Sacramento-born author, Joan Didion, who passed away over the holidays, had an outsized effect on me, especially this idea from her essay, “On Keeping a Notebook”:
“I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends.”
It’s this idea that keeps me up nights, remembering, regretting, then rising again early, journaling. Her idea that we have to face our past makes its way into the DNA of my protagonist, Jane, who can’t escape history, though she believes she might. She’s got to learn how to use it.
I was honored to talk about Didion on KCRA (watch) and Vicki Gonzalez’s show, Insight, on Capital Public radio (listen, at 35 minutes in). I’d love to hear what you think about her work.
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