The Book That Made Me Cry
I wouldn't say I like Michael Ausiello. He is not really one of the most brilliant writers working in entertainment journalism today, but his memoir, “Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies,” made me have the feels. It also made me realize that my writing lacks the punch to get people to cry. Oh, how I love to make people cry. I mean, how I would love to have the ability to touch people’s hearts with my writing. The closest I get to making people have feelings is when they put the piece and down and let out a sigh of relief.
One of the things that I believe makes me a good writer is that I read anything that I can get my hands on. So when Michael Ausiello announced that he was releasing his memoir, I pre-ordered it on Amazon right away. As I said, he is one of my favorite writers, and I wanted to read more about his life. I can write it off on my taxes as a business expense is just whipped cream on top of the chocolate pudding.
The book arrived, but something strange happened. I didn’t want to read it. Not that I thought it was going to be bad, I just kept adding books to read before it. Finally, though, I decided just to read the book that I had so eagerly anticipated. Over the course of 24 hours, I devoured the book. And I was pissed.
The Feeling Of Love
Michael Ausiello brings you into his world and gives you the lay of the land. From the first blush of his romance with his husband to the last breath his beloved Kit takes to the bittersweet eulogy that he gives for his soul mate. You could felt the same emotions that Ausiello felt because he opened his heart and let it bleed onto the page. Seriously, the man lets you feel his emotions on every single damn page. For 300 pages, you are on this rollercoaster ride with him, and he makes sure that you feel the peaks and the crashing volley’s. It made me think about my own writing.
I get uncomfortable sharing a Facebook status that says more than a line from a TV show or song lyric. I have friends on there who probably don’t even realize that I’m a real person. They probably think I’m a marketing robot for Britney or Will and Grace. I’m not; if I were, I would have a much nicer apartment. One of the things that needed to be done was to figure out why I wouldn’t say I like to share my life with people. So I started looking over some of the blog posts that I wrote before, and I realized that none of them even were really my voice, with very few exceptions. They were very detached and read now as if that same Will and Grace robot was writing these posts.
Some of the posts that really did have a heartbeat in them somewhere were about a past relationship I had. This led me to conclude that talking about myself, even opening up about a painful part of my past, was a way to get people to cry. That isn’t for me. But a review on Writing.com really turned things around for me.
Writing To Touch
While I focused on my nonfiction writings, I had completely ignored the fact that my fiction could touch people. The story centers around a woman who sees an ex-boyfriend and the commiserate about the baby that she aborted. The reviewer was lovely and kept saying that she cried while reading it. Woot! I made someone cry. It was an ugly cry in my head, like the one that Michael Ausiello made me do.
While I’ve focused on the crying part of the feelings, because you know feelings, the book made me feel other emotions too. Like when Ausiello talks about how his husband, the titular hero, cheated on him, my blood boils faster than water on the stove. Cheating is never OK, especially after being with someone for more than a decade. Here again, is something that I wish I could add to my repertoire. It’s one thing to make people cry, but it’s a whole other thing to piss them off. Sure, I could write an essay saying that Trump is a good President, but why make myself a liar? I want the anger to be something that is felt deep down inside. The readers walk away with the feeling and for it to bubble up at the most inopportune times. That sales clerk at Strand Bookstore is still scared of me, I’m sure.
See, what had happened was I had just finished the book and needed to not show my tear-stained face to the guy I’m seeing. So I showered and scrubbed any trace of the tears away, then I decided to go and buy myself a little happy. That means I wanted a new book. The 1 train (New Yorkers will get it) dropped me off just blocks from my destination, and Britney helped blight out the memoir's remaining sadness. Or so I thought. Once I was in the store, I walked around and felt the happiness enter me. Then out of nowhere, I thought about how as Kit laid dying, he admitted to another affair, and just like that, I shouted, “Fuck that shit.” The clerk looked at me and scrambled to get away from me.
As I walked back to the train, wondering how I would explain this, more anger washed over me. There had been books that stayed with me before, but because they made me laugh or hit on an issue that I was passionate about. This book hit me because Ausiello is such a fantastic writer. Even “My Sisters Keeper” with the same type of storyline didn’t hit me as hard. And that’s when I realized that I had never touched a reader in such a personal way.
Frustrating To The End
When I ran my gossip blog, it was strictly about the celebs or my opinion about some social issue that the celebs hit on. Outside of one post I did about the abusive relationship that I had been in, there was nothing about me. As I said, I wouldn’t say I like to share my personal life with people. Maybe if I did, I wouldn’t have such a hard time writing my memoir about said relationship, and my friend wouldn’t anxiously be waiting for the next chapter.
And that might be why Michael Ausiello frustrates me so. He willingly opened his heart and wrote a beautiful memoir that makes people cry all over the world. While I sit here wondering what Britney song to quote on Facebook. I’m going to keep trying to make people cry and to make them angry through my writing.
To paraphrase an old saying: Cry Cry Again.