Okay! Merry Christmas, again!
If you were an early bird here to the blog (or whatever time it was where you live), and caught the limited-time post, I hope you enjoyed reading “Gianni’s Girl” as much as I enjoyed writing it, 25 Christmas Eves ago.
It was truly one of those stories that I felt was dictated to me by the main character. The words came, the story came, the whole thing flowed out in one (long) sitting, and did not require any editing except for punctuation and misspellings here and there.
And it’s true — Wayne and I were having a dinner party that night because it was Christmas Eve; company was coming over, we had a ton of cooking still to do and last minute grocery shopping to do, and I was glued to my desk, writing furiously away because this amazing story was spilling out of me and I couldn’t stop it. I wrote it by hand, then typed it up a few days later. (I still have the handwritten manuscript in storage.) I didn’t even own a computer yet.
Wayne was so incredibly irritated with me that morning. He kept coming impatiently into the room: “Aren’t you done yet? We have to get going!” ME, scribbling away: “No! It’s still coming!!”
I recall vividly, both us hurrying along Broadway in the throngs of last-minute shoppers. It was a very cold and overcast day and I was sort of delirious, trying to explain to Wayne how incredible this story was that had just suddenly come out of me — though it had taken several hours for it to come out. And he was not impressed in the slightest; he was just so irritated with me.
For me, though, the story had been so vivid as it came out onto the page. I could see the entire thing — like a movie. And the part where Gianni is talking about having all that sex with his mom, and his mom always being pregnant and his dad being an abusive drunk — that part actually looked like it was in a tenement on the Lower East Side of NYC. I’m not really sure why I decided it was in Chicago. I guess because it was bootleggers and it was 1927. Although there were plenty of bootleggers and plenty of mob guys in NYC in 1927.
Anyway. I know that for obvious reasons, it can be considered an offensive story (gang rape), and the fact that it ends up being a love story kind of fucks with some readers’ heads, but I wrote it down just as it came to me. And then people seemed to really like it — well, except for the girl it’s dedicated to — “Michelle.” She did not dig it at all. She was really offended by it. She didn’t like it until years later, after it actually became popular and conveniently had her name on it. It sold something like 75,000 copies, new, in all its various English editions combined. I don’t know how many have sold in French, or as “used” books or in eBooks. (It’s in a few different eBook collections.)
Blessed By Light came to me the same way, except it was an entire novel. Someone else was dictating that story to me for nearly a year and I just wrote it as it came. After I was halfway into writing it, and had begun reading back over it with my editor, I was really startled to see how closely the female character (the “girl in the night”) resembled me. It was uncanny and disconcerting and weird, because I didn’t see it as I was writing it. However, I purposely titled Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse after that character in Blessed By Light, because it felt like it was me.
I tried very hard to stay away from my desk yesterday. I was successful but I had sort of a disjointed day because of it. I did re-watch Distant Sky: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Live in Copenhagen. It took a couple different sittings for me to get through the whole thing. I just find that concert and those songs just so amazing. Beautiful. Intense. Wonderful. Here’s “Girl In Amber” — I posted this photo briefly last night. But then everyone was visiting the photo of Basin Street in all that fog last night, so I pulled it to re-post it now:
And in case you don’t follow me on Instagram (I don’t think any of you do!), here’s a couple of photos I posted there:
Well, that’s it for now. I’m gonna go eat lunch or something resembling it. And then try to figure out what I will do next. I’m feeling like I might actually work at my desk today… (heavy sigh). We shall see.
Merry Christmas, everyone. Thanks for visiting!! I love you guys, see ya!