Chelsey flipped her car three times without a scratch. A bullet missed CJ by an inch. Selena took a bullet in the liver and lived. Joanna was short on her tuition and then received two-year-old overdue back-pay for the exact amount. Ali got arrested for having sex on the beach in Mexico when she wasn’t doing anything of the sort, but then she was let go without reason. When the hotel repairman showed up, Erin instinctively locked herself in the bathroom, and a month later that repairman was convicted of murder.
Every single one of these events could be seen as unlucky, but each person chose to see it the other way around. I call that perspective. (via HOBART 13 bonus: Jac Jemc)
Amelia Gray: We’ve walked a long way together, between bars or from bars to restaurants or from bars to homes. How long do you think we’ve walked?
Jac Jemc: That’s funny. When I think of you, I usually see you walking beside me. Probably at least 30 miles, right? More? Oh, but you asked how “long” which is different than how far. A lot of hours, I think. A day has got to be too long, but I like the idea of having walked a whole day with you.
When I was a kid I loved movies, but if I didn’t finish a movie in one sitting, I’d just start it over again, and maybe I never made it all the way to the end. I liked the exposition. I like watching the story get set up and complicated, but I hated when the story got resolved.
“My hope is that people will find a page and read it. I hope they’ll fall in love with it and look for the book. The author and the title is printed on each page, on either side.” She folded a page into a smallish paper airplane, flew it out and away.
I was fascinated, disturbed, intrigued, but not surprised. Wasn’t this exactly the type of thing she’d come to make me expect? Hadn’t it been little constructed acts such as this that had drawn me to her? When we met, didn’t I think the banks of cassette tapes had to be the tip of some insanely creative iceberg?
“What’s the book?” I asked. I would read it that night. I would figure out what had made her so mad with passion.
She gathered the pile of paper from the floor in her arms and stepped onto the fire escape. She sent the armful into the air in a flutter. “You have to go down there and find out for yourself. I’m not going to talk about this book, or recommend it. This was my sole act of promotion. This is all I can do.”
-from My Only Wife, Jac Jemc
(found these strewn about while out walking yesterday. reminded us of the above.)
We’ve already hyped it a lot, but.. what can we say. We love Pat, and we loved This Bright River, which drops today. Read it. Right now. It’s so freaking good.
(For that matter, I was thinking of recent faves and is it just me or are Chicago writers on some kind of crazy streak or something? Herewith, a photoset of five recent favorite novels, all super amazing, all by Chi peeps [Novy moved away, but we’re self-congratulatorily including him]. If you’re working on a novel, all signs point to: maybe move to Chicago?)
it seems that the lessons learned from failure can be more easily identified than those gleaned from success.(Hobart 13 contributor), Jac Jemc, blogs about rejection - chicagotribune.com
look at (Ho13 contributor & new Hobart Web Editor) Jac Jemc, gettin’ some Paris Review love!
The Paris Review
“Writers privately love two things: obsessing over rejection and watching their peers fail.”
Chicago author Jac Jemc on blogging about rejection letters.