Susan's Blog

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


“Those who are pregnant in the body only, betake themselves to women and beget children — this is the character of their love; their offspring, as they hope, will preserve their memory and giving them the blessedness and immortality which they desire in the future. But souls which are pregnant — for there certainly are men who are more creative in their souls than in their bodies conceive that which is proper for the soul to conceive or contain. And what are these conceptions? — wisdom and virtue in general. And such creators are poets and all artists who are deserving of the name inventor.”
Diotima to Socrates in Plato’s Symposium

I’m pregnant! No, not in body. But in my soul, as Plato describes in The Symposium. My new book feels so much like when a fetus is tiny, just newly discovered, and you don’t yet know who this creature will be nor are you even sure you quite love it. (You are mostly scared of it and loath to face it in its tiny enormity.) But you know you will love it, once it starts to take form and to grow.

When I was just preggers with Nat I remember whispering, “Just stay alive, Little Sweetheart!” He seemed like a little bean to me, spinning inside of me, adding to himself moment by moment. Spinning!

When I was newly pregged with Max, I felt so sick I couldn’t bear it and I wished for a moment that I was not pregnant! So mixed up was the new Mommy. But “Little, Little” just kept growing and eventually grew into my biggest baby, hence Maximillian, which means The Greatest. Ned even added an L to the name, to make it even bigger.

With Benj, I was sick even longer! Because I was kind of old by then (34)! I imagined he was a girl because I was so sick and because he was not a big bump in my belly. But then, several ultrasounds later, we all knew the truth about Beastie. I felt I knew him so early on, because he gave us a lot of scares that landed me in the hospital a few times. Always making his mommy worried!

So now I have this small life growing inside, this odd new book. I have very little loyalty to it. It makes me feel kind of sickly nervous everytime I sit down and contemplate it. I have to have faith that it will come to me, just exactly what this book is, in time for my delivery date (June 1, 2008. This book is a Gemini! Hooray!)

Anyway, I felt it today. That tiny beautiful pressure of creation, that something calling me. That confidence that it is all there, just beneath the fingers on the keyboard. Or in the air before my eyes. The feeling of diving into the most intense part and peeling away to the best writing. Being lost in the paragraphs, resenting the phone and the red appearance of a new email. I worked for about two hours today, and ended up with 1000 words fewer than I started! D’oh! But that is actually okay because it is my process. I start by importing all the stuff I’ve been writing and thinking about (a lot of which you have never seen) and then winnowing out the crap while putting it into some kind of order. Today, I did a good job on Chapter 1. So now I have a lot of Chapter 1 and all of the Prologue and Chapter 5 (except for the other parents’ thoughts, which I will get to soon. First I have to meet with my editor and tell her the whole vision and make sure we are “on the same page.”

To those of you who responded to my call for interviewees: Thank You!! I will be emailing you or calling soon.

Feels good to be back.

1 comment

I love it and book pregnancies don’t give us stretch marks!!

— added by Mom on Wednesday, July 25, 2007 at 7:03 pm

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