Thursday, April 28, 2011

While My Ukulele Gently Weeps

DFW/Balsa Wood/Wind

David Foster Wallace to his editor re working on The Pale King: he said that working on the novel was "like wrestling sheets of balsa wood in a high wind." (Quoted in a recent TPK review in the New York Review of Books.)

I'm a little afraid to read Wallace's "unfinished" novel because, well, it's unfinished, and also because he apparently struggled with the novel's structure, and I'm currently struggling with the structure of my novel.

I will read it at some point. Just not now.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Everything You See Is Real

More random quotes from my five-year-old son Ethan (who won't be five much longer)...

"Everything you see is real. That's the science term."

"You can only joke on Chinese New Year."

"What the heck is a parsnip?"

"Daddy, every day your mind is going blank."

"Mommy, you're freaking me out."

"Mommy, I'm downloading these dinosaurs so I can bring them to life."

"I wish I lived in the mailbox."

"I'm going to make a toilet car when I grow up."

"The Leapster malfunctioned."

"What is Elvis talking about?"

"Christopher Columbus was the first person ever born."

"I told you guys Star Wars was real."

"I want to kill NPR."

Monday, April 11, 2011

If You Don't Try Very Hard

"Early on, I was very scared about whether or not I was good enough. I’d been a writer for a very long time, but also, not really. The thing is, I had tried, but not very hard. Because if you don't try very hard, and you fail, you don't have to feel that badly about it. I think it's terrifying when you say, 'I'm really committed to this,' and you try your hardest and do your absolute best work. Then, if you fail, you don't have anything to hide behind."

That's Alexi Zentner from an interview at The Millions

The line that really haunts/stings is this one:

"Because if you don't try very hard, and you fail, you don't have to feel that badly about it."

Alexi -- who I met yesterday at a reading in San Diego -- just published his first novel, Touch.