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it's complicated

listening to: Hot Chip, Shackleton, Kode9, The Teenagers

It's been two weeks since my last confession and I am annoyed at myself for letting so much time slip by without posting. Part of the reason was the short story I was writing for a vampire-romance anthology called Love Bites: the title is I Need More You and it's about a vampire and an angel playing an addictive love-game that spans decades and takes them to various places, this time Burning Man.

I've been wanting to set something at BM for years, and I realize (now) that I've been fascinated with issues of addiction since I made a major character in my first novel Bloodangel an ex-rock star struggling with heroin, which makes him extremely susceptible to my novel's Big Bad. Vampirism is often used as a metaphor for addiction, and although my books aren't vampire novels exactly (they are, as I like to call them, "vampire novels without any vampires in them") they are concerned to some extent with the nature of addiction, which is also the quest for the transcendent turned upside over and made corrupt. It's this quest that seems to be one of my obsessions as a writer, one of the things which will keep resurfacing in various forms throughout the future. I am an atheist who believes in the necessity of spiritual connection, which is not the contradiction it might seem. It raises some interesting questions.

I'm also -- pleased? bemused? -- to say that I finally met Talulah, my ex-husband's new girlfriend. She spends quite a bit of time with my children, given the 50/50 custody share. E and I had agreed that he and T would throw the twins' fifth birthday party on April 18. E wrote to me in an e-mail, "You're invited!" which, given the state of affairs of the last nine months, was no small thing. Talulah sent an email introducing herself and suggested we meet beforehand, rather than amid the chaos of a children's birthday party, which I appreciated.

We had breakfast. More than one friend pointed out that meeting her for a couple of stiff drinks might have been more appropriate, but carbs are good too. We had previously agreed to leave aside the uncomfortable topics. At one point I heard myself say, "I am so much happier now than I was this time last year" and realized this is true, there has been a reclaiming of time, friendships, interests, life in general. My sense of myself as person and mother is stronger now, and my writer-self, also going through some lessons, revelations and adjustments, is not far behind.

"It's kind of like a French movie," observed my friend Sam.

He had a point. His comment also reminded me of a comment of my father's, made ten years ago when I told him how I'd tossed red wine -- I am so not proud of this -- on a bedroom wall during a heated argument with E, after which we immediately made up (we made up pretty quickly in those days): "You have this tendency to live life like it's a French film".

So I said in an email to Talulah

I would rather live out the French-movie version of events (the ex-wife and new fiancee become friends and various philosophies are pondered) than the American version (one is 'good' and one is psycho, there's a big catfight sequence and someone gets thrown off a balcony) -- the latter of which seems vastly overrated.

She responded, Let's do as the French do.

To say that my presence at the birthday party wasn't awkward, however, would be a straight leap into Disney fantasy, where the birthday cakes (pirate theme for one twin, Buzz Lightyear for the other) do pirouettes and everyone breaks into song for no reason. But it wasn't a David Cronenberg either, so it could have been worse.
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( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 19th, 2009 04:13 pm (UTC)
*hugs you*

Just because...

Let's do as the French do

I hope that works out :)
Apr. 19th, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC)
the short story sounds very interesting (well being interested in vampires, angels and the Burning Man celebrations, it would be to me) good luck with it.
Apr. 19th, 2009 09:08 pm (UTC)
Justine -- all I can say is, your kids are so fortunate to have a mother who approaches life like a French movie.

Apr. 19th, 2009 09:15 pm (UTC)
awwwwww.....merci beaucoup.

:: pulls up the collar of her black trenchcoat and fades mysteriously into the night ::
Jul. 25th, 2010 06:01 am (UTC)
re: divorce
Why you and Elon don't settle the divorce? Who benefits from your divorce? Lawyers. They never like to see a rich people's divorce go away so quickly, so they can continue making their legal fees. Your husband become their sugar dad. Both of you should be very careful when you sign a fee agreement with lawyers. You can always negotiate and remove many fees on teh agreement. They should show you actual cashed checks, receipts for any deduction.
I also think your husband made a mistake to drop you and go for that young actress.
I like your kids.
Jul. 25th, 2010 12:33 pm (UTC)
Re: divorce
Thanks, my kids are awesome. Total sweethearts. :)

Why don't we settle the divorce? It's a good question. I'm totally prepared to give up interest in Elon's companies and I have wanted to settle this since day one. I don't feel that he's treated me particularly well, or fairly, but I also recognize that that's something I need to get over.
Apr. 19th, 2009 09:21 pm (UTC)
I'm happy to hear that you are reclaiming yourself and becoming stronger for it. You are a strong woman! I don't know if I could agree to do the "French" version. I wish you all the luck in the world!
Apr. 19th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
Trout lips. Dull eyes. Can you IP me?
Apr. 19th, 2009 09:37 pm (UTC)
I mean Talulah, of course.
Apr. 20th, 2009 07:08 am (UTC)
I just discovered you. I love your honesty. PLEASE don't let his power win over the truth. your honesty makes you human. that is how i discovered you. stay honest.
Apr. 20th, 2009 07:11 am (UTC)
You rock! good for you!
Apr. 20th, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC)
lady of bones
Hi, from cristo -- guess I'm not current in the sys or something, so posting anonymously. . .

I think the trout/dull eyes descrip rather apt. To that I must add: stacked up against relative bone structures, 13 years of age is nothing. You're much better looking --, not that it's a beauty contest, of course!

Apr. 22nd, 2009 11:44 pm (UTC)
various philosophies are pondered.....
May. 14th, 2010 01:40 am (UTC)
"french movie"
Ever see the movie "Singles" the Cameron Crow flick?

"I live my life like a French movie, Steve..."
the whole sequence has made me always laugh a little at the French movie analogy.

Wondered if you had seen it.
May. 14th, 2010 06:36 am (UTC)
I wish!
I tried to do this with my ex's new girlfriend... but failed miserably not because I'm jealous, or she's psycho... but because my ex is so controlling and narcissistic that he couldn't stop hovering, demanded that I not email her, talk to her etc... I come from a large extended family who always got along (I MC'd the memorial service of my stepfather's ex-wife's husband), and never had any drama. I don't understand why it needs to be contentious... I certainly don't want him back, I just want him to stop trying to control me.

PS... Like my profile pic? It is me... from BM 96.
May. 14th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC)
Blogging about divorce.
well, seldom mentioned in the process is the level of cozy behavior between judges and their misogynist friends. But when one judge sues another, as happened below....Yikes!

May. 18th, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC)
name that french movie
Anyone remember a French movie about 10 or 15 years ago where a husband leaves his wife for his mistress (with whom he has two children) and marries her only to begin an affair with his ex wife who becomes pregnant with his child? The movie culminates at one of his children's birthday party where the husband sneaks off with his ex-wife/current mistress to shag in a doorway somewhere. Irony.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

About Me

I'm the author of three published novels: the dark fantasies BLOODANGEL and LORD OF BONES (Roc/Penguin) and the YA supernatural thriller UNINVITED (MTV/Simon&Schuster). I also have stories in the MAMMOTH BOOK OF VAMPIRE ROMANCE 2 and ZOMBIES: ENCOUNTERS WITH THE HUNGRY DEAD. I'm working on a psychological thriller called THE DECADENTS. I am divorced, with sons, and live in Bel Air.

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