Friday, May 10, 2013

Hey Pretty...


--I keep getting e-mails from people who want to add me on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+. I do not want to be a part of any of these networks. I get an e-mail from one of them once or twice a week. I'm starting to see how Baby Boomers feel when people tell them they have to get a webcam, or a smartphone, or a whatever. LEAVE ME BE, WHIPPERSNAPPERS.

--I thought I'd be working on House of Leaves for at least a month - it took me ages to read Infinite Jest - and I finished it in about a week. Very surprising, particularly since in the early sections it took me an hour to get through 15 pages, but then later there were whole chunks of pages that just raced by because there were only a few words on each page. I think that either Johnny or Johnny's mom conceived the entire thing, stem to stern. My main pieces of evidence are the grammar and punctuation oddities that persist in every incarnation of text throughout the book, but there's also the Pelican thing, the different languages, other stuff I read on comment threads that fits in. I think the house is the mind, and the horror in the house is the fact of death. (Highlight to read; do not comment and spoil, just e-mail me if you want to talk.) I also think that Mark Z. Danielewski read Infinite Jest in 1995 and decided he just had to make his own. But if I'm wrong about that, I apologize personally and profusely to him.

Did I like it? Sort of. I found it interesting to pick up and study from all angles, like a mutant in a jar. I found it useful when considering my own future project. I found it exasperating. I think I like the experience of looking back on it far more than I liked the experience of reading it. In places it was fascinating, revealing a writer with a powerful stylistic gift and a dark and scintillating imagination. Those moments were frequently buried under semi-scholarship and wearying footnotes. But I did learn the term "ergodic literature" in the process of reading it, which is almost worthwhile on its own.

--Months ago I changed my e-mail notification sound to a lightsaber unsheathing. Despite hearing it a dozen times a day, it hasn't gotten old in the least.

--Blogger doesn't work very well with dual sign-ins on Google, and neither does Google Docs. This has become a giant headache since I got a new job that uses Google Docs almost exclusively. It means I have to go through a big hassle to blog here. Which I do not like.

--I have a date to see The Great Gatsby this morning. My anticipation, bosoms a-heave, and the reasons therefor could be a really long post in itself.

--Haven't written in about a week. Reeeeally itchy to get started on something already.

--I did come up with a new load-bearing plot line for the Marilyn book. It and the weird wiki/CYOA project are vying epically for my favor. I want to write (or at least make a significant effort on) one of them this year. Before fall. But I don't know which one, and I'm mentally dawdling around trying to choose when I ought to just pick one and go.

--My website keeps popping into my head at odd moments. I desperately need to set aside a half-day and update/fix it. It's pretty much a year out of date at this point. That's embarrassing.

--After the last piece of feedback I got, I suddenly lost all patience with the writing process and the thoughts and emotions it stirs. At that moment, I no longer wanted to write for the consumption of others, and I understood better than I ever have the people who write novels and never show them to anyone. Not through twisted perfectionism (that's a mechanism I understand very well), but because they wrote for themselves instead of for an audience. I wish I'd believed I should be writing that way all along, because I don't think I'd be so unhappy with my work now.

I'd really like to write a longer and more exploratory post about this, but it might not be forthcoming anytime soon.

Why, no, that experience has nothing to do with not having written anything since. Nothing at all.



Bad Pants said...

To deal with the "duel google" issue I use two browsers. Chrome for workish things and Safari for personal/blogish things.

Katharine Coldiron said...

My other option on this computer is Internet Explorer, and I just can't bring myself to use it. It's so effing slow and so jammed with pop-ups. I used to use Opera, and I've thought of DLing it just for this purpose, but for the time being I prefer to complain.