Novel(ty) Ideas, chasing the meme version

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Memed from michaeljasper who, in turn, fell to into it from an NPR series called Novel Ideas. Three observations about process and, er, favorites.

How I Write: I predominantly write in two forty minute blocks during the day: the train commute in, the train commute out. If I get time over lunch or in the evening, bonus! But, for the general day to day push, it’s these two blocks, and I know it. You should see how quickly I jump on that train in the morning.

Writer’s Block Remedies: I’ve been exhausted and haven’t had the energy to write, but that’s not the same as blockage. In fact, I think it’s been a long time since I’ve been blocked. I’ve got enough projects half-finished at any given time that if the enthusiasm to write one isn’t there, there’s always work to be done on other things. I think being perpetually behind on projects certainly quells any upwelling of writer’s block. At least for me.

A Favorite Sentence: Well, there’s one from James Ellroy’s White Jazz that is burned into my brain. “Downtown, a dress for Meg–I do it every time I kill a man.” Just fuckin’ lean and mean, man. Just the leanest.

After that, I don’t have much, but I scrolled through SOULS looking for a favorite, and found a number that made me smile but they’re too contextually reliant to mean much when pulled out. Though, this one, yeah, this one kind of sums things up.

Solve this.” I slapped my palm against his throat, leaving salt, holy water and the hot imprint of my Will on his skin.

Solve being the requisite Latin reference, as in Solve et Coagula, that old alchemy chestnut.

Igloo goodness

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Okay, I have been getting a few things done. Witness:

Lusine interview

Review of Drumcorps’ Grist — grindcore meets breakcore. Schizo metal/beat goodness.

Review of Andres Trentemøller’s The Last Resort — nocturnal introspection music, equal parts electro-house, minimal techno and sublime dub ‘n’ glitch.

Review of Saltillo’s Ganglion — trip-hop meets the heartland. With strings.

And there are a couple other reviews strewn in there as well. Something for everyone.

Sprawl

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I in the midst of sprawl this evening. My backpack has exploded on the futon next to my desk, mixing odd bits of electronic gear in with the laundry that has so far refused to find its own way home. The ironing board is still here and is slowly inching its way towards the middle of the room. There are fewer stacks of books and CDs scattered on the floor but that’s only because I’ve been concentrating on moving them around the last few days in a game of musical chairs, picking off the stragglers and shipping them off to better homes.

And, the writing. The writing suffers the same fate. I’ve very behind on two interviews for Igloo; a half dozen reviews are scattered on my desktop in various states of composition (if I leave them long enough, do they start the “de-” process?). There are two stories–no, wait, only one–that need a stiff line editing and a kick out the door.

And why is it that it seems like every small press publication that has been bulking up on street cred this last year is open RIGHT FUCKING NOW and only for the next four weeks? I’ve got one story that is worthy of sending out. Y’all can’t read and reject it in time for me play the field, can you?

Anyway, work on INSTRUMENT is proceeding carefully. I’m re-reading the “other” book that we’ve got in the hopper so that the lads and I can talk about making a pass through it in time to mail it at the beginning of the year, and I’m suddenly obsessed with research for the pirate book. Clearly, I need another hand. Two, even.

I’ve seen the layout for the first installment of the Harry Potemkin serial at Farrago’s Wainscot, and I’m about halfway through writing the second part (and trying very hard not to crawl back and edit the life out of part one). The shape is starting to emerge and I’m getting excited/overwhelmed by the fun/work that is going to be had in this. This will be a very interesting experiment. Very interesting. Not surprisingly, the list of things to do for it is getting long and longer.

And jaylake‘s Trial of Flowers is one mighty fucking distraction. I’m going to have to hole up somewhere soon and just finish the damn thing so it doesn’t keep calling to me from my bag.

Proof of…Something…

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Some of the pictures have been showing up from WFC and it’s pretty clear from them that we all had an exceptional time. This one, snapped by jlassen early Sunday morning, sums up the weekend.

Yep, three sips away from actually being (a) conscious and (b) not undead. That is the sight of a man who stayed up way too late, got up way too early, and didn’t hydrate nearly enough between attempts at killing his liver. Thank goodness I have 360 days to recover.

WFC Flickr Pool. Yeah, there’s another picture out there of me doing the chicken dance (what? I wanted a free book. I am that sort of whore.), and I’m sure darinbradley will be along soon to remind me where it is.

World Fantasy = Family

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I got back from World Fantasy late last night, driving home from the airport through the inch or so of water that swamped I-5. It is supposed to rain even harder today. Welcome home to Seattle. Anyway, after four days in Austin, I don’t mind the rain so much. My liver is certainly glad to be home.

I went to WFC to do five minutes of business, just to get some face time and reassert the fact that I’m out here, working diligently and moving forward. That bit of business was accomplished by 1.30am on Friday (because, really, if you don’t show up at WFC with a meeting already scheduled, your business is done between midnight and dawn), and the rest of the weekend became hanging out with friends. Oh, and how we hung. I was up until 4.30 on Friday, 7.00am on Saturday, and 5.30am on Sunday. We drank what? five, six bottles of scotch (darinbradley took notes on most of them and will hopefully spell all their names right when he puts up his thoughts on them), threw an impromptu party for Farrago’s Wainscot on Friday, and did our best to annoy the graveyard shift of the Texas Rangers (who hide out behind the planters on the hotel deck where everyone did their smoking) by continually trying to bring our alcohol downstairs with us.

It was kind of a crazy four days and, in some ways, I’m glad it is over. But, at the same time, I do miss part of it already. Jason Williams of Nightshade Books really said it best. “What ties this family together isn’t blood, but love.”