Perhaps there’s some merit in blogging my own story, if it shows writers and artists that they are not always so alone. A friend sent me a New York Times link today to the obituary of William Sleator, who has died at 66. I haven’t read his stories, but they dealt in the realms of Young Adult fantasy too. They sound rather wonderful, and on the side of the difficult adolescent psyche, dealing with good and evil, and fighting the forces of the mind and imagination. But Sleator clearly had his private demons, his battle with addiction, his alcholism.
It is very obvious territory for the artist, and perhaps it is the threat of public shame that always becomes the worst. Full Nelsons, Half Nelsons, the personal cruicifixion between high idealism and the ‘real world’. Above all the difficult attempt for ‘Children’s Authors’ to make that wonderful journey, again and again, through the dark and the life denying, as we step from the naturally whole psyche of the child, through the difficult realms of growth, to the most fully adult and human. My father found it very hard to deal with my Grandfather’s alcholism, but it is always the secret and the hidden that is both the driver and the danger too, when it takes control. How balanced I was again in America, for a time, how free of the psychic weight of the past, but how the absolutes and opposites that my own stories have argued against, and the fears of others, meant I was probably always heading for the most monumental crash in New York City. There we are, it happened, but it might not if they and I had remembered we’re all human, and I had not become so disconnected.
I learnt that Sleator was blogged recently by an Abrams employee and wondered if they got him too. DCD