<= 2002.04.29

2002.05.01 =>

big ideas

Online apartment hunting is promising, for I demand ultimate comfort, convenience and style! My sister says, "We need to figure out the stereo situation, because there will be those days when you want to listen to opera and I want to listen to Britney Spears."

My career-counselor mother, who works a lot with the Myers-Briggs and is consequently tolerant of people's personality quirks, excuses my tendency to start things but not finish them. "That's because you and I are INFPs," she says. "After we start things, we need other people to handle the details. Some people like doing that."

Song of Roland. This is currently at 35,000 words and needs around 20,000 more. The Roland/Anna relationship is pretty well cemented, except for a rushed ending, but the Roland/parent relationships are still fuzzy and confused. Of course the answer is to bite the bullet and write backstory, which should happen once I get moved—August to October, roughly. I wrote all the Tucson scenes in Iowa, so it's only natural that I should write all the Seattle scenes in Tucson. Then I get to try and sell someone the manuscript.

In the Twilight of the Third Age. This weighs in at a paltry 15,000 words and needs to be about five times that. We need more scenes, more characters, more viewpoints, more of that elegant yet sleazy intrigue one expects from the high-rolling world of 1960s Reno. The sense of time passing is not yet organic to the narrative, and the protagonist is still something of a cipher. I'll be wrestling this for most of 2003, I think, unless I'm rewriting the other book at someone's behest.

Approaching Zero. The most recent draft of this got to 55,000 words before it ran out of steam and collapsed under its own portentousness last July. I can't write the next draft until I go to Guatemala (summer 2003, hopefully?), nor can I write it until I finish the books listed above. It's possible that nobody will be interested in those two, but I think this one has more of a built-in hook. It needs to be rebuilt from scratch, of course, but that's okay. We learn things from blind alleys, even if it means that our friends are in possession of early drafts that have become sources of great embarrassment.

Let The Day Perish (working title). This might be a memoir, or it might be one of those works of fiction that merely flirts with being a memoir. It might also be a collection of linked stories—I don't really know. Its germ lies in the only two successful stories I've written ("Javelinas" and "Let the Day Perish"), but those need much more time in the holding tank before their larger form becomes manifest.

Untitled comparative study of Beckett and Joyce. I've been wanting to write a book like this for a while, and I did get a lot of the Joyce material written in California, but academic deadlines intervened. Later I tried to work some of the theory into Approaching Zero, but that resulted in these agonizing scenes where college students were sitting around the table talking about narrative in Molloy, and it just did not work at all. The material needs its own forum, hopefully not cluttered with so much academic gobbledygook that the general reader finds it impenetrable. I could do this since I'm not trying to get tenure anywhere.

The Dance of Death. Oil painting, should be done in the next few days. This is just for fun.

Sonata in D Minor for Electric Bass and Electric Guitar With Effects. Also just for fun. I have most of the first movement figured out and will probably write the others this summer. I may enlist Nik's help in recording it this fall, as he does have the nice equipment.

Textual Mix Tape. A whim I had the other day while reading Benjamin's Illuminations. I'll put it together some weekend.

Owl Farm. I did just post my MFA exam there, but that's only because Marlowe is listing the site on job applications and wants it to look as though it was updated recently. I think we just ran out of time and energy for this one. The Afronaut article on the farmlog is pretty good, though.

Arizona Test Prep. Theoretically, this is where my daily bread is going to come from. I've been trying to write course materials, but it's hard to embark on a project just as one is about to leave a place. I think most of the work will have to be done this summer.

Yeah. So see if I can just finish one of these, why don't I.


<= 2002.04.29

2002.05.01 =>

up (2002.04)