Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Started writing this as a goodreads comment, then realized I hadn't written a blog in ages.

I only seem to get into Dennis Cooper’s books when I’m a college student. Now I’m back after eight years. I always find a lot of his books in city and college libraries. Was really into him when I was a young undergrad. Until, Period, which really put me off. Found it to be too experimental or something. Grew out of all the gruesomeness.

A few month’s back, I read, God Jr. Stumbled across the premise somewhere and it sounded intriguing. Was a wonderful book. Then I went back and read Period. Loved it, particularly because of its experimental nature. Cooper’s how deal with the concepts of identity is intriguing. It made me want to go back to read Frisk assuming that’s his “My name is Dennis Cooper and I am a serial killer” sort of book. Loved that one. Haven’t reread it yet. But I reread Closer because that was one of the handful of novels the library had. It was pretty alright. Not as good as the first time I read it. Lacked the intriguing innovations or whatever you want to call them of Period. Now I’m about to read Try because it’s the only other book the library has that I haven’t reread. Will probably feel the same way about it. I put in an inter-library loan for The Sluts. Looking forward to that.

Here’s some newly published stuff. I usually like to link to them at the end, but this blog entry seems pretty tedious and I don’t know if people will get that far.

New publications

A House” at Word Riot

mud luscious issue nine is up & frantic including the work of kate wyer, peter schwartz, christina farella, meg pokrass, bradley sands, mel bosworth, andrea deangelis, zachary tyler vickers, cortney mclellan, richard osgood, david peak, roxane gay, gregory sherl, steven j. mcdermott, & kimberly e. ruth alongside reviews of ANTHEM by c. l. bledsoe, DAYS OF DESTRUCTION by gary beck, & BIG AMERICAN TRIP by christian peet.

Here's Brandon Duncan’s cover art for my upcoming short story collection through Raw Dog Screaming Press: My Heart Said No, but the Camera Crew Said Yes!

Strange how it's not showing the colored bars and my name at the bottom right corner.

Do people actually use Myspace anymore? Wondering if it's worth promoting the new Bust on it. Usually takes a while, but I might buy an evil program to save myself the time. If it's worth the cash. If people still use Myspace.

In my garage, door open. The people in my neighborhood love to wonder around after dark and chant the names of their pets.

In other news, recently I have been able to determine when I will be waking up with TMJ pain beforehand. When I experience a feeling in my brain around bedtime—stress, anxiety, whatever—I know I will be waking up in pain. But I also know there are techniques I can use to eliminate or reduce this pain such as trying to relax, meditation, showering, drinking calming teas, and going to sleep a little later than usual to broaden the time between weird brain activity and sleep. Whenever this happens, I also take a particular pill that I can only buy from Whole Foods which I do not take every night because it is a little expensive and I develop a tolerance to it if I take it a bunch of times in a row each night.

So last night I got all riled up by a piece a student turned in for workshop. Had to write a letter to them about it. Caused me anxiety because every little thing in this world causes me stress and anxiety. The trick is to avoid every little thing before bedtime. Unfortunately, there are not enough hours in the day and sometimes I need to do school work at night. Stress was so much easier when it did not cause me physical pain.

So I took a shower, drank soothing tea, swallowed a Whole Foods pill, stayed up a bit later, and went to sleep. Woke up in pain, although not agonizing pain like I used to. Haven’t had that in a while, perhaps due to the techniques I mentioned earlier and this magical juice thing that my parents send me. It is nice not to experience agonizing pain. I once had that for three months straight. It ended once I figured out what was wrong with me and took precautions.

So I woke up with pain, but not agonizing. When this happens, I am able to read and do other stuff, but not write. I hate it when this happens when I had planned to write. When I am in pain, the music, the rhythm of language is missing from my head. I am tone deaf. I do not have very high self-esteem, but when in reference to my writing, I think, “I am the shit.” I believe thinking this way is necessary to write well, to have the confidence to write well. When I am in pain, I lack this confidence.

