brothercyst: 6 AM BABBLE

Sunday, December 13, 2009


It feels good to be up late right now. My heart's beating very quickly--I just did a lot of push-ups. I drank a lot of soda tonight, staying up. I'm writing a story... not an epic big exciting project, just a regular short story, an experiment, to see if I can turn a dream I recently had into a real story with a traditional narrative (without twisting the dream to make it conform, I mean... of course one can do that... I mean just lightly placing the traditional narrative template over top of the dream and trying to produce something that feels true to the dream).

Read the first five stories in Teatro Grottesco. Holy shit, this book is good! Great stories: "The Clown Puppet," "The Town Manager," "Purity"... also maybe "The Red Tower," which really grew on me. I wasn't loving it at first (although I was admiring it) and then something he did at the very end made me suddenly have a whole new perspective on the story.

It's been a long time since I've read a collection of stories that made me sit up and take notice like this.

More on it later, presumably.

Fed-up/anxious about my "career." I've got two more novels finished finished... I feel good about both of them. Like when I stop and think about them, I'm really proud that I wrote them, and I think if I read them, I'd be enthusiastic. But man, I don't know, I've always been a fuck-up when it comes to the business side of this thing we do. Now that I'm really & truly an unemployed writer without family backup money or really any particularly fallback plan, I better learn to not be a fuck-up in that regard.

Today I was completely, completely unproductive until 11 pm at night. I did buy a ticket to see Avatar Thursday night at midnight. I know, I know... huge blue catgoats and so forth. But I bet it'll be worth seeing.


Jon Cann said...

I've also been thinking about writing "career" issues a lot lately...most writers I've met feel like they're at least sort of bad at that side of things, I think. It's funny because I've always been a self-publisher, but now I'm thinking of trying to sell this one manuscript partly because a lot of the business stuff would be taken care of for me (that's not my only reason, of course).

Y'know the other thing about being a self-publisher: it's really hard to make yourself see anything as finished finished. Good for you for being able to spot the point of diminishing returns.

N A said...

Oh God, I wish I had some hardcore editor at FSG or Knopf or something like from back in 70s or 80s when editors really EDITED so I could discipline myself to make things MORE finished finished. I am the worst self-editor. I disappear into the wormhole of my own head AND simultaneously champ at the bit to get on with the next project. I need some older mentor editor type to lay down the law to me.

And yeah, it's true that most writers are sort of bad at the publishing side of things. It seems vaguely glamorously to not give a shit about that. It's not glamorous. It's unfortunate. And the hugely successful writers you tend to think of as misanthropes who wouldn't give a shit about the business side are, as often as not, consummate businessmen and showmen who tirelessly market their work and understand the marketplace. James Ellroy, for example--relentless networker and promotor. An analog from the world of cinema: Martin Scorsese. You think of him as this inside-his-own-head guy living in a world of pure cinema, but by all accounts (at least when he was starting out) he was the most relentless networker alive. You gotta do that shit if you want your book to get sold or your film to get made. And I'm only really internalizing that now. I was way too dismissive for way too long.

davidpeak said...

Glad to hear you're enjoying the Ligotti. I'm reading through TG right now, as well. Finished The Town Manager on the train this morning. Looking forward to seeing some of your thoughts...