so long as it’s narratively interesting

I adore Hugh Hodges. I do. I was with him at Queen’s University (I’m talking the one in Ontario, Canada, which may not be the Queen’s that just leaped to your mind) over a decade ago — he was maybe thirty, my friends and I all early twenties, we admired his brilliance and cool factor and shiny blond hair while secretly feeling sorry for him because he was so unbelievably ancient.

He kicked all our asses in various classes because he was not only brilliant, he was always…wait for it…disciplined and prepared like an actual mature person. It was a revelation to watch. Every now and then it sent shivers up my spine.

Now he is a self-styled “accidental professor” at Trent University (also in Ontario). He wrote the song lyrics that appear in my first novel BLOODANGEL. He gave me some thoughts:

Neither of my divorces were narratively interesting; both perfectly dull trotting-outs of the old cliches, unredeemed by plot or interesting characters. I can remember standing in the shower, weeping, and saying, quite possibly out loud, “Oh god, this is so BORING.”

And you know, that does make me feel better. If I can say, “My divorce is more interesting than your divorce, and it involves much more colorful characters!” then perhaps I’m more accomplished than I realized.

….I think we may have missed the boat on the whole baby thing. We talk sporadically about adopting, but with a nagging sense that the urge should be more intermittent if you’re actually going to act on it. We’re thinking of collecting art instead.

When I asked if I could quote him as a blog entry so I wouldn’t have to write one myself, he informed me that he “wasn’t joking about the collecting art thing.”

Such a thought never crossed my mind.


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