M:  Hey, that reviewer speculated that we, as the writer, are throwing our guts out on the lawn.

J: What I think is rather funny (or not) is that if we were a man it would be called something more romantic like the author wearing his heart on his sleeve.

M: What’s up with that? Why is it considered noble for a man to express strong, passionate emotions (even anger) and for a woman it is unseemly? People look away.

J: Hey, I don’t know–I just tend the fires down here. I just work the machine, I didn’t build it.

M: Maybe if I want to make it in the “real world” as a writer I need to put away personal things. Hide my emotions. Slap a shiny coat of paint on it, make it palatable.

J: Why do you write? Isn’t it a counterpoint to life in the real world anyway? Don’t you do it to rebel agains the status quo? To have your say?

M: Yeah, I guess you are right. I could never compromise my authenticity by dumbing down my work. If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the fucking kitchen.

J: That’s our girl. You’ve always been an acquired taste. But then, you are a highly selective reader, too. The right people will appear and will support what you are doing. And in this forum you can do whatever you want. We love that freedom, don’t we?

M: I don’t know if my writing will ever be ready for prime time, but as with a lot of other social conventions, I just don’t care enough to worry about it. All I know is that without telling my stories, without telling my side of things, my life feels empty.

J: You want to be witnessed.

M: I guess you could say that. It’s all that really matters.