Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Feeling kind of depressed. Trying to write a shitty story for class that's keeping me from writing a novella that I actually want to work on. So I thought, Hell, I should write a blog entry instead even though I don't have the goddam internet at my house. Blog entries don't matter, unless they do and I am unaware. I am not obsessing over every little keystroke. It does not take me ten minutes to compose a sentence. I am typing without thinking about what I am typing. It is like someone saying, "Think before you speak." "Think before you type." I am not thinking before I type. I think if I put much thought into my words before I speak, it would take a very long time to have a conversation with me. I think I can be pretty awkward to have a conversation with. Sometimes I say things that don't make sense and use awkward phrases. When I am responding to someone's email, my answers are succulent, well thought out. Two things are bothering me but I will not discuss them because this is blogspot not livejournal.

I've been reading a lot of Stephen Dixon lately. I just finished Frog and it was fantastic. Probably one of my favorite books now. I've always been obsessed with writing and reading about a character's entire life and the novel satisfied me in this aspect. It was super-long.

Listening Nick Cave's soundtrack to The Assassination of Jesse James. Really like it. Didn't start listening to it until recently because I had previously tried doing it on my laptop and it sounded like shit on the speakers, so I had assumed the audio quality was bad. But I tried it on my desktop a few days ago and I was wrong.

When I visited my parents in NY before moving to Colorado, I had a lot of free time and nothing to read. So I looked in my brother's bookcase. Found an uncorrected proof of Stephen Dixon's Old Friends. I must have been really desperate to have read it considering how dull the title was, but it was really great. Especially liked the narrator talking about all the horrible things that happened to his family, and then matter of factly mentioning it was just him worrying + his imagination. It tricked me every time. My brother probably got the book from the newspaper that he edits.

Then I spent must of the summer reading Dixon. I realize the summer is a memorable time when it comes to reading. I will look back at this summer as the summer of Dixon. Last summer, I read The Dark Tower series. The summer of 2000 was Infinite Jest.

I can't understand why I like Dixon so much. His is the sort of writing that I should hate. Mundane, dull. But he's not dull for some inexplicable reason. His books excite me. I think he's sort of like a minimalist in form and a maximalist in content and I found that pretty intriguing.

I just ordered a big book of his short stories. They have it at the library, but it's too long to read before the due date and the stories are too same-y to plow through. I've probably read a tenth of it.

The impression I get from Dixon's protagonists is that he always uses himself as a template and the characters are different variations of himself. And different books tell the same stories in various ways. The man seems to be extremely obsessed with certain events in his life, as I suppose we all are.

I think I want to read his book, Gould, too. I've read maybe six of his books since the summer. He has so many I feel like I'll be reading him for the rest of my life and this excites me. I usually find an author that I like a lot and read everything they have written and have to wait five years for another book and it is never worth the wait. I wonder if I will get burnt out on Dixon.

I've noticed picking up some writing habits from him lately. Like putting exchanges of dialogue in one paragraph rather than many. Gonna make it harder to get to desired page lengths this way.

I saw Christian Bok perform on Saturday. There's two dots over the o in his last name, but I don't know how to type that. His last name is pronounced "book." I do not know why. He was entertaining. I've never heard anyone do sound poetry before. I only went to meet Daniel Bailey. We went to a bar afterward where they try to trick you into going into the wrong gendered bathroom. I ate a peanut butter burger. That's the second peanut butter burger I've had there. They are good.

Going to Portland tomorrow to attend Bizarro Con. Doing a reading and a panel on humor writing. Participating in a workshop. Also did it last year. The exercise this time and last time was to come up with a conceptual book: title, pitch line, back cover synopsis. I like this exercise, which is the reason why I'm doing the workshop again. Forces me to come up with a great concept for a book, and I need to be forced.

Started working with recovering drug addicts and alcoholics Went great. Doing a writing workshop. In class exercises.


Anonymous said...

That Nick cave soundtrack needs large speakers. The sounds must eat your room and send vibrations to your tender spots.

Bradley Sands said...

Matt: I know it is you even when I don't know it is you.