26 November 2010

Philcon, Part the First

It's been a few days, so I thought I'd better get on with a Philcon write-up.  My year would've been complete having met one of my literary idols, Howard Waldrop, at Readercon in July.  The chance to meet a second idol in the same year, Peter S. Beagle, was just too good to pass up.  So, here's what happened...

25 November 2010

"It's what you felt, it's what you said, what you said, what you said"

Between Philcon (I'm working on that write-up, don't worry!) and Thanksgiving, I forgot to look for my Cthulhurotica writer interview, which was posted the other day.

So, here it is: everything you wanted to know about how "The C-Word" came about.

Oh, and check out the revised cover with my name on the list, there.

16 November 2010

"And now it's time for a breakdown."

I'm taking a day off from the Paris Review Interviews thing to play a little bit of catch-up and braindumping.  So no, I'm not talking about a nervous breakdown (that's coming soon enough), but a breakdown of what I've been up to lately.  There are a lot of folks to whom I owe emails, critiques, apologies, etc.  This is not meant to be a replacement for those.  It's just a little something for someone asking, to quote Marvin Gaye, "What's Going On?"

Aside from the dayjob which I constantly bitch about this time of the semester, the Fall's been awash with activity...

14 November 2010

April in Paris, Part the Third

Number three in a series of thoughts and meditations on the words of some of my favorite writers from their interviews in The Paris Review.  Actually, this week you'll get two for the price of one.
That’s why I like short stories. You’re always trying to keep the person interested. In fiction, you don’t need to have the facts up front, but you have to have something that will grab the reader right away. It can be your voice. Some writers feel that when they write, there are people out there who just can’t wait to hear everything they have to say. But I go in with the opposite attitude, the expectation that they’re just dying to get away from me.

The Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 176, Amy Hempel

13 November 2010

April in Paris, Part the Second

Here's the second in a series of thoughts and meditations on the words of some of my favorite writers from their interviews in The Paris Review.
It turns out it’s not that I hate to write. I hate, simply, to work. I just hate to work, period. I am profoundly slothful. Practically inert. I have no energy. I never have. I just have no desire to be productive. Now that I realize I don’t hate to write, that I just hate to work, it makes writing easier.

The Paris Review - A Humorist at Work, Fran Lebowitz

11 November 2010

April in Paris, Part the First

As promised, the first in a series of thoughts and meditations on the words of some of my favorite writers from their interviews in The Paris Review.
The short story, if you really are intense and you have an exciting idea, writes itself in a few hours.  I try to encourage my student friends and my writer friends to write a short story in one day so it has a skin around it, its own intensity, its own life, its own reason for being.  There’s a reason why the idea occurred to you at that hour anyway, so go with that and investigate it, get it down.  Two or three thousand words in a few hours is not that hard.  Don’t let people interfere with you.  Boot ’em out, turn off the phone, hide away, get it done.  If you carry a short story over to the next day you may overnight intellectualize something about it and try to make it too fancy, try to please someone.

 The Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 203, Ray Bradbury

10 November 2010

"April in Paris"*

What you're supposed to do is act like a fucking professional.

-Mr. White, Reservoir Dogs

You know how folks would get excited knowing that their favorite TV series were on, say, Hulu, in their entirety?  I felt exactly the same way when I read that The Paris Review has put all of their writer interviews online.  After years of passing up on purchasing the interview compilations, I gouged on them like a starving man.  I found--in a couple of cases, rediscovered--some real gems, which I've posted on my Tumblr.

You want to know how some real professionals get shit done?  Then you could do worse than to peer into the brains of the likes of Dorothy Parker, Raymond Carver, Barry Hannah, Amy Hempel, and--for us genre folks--Ray Bradbury!

So I think over the next few days I'm going to post bits of their interviews, along with some accompanying thoughts.  Meditations, I guess you could call them. 

*Sorry, I'm still on the Count Basie Orhcestra tip from a few weeks ago.

09 November 2010

"'Cause whatever you do, oh, you've got to do your thing"

Like a lot of things in my life lately, this post is 9 days late.  Still, it's the thought that counts, right?

This was going to be my "Why I'm not doing NaNoWriMo this year" post.  But reading posts like that over the years, I've noticed that it seems difficult for me to write one without looking like a condescending jerk.

This isn't where I'm going to turn up my nose at the NaNo, or go into my rationalization of why it just doesn't fit in with my writing goals right now.  I only bring it up now because, despite my resolve to not even fool myself into thinking it was a possibility this year, I reupped my account anyway and found out that somehow, some of my peeps found and added me to their friends list. 

So, to them: You do your thing!!

Of course, the best part of reupping my account: the pep talks from famous writers in my email box.  I squeed when I saw Aimee Bender's!