“The shorter answer to your question, the answer that doesn’t make my mind cramp up trying to explain it, is that I like being confused and I like being scared – they go hand in hand. But I think ultimately I’m a pretty positive person who is stable enough to enjoy being scared because I have the faith that nothing can go so terribly wrong that I couldn’t recover. I’ve always really loved reading scary stories and watching well-made horror movies, and not too long ago an interviewer told me there was spooky quality to my writing, and I thought, “Yes! You’re right!” It’s always been there, I think. I’m just going at it at more directly this time.”—
“I’m always curious to hear how something was made—though I have no interest in why an artist did something, or what his work means. Like with Jackson Pollock: I’m always interested in what kind of paint and canvas he used, I just don’t want to know what he meant. You’re supposed to expand your mind to fit the art, you’re not supposed to chop the art down to fit your mind.”—Soderbergh, hero extraordinaire (via vinylisheavy)
“It has to start with you having a passion to get ready in the off-season. That commitment from early November all the way until spring training. If it was just playing a six-month season, guys would probably play longer if they could, because that’s the fun part. Getting ready for a whole season is a huge commitment. If you say you’re going to do it, you can’t shortchange that.”—
every time i read this quote, i feel like Mitch Hedberg, at the Monster Magnet concert, cheering after being asked “how many of you feel like human beings?” not knowing that there was a second, “how many of you feel like animals??” question.
i.e. i’m like, the one rule that vonnegut knows of is “babies”??
“Go to the fucking yard sale, buy a fucking guitar, start a band with your fucking friends, get in the garage and fucking SUCK, and work on it until you fucking make great music and become the biggest band in the world. And when you become the biggest band in the world, you’ll be like, “Goddamn, wasn’t the garage fun?””—Dave Grohl (cf. “Little Room”)
I love you, Mom. I want you to be my mom, Amber. Are you my mom? I’ll just… I’ll ask you if you’re my mom, and you say yes, okay? Are you my mom?
I don’t know where to put things, you know? I really do have love to give! I just don’t know where to put it!
I loved her so. And she knew what I did. She knew all the fucking stupid things I’d done. But the love… was stronger than anything you can think of. The goddamn regret. The goddamn regret! Oh, and I’ll die. Now I’ll die, and I’ll tell you what… the biggest regret of my life… I let my love go. What did I do? I’m sixty-five years old. And I’m ashamed. A million years ago… the fucking regret and guilt, these things, don’t ever let anyone ever say to you you shouldn’t regret anything. Don’t do that. Don’t! You regret what you fucking want! Use that. Use that. Use that regret for anything, any way you want. You can use it, OK? Oh, God. This is a long way to go with no punch. A little moral story, I say… Love. Love. Love. This fucking life… oh, it’s so fucking hard. So long. Life ain’t short, it’s long. It’s long, goddamn it. Goddamn. What did I do? What did I do? What did I do? What did I do? Phil. Phil, help me. What did I do?
Is it real love? The kind of love that makes you feel… that intangible joy in the pit of your stomach… like a bucket of acid and nerves running around… making you hurt and happy and all over… You’re head over heels?
I have so much strength inside of me. You have no idea. I have a love in my life. It makes me stronger than anything you can imagine.
There Will Be Blood:
This is hard for me to say. I’ll tell you first: I love you very much. I’ve learned to love what I do because of you.
The intensity of my sentence fixation varies from piece to piece. In drafting some stories, there’s no immediate need for me to preen over the sentences because there is a strongly felt thing driving the writing and demanding precise arrangements. The strongly felt thing is a helpful condition. It is a powerful arbiter of no and yes. Its exact nature is hard to pin down. It might be fear of death.
When I can’t conjure a strongly felt thing, which is very often, the sentence can serve the opposite function. The sentence can look for it, can probe to legitimize its own existence. I find, though, that these sentences—even after they’ve tapped into something interesting—never feel as alive to me as their channeled cousins. The fakers hide well, but I know who they are.
Both kinds go into all drafts, but some stories are charmed, others cruel. The big trick is fixing it so people can’t tell the difference.
Reading interview excerpts like this makes me proud we got to publish Dylan’s book, but is also a frustrating reminder that I myself am not very smart and just can’t talk awesome about writing like this.
“There’s no excuses. No one has ever paid admission to see an excuse. No one has ever faced a black screen that says, ‘Well, if we had these set of circumstances we would have shot this scene, so please forgive us and use your imagination.’ I’ve been to the movies hundreds of times, that’s never occurred.”—Mark Borchardt, American Movie (via aaronburch)
“A guy comes up and starts telling me he’s a fan,” he recalls. “I say thank you, that’s nice to hear. He says he used to see me perform in Boulder, Colorado. That’s nice, too, I say. Then he starts talking about this wonderful piece I did with a mechanical monkey—really one of the most bizarre routines I ever worked out—and I thank him, and he says, ‘Yeah, I get a tremendous response when I do that. Audiences just love it.’ And I say, ‘Let me ask you something. Suppose I invite you over to my house for dinner. We have a pleasant meal, we talk about magic, it’s an enjoyable evening. Then, as you’re about to leave, you walk into my living room and you pick up my television and walk out with it. You steal my television set. Would you do that?’ He says, ‘Of course not.’ And I say, ‘But you already did.’ He says, ‘What are you talking about?’ I say, ‘You stole my television!’ He says, ‘How can you say that? I’ve never even been to your house.’ This guy doesn’t even know what a metaphor is.”—Profiles: Secrets of the Magus : The New Yorker (via aaronburch)
a kinda dumb question / is it even worth asking and thinking about stuff like this?
thinking about (finally) starting a personal tumblr, instead of everything i do just being for hobart. should i just “create a new blog,” or is it worth the hassle of having it be a totally different login (w/ diff email, i guess?) for small, silly reasons, like when i follow (like/comment on/reblog, etc.) someone, they’ll see it is *me* following (etc.) them, and maybe follow back, other than it just coming through as the hobart tumblr?
“The reader’s been left behind. Everybody talks about the writer’s feeling and the writer’s expression and the writer’s experience, and, you know, I don’t give a fuck how the writer feels. I want a fucking book that I can be in love with. I want a book that I’ll reread seventeen times. That’s what I want. And that has nothing to do with how I fucking feel. If I cared about how I felt I wouldn’t have written this fucking book in the first place. It was too hard to write. I needed the money or I wouldn’t have done it. Swear to God, I would not write these books if they didn’t pay me. But that said, once I’m committed to it and once I’m going to put my name on it, I feel like I ought to try not to bore the dog fuck out of people. If people are nice enough to buy my book, it’s like, let’s just try not to make them pitch forward with boredom. I’m so sick of reading boring books.”—Mary Fucking Karr (via austinkleon)
Hobart does this cool thing where they run online bonus features to go along with their print issues: things like alternate endings, fake interviews, outtakes, etc. i’ve got a photo essay up to go with my story “We Shall Fill Our House with Spoil.” the photos are all about southern louisiana, because the world down there was such a huge influence on that story.