brothercyst: July 2010

Saturday, July 31, 2010


I saw a screening of It's Kind of a Funny Story, the movie based on Ned Vizzini's novel yesterday, directed by Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden.  It was really fucking excellent--I'd be thrilled if one of my books was translated so well for the screen.  Zach Galifianakis is excellent, Keir Gilchrist is excellent, the "under pressure" scene (not in the book but sort of taken from a concept in the book) is great, I liked when Gilchrist and Galifianakis played basketball, and I loved how they ended Galifianakis's character.  Also music--the score and the Broken Social Scene stuff--is terrific.  More on this when I'm allowed to write about it in detail.

Later, I watched The Host and Deadgirl at my friend Doug's house.  The Host was amazing; Deadgirl was amazing in a different way.  Both were a blast.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


This blog, The Literary Lollipop, wrote a really nice post on Midnight Picnic.  I thought Midnight Picnic would disappear or something.  I'm really happy that people are still reading it now.

Jackie Corley, my publisher, writes some advice for aspiring indie publishers.

Last night I saw the band He's My Brother She's My Sister.  Despite their not so great name (the lead singers are, in fact, siblings), this is best band I've seen in something like forever, especially live.  I haven't listened to the songs online, I only know them from the live performance, which was great.  They have a tap dancer.  Here's a video:


Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Ah, there we go--Amazon again acknowledges the existence of Midnight Picnic and allows you to buy it from their site.

Yesterday I posted a thing on HTMLGIANT about writing for an audience.

I drank half a bottle of wine last night and fell asleep pretty early, then woke up at 5 am and watched Zodiac.  Yesterday I spent all day in traffic court.  You meet some interesting people in traffic court.

Monday, July 26, 2010


I blurbed a book called Flowing in the Gossamer Fold by Ben Spivey that I read earlier this year.  I've never met Ben but I really dug the book quite a bit.  Check it out, for sure.  It's short and good.

Also, I just saw via Facebook that Paula Bomber's collection Baby & Other Stories is available for pre-order on Amazon now.  Haven't read this yet--can't wait to.

In other news, I just watched the Mad Men debut.  Fucking awesome.  How do they write so many good lines every episode?  It doesn't sound that hard until you realize no other show manages to do it.

Saw the comedian Brian Finkelstein perform tonight.  He had a self-interruptive style that allowed him to stagger and stack thoughts and narrative threads that he'd presumably refined with great care.  He was excellent.  He told a story about putting a dead cat on his neighbor's door, interrupted by (among other things) a story about retaliating against a date who said he wasn't funny.  Google reveals he's done the Moth; I'm not surprised.

Friday, July 23, 2010


So this morning I'm about to leave to go swimming for a bit and I'm putting on sunscreen when there's a knock on the door.  I think it's the UPS or FedEx guy coming to pick up a package (although it's a little weird, because before the knock, I hear the doorknob turn... it's locked, of course) so I open the door and there are some cops there.  A very cordial young policewoman and her partner.

Policewoman: "What's your name?"

Me: "Nick."

Policewoman: "Do you live here?"

Me: "Yes."

Policewoman: "Really?"

Me: "Yes, I'm subletting."

Policewoman: "Is there anyone else in the apartment with you?"

Me: "No.  Is everything okay?"

Policewoman: "We just got a call.  We just have to check it out.  Do you have anything on you that I should know about?"

Me: "No. [I'm shirtless, still rubbing sunscreen into my arms as the conversation proceeds.] Check what out?"

Policewoman: "Do you mind if we take a look around?"

Me: (thinking: Is there anything I wouldn't want a suspicious cop to see?  I know I don't have any drugs, but is there anything that could be misconstrued/problematic, anything like that?)  "Kind of, yeah.  For what reason?"

Policewoman: "We got a call about somebody.  We have to check it out."

More police officers show up behind her.  Sensing that this is not actually about me, and that the cordiality is going to disappear if I refuse them entry, and pretty sure there's nothing problematic lying around in my apartment, I agree to let them take a look around (although legally this is asking for trouble and you should never do it!) but refuse to step into the hall when they ask me to.  The policewoman wanders about the apartment, which is very small, and returns to the door, still very cordial.

