I’m not sure I want to write about this because I’m feeling both insecure and excited about the Louisiana novel, but I don’t want to be superstitious and I don’t want to forget this moment. Earlier this week I was overcome when I realized several parallels between my plot and that of Le Guin’s Lathe of Heaven. I had to do the inventory a few different ways before I convinced myself that the similarities were not so substantial—after all I’ve never even read LoH. What followed then was a rush of new ideas, all of which are careening into the absurd, and as far from serious science fiction as I can scramble. What am I talking about? Well, for starters I’m bringing back Elvis and I’m giving women a third eye. Wish me luck.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Okay, this question is for the world's workshop: That title?!?! What does it do to your reading?
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Also, two trade paper copies of Anthony Neil Smith's novel, Yellow Medicine, showed up on the Mystery/Crime shelves at my local. I'm going to buy one today. Pretty book, and being named Smith places it in very close prox to Martin Cruz Smith, which has to be a plus. Plot summary on the jacket is almost unintelligible. Cool. Maybe it's a Joe R. Lansdale kinda thing?
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Also, just finished reading Tana French's In The Woods. Dang, it's good, even if . . . sorry, no spoilers here. But I will say that the narrator is a flirty, charming Irish detective who enjoys giving foot rubs to his partner.
Friday, June 13, 2008
I learned this week that Hobart online has accepted one of my stories. Don’t know when it’ll go up, but I’m thrilled. The story is about Belize, Guatemala, and the perilous romance of travel. Stay tuned.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
These feel like related issues in that they flirt with superstition and mystic irrationality but really speak to the fact that my psychology hates me—
1) I dreamed about the West Virginia novel being published and immediately turned into an indie film, and conditions I thought were crucial had been altered with no loss of effect—main character male not female, the setting was a village in northern England not rural West Virginia, things like that. The dream bugs me because I’m always harassing my students to make sure, even in their so called genre or pop writing, that their choices are always essential, in-extractable and un-swappable.
2) I’m going back through the first 100 pages of the Louisiana novel and I’m really surprised and pleased at how naturally it writes itself. Even when I don’t want to write, I know that I can open up the file and it will change my disposition.
Check out youtube clips of Derren Brown’s stuff. It helps.
Monday, June 2, 2008
The myth of theme as anything other than an open container for intelligence has always interested me. I love arbitrary organization as long as it remains permeable and aware, and the best literary collections tend to be the ones that play with their own assumptions of content or push the extremity of formal restriction. The theme is interrogated from page 1.
At the same time, I’m deeply attracted to narrower venues that promise certain emotional outcomes, as in permanently dedicated horror or crime collections. I wish I could claim to be a reliably “Noir Writer,” but my dark fiction is more opportunistic than it is seriously crafted for excitement.
I have earned other labels though, as I’ll have a story in an anthology for Washington Area+Women Writers. Delightful, but these are two identities I don’t really inhabit or understand from an aesthetic point of view. I know what DC means in terms of food and interior decorating, but beyond that I’m clueless/curious.