Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Electrocurrent #1

I don't know, I'm reading a lot and writing a lot. Reading Robert Coover but dipping into and away from his playfulness to read about the North Pond Hermit. That book is captivating. I beginning to think I may be more inclined to nonfiction these days. I don't know why. The more fiction I read the less I understand about what people are trying to say with their art, honestly. I'm beginning to think, you see, that literature might be transcendent. Not in some kind of young and innocent kind of way, the way I used to think I'd be able to make a living writing stories, but transcendent in the way that it's the only thing we can create that can live outside of all this. I sound crazy. Don't care. It's the only thing that can live outside all of this simulation, this whatever this is. Coover takes it seriously but he is compelled to be playful. Proust took it seriously but was consumed with his own sense of self-importance. From Proust to Coover I'm sure each writer has their own compulsion for doing what they do. But is it worthy? Is the time taken, the viewpoint taken, worthwhile? Is it worthy of immortality? Does is add a story to the human condition? Or maybe Coover and the postmodernists are right. Maybe it is all just farting around. I don't like to think so. I like to think that the writing of literature is truthful kind of miracle. When I'm moving sleekly in my compulsion, when I'm writing the same way I breathe, when I'm writing and I literally feel as if I have stepped out of this world and into some other kind of existence that goes beyond our ability to articulate in any other way but the written word, when I feel these electrocurrents I believe in something beautiful, even in the face of all this horror. I've learned while writing this that there's no way to articulate what I hope to say, not even with the written word. It's an unspoken perfection found only by those who sit down for hours and hours a day, day after day, and write. But I can tell you this, friends, it is transcendent. Try it and see. Write until you are floating and then keep writing. The stratosphere is amazing. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Band Marches On

There are still three stories I'm working to finish so I can put this latest collection to bed. Two haven't been started, but I have the bead down on them pretty good. The third will be done this evening.

The collection, which I've now, and with finality, titled Sway, is likely about a month from being completed.

I've been listening to some William Elliott Whitmore while finishing up this collection. In particular WEW's wonderful collaborative EP Hallways of Always. It's a good one, if you've not listened it. Also, for general stimulation, I've been hitting Hellbilly Deluxe. Rob Zombie has three masterpieces on that album, each one better than the last. Are they songs that became popular? Yes. But that doesn't always translate as pop.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Finished Reading Denis Johnson's The Largesse of the Sea Maiden and My God It Was Great

Here's a quote that makes Johnson seem exactly like a prophet:

"It doesn’t matter. The world keeps turning. It’s plain to you that at the time I write this, I’m not dead. But maybe by the time you read it."

I honestly don't know what else to say other than I'm deeply saddened that we will have no more short stories from this man. He wrote as naturally as most of us speak to close friends and stories came from him in full bursts, exclamations born fully grown.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

My Next Short Story Collection

I'm four short stories away from finishing what will be my third short story collection, should it find its way to publication.

Of the four, I'm three paragraphs away from finishing one story (now titled "The Burning Torch in Yonder Turret Stands") and half finished with another called "The Corn Dolly". I have about three quarters written on another story, but it's a western tale and so not to be included in this next collection. I do plan to put together a book of western stories in the near future, though, but that'll be a good little while from now. Maybe a year, year and a half. 

I am eager to get started on the other two stories for this new book, but I have to be patient or risk rushing the process, scaring off the story idea and thrust. I truly think a writer can do this. I can't remember who said it, but there's this idea out there that a short story has to approached with care or else you can scare it away, basically make it fold in on itself. I sometimes imagine the process as being akin to trying to massage a butterfly's wing.

Well enough talking about writing. Time to do some.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

When I Can't Write Fiction, I Journal Here at Bent Country

Listening to the Braves try to take first place from the miserable Mets. First game in about four or so the Baby Braves didn't get on the scoreboard in the first inning. Doesn't bode well, I'd say. Thing is, even if we drop this one we will win tomorrow and take the series because that's what we've been doing so far this year.

I can't even figure out where or how to get the team on television without buying MLB Network for a year for a triple digit figure. Not doing that. So I listen to them on the radio, an Atlanta station, thank god. There's a simple and nice lull a baseball game on the radio can put you in. Sometimes I'm not listening to the details. Instead I'm kind of zoned out by the rhythm. This game is going to be slow, lots of strikes, lots of pop-ups. I can already tell.


Finished reading Kafka's The Castle. Didn't much like it, other than the comedy relief offered by the two assistant characters. Pretty much hated the narrator "K." who we all know is always a kind of Kafka placed into a fictional world to face fictional problems that perfectly reflected his own perceived horrors, mostly at home and with women (or his self-imposed lack of them). I'm not a fan of Kafka the Man. I love his short fiction and I loved In the Penal Colony, and I'm getting ready to finally put The Metamorphosis under my belt this year, but Kafka the Man was a weak mound of concentrated complaint and whining. I keep reading him because when he's on he really really on. But when he's The Castle, it's like reading a book that gets twenty pages longer every time you finish reading ten pages. Half the book (The Castle) were these massive chunks of dialogue. It almost made me wonder (considering the novel was published unfinished by Kafka's brother Robert) whether or not ol' Franz didn't have a dialogue first, exposition second kind of drafting setup. I don't know. I can't imagine he thought half a novel of nothing but lengthy chunks of dialogue that sounded like the most formal speech ever given in the history of the world was a good literary technique. I mean, I think the guy had a incredibly weak constitution, but I know he was a literary genius.


Reread a great essay by novelist and friend David Joy today. READ IT HERE. I will always let David speak for himself.


Still no score in the Braves game. Lots of strikes. Later you all.

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Yes, I googled myself. But look what I found!

I googled myself yesterday. It wasn't the first time and it won't be the last. I have a busy online life and so I like to see what...