Saturday, September 17, 2011
--YOU’RE LONELY, TOO, I CAN TELL
…I have some new things out:
-“Ceremony,” a piece I wrote at the Iowa Writers Workshop this summer. It’s up at The Boston Literary Magazine.
-“Compression” a quote for The Matter Press
-“Hiccups” at Pipe Dream Fiction
-“The Sin Jar” at The Midwest Coast Review
All are also here under “Words in Print.”
…Yesterday Abbas made an official bid for UN recognition of Palestine on the same day that convicted felon and NBA star Ron Artest legally changed his named to “We Have World Peace.”
True story. Check the news if you don’t believe me.
Yesterday I was disobedient and diligent.
Yesterday I took a bath even though the doctor who told me I have skin cancer beside my nose (it’s basil cell, so no worries) told me I shouldn’t.
Yesterday I wrote on the new novel about Caleb, Chloe and poor Claire. I liked the pacing. It sort of skipped along. I think the beginning is quite tense, or so I hope. I’ve been re-reading “Ordinary People” to help keep me in that manic state of mind, but while writing I was listening to Freddy Johnstone (“I Have A Bad Reputation”) to counteract Judith Guests’ fantastic mood-setting writing.
…I have lots and lots of books on the business and craft of writing. One is called “A Writer’s Guide to Character Traits” written by a psychiatrist. It reads more like a shrink’s thesis.
Here’s what she says about writers (yikes!):
--wounded; creates in order to heal own wounds, or old family wounds
--sensitive, imaginative, abstract and creative thinker
--driven toward achievement; fearful of mediocrity
--dismissive of ordinary problems
--prone to alcohol use, especially after age forty; younger writers have increased risk of depression
--prone to problems with anxiety and drug use
--isolated at times; has to tolerate periods of being alone
--required to let go of work after completion
--likely to have come from families with both mental illness and creativity
--more likely to be bisexual or homosexual
Yowzah! With the exception of that last one, Dr. Linda H. Edelstein, PH.D has me pretty much pegged to a T.
It makes me sound like a miserable human being. Who knew I was so miserable?
…I’m almost finished with Tome Perrotta’s latest number, “The Leftovers.”
I loved “Little Children” and “Joe College,” though obviously that last one is an awful title.
“The Leftovers is about a comical, quirky version of The Rapture, of “The Left Behind Books” but having nothing to do with the chosen being Christians or not. It’s a fun, page-turning read. He does a wonderful job of making you care about all of these characters. I hope to be able to do that with my new book.
…My kids and I have started to watch “Dexter.”
What a trippy show that is. After “Six Feet Under” I had to see Michael C. Hall in action and man is he good. He’s nothing like the gay funeral home operator from “Six Feet.” How he gets us to root for a serial killer is astonishing.
…I’m getting a little bit of a belly. Don’t laugh; I am. It slightly slopes over my waist band.
I’ve always been thin. My whole life I have. I sort of obsess over my weight. I could be one-quarter anorexic. And now the flab is starting to come. It sucks getting older. But what’s a boy to do?
…I like these things on a Saturday morning:
"I am convinced that the world is not a mere bog in which men and women trample themselves and die. Something magnificent is taking place here amidst the cruelties and tragedies, and the supreme challenge to intelligence is that of making the noblest and best in our curious heritage prevail." C.A. Beard
"Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups." Bumper Sticker
"I want to hear your pain. I just want to hear it in joke form." -Christopher Titus
"Dying is an art like anything else and I do it extremely well." Sylvia Plath
"I can't even enjoy a blade of grass unless I know there's a subway handy, or a record store or some other sign that people do not totally regret life." —Frank O'Hara
"What those words inside me could have said, I wonder—where or what I would have gone or been today having them absorbed—somehow ending up another person—smarter, further—this, gone forever. And still, here I am. Now." — Blake Butler, "Nothing"