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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Red Diva

"The glow of inspiration warms us; it is a holy rapture." -Publius Ovidius

Mondays are horrid, my pick me up is reading the Sunday New York Times Style section. In the July 24th edition is where I first discovered the Red Diva. Under the title of "Dear Reader, I dated him" was a piece on a Manhattanite who blogs, writes, and gets NBC sitcoms about being single and almost 30 living in Manhattan. Now where have we seen this before? Sex and the City perhaps a la Candace Bushnell. I readily admit that I was never a huge Sex and the City fan. HBO was only seen in my home, when they were running a promo month to try and get more subscribers. Upon entering college, the one draw was HBO. Sunday nights, girls gathered in dorm rooms throughout campus to watch Carrie Bradshaw and her friends Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha (along with Big and Aiden of course) live and learn in Manhattan. It was good, I suppose, something to watch. SATC ended almost two years ago and since then there has been a flux of writers and shows about being single in your 20's, living in Manhattan.

I'm a terrible New Yorker, I don't 'do' Manhattan, except for an occassional visit. But I've digressed.

Here I was reading about the Red Diva and little did I know, how hooked I would (inevitably) become. I clicked on the link to her blog-I was a blog virgin at the time. She had been keeping her blog since January of 2004. I tore through every entry from January 04 to August 05. There wasn't a day that I didn't read her. It was like I was compelled to read her and know more. It wasn't the subject matter-single in Manhattan is pretty passe. It was her writing. It was that she could make lists over and over again (my favorite pastime). It was that I could read her and get goosebumps .

One sunday night after a glass of shiraz, I got up the nerve to write her:
(an excerpt from my journal written to her)
I've been reading more Stephanie Klein. I don't read her because Iwant to live vicariously through her-gallivanting through Manhattanand shopping on the Upper East Side. I read her because she'sinspirational and because something inside of me compels me to do so.That girl can write and I get the privilege of reading her. I read Greek Tragedy the way I read Middlesex and East of Eden-I devour it.And my heartaches while reading it, because I know that if I continueto read it at warp speed it will be over before I know it. I'll thenbe stuck with these memories and quotes in my head; the funniest andmost inspirational bits used as away messages or in my AIM profile. Ihate books that do this to me-make me sad when the end comes. I am sojealous of authors who can write so well as to bring me to my kneesand thank God for literature. If I could I would spend my life inBarnes and Noble reading all day. Steinbeck, Euginedes, Salinger andnow Klein. All of these people-brilliant artists, get to do what I'vealways wanted to do.

She even wrote me back:
Heather, you just made me cry. I read a lot of email.. I just got toyours now. My hair is wet from the shower, dripping in runnels, andI'm watching HELLO DOLLY, laughing until I snort. Thank you for youremail... it's one I'll save. Thank you so much. Some days I feellike a wretched writer, others great. On the wretched days, I'll hit the archived mail. Thank you, once again.Very much.

It was the highlight of my day.

Red Diva, who is actually the infamous Stephanie Klein that I've mentioned, oh just a few times, has inspired me and kicked my ass into gear. Many people really can't stand her. Her writing, her book deals, her t.v. shows, her narcissism etc. But I dig her. My only suggestion to her would that she will hopefully move away from the "chicklit" and into a good novel, that has nothing to do with single life and/or Manhattan. I know she has it in her.


Blogger Lizzie said...

I too read the Sunday Times article on Stephanie Klein and caught the blogging bug (good one a couple of weeks later too on another blogger- Mimi in New York). I have no aspirations to write but once I started, I felt like I'd opened Pandora's box. It's quite addictive. Nothing beats anonymously pouring your heart out- it's like cyber-confession. Best of luck to you with the blog- and also with being a "terrible New Yorker," just out of college and trying to figure out what it's all about. I've been there and done that myself. It was probably the hardest year of my life but, at the risk of sounding trite, taught me a lot about myself. Good luck!

12:07 PM  
Blogger StephanieKlein said...

Thank you very much for your post and email, again. Just FYI, my second book is not about Manhattan or single life; it's about fat camp. It's my true shrubblet of a book.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Noisette said...

"Steinbeck, Euginedes, Salinger and now Klein"

Are you SERIOUS??? You give her way too much credit and you don't give yourself enough. You're a good writer. Stephanie is a good writer. That's it. Let's hope the above is hyperbole and that you have the discretion to see the difference between the first three names and the last.

12:30 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

I do think Stephanie is an excellent writer with great potential to write like those listed before her.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Noisette said...

I could say a lot here but maybe it's not appropriate. Hopefully this first year out of college will give you perspective. I'm going to keep writing about this on my blog- you can come read it, or not.

12:47 PM  
Blogger write kathy said...

I love your blog! Not just because your last name is Barmore, either. (My mother in law was a Barmore.) You are talented writer.

I am bookmarking you!


1:05 PM  
Blogger sam champion said...

i understand your need to be critical but get over yourself for a bit. i've been reading stephanie klein's blog for a while and judge it for what it is...a daily rant. she writes when she's drunk, when she's upset, probably when she doesn't want to, etc. it isn't a book. judge her book when it comes out. that is fair. comparing her to classic writers and discussing grammar in her journal is silly, a level of scrutiny not thrust upon others and petty. just look at it for what it is, put yourself in her position and lighten up. keep up the good work!

9:46 AM  

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