Sunday, April 21, 2013

Done and Done and Done

I'm sort of wrecking the scheduling on this blog by getting way ahead of myself - a temporary condition, to be sure - but I wanted to note that I wrote the last post on the weekend before the Boston Marathon (13th-14th) and planned to post it on Tuesday the 16th. Instead I wrote that far more somber piece on Monday the 15th and wanted to give it time to sit before posting anything else. By Monday the 15th, a lot of the discomfort from the suture sites had cleared up (although by no means all of it), and I was able to concentrate enough to finish drafting the mother/son story on Tuesday, before I even posted my complaint that I couldn't finish it. (Also, I was healing quickly enough that I had the sutures removed on Friday the 19th, and I nearly wept with relief. I'm still healing, but it's SO much better to have them gone.) I think I fucked up the ending very badly, but I'll look at it in two weeks and see what there is to see.

Similarly, some of this post was written on Wednesday the 17th. If I was more willing to embrace the ups and downs of my ability to write here, rather than insisting on twice-a-week posts, no more or less, we wouldn't be in this mess.

So. Here's the slightly old news.

I mentioned offhand a while ago that I had an idea for an experimental choose-your-own-adventure/Wikipedia kind of novel. I'm thinking of developing it as my next project, because I'm excited about it now and striking in the excitement phase always seems like a good idea when I'm considering creative work.

The other night I was talking through the idea with Matt and I had an "it comes in pints?" moment. He suggested that I add a layer of revision history information into the book, just like the one they have on Wikipedia, and I said something like "You can just look at that?" and he said sure, look at the site, there's even a comment thread sometimes that you can read. So this morning I had a look.


I had no idea that the underside of Wikipedia's existence is so easy to reveal, nor that it was so incredibly detailed. Looking at revision history is easily as much of a black hole as is the upper side of the archive, because even beyond comparing revisions, you can click on any number of the usernames and see what else they've edited, what people have written to them, etc etc. So many conclusions to draw, so little time. This project is looking more challenging, more unmanageable, all the time, but I really want to do it.

I read Natalie Serber's Shout Her Lovely Name last week, and found it a bit uneven. The first story was a gutshot, unforgettable and remarkable. The rest of the book...less so. I'll look forward to more work by her, but this was difficult to love unconditionally. I also saw The Future, Miranda July's second film, for which I saw the trailer in the theater a long, long time ago and got really excited. The movie itself was a letdown, I'm afraid; it was really not much different than the short stories of hers I read, with the same blank spaces, weird quirky happenings, and fascinating (if sometimes unexplained) moments between people. It was slow and cerebral and twee. Watch the trailer instead and imagine your own movie.

I also went back to revise two strange stories, the one about the boy on the garbage scow and one about stalking, and I think they're both pretty neat if really weird but I honestly have no clue if people outside my head are going to feel that way. My usual #1 reader has been too busy lately to have a look, so I'm kind of treading water in the community pool of uncertainty until another reader gets back to me.

And I did a bit of work on the breasts essay. It didn't turn out like I hoped. I think I've gotten too accustomed to blog format to be able to write essays decently at all. I still have more work to do on it, but it might go in the bin.

There. All caught up. Next week I'll actually be blogging in real time, it seems.

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