Sunday, March 9, 2014

Poets on Privacy, Work Pod, and Novel Thoughts

The preeminent David D. Horowitz, owner of Rose Alley Press, is holding a poetry reading on privacy called “Public about Privacy” on Wednesday, March 26th, at 7:00 p.m. at the Good Shepherd Center, Room 202 (4649 Sunnyside Avenue North, Seattle). This is a timely and important topic, and I would encourage you to attend if you can. Participating poets include Dennis Caswell, Victoria Ford, David D. Horowitz, Rebecca Meredith, Bethany Reid, Michael Spence and myself. I’ll be reading poems from “The Acme Employee Handbook” related to workplace privacy issues. It promises to be a fun and illuminating evening!

Speaking of “The Acme EmployeeHandbook”, I took a bit of a risk this week. I’ve been a long-time listener to The Boss Show, a podcast centered entirely around work issues. Hosts Jim Hessler and Steve Motenko are funny, opinionated, and smart, and I appreciate their unorthodox take on workplace issues. Since my book is centered around issues of work, I wanted to share it with them. But of course that involved asking them if I could send them the book, the thought of which tied me up in knots of nervous embarrassment and pre-shame in anticipation of their certain mockery and rejection. Because that’s how I go through life—convinced that even minor requests on my own behalf are jaw-droppingly audacious and that people will go out of their way to make fun of me for no reason. But I managed to get over that emotional hurdle and send them an e-mail request anyway. And I got a really friendly, positive response back! That was a nice shiny light in my week of work drudgery, and a good reminder that there are still kind and open people in the world.

A short story has been rattling around in my head for a while, but I’ve got some good momentum going on the novel and I want to crank out the first draft without further distraction. I’m a just a tad past the halfway mark at 48,000 words, and I’m excited at the possibility that I can actually complete it—a whole, entire novel. What started out as an exploratory exercise in chick lit has turned into a much deeper experience of self-examination and healing. The main characters in most first novels are usually a direct reflection of the writer, and my book is no exception. Even though my main character Harley North is very different from me externally, I realized recently that internally, we’re very much alike. It’s been fun to write a character who presents as bold and brash and impulsive; who does and says things that I never could. But as Harley’s journey in the book deepens and she has to face some long-buried pain, I’m coming full circle back to revisiting my own experience of resistance and denial, suffering, and finally acceptance and healing. It’s not what I asked for, and it hasn’t been always been comfortable, but I’m going to see it through to the end. It’s taken on a life of it’s own, and all I can do now is go along for the ride.

--Kristen McHenry

1 comment:

John Socrates said...

Another excellent post! Sending a copy of your book to those people is one of the marketing tips I have to share with you, but with additional info on this marketing tactic I think you will find beneficial. Meanwhile, my cell is working again. And if you like we can chat this week. Let me know a good time for you. And we will do as Captain Picard used to advise: Make it so!

Patrick