I rescued a box of stuff from my parent's attic a few years ago and shipped it out to Seattle. It was packed with artifacts from high school and college, mostly old journals and drawings and letters. The box has been on a shelf in my garage, unwanted and unloved, ever since. Over the past month I have taken on the project of ridding our house of everything extraneous, selling books, donating clothing, emptying drawers and closets. Yesterday I pulled down the box and started looking through it. Man. There is so much hilarious, ridiculous, and cringe-worthy stuff in there. It's like watching a documentary about someone else's life. This may become a series. Item #1: my first driver's license.
Hey, this new contributor page in The Lescaux Review is pretty cool. I had a story in there a while back. It's definitely a journal worth checking out.
Well, just sent "Maximum City Blues" off last night. We'll see if anyone wants to buy it, but it was a lot of fun to write, a noir/detective thing, basically Lee Marvin meets Royale With Cheese. Even though a lot prep was already done, it's weird to have finished two novels in one calendar year. I sent "This Unlovely Monster" in a few months ago, but before that almost two years went by with almost nothing to show for it (a sprawling now-abandoned manuscript, angry essays, learning how to cook, etc.) It was a low period career-wise, the feeling of deep inertia and self-pity, a time to guzzle Merlot and question the purpose of literature as an ongoing concern, let alone vocation. Not to mention crumbling attention spans, shrinking budgets, and the rise of stories comprised of 140 characters. Yet somehow this year has all come together. I have no idea why. Possibly 6 straight months of rain? In any case, for the first time I like both books unequivocally. Pretty much everything before has felt to some degree fraudulent, like I knew the work could be better, or I might have been more emotionally honest and vulnerable, or any minute some guy in a beret would pop out from behind a velvet curtain and expose me in public for having zero clue what I was doing. And he would have been right. It's always possible neither book will ever actually hit shelves, but they do exist, wrenched out of sloth and pessimism and the vastly easier route of posting record covers on Facebook all day. So there's that. Anyway, 297 pages, 14 characters, 8 epilogues, 3 sex scenes, 2 Ike & Tina references, and one exploding cow.