Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Something New

Her first time in Los Angeles was as a child, nine, maybe ten years old, a family vacation, Disneyland and Hollywood Boulevard and the endless narcotic blue of the Pacific Ocean, only it was just her and her mother because her parents had been divorced for several years at that point, her father somewhere in Florida and going bankrupt again, and the thing she remembered most about the trip—that is, besides the crud smell in the shitty motel and the homeless guy with his pants down—was the air. The air was different. And she didn’t mean the smog. It was something deeper than that, something more profound that she could not name or fully understand at the time. Also: the light, the sky. The blazing red-orange-purple sunsets that on more than one occasion caused her mother to pull over the car and just stare. “Damn,” her mother said. “Look at that. Wow. I mean wow. I guess that’s why there are so many people here and more keep coming. People. Nothing but goddamned people.” This was the mid-1970s, and they drove around a lot and she looked out the passenger window, watching her breath appear then disappear on the glass, absorbing as much as her little girl brain could, her mother smoking and monologueing and navigating their beater yellow-and-brown station wagon through the freeways and side streets of the concrete metropolis. Above all else, it seemed like a place where things could actually happen.

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's Just Like Baseball

"Writing is frustration -- it's daily frustration, not to mention humiliation. It's just like baseball: you fail two-thirds of the time."

-- Philip Roth

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Not Fully Caffeinated Update


The latest draft/version/whatever of my novel Believers is done. Now it's wait-and-see mode again. So we'll wait and see...

There is some good news to report: another excerpt from Believers will appear in the anthology 24 Bar Blues, coming out next year from Press 53. (A previous excerpt appeared in The Sun last year.)

Also, I have a new story in the next issue of Gigantic, due in December.

There might be more, but I'm not fully caffeinated.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tweet, Tweet

Since I suck at blogging, and since I suck at Facebook, I might as well suck at Twitter, right?

You can find me here.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Giving Off the Most Light

"One thing I always feel in the midst of trying to talk coherently about a story I’ve finished is that, you know, ninety per cent of it was intuitive, done at-speed, for reasons I can’t quite articulate, except in the 'A felt better than B' way. All these choices add up, and make the surface of the story, and, of course, the thematics and all that—but I’m not usually thinking about any of that too much, or too overtly. It’s more feeling than thinking—or a combination of the two, with feeling being in charge, and thinking sort of running around behind, making overly literal suggestions, and those feelings being sounded out and exercised and manifested via heavy editing and rewriting (as opposed to, say, planning and deciding). The important part of the writing process, for me, is trying to make choices that push the story in the most interesting direction, by which I mean the direction that causes the story to give off the most light. The story’s goal is to be fascinating and stimulating and irreducible; the writer’s job is to micromanage the text to make this happen."

From a recent George Saunders interview in The New Yorker. Love that bit about causing a story to give off the most light.

And yes, it has been a while since I've posted anything here. I am aware.