NaNoWriMo and The Edible Woman

November 8, 2009 at 8:11 am Leave a comment

I know NaNoWriMo started like, a week ago.  But I’m going to blog about it anyway.  Like pretty much any other writing/literature major in university, I’ve known about this website/organization for a few years.  I own their book (in a box in a closet in America.)  I have at least ten pages of countless novels started over the years, none of them going anywhere discernible.  Where do plots come from?

I know I’m young (21 for those of you who don’t care enough to click the ‘About’ page.  It’s cool, I usually don’t either) but I KNOW (like, as in have met, taken classes with, had group projects with, etc) people my age who have already been published.  For novels.  That they’ve written.  The only lengthy thing I’ve ever completed is a MC Harry Potter fan fiction (don’t judge me!)  And that was years ago.  Now everything I write is fourteen lined poetry (I have an odd fixation on my version of a sonnet.)  Part of me thinks I should just be patient, write what comes to me (fourteen line poetry and cookie recipes) and when I have story to tell, tell it then.  The other part of me is wondering what I’m waiting for (which I know makes no sense in the context of the previous sentence, but feelings aren’t always rational/logical.)  I’ve always wanted to write a book, to write in general.  It’s what I know, it’s what comes naturally to me.  And I can’t seem to figure out if it’s the lack of discipline (which theoretically school and NaNoWriMo should help with, though I know that falls largely to me) or if it really just is that I haven’t anything to write about (plot bunny?  Where are you?)  Anyway…

I love Margaret Atwood’s books.  I have since I was in 11th grade and my APL&C teacher told my friends and me we should consider doing our group project on The Handmaids Tale. We spent the rest of the school year swapping what books of hers the school library had.  My favorite was (and still is) The Blind Assassin.  I’ve read that book countless times, and have read nine of her novels and two of her poetry books.

Margaret Atwood was only two years older than I am now when she wrote The Edible Woman. (It was the second novel she wrote, and the first to get published.)  Years later she said that the main reason it got published was because the editor felt guilty that he’d never actually read it.  I doubt that would work now.  The book itself is often considered feminist but she considered it proto-feminist.  The book got published just as the Womans Movement was taking off.   The symbolism, imagery, and the poetry of her words are more complex in her later work, but are still obvious in The Edible Woman (“She held both of her naked arms out towards the mirror.  They were the only portion of her flesh that was without a cloth or nylon or leather or varnish covering, but in the glass even they looked fake, like soft pinkish-white rubber or plastic, boneless, flexible…” pg 229 of one of the 1990 editions, or about halfway through chapter 26- Ive never been much for proper notation.)

One of the things I like most about the book is that it is relatable and real to the time.  There is no happily ever after, she does not meet the ‘man of her dreams’ or find some wonderful job that she can move up the corporate ladder through.  She starts and ends in the same place with the same options: a low-level ‘womans job’ or marriage as a way out.  The book itself is not plot-heavy.  Marian, the protagonist, watches as her mind and body become increasingly separate, and then brings herself back together.  The other characters serve to act as a contrast or foil to her separation, and/or to help nudge it along.

I can identify with some of the book.  There have been times in my life when I’ve felt that my life was not mine, like I did not own it, it existed separately from me.  I’ve felt both over and underwhelmed by the options available to me (which I know are actually infinite.)  I hold two conflicting idea in my head: one that there is all the time I need to figure things out, and the other that the clock is ticking (but for what?)  So I’m going to try to write a novel in a month for NaNoWriMo (again) even though I have no idea what to write about, and I’m going to try to stop focusing on tomorrow for a little while, because obviously it is getting me nowhere.



Entry filed under: Book. Tags: , , , , .

Simple Chocolate Cake Pumpkin Black Bean Soup (recipes from my mom’s cookbook)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Cook & Hook

A fun, feminist blog for the Suzy Homemaker in some of us.


November 2009
« Oct   Dec »


1 Book Cook Hook Other

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1 other follower

%d bloggers like this: