Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Carrying Your Emotional Shit Is Hard

So there's this blog that I'm reviewing right now. Like literally right now. It's called The Semi-Sane Life of The Demigoddess, a title that belongs on the cover of an unpublished novel next to the anonymous slim, starved figure of a woman in scarlet, seen from the shoulders down, crossed arms and manicured nails suggesting "beautiful and successful and looking for love, but stubbornly so!"

Angel is a chronic dater, a 27-year-old divorcee in the Philippines whose boyfriend just up and left for Sweden. And she's...she's growing.

It's always frustrating when someone confuses having a "strong character" with hotheaded arrogance. Strong characters and personalities exercise a great deal of dimensional and emotional weight, and they can be arrogant, of course. But they exist because of that weight, not in spite of it.

With that in mind, I'm debating how to proceed. Angel's blog is a progression of self, and it's not because she's fickle. It's because she's trying very hard to squeeze herself into a Niche, any Niche, but it's not working. She doesn't feel it. At least she hasn't felt it, she hasn't really given us an inkling of actual awareness of self. Not until like last week.

She blogs bullshit for a full year, kind of end-of-the-week-reflect-on-your-reading-assignment essays, and these posts are just completely lame. It's forced, strained, obnoxious self-help liturgy, composed completely in formal cliches, and I hate it.
I discovered my interest and love for writing when I was very young. In many ways, writing has helped me cope through the darkest, most painful chapters and preserved the most beautiful memories of my life.
That sentence is not real. It's processed.

And then she shifts, as if she found some drunken, slutty muse that she wishes she could be, but writes with that faux sassy malarkey that we love so much around here. Suddenly everything is loose and slang and there are all these fucking acronyms and dildo talks. It's better than before, but it still feels contrived.

Sprinkled throughout, though, is THIS:
On my wedding day, while I cried in my daddy's arms, all he ever said to me was, "We never practiced this dance. I'm sorry if I step on your toes."
When she loosens up and stops writing the crap that she thinks people want to hear she's on fire. When she's honest, it's hopelessly compelling. And that's not because there are sexy lesbian stories, it's because she's out of hiding. Her writing becomes bold and true because it feels that way, not because she's telling us about how bold and true she is. I'm a big fan of that.

The first half of her blog was a fucking chore.

The second half was a little cheap, written well enough, and slightly annoying. It lived up to that hypothetical cover of a book about a "strong woman" that I would never want to read.

But for the tasty, shameful spiral she pulls the reader through, I'm giving her more. She made me curious, she made me interested in her story, she made me feel. It just took her awhile to get there, probably because of all that emotional weight she's carrying with her and trying to hide.


  1. I have noticed that she seems very 'careful' with her words in an 'English as a 2nd language' type of way. Which probably means her grammar would kick my grammar's arse...but without a lot of flair.

  2. Fuck you Shiny - I want my other star now.

    ...of course I mean that in the nicest possible way. And yes, it's still yellow.

  3. Grumpy, I fucking flat out told you that if you turned that yellow down from eleven you'd get another star. You can't just sit around and whine and demand shit from me. Well you can, but I'm not listening.


  4. When we go to review a blog, we are essentially forced to wade through it to see if there is anything with even a glimmer of hope. The problem is, no one else is committed to wading through it. Unless this blog was assigned to me by Shiner, I never would have made it past the first post.

  5. That is a good point.

    I started out forcing myself to read every single entry. In the end she got me emotionally invested, and I wanted to read what she had to say.

    But it's definitely obvious: I'm easier on the reviewees that are going through a massive identity crisis. Automatically.

  6. Sigh, I know, I know. I was just feeling pissy. Over it now.

    You do like the ones who are trying ot get their shit together, dontchya Shiny?


Grow a pair.