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Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Writing Links!

Tony Perrottet of the New York Times gives a little insight into the long and interesting history of literary marketing (authorial whoring?). I guess I don't feel so bad now.

The Millions, as always, has an excellent article on the difficulty of writing novels in the face of the rising tide of electronic inundation.

Short Round over at Alternative 1985 has some truly interesting/bizarre things to say about a recent study that found people became frightened when a prosthetic third arm was threatened with a knife. I love this man's mind. I must admit this.

China Mieville manages to blow my mind in a single sentence. As a parent of a two year old I see anthropomorphs constantly and yet I've never thought critically about the very real (il)logical boundaries placed on anthropomorphism. China, you the man.

As usual, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows has yet another amazing new word for you writers to use.

aoyaoia

n. a musical flavor found in electric guitar solos that compels you to snarl, squint and bend your spine like a longbow being drawn back to fire a warning shot to your distant ancestors, so they may know that your domestication will not go unavenged.
And, lastly, another awesome article from the NY Times about the powers of social persuasion in determining successful commodities in the cultural marketplace.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Year of the Gosh-Darn Novel, Ya'll

Not too shabby of a week at all, my friends. I actually completed over 3K words and am nearly half-way complete with Chapter Two of Part Two, in which our heroes actually meet each other and realize they still have no idea why the hell they are where they are. The angels aren't really helpful, because honestly they don't know either. They have stories, but their stories don't match up. So goes life in the bureaucracy.

I've decided that since Part Two is called "The Midway" each chapter will be named after a different circus midway staple. The first chapter is tentatively called "The Fattest Man In The World," though I'm not entirely sold that that is the proper name for that chapter. Maybe "The Carnival Barker" since the chapter is really the entrance to the second Part. Hmm, that might be a good one. That way I can save "TFMITW" for a later chapter that involves a lot more emotionally heavy stuff.

"The Bearded Woman" is definitely reserved for my fav character Katrina. She's a bad ass, emotional wreck. Beard indeed.

I'll update next week with some garden stuff. I need to take some pictures first so you will be able to see how beautiful my little babies are. My green beans have little beanlets growing off them. I'm so proud. I wonder if now's a good time to have "the talk" with them about using protection.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Initiation in the Freak Parade

I had my first reading of my writing career last night. I was invited by the good people at Loose Change to join them for part of a Wonderroot/Loose Change open mic mash-up, tangentially celebrating Cinco de Mayo, but really just celebrating being alive. It went late into the night. I'm really tired right now.

During my decade as a musician I went to a hell of a lot of open mic nights, and almost all of them were soul-sucking affairs in which everyone swam around the bar eating each other for that highly unlikely chance someone of any importance was there. Perhaps I went to far too many open mics in the insanely competitive city of music, Nashville, but I was entirely unprepared for the bizarro love-fest that Wonderroot threw last night.

Hosted by Cameron ? (I actually never got his last name) in full-on Andy Kaufman mode, the event featured some forty+ poets, songwriters, electronic musicians, rappers, spoken word slam artists, novelists, and one ukulele player named Jesse, all packed into a 10x10 basement with a few folding chairs and cracked-out couches. At some point this guy and his buddies told us all to shout that we "lived for this shit" and we did and it was glorious. At another point a girl named Anna played two heartbreakingly beautiful songs with her back turned to us, stopping at least three times per song to moan "Oh God" into the microphone in horrifed dejection, as if the very act of singing these songs was some form of Draconian torture. It was awesome.

I read about 1/108th of my novel-in-progress at around 12:43am, after spending four hours with all these strangers who now seemed really very familiar to me, when I had to work only six hours later, in my polo shirt and flip flops, having not got the memo about the dress-code and the suspenders and the short skirts and the horn-rimmed glasses. I read as best I could but knew I was rushing the words that I'd spent so much time tearing out of me. I knew I was strangling them with my stage fright and my blurry eyes and my paranoia of reading over-long and boring everyone. But when it was done and I wandered away to take my seat, the applause was just as genuine as it had been for everyone else, and I realized I was among brothers. We all had ugly facial scars and knock knees and it was all good that I had on a damn polo. In a room full of freaks, it's fine to not fit in. It's impossible. To fit in, I mean.

Monday, May 2, 2011

I'm officially a PAID Amateur!

So, I just received my first official payment for my writerly services the other day. The fine folks over at Psuedopod saw fit to pay me a small fee for my short story "A Murder of Crows," which will be featured sometime this Fall.

I could have saved this money for a rainy day, but I've decided instead to spend it on some Tiny Hardcore Press products, the most electrifying literary events of the year! Seems fitting, I guess, to spend my writing money on reading material. Once I get the books, I'm sure I'll do a little write up on 'em. Get psyched, Fifi, get psyched!