8 posts tagged fiction
I realized the other night that it has been a good long while since I read a book that really captivated me. That’s depressing. I love reading. It was the friend I vented to in high school when I hated my life, and is now the fun girlfriend I like to have cocktails with.
What happened to us reading? Why don’t you come around any more? Is it something I said?!
Even though I love reading, in my experience it isn’t always easy to find a book you have a hard time putting down. Or that keeps you up longer than you should. Or that takes precedence over everything else. But when you find those books, it’s like you wish they’d never end and, when they do, it’s disappointing in a satisfying way. (If that makes sense.)
Over the last year, the great books that captured my attention include:
- A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
- Arcadia by Lauren Groff (love this author)
- I stared at the ceiling for 10 minutes, trying to remember another book I’ve read in the past year that I loved, and nothing came to mind.
That’s pathetic. Okay, so I’ve read two good books in the last year and countless bad books. Which means I’m due for a really good book.
Open to fiction AND nonfiction, (but I prefer literary fiction and humorous nonfiction), and would love to hear your suggestions!
It’s Day 7 of my commitment to writing a novel in 30 days and…I’ve learned quite a bit.
Here’s what I now know:
- I can write more than I ever thought I could. Like, I might be a cyborg sent from the future. I’m a full-time writer for work. Which means that my day starts at 7 am, with an hour of NaNo writing. Then starts again at 9 a.m., when I head into the office to blog for E!. The rest of the novel writing continues on my lunch hour, when I get home from work at 7, and well into the night. I’m a machine.
- Excuses come in many forms and flow as quickly as water. Like, I could watchHomelandagain. Or I need more tea. And what would my hair look like in a braided bun on top of my head? Maybe I should go try that out and take a bunch of self portraits.
- I am capable of power naps. Believe it or not, I’ve never been much of a napper. Don’t really care for it. That was before, of course, when I was getting plenty of sleep and my body wasn’t in a constant state of twitchy. Now I just luuurrrve me some power nappage.
- My friends are fantastic. And I’m not just saying that. I have really supportive friends who check in and hold me accountable. They push me everyday and, to be honest, I would not have started any of this were it not for their encouragement. (Thank you, my mouses!!!)
5. If Lauren Conradcan write a book, then so can I!
You guys, did you know that bears like to be ridden, much like horsies?
I uncovered this true and little known fact while in Big Bear, California this past weekend. Home of Big Bears.
It was E’s birthday, so we decided to head north for cooler and bearier climates.
Of course, the only place to find those bear necessities—old Mother Nature’s recipes—is in the mountains.
We climbed, hiked, and E grew a tree from the top of his head right before mine eyes. (Is he a wizard?! Some sort of voodoo priest?! An elf in a bigger man’s body summoned by Santa to create Big Bear Christmas tree miracles?!)
I didn’t stick around to find out. I had bears to tame and ride off into the sunset.
But, if I’d learned anything from my time with an old Shaman at an Indian casino in Reno it was this: Every bear has its day and, when that day comes, be ready with fire and gummy bears. (The gelatinous versions of their own gooey bodies confuses bears into a state of mild hysteria, typically leading them to run head first into the nearest tree, knocking them unconscious.)
As you can see, I successfully knocked out a whole family of bears. Well, more than just knocked out. Dead is the word, actually.
But look at this lovely lawn ornament their remains were sculpted into! Now, every time I glance out the kitchen window, I’ll forever remember that weekend in Big Bear, when I discovered bears are easier to tame than horses.
I often don’t finish things that I start. Especially when it comes to writing.
Inspiration strikes, or whatever, in the middle of the night, and I’ll take to my computer, jot down a couple of paragraphs and hit “SAVE” with the knowledge that someday I’ll return to that project.
As a result, I have countless orphaned one page babies—desperate for my attention and riddled with daddy issues.
For example, this short story I started to write from the POV of an ape in a zoo back in god knows when…
My son urinated on me today. It wasn’t the first time, and undoubtedly won’t be the last, but the way he went about it really irks me. You see, he did it in front of our handlers. In the middle of a show. And I really feel now, looking back, that his intent was that of humiliation.
There I was, hanging from a tree (we have a rather spacious exhibit, not like those savages in the circus), trying to demonstrate my flexibility, when I felt the warm trickle across my back and the cold reality of laughter erupting from the crowd.
I know what you’re thinking: “But what happens to this father-son dynamic?! When will we get to read the full-length version of this tour de force?!”
The truth is, that day may never come, friends.
I’ve just started reading Ada, or Ardor by Vladimir Nabokov .
Look, this might be a totally insane and unpopular theory, but…
I think Nabokov likes to sexualize underage girls.
I know. I know. It sounds out of left field and might be totally unfounded, but I just wanted to put it out there. Just a thought.
Photograph by Desert Raven
Some of you may recall that I recently found out that a short fiction piece I wrote is getting pubbed.
Today it went live on Storychord and I couldn’t be happier with the look, sound and feel of it.
Here’s an excerpt from the piece:
A breeze came off of the ocean and poured through the screened-in porch. The damp heat of it coiled around Jack like a heavy coat, and the space suddenly seemed too warm and too small. The air smelled of wet pennies and seaweed, the way an approaching hurricane season always did. It made him edgy, thinking of those waters heating up for a big storm. The wooden planks of the swing jammed against him and burned hot against his back and thighs. He looked up and saw that the stuffiness had even encumbered the blades of the ceiling fan. It was quiet except for that hushed loop of the fan and the rasp of the swing.
Also, tell me what you think, maybe?
I’m over the moon happy to announce that I found out yesterday that I will be a published fiction writer very soon.
A short story I wrote (which, to be fair, received no less than 20 rejection letters from various publications) has been accepted to Storychord.
Storychord is an online publication that I have always admired. It’s curated by Sarah Lynn Knowles, who runs SARAHSPY and is Vice President of The Furnace Review, and brings short stories, artists and musicians together in one place.
My short story, “Tracking the Nest,” will be published in an upcoming issue—I’ll keep you posted as to when—and will be paired with a piece of art and a music selection.
Did I mention I had to go through 20 rejections for this one acceptance letter? It feels really fucking good.
This is how I edit my short stories: print them out, cut them up, rearrange the paragraphs, scribble notes on them, VOILA!