Policewoman: "Okay, sorry.  We just had to check."

Me: "On what?"

Policewoman: "The guy who owns the apartment, his friend back east was worried about him."

Me: "Okay... can you tell him his friend's been in Colombia for the last three months?"

Policewoman: "We'll tell him."


Thursday, July 22, 2010


Huh. Apparently Ama"we-skullfuck-you"zon has run out of Midnight Picnic copies post Shirley Jackson, so they're sending some people who ordered it last week notices saying it's not available.  If you got one of them, you can order it from Word Riot, which is better for Word Riot, or order a "used or new" copy off Amazon.  Amazon should have some new copies soon, I think.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Wow, it's beautiful.  I'm sitting outside with my laptop.  This has been a pretty good weekend.  Yesterday was beautiful, too.  There's the morning haze that usually burns off around noon, but these last two days I woke up around 8 am and it was astoundingly sunny already.  No clouds.  Not a cloud in sight.  Bracing, blissful blue sky.  I swam a mile today and a mile and a half yesterday.  I went to the farmer's market this morning.  I ate some strawberries.  I read Acid Christ and The Doors of Perception for research.  I watched Bronson.  Haven't seen Inception yet.  Probably going tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


The trailer for It's Kind of a Funny Story based on Ned Vizzini's book is online!  Opens September 25, then expands--go see it!:

Monday, July 12, 2010


Had a lovely weekend at Readercon.  Very tired.  I caught a ride back home with some entertaining folks I met there, slept half the time, listened to an impassioned argument about feminism and value judgments the rest of the time.  Saw a very beloved old friend in the city after I got home.  Then bought a slice of Artichoke pizza, the best pizza in the world.

At Readercon, Midnight Picnic won a Shirley Jackson award for best novella.  Victor Lavalle's Big Machine, which I read a few months ago, won best novel.  I was really shocked that I got an award; it was nice.  (Thanks, Jackie Corley!)

Tomorrow will be a stressful day.  Lots of logistical stuff.  I wish I could afford to be truly bicoastal.  I'd say that's a "goal," but the idea of making that much money from writing is laughably unrealistic, so let's call it a "dream."

Friday, July 09, 2010


I'm at ReaderCon in Massachusetts.  Just got in... exhausted from last couple days... radical turbulence on my flight from LA to Philadelphia, then on the hopover to NY.  Church group on the first flight hollering through it... orthodox Jew beside me quietly praying on the second one.  "Pray harder," I said.

I have a new story at n+1: Predator Bait.

(It has nothing to do with Predators, the movie.  It would be pretty cool if that kind of Predator showed up at one point, though.)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


I had lunch last month with a guy a couple years older than I am who's been in Los Angeles since 2003, working as a writer, and has sold a bunch of screenplays.  He told me that any day when something cool happens in your career, like your agent calls with good news or you get something optioned or sold, but you have trouble writing or can't produce anything--that can't be considered a good day.  And any day when something bad happens in your career--somebody passes on a script, or your ignores you, or whatever--but you get some writing done and feel excited about it... that's very much a good day.  So today was an awesome day.  Two good things happened: First, I went swimming.  Which felt great.  And then I worked with my writing partner on a screenplay for several hours, and I'm excited about it.  So now I just have to fall asleep.  Inopportune insomnia!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


On Saturday I went down to Laguna Beach to visit a friend and talk at length about a project we're working on.  Don't know where it will go but I'm excited about it -- it's a good feeling.  And the drive down was nice, if cloudy.  Laguna Beach is the Martha's Vineyard of Southern California.  They don't allow chain restaurants there -- it's where the people who own the chain restaurants live.  Seemed relatively peaceful once you're out of the downtown area.  Parts of it felt a lot like the Hollywood Hills, another place I will never be able to afford real estate.

Sunday, yesterday, and today and tomorrow were/will be spent working. On Thursday I go to New York, then Boston, then New York again.  Life is busy.  I haven't read any books in at least a week.  What should I read?  I don't know -- something from the stack.

Today I laughed at this blog.  This girl makes a living off her blogspot blog, just by telling entertaining stories and illustrating them with her computer.