Friday, March 6, 2009

Monologue in Cyberspace


I Googled myself today. I know, it’s kinda weird, but I find it interesting to see how cyberspace reports me. I found out I’m a writer and chick with a lot of published recipes. Already knew that. But today, I discovered something new. I’m also a reviewed writer. I was so tickled, I had to share.

Here’s what Molly Tolsky had to say about “In Limbo” in her report on Word Riot magazine:

"In Limbo by Greta Igl is a plainspoken, realistic story in a domestic setting. Nora has been a waitress at Jimmy's Corner Café for 17 years. One day, she waits on a nicely dressed couple, and though they are being perfectly friendly to her, she can't help but get frustrated with these kinds of people—the kind that are much [better] off than her. When the couple notices the for-sale sign in front of the diner, the woman asks Nora where she'll go once the place is gone. While she doesn't say it, Nora knows she'll probably go to a place that's just like this one and keep doing the same thing over and over again.

The pace of this story is very slow and steady, which immediately wraps you up into the atmosphere of this “piece of crap diner,” where people move slowly and nothing ever happens. The only problem is that nothing ever happens in the story, either, so as a reader, I was less than engaged. There are some nice gestures here and there, such as,“Nora picks a fleck of dried egg yolk from one of the chrome jelly stackers,” but for the most part, all we get is Nora's internal monologue about her frustrations with going nowhere in life. This created too much internal, not enough external."

Cool, hey? Now, I have no idea who Molly Tolsky is. My guess is she’s a writer like me, struggling to get her footing. But isn’t it interesting to think that, during the time she read “In Limbo” and wrote her school report on it, our lives were somehow intersecting. I put an idea out there; she built on it to create her own interpretation. That fact intrigues me so much that I’m not even bugged that she was “less than engaged” by my story.

I like that. Less than engaged. Molly doesn’t know it, but I’ve had fun unpacking that enigmatic statement. Did she mean bored shitless? Or perhaps mildly entertained? She wrote about my story; I’m returning the favor and writing about her report. Perhaps one day she'll Google herself and trip across this post. Then she can write about me writing about her writing about me. Freaky.

It just goes to show: all this writing we do is merely a monologue into cyberspace. We write and never know who might be reading. Our words can take on their own life. Perhaps they'll germinate, root, and bloom into something else. I'm humbled by the beautiful divinity in never knowing where my words might land.


Stephen said...

Wow, Greta! Someone read your story and took efforts to post a review? Even though she wasn't as enthusiastic about "In Limbo" as I was, it's still a cool thought to see that people you've never met are reading your stuff. Knowing is one thing--we all assume that people will venture across our stories once published--but seeing the individual, along with their expressed opinion, is quite another.

And way to go in keeping your good sense of humor about the review. That inspires me.

Greta said...

Stephen, I try to ALWAYS keep my sense of humor.

To be honest, the negative remarks don't bother me. I don't mind if someone comments about my writing from a craft standpoint. I know I have a lot to learn. It's when the haters and bashers show up that I get annoyed.