Dita Parker

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


If anyone asks, never once did I mention fear in this post. I'm doing my best Jedi gestures here and telling you I feel none and you never heard a whisper about it. We were getting into a discussion about first impressions and I wasn't confessing that maybe somewhere deep down where self-preservation resides a part of me is getting ready for a round of ground-and-pound.

I was asked if, after so many months in the making, it feels anticlimactic having Alex Rising out (release date pending). What? Are you kidding me?! My story is coming out!!! And then it crept up on me, the inner oppressor did. The unreasonable voice of reason reminding me to enjoy the high because I would need the memory of it when hit with the lows. Someone will like my little ditty, someone will categorically hate it, and that's all there is to it.

Bruises fade, you get used to the hammering, but the brain is a tricky organ, not as easily bended to the will as the body is. It's built to contradict us at every turn so we wouldn't get too complacent. It's a paradox that we need to be plagued with questions, doubts and fears to grow when they can also do much damage if let run the show. 

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, but first it only hurts. And annoys, and makes you feel stupid and small. Come on, it does. If you're human, it does, but since you're also smarter and greater in spirit and courage than you give yourself credit for you understand that, as someone said that Cindy Lauper once said that Chaka Khan once said, you'll get over it.

So what's the problem? I fear being misunderstood, of what I write being misconstrued and turned into something it isn't, of first impressions being everlasting ones. A good opinion once lost may be lost forever. A good impression may translate into expectations I might not fulfill or even want to trying to do something different next time.

It's stupid, I know, at least related to fiction, since I might not even want to explain where some idea or inspiration came from, what possessed me, and above all because I embrace the notion that when a story is out, it does no longer belong to the one who wrote it but those who need it (as Il Postino's poem-snatching postman put in), and it's theirs to enjoy and interpret as they please. 

Pride and Prejudice was initially titled First Impressions. Neither Wickham nor Darcy was who Elizabeth thought they were, but she had to get past those first impressions to get to the truth. It could have just as well been titled Second Chances. Not everybody gets one. Maybe that is at the root of the problem. Maybe that is the fear. 

I'm getting way ahead of myself, I know, but one thinks about things. One sometimes thinks too much about things, especially those one has no control over, e.g. postini filching my story and having their way with it. I promise to try to let go gracefully and not turn it into a wrestling or pissing match no matter what they end up saying. It will soon be theirs, and I'll live, why wouldn't I, my story will finally be out!

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