12. Fucking A! Aimee Bender is interviewed about women and drinking.
It was a surprise for me after college to realize I didn’t hate beer, which I had assumed I hated, which cut off a lot of options.
9. Roger Ebert is a badass and just won New Yorker caption contest.
9. Bullet in the Brain is online here. It has typos but who gives a fuck. It has many technical flourishes. It has “moves.” You should read it and then pass it on or disrespect it or yawn or make some comment about critics. I am working a theme here, all crow, etc.
13. At the store, do you prefer self-checkout, self-bagging, or is it ethically wrong? What exactly made the dandelion an enemy flower? Why do weathermen despair the rain? You can learn to talk wisely about a nice house or you can learn to build a house. Red Bull makes you an individual, except for the drinking Red Bull thing. Do you aim while peeing? Who chose what would one day be labeled white noise?
14. On the issue:
I’ve always felt those articles somehow reveal more about the writers than they do about me.
Doesn’t work for books.
“Hey, wanna come over and watch me write?”
“I would rather shoe a snail.”
2.) mud luscious press has a nifty submissions process and a sale. Why not use both?
3.) Aimee Bender interview.
4.) There is a better word than the one you have down. That’s a problem but a koan type of problem. Eventually, you will stop and settle on one word (not the best word). Why? Why then? Is it maddening or gladdening to go through this process? Define the term strike. I thank you.
5.) Just got Ander Monson’s Vanishing Point in the mail! Holy shit. This book bleeds over into the web and then the web bleeds back. More on this later. Monson’s not only ahead of the curve, he’s troweling the curve for us, cut, tamp, curl.
1.) The University of Indiana’s main library sinks one inch per year. Why? The engineers forgot to calculate the weight of? [Go ahead, lovers, guess]
2.) Badass Pub Crawl in LA. What do you say to Aimee Bender while drunk? “Yo! Can I stumble into, vomit on every reviewer so lazy as to compare you to Ray Carver, Aimee? ? Can I be like your anklet monitor, Aimee? Just near you? I like the way you spell your name.” Crash.
3.) “true originality doesn’t exist anyway, only authenticity” Bullshit meter?
4.) An interview with Carole Maso (Brian Evenson on the inquiry machine). This is old, OK. “HTML is a blog, what is this old shit, yo?” Blah blah. Go lift weights in the shower, so you can sweat yourself and clean yourself simultaneously. Now you’re in the future. So chill-axe.
5.) This Heide Hatry shit is bloody and controversial so just be careful and don’t swoon on me. (We all know pigs are smarter than dogs [don’t get me started on cats] but pigs taste great, right?] Etc. Etc. Yawn. Slurp. Etc.
Here’s a quote from Rachel Carson: “The discipline of the writer is to learn to be still and listen to what his subject has to tell him.” I always read “still” as “sit still,” which makes me think of this quote from Harry Crews (via Opium): “Sometimes you need to affix your ass to the chair.” That is, sometimes, sitting down and doing the work can be the most difficult part of being a writer. Sometimes, it’s the other parts of life that get in the way. Other times, it is the fiction itself, how we think about the fiction at different points in the process.
So how does the writer get through the rough parts, the blank parts, the parts that we know suck? Virginia Woolf says it is determination: “It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything.”
Author websites generally fall into two broad categories: A) The Slick and Professional Page; these are useful when the author just wants a functional thing that will make other people take them seriously and some contact information just in case anyone has a bag of money to send them. Generally, it’s journalists who go this route. Take Richard Morgan’s website for example. (Bonus points for the Anagram.)
Then there are the author websites that are meant to do something else entirely, to be a thing in and of themselves. Maybe they have a good blog or art or something attached. Maybe they have some kind of page-maze to click through. Here are some of my favorites:
Ander Monson’s website (OtherElectricities.com) Monson has some great essays posted. The whole website reads more like an e-book than a website and the design is great.
Ben Marcus’s site (Benmarcus.com) is really awesome, but I think it’s broken or something right now. Ben had a section called “Disguises” that was a bunch of pictures of people who looked like him (Big bald headed white guys with glasses, Caucasian Jimmy Chens.) Don’t know what’s wrong with the…
David Shields (Davidshields.com) Shields’s site is really well designed and the front page is a picture of his bald head.
More to come…