Tuesday, February 21, 2012
--I CAN'T DECIDE IF YOU HAVE EVERYTHING OR NOTHING
…I have a new story (“What the Seasons Mean to Me”) up at Pure Slush and two poems (“Loofa” and “Sharp and Serrated”) at The Rusty Nail.
All are also here under “Words In Print.”
…I wrote two stories on Sunday. One was very short, just over 200 words. The other was twice as long. I really like it-- "The Shape of Us." I might read it at AWP. It's pretty depressing, however. We'll see.
…Yesterday I wrote two more in the bathtub. Both involved physical violence but were very different. I think they were pretty good. I'm not sure why I wrote them. I guess I just don't understand how a man could batter a woman. It's unfathomable to me, and therefore fascinating subject matter.
…The other night I went to hear my brother in-law’s band. It was at a wine store. The place was packed. The wine, entertainment, and company were all excellent. Several times people asked me about my writing. Several times different people said, "Well how do you get paid for stories that are published online?" Everyone wanted to know about the money angle and it was as if I wasn't a legitimate writer unless I could produce a pay check or point to a physical book on a shelf with my name on it. They weren't being mean. It was just a natural reaction. And because so many people reacted the same way, I'm thinking that's a pretty common perception.
So I'm just dealing with it, not feeling sorry for myself, but wanting to share this with you.
…I’ve really been enjoying my new Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits cd’s. They’re both originals, certainly daring. When I listen to Waits I hear raw-throated honesty. I smell sweat, urine and whisky, and not in that order. I hear scraping bar stools, the chink of drinking glasses and the sloppy slither or barley and hops.
Hearing Cohen’s spoken word/rap-style song-working is a bit like hearing God tell you a story from a high-pitched cloud.
…AWP is eight days away. AWP is a big writer's conference, mainly indie presses and online sites. Over 10,000 people are attending. I went last year. It was fun and intimidating. I expect the same this year.
I'm a little nervous.
…Here are a few things I like to the start of a short work week:
"The great thing and the hard thing is to stick to things when you
have outlived the first interest, and not yet got the second, which
comes with a sort of mastery." Janet Erskine Stuart
"You know what luck is? Luck is believing you're lucky, that's all ..." Stanley Kowalski in "A Streetcar Named Desire"
"Words lead to deeds. They prepare the soul, make it ready, and move it to tenderness." Saint Teresa
"There's no end to the fears and terrors and anxieties that slip into a writer's head at any given moment." Nathan Englander