Today I had intended to start a novella. It will combine a getaway story with a haunted house story in a manner that is totally ridiculous, illogical, and AWESOME. I have been meaning to start this for a while. I have not done any work on it. I had planned to write the outline first, but I was motivated to start on the actual prose (and will probably only write a few pages before pausing to outline) because one of my professor’s assignments was to bring in ANY piece of creative writing for next week, and I jumped at the opportunity because I have done very little writing since the semester started late last month. Besides a few short assignments—nada. Oh, and the thing I did this weekend. Contacted about writing a proposal for a YA horror novel. Wrote the plot summary and the first 500 words. Hope I get the gig. Because I have no source of income.

So back to this morning. Really frustrated that I wasn’t able to write, which makes the pain worse, probably more so psychologically than physically. So instead, I finished reading Home Land by Sam Lipsyte, which was excellent. Read The Subject Steve a while back and found it incredibly annoying. Wonder if Lipsyte has come far as a writer or I have come far as a reader. I also read a few stories in Donald Ray Pollock’s Knockemstiff, which were pretty alright. And then I took a nap, because TMJ pain often induces napping. And fifty percent of the time, I will wake up from a nap and it will be gone. So I woke up and it was gone (although it is back now to a mild extent). Then I took a bus and ate at Quiznos. Drank a bunch of Dr. Pepper because I wanted to get caffeinated up to start on the novella. Probably a bad idea because caffeine has a tendency to cause pain the next morning. Better to drink it in the morning rather than afternoon/evening. Coffee is out of the question.

Went back home. Tried to write. Had one of those days where it doesn’t come easy. When everything is a struggle. When everything seems to suck. Hate days like this. But at least I got it started. Maybe tomorrow I will read it and think it’s good. Think days like this may have more to do with my perception than my ability to write well. So we’ll see. Glad I didn’t have one of these days on Sunday when I wrote the first 500 words for the YA novel. Everything seemed to go right that day. It was easy. Wrote it in no time. Today, seemed to take me forever to get all this crap into my computer. Suppose that sort of thing is much more likely to happen at the beginning of something new rather than when I’m in the meat of it.

So I wrote a page of possible crap, then used my caffeine high to finish a five page paper that’s due on Friday which I’ve been putting off. Think it’s a piece of shit also, but I don’t care. Haven’t written a paper in eight years, so I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. Sure I will figure out along the way. There’s something about my grad school workload that seems so overwhelming, until I finish it. Which always takes very little time. I guess I have no conception of how long something will take. Just see all the stuff I need to do and mildly freak out.

Now I’m going to stay up late, because of this goddam caffeine and the desire to resist pain when I wake up tomorrow. Read some more of Knockemstiff. Maybe start Try. Tomorrow, I have to fill out some paper work and take a tuberculosis test. It’s for a volunteer job I’m doing: teaching recovering alcoholics and drug addicts how to write. Looking forward to it. It’s for a particular class that I’m taking.

Might go see Brian Evenson and Joanna Howard read this weekend, assuming I can get a ride to Denver. Will hopefully meet Daniel Bailey. Write something that I need to get done and keep putting off. It’s non-creative and semi-super secret.

Think maybe going back to school has made me boring blog-wise.


James said...

That is a great cover but an ever greater title. I look forward to reading the book when it's out.

Incidentally, the image doesn't show up for me in your post, but I was able to view it by following the link and getting this working URL instead.

Jason Gusmann said...

gotta second james on that - the cover is amazing on its own! will be checking out dennis cooper on my library mission later on today...

Jason Gusmann said...

just read Period. loved it, for real for real. unfortunately, now i just want to write my own version. damn writers casting their spell over you! next is Guide, i think im working my way backward throught the george miles cycle. oh well. better than working my way forwards thru the cremaster cycle.

Bradley Sands said...

I like Guide a lot.

sam pink said...

like the cover