August 7/365 Falling Behind

“Kim was solemn and neo-classical and condescending”

I had forgotten these words, in this order, in context.

Here’s the thing: Peter Klappert was usually right about me. Damn him.

I am too solemn when I write. (But not in life: I have a laugh big enough to fill an Irish pub, and I quip with the best of them.) But on the page, I drop, dead weight, into melancholy.

Jesus, neo-classical? Seriously? Just when I wanted to be avant-garde, there was his grinning satyr face telling me my porticos were sagging and the columns sprawled out of line. (Though I do wonder why he hyphenated neo from classical. He rarely erred.)







I hated that workshop, and it showed.

We had a falling out. Bitchiness on both sides, and a tendency to hold a grudge on mine. The truth: I missed Diva-him the minute we stopped talking. Before the grudge eased, I found a new lover, crashed and burned out of the MFA program, married my lover and

Peter said, “For some women,” <raised-eyebrow glance at me> “marriage is toxic to writing. Doesn’t matter if it is a happy one or not. It gets in the way.” (My paraphrase: he probably used better words, with dubious hyphenation.)

I would like to say he was wrong, but Peter Klappert rarely erred.



7 thoughts on “August 7/365 Falling Behind

  1. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at that workshop. It sounds like the experience could form the basis of an HBO series that would quickly attract a cult following. (And I love the bit about the sagging porticos and sprawling columns.)

    Are you still married?


  2. Oh, I love this, especially “dubious hyphenation” and that last line. And “grinning satyr face.”

    And of course, now I want to meet you in an Irish pub.


  3. Mali: You DO want to meet her in an Irish pub. Kim: You know he’ll find you now. (But I don’t know if he’ll be mad at me for sharing comments.) Also, certainly he’s older enough than we are that the hyphenated neo-classical was still acceptable style.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. True. In my defense, even in the 1980s, those style issues were house dependent… (am I digging out OK?). Even now, there are places where one has to fight for closures!


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