Thursday, March 3, 2016

Bits and Bobs

--Read this. It's a lovely shortcut through common/rookie mistakes people make with submissions.

--I want to see Hamilton so badly that I may have half-convinced Matt to buy season tickets at the Pantages. I have virtually no interest in the other six shows of the season.

--I know I said I needed to rewrite a great deal of the secret project, but I had no stamina to do so until someone else read it. I gave it to Matt, and he read it last night. He got slightly misty at the end, and said nicer things about it than about anything else I've written. I think that might matter more to me than whether anyone else likes it.

It topped out at 17,000 words. That is not a book; that is not even really a novella. It's a long short story. But it goes through so much territory that it still feels to me like a book when I think of it. I don't know whether I will rewrite enough to make it longer (I had hoped for 30-40,000 words, novella territory), but the only reason I hope it will get that long is not to be laughed at when I present it as something that should be in its own binding, rather than stuck in with other stories. That's a dumb reason to compromise the project, a mercantile reason. So it might stay where it is. Matt gave me one (very good) suggestion for revision, but otherwise he didn't seem to think it needed radical effort.

Despite my New Year's resolution to present some of the project in a class, it's not going to work out for this semester, just for practical reasons like word count and consistency and whatnot. A professor offered to read it for me when I went to see him in office hours. I was flattered (and a little dizzy), but it's not ready for that yet. I'm not sure I'm ready for that yet.

--And I was pushed by the aforementioned professor into committing to an incredibly frightening story by the end of the spring. Like the Kathy Ireland thing I wrote last winter, it is weird, but unlike the Kathy Ireland thing, it has political dimensions that make me nervous as fuck.

--I started a new polyphonic story that is going in unexpected directions. It's kind of hostile. I hope it works out. And quickly; it needs to be ready by the 15th.

--Going back to "nervous as fuck", I sent out a highly personal story to a goal magazine after my friend Katie gave it (the story) a glowing review. For the first time ever, I'm in this position of half hoping they'll want it and half hoping they'll turn it down. I want to get it in the world, but I'm slightly horrified that it could be in the world.

--My friend Kathleen is involved in a wonderful illustration project (as she always is). Check out this campaign, after which her pictures will go into what looks like a great, fun, needed comics anthology for kids. And here is my favorite thing she's made recently:

I love the way she here communicates dialogue without writing dialogue. Plus, there's a bit of Reepicheep in there, who seems to come up exactly as often as I'd like him to in her work (namely, all the time). I think that's probably Puss in Boots, but I prefer to think it could be Reepicheep, with an odd furry tail. It's the stylishness with which his hat was clearly swept off moments earlier.

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