Here I have been at it again, this time slaving at an old flash story, written in November, which I’d cherished far too much, this piece about The Arena, well no, I wasn’t slaving I was wool-gathering, or perhaps carding, in a self-indulgent and hypnotically delightful sort of way. Oh wasn’t I proud of it though, for its subtle (or not-so-subtle) metaphors and untidy (but clean) ending?
Periodically I would stop to have a look at
orange pink dots and other writers’ names filtering from the right-hand corner of WordPress, and I would sometimes click those names and browse their owners’ knittings a little. Finally, after having finished with my own carding and spinning and purling and having just cast off the edges and tucked in the threads, I felt satisfied with the piece on the whole, and I thought, now, shall I hit publish? Really and truly? Or perhaps that one could be submitted somewhere. Perhaps it could end up “one for the future writing resume,” which as yet has zero credits…but I am far too impatient for that.
I had already considered opportunistic avenues; I found it highly coincidental, as I always find utterly un-coincidental things, that my eyes had fixed today upon The Arena, in my long queue of half-finished, unpublished drafts, when just yesterday on Instagram I’d seen that one of my revered blogger-turned-author idols had promoted pre-sales of her wife’s upcoming book, something about being the Wolf along with the Wolfpack. I have shut myself off Internet again and I have honestly forgotten the title, the graphic cover styling having caught my eye more than the words, I suppose, and I’d also I’d been completely fixated on the wolf metaphor and what it really meant, having once considered myself a bit of a “lone wolf.” The video had shown Abby (Glennon’s wife, whom I adore, olympic gold medalist for some kind of sport) on a podium in some kind of cape/robe/gown with white collar; her strong shoulders bore it well, strange shapeless thing though it was, and the words flashed across the screen for those of us not using audio, which is most of us these days, glancing at our little bits of pocket-heroin when we’re not supposed to be.
I had to hurry for my husband was coming, but the subtitles told a story which I will paraphrase as follows — do not quote my incorrect quoting: “when I was little I did not know I wasn’t little red riding hood. I was the wolf” or something to that effect, and then Glennon in her promotional post said that we (women) should all rise and be wolves together, learn to lead from within the community power of a wolf pack. And most of all Abby says we need to “get the ball back.” Just like the cheer in my story!
It all made sense to me, especially since I’ve got a copy of so-and-so’s “Women Who Run With the Wolves” on my bedside table and have for the past year or two, yet can’t get past the first few very prescriptive and descriptive pages, no matter how much I loved the esoteric quality of the subject matter, I guess I already know it by osmosis, it’s one of those books you could have written yourself if you had twice the intelligence and half the perseverance. However…. Abby’s red riding hood reference stuck and niggled at my mind and I was kind of going, “but… in fact the wolf ends up with his gut cut open and filled with rocks, while granny and red riding hood survive… and all thanks to the woodsman. So wouldn’t we rather be red riding hood, the grandmother or even the woodsman? Though I wouldn’t want to be cutting nobody up, that’s for damn sure…”
Well at least that’s how it was in the version I listened to as a child, the Brothers Grimm version, the same audio cassette from the local library that contained the story of “Little One Eye, Little Two Eyes and Little Three Eyes,” as well as the original version of Has Christian Anderson’s “The Little Mermaid,” on the b-side, which tells of the little mermaid getting legs so that she can live on land and marry the sea-faring prince, only to feel like she’s walking on knives each time she takes a step, and only to lose the only thing that the prince loved about her before, which was her beautifully unique voice, and so she finally dies silent, to become foam on the sea. (Oh, dear…is that me? Or is it we?) Oh yes and the true Cinderella story. To fit into the glass slipper, one stepsister cuts off her toe, and the other one slices off part of her heel, following the stepmother’s advice. Quite grim(m) indeed.
But I digress…. So yes of course I had already imagined the opportunistic chance to somehow publish the arena post and then somehow bring it to my imaginary wolf pack friends’ attention, since it seemed in my dull little consciousness to fit so beautifully within their sporty/cheery/teamwork/leadership themes, but ultimately I’m far too clueless of how to play the game, so I think I’ll just play for a while instead and see how it develops. And perhaps read Abby’s book maybe when it comes out, or add to my list of things to read after I’ve finally reviewed that last book, as promised…
I saw this amazing thing via Literistic‘s newsletter, “Sex On the Roof,” by Patricia somebody, it’s about the best review I’ve seen of anything in a very long time, though I haven’t quite made it to the end yet, since a few minutes after I started reading it I had to stop and have this wordgasm of my own.
Dear god will you let me write as well as her one day? No? Okay I will continue anyway.
Thank you for reading ❤︎
- Wool gathering and creativity — a wonderful felting of fibre and words: https://kimmccrea.com/2018/12/11/woolgathering-a-note-on-craft/
- Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype book by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/241823.Women_Who_Run_With_the_Wolves
- Wolfpack book by Abby Wambach, an American retired soccer player, coach, two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion. (pre-sales only available in US at the moment, it seems: http://abbywambach.com/books/wolfpack)
- Rotkappchen, flipbook by Stephen Hallich (I so nearly bought this, but then remembered my self-imposed rule): https://www.baerenpresse.de/epages/es724983.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/es724983/Products/SH473
- Literistic — monthly emailed list of “exhaustive list of deadlines for submissions to literary publications, contests and fellowships.” https://www.literistic.com/
- Sex On the Roof — Patrica Lockwood review: https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n23/patricia-lockwood/sex-on-the-roof