Sunday, October 9, 2011

Permission to Unleash -- a memoir review

This book cover has a boob on it.
How could I miss a BOOB on my book?
I looked again, and the publisher had added a 'sleeve' tacked on to cover the nudity!
I immediately ripped it off and trashed it.
I liked the boob.
It's a nice boob.

I can't help it.
I'm not finished with this book, but I have to talk about it anyway.

I love this book because ... she writes like I think. Short, staccato sentences. Verbs. Blurting. Metaphors bleeding.

I love this book because even though she's created other art that my sometimes privileged, surburban average, fairly sheltered sensibilities probably wouldn't stomach -- or maybe even be interested in -- I can still *feel* her in this book. I can share the same sweat that crowds our pores when we are inspired by something we finally understand.

I love this book because I am inspired. Because I get excited by words again.

Believe it or not, but when you write a memoir (or frankly any body of words -- poetry, fiction, dissertations) you get tired of your own ... everything. Your own sentences. Your own story structure. Your own character arc. They all become filler. Fiber. The whey protein of ideas.

But reading Lidia's memoir gives me permission to Open. To say Fuck. To have original ideas. To break the rules of line editing. To write in stream of consciousness with no scene and sequel, or to paint yellow tulips red and set fire to them.

She gives me permission to unleash. To say what needs to breathe -- with concrete sensory detail.

She makes up words and says 'Um' and makes one word into one paragraph.

Just like I do.

Here's an excerpt that I read in Allan Bros. one day. And let me tell you, if I hadn't been in Allan Bros, I would've stood up out of my chair and whooped. And pumped the air with my hips. And shimmied.

She's talking about a literary journal she helped start up:

"Through the wordhouse I found voices and bloodsong exactly how it felt to me on the inside where I thought I was the only one. There were others like me. Um, lots of them. Breaking writing rules. Reaching for writing impossibilities. Taking their newly found intellects into alien territories. Making things up. Maybe even a life. A self." ~pg. 192.

I know, I know. This wasn't a book REview, nor a book PREview. It's a book MIDview. But that's just because I can't wait to get back to the book!

What books have enthralled or inspired YOU lately?


wondermonkey!!! (a.k.a. Jimmy Cyclone!!!) said...

Said it before, and I'll say it again.. I love the way you mate words:) Like a Goddess, innocent and earnest, playing with the stuff and meat of potential humanity before the birth of the world... What you create with gathered letters puts a big, satisfied grin on my face:)

Valerie Willman said...

Thanks. :)