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Tag Archives: novels

Damn You, Dominick Dunne

This is going to be another Wuss-out Wednesday post. I did spend some time on breaks at work writing. I have two blog posts started but can’t seem to finish them. I never have been good at making myself write. Or do anything else for that matter.

I might have been able to finish one of the posts to my satisfaction but for one circumstance. I inadvisedly picked up a book I purchased some time ago but had not read yet. People Like Us by Dominick Dunne. I ADORE Dominick Dunne, may he rest in peace. Oh, what a writer he is. His fiction is so layered and satisfying. His people don’t sound like ones I spend much time with, but they feel so real. I’m not reading a book; I’m spending time in another world.

I could wish it was a happier world. I’m sitting here feeling quite upset that this character’s husband is leaving her (not for any good reason) and that character is dying of AIDS (in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, when it was little understood and always a death sentence, and being gay was considered by many to be a dreadful shame). And don’t even get me started on the writer’s story, which echoes Dominick Dunne’s own tragic experience.

Most of Dunne’s novels are considered roman a clefs. That is, they are thinly disguised versions of actual happenings. The Two Mrs. Grenvilles was based on the true story of Billy and Anne Woodward, a society boy who married a showgirl who later shot him. I’m not sure what People Like Us is based on, if anything. But it’s a good, good, good read. I’m going to go back and keep reading it.

Not Even an Excuse

Well, here it is Middle-aged Musings Monday and I have nothing, not even an excuse.

Other days when I have not written my blog post while at work, it has usually been because I was working on my novel. Truth be known, this is not an airtight alibi, because other days I have been able to do both, utilizing different breaks for each purpose. Still, working on a novel. There could be no possible objection.

I did work on the novel. I wrote a little more than a page.

And it wasn’t very good.

I realize I may not be the best judge of this. However, since I am the only one allowed to read the dumb thing at this point, I am the only judge. And I judge: gotta do better than this.

That’s really all I want to say about the novel, though. For one thing, if you talk too much about a novel, you no longer need to write it. And anybody out there who says, “I told you that years ago,” just shut up, you did not. Oh, but that’s the other thing: everybody is SO READY to offer advice, whether or not they have actually written a novel themselves. Even a bad novel. Even a stupid novel that never got published.

Oh wait, I wrote a stupid novel that never got published. I guess that means I can give myself advice. My advice to myself is: don’t publish this blog post, it’s stupid. Write something good.

How many of you out there take advice? Let me see your hands.