Tuesday, October 14, 2008

We've got a truck on fire, can't find the switch to turn the ski lift off, and can't stop the dancing chicken. Send an electrician.

My existence is telling people that we do have a bathroom and condoms and we do not have coffee.

I'm doing a reading at the Bizarro Con next month. Jess Gulbranson is reading after me. I feel sorry for him. He wouldn't even be able to avoid being upstaged if he read a story entitled, "My Los Lobos Playing Metallica-Induced Hard-On Destroys the Universe.

A few mornings ago, I asked myself: "Is that the sun or the moon?" It felt apocalyptic.

I have this fantasy where I get laid as the result of my writing. It seems like the ultimate compliment. I think a lot of writers have this fantasy. It's probably one of the reasons why I write. It's pretty stupid. I think it ranks pretty low on the "reasons why I write" scale. There are easier ways to get laid than sitting in my room by myself and tapping my keyboard. But I don't think they would be as satisfying. I have not fulfilled this fantasy yet. It's too bad all the women who like my writing live far, far away from me.

I wonder if some people have a fantasy about getting laid because of their blog. Now that's REALLY pathetic.

I'm probably going to participate in National Novel Writing Month next month. So I will probably stop blogging. Not that I've been doing it very much lately. National Novel Writing Month is the new blogspot. My novel's protagonist will be Mike Young's weird, evil laugh. The novel will be called Hunky and Full of Spunk.

I haven't been liking novels and stories lately. I am going through a phase. I went through a similar phase around the beginning of the year. I called it "book depression." I could not find any novels or stories that I liked. It was really depressing.

Now I am going through the same thing, but I am not bothered by it. I'm reading a lot of non-fiction. I am not desperate to find fiction that I like. I have stopped looking. Fiction that I like will come to me. I will not pursue it actively. There are a few recent novels and short story collections that I intend to read, but I do not have high hopes.

There is something about the narrative in fiction that hasn't been maintaining my interest lately. For instance, I can find a blog post interesting, but not a story posted on a blog or not an autobiographical blog post that is written like a story - with characters and description and action and dialogue. Right now, I prefer writing that is like a one-sided conversation.


It is a good thing that I work with another editor on Bust or else I would have a lot of trouble filling an issue (although sometimes I think he is pickier than I am).

For the past year, I have either loved a book or hated a book and there has been no in between.

Except for maybe the last book I read: Chuck Klosterman's novel. I haven't decided whether or not I liked it. I liked it until the ending, and then I no longer knew. It's called Downtown Owl. It's like a pop version of literary fiction. There is no plot arc. It is one of those books which is often described as a book where "nothing happens," although something happens at the end. Things happen, but there is no conflict. The character have few goals.

On page 71, a high school english teacher talks about the novel, 1984: "You're all 106 pages into the story...or at least you're supposed to 106 pages into this story. I'm sure many of you feel like nothing is happening. Don't be alarmed. All great books are like this. All great books feel boring until finished reading them."

This man is not a very good English teacher.

I would have liked this piece of dialogue to occur on page 106, but Klosteman disappointing me.

I assume he is saying his novel is a great book here. But his novel is not boring.

The end of the novel leaves every loose end in the book hanging. Thus is life. But fiction is not life. Fiction is an artificial reproduction of life. I don't like novels that are too much like life.

Chuck Klosterman is the narrator. The narrator is God.

I wouldn't have ever read this book if I didn't like Chuck Klosterman's non-fiction so much. The jacket flap text makes the novel seem boring. I wouldn't have enjoyed this book as much if I hadn't read already of Chuck Klosterman's non-fiction.

Back to "book depression." I don't know why I'm going through this. I have gone through phases in my life where I can read and enjoy almost any fiction assuming it's not too terrible. My attention span is fucked. I'm not willing to give things a chance. I need to be entertained by the very start. I am not willing to give anything the benefit of the doubt.

I prefer movies and serial TV now. The plots are usually tighter than in novels, which have more padding. The dialogue is usually not as good.

I like movies with artificial dialogue. Movies that make me believe the screenwriter slaved over each word. Movies where the dialogue sounds artificial. But the content of the dialogue should still sound like something a person in "real life" would say. But not the way they say it.

I don't usually like dialogue like this in novels, unless it is noir-y. I like when they dialogue sounds like something someone would say in "real life." I want the other prose to feel as if it has been slaved over.

But I love words. So preferring film over prose cannot last forever. That's why I continue to read non-fiction. To get my word fix.

That sounds really stupid.

I read two books by Roger Ebert. The Great Movies and its sequel. I want to read more books written by people who are great writers and who are passionate about something that I am interested in.

6 comments:

Brad D. Green said...

Try Harry Crews. Celebration kept me up late last night.

Mike Young said...

I love Strozek!

Bradley Sands said...

I haven't seen it. Roger Ebert wrote an essay about it in one of the books. He quoted the last line, which is a great last line. Assuming he got it right. IMDB tells me it's something different. Maybe whoever wrote it in the IMDB entry watched a version of the movie that had a different translator. I liked Roger Ebert's version better.

Werner Herzog has a soothing voice.

Bradley Sands said...

I read some of Feast of Snakes. It was ok, but it wasn't so good that I didn't lose interest about one fourth of the way through.

Jess Gulbranson said...

That is the title of my story. Which I have been writing in the bathroom. Are you stalking me, Sands?

Bradley Sands said...

Statcounter tells me you're the one who's stalking me. Restraining e-order.