studio just making stuff or writing stuff. You just do it all. Girl. Awesome.” Still not helping.
Later that morning I closed my office door and collapsed into a teary heap on my desk. Simultaneously trying to see patients, get to meetings, answer e-mails, promote my book, monitor Facebook, call the bank, call the vet, the guy to rake the two feet of ice off the roof, forgetting my lunch, haven’t exercised, feeling guilty for not paying closer attention to it all, beating back anxiety. A midday pity party interrupted by a million things that I didn’t want to deal with. Like those articles describing lives of privilege. Feeling really angry that some people in this world can just focus on their writing, their art, their exercise routines, their own mental health.
This is dangerous terrain. And luckily it lasted less than a minute.
Fast forward to this morning. A Valentine from my “sponsor.” Three crisp bills in a very cool card from my husband to “help” me promote my book, or at least find something fabulous to wear while I’m doing it. Now that’s privilege.
Good morning! In addition to this morning’s snippet from Melody Breyer-Grell, I want to –gulp- announce that I finally, after great pressure both internal and external, have acquired a twitter account. @Nina_H_Gaby I want to post a line from each of your essays daily whe I figure out how the hell to do that. And I want to announce a few of the upcoming events for the book. I am being interviewed for the internet radio show “Matters of the Mind” with Peter Sacco on the 28th, will let you know when it airs. Setting up reading and events. If you are nearby or interested in joining, please let me know. March 28 reading and launch at Barnes and Noble, Rochester, NY- one of the busiest B and N’s (I have two readers coming with me, both with voice training so people don’t have to listen to me croaking for two hours). That will be followed by a cocktail party, and a private house party the next day. In April, date TBA, the famed Charis Books in Atlanta will be hosting an event: reading and Q and A with me, Susan Cushman, Jessica Handler, thanks to the efforts of Jessica Handler. Bluestockings Bookstore in NYC, through the persistence of Melody Breyer-Grell appears willing to host a reading mid-May and I hope to lock that down ASAP as many of you are interested in joining that. I am working on some publicity for that with JKS. It was great talking with Melody and Jessica yesterday. (I can’t resist- won’t my local Indie be sorry they didn’t snatch up an event when they could?) Have written several guest articles and blogs, will post when they are published. And much more in the works. As Jessica and I bemoaned, the publicity is a full time job.
From the brilliant “Just Say No” by Melody Breyer-Grell:
“ I have to tell you something and you are not allowed to tell a soul.”
I was intrigued and wary as the same time. When Helen made a proclamation
like that it could mean someone’s head was on the chopping block.
We were the bullies of the dog park. Two middle-aged women, sitting
around as if bonded by blood, whispering and judging all, often cackling
and rolling our eyes as the others wondered what we were cooking up.
Who do we have to hate now?
There are some realities about life that are hard to deny. If you ask any woman about the difficult process of keeping and maintaining female friendships, there is a very high probability that she will have a number of stories to tell about experiencing a falling out with more than one of her female friends. Author, Nina Gaby explores female friendships in her new book, Dumped: Stories of Women Unfriending Women. Gaby is a writer, widely shown visual artist, and psychiatric nurse practitioner whose essays and fiction have been published by Lilith Magazine, Creative Non Fiction’s In Fact imprint, Seal Press, Paper Journey Press, Wising-Up Press, The Prose-Poem Project and on Brevity.com.
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