"I’ve been trying to figure out how to live," Margo said, but didn’t know how to go on and so crossed her arms over her chest.
"Me too. Haven’t figured it out yet," Smoke said and held out his hand. Margo uncrossed her arms and took the hand in hers so it stopped shaking. She wished she could see his eyes. He said, "You’ve got every right to try to live any goddamned idiotic way you want to."
The novel is going slow right now. I’ve written a very clunky first draft, but all the stuff going on with the publication of Knockemstiff has me unable to really focus right now. I’m a bit obsessive/compulsive, and so it’s all or nothing most of the time. I figure everything will die down concerning the story collection here pretty soon, and I plan on working my ass off on the novel all summer and fall. It’s a combination serial killer/coming-of-age story set in southern Ohio in the summer of 1965. I’ve read some biographies of serial killers, that sort of thing, along with just a lot of novels, though no one in particular.
Just finished The Devil All the Time over the weekend and… wow. Pollock is definitely among the favorites, among those I wish only could write more, fast, more! I can’t get enough. Elizabeth interviewed him for the website three years ago, with the release of his first book, Knockemstiff.
“I should fictionalize it more, I should conceal myself. I should consider the responsibilities of characterization, I should conflate her two children into one, or reverse their genders, or otherwise alter them, I should make her boyfriend a husband, I should explicate all the tributaries of my extended family (its remarriages, its internecine politics), I should novelize the whole thing, I should make it multigenerational, I should work in my forefathers (stonemasons and newspapermen), I should let artifice create an elegant surface, I should make the events orderly, I should wait and write about it later…”—Rick Moody, “Demonology”
“As a single balloon must stand for a lifetime of thinking about balloons, so each citizen expressed, in the attitude he chose, a complex of attitudes.”—Donald Barthelme, “The Balloon” (rereading some Barthelme)
“Is that the one that takes place aboard a doomed cruise ship?" "No, it’s a stories-within-stories kind of thing." "I don’t think I’d like it. I’m more straightforward than that." "Well, all right.”—"Matinée" by Robert Coover in New Yorker (must be a subscriber)
“Summer is a discouraging time to work–-you don’t feel death coming on the way it does in the fall when the boys really put pen to paper.”—Hemingway in a letter to Fitzgerald, from Hemingway: The 1930s (via wwnorton)
Friday Night Lights probably rates high on the ‘cheesiness scale,’ but I’m OK with that because I often feel uncomfortable about how cheesy many of my real emotions and feelings are.
and also this:
It is hard to say goodbye to the FNL family, but I have accepted that there will never be another season of football in Dillon, Texas. Now I’m forced to try to find another television series that will not just fill up a weekend, but provide an experience that offers me the chance to develop as a human. Can I really commit to another TV series after that vulnerable experience? I feel like I just got out of a difficult yet fulfilling long-term relationship.
Something just reminded me of this old Esquire piece, written by Hobart 8 contributor Craig Davidson, about doing steroids as research for his novel.
I love stuff like this. Reading it makes me squirm and kinda uncomfortable, but I love it. Wanna read more like it.
A while back I wrote a novel. A lot of first-time novelists don’t stray far from home; their stories are drawn from their lives. Holds true for me: The main character is…well, me. That’s not quite true. He’s wealthier, pampered, more dismissive. But his deep-seated fears, his inborn weaknesses — those we share intimately.
My character goes down dark roads. For the sake of the book, I thought I’d travel those roads with him.
He begins to work out obsessively. I began to work out obsessively.