(The title has nothing to do with the post; I’m just listening to that CD right now, and enjoying the hell out of it. Every time my faith in rock falters, an album like this comes out.)
You know, we’re almost halfway through the Tea Debacle now? We are. Do you find that exciting? Mostly, it’s like a whip to the backside to me, when I realize I’m not as far as I want to be, and I haven’t gotten enough done. Fortunately, that’s a standard feeling in everyone’s life, so I’m not going to go on and on about it. It just occurs to me.
Winning aside — and it’s quite a big aside — my main goal in the Debacle is to have begun, and then to finish, The Nondescript. This is for a number of reasons. For the first, this book marks a major turning point in the whole entire fabric of my life, and as soon as I can figure out how to talk about it without sounding confused, elitist, and possibly crazy, I’ll explain what I mean (though it’s probably evident, watching the shift of how I’ve talked on this blog, over the course of the year). For the second reason: We need the money. Boy oh boy. And before you step up to point out to me, quite rightly, that writing and selling books is a poor way to make any reliable money at first, l can assure you that I’ve been doing this long enough to know that. But to apply a metaphor to it: When you’re floundering in the ocean, you grab the first piece of wood you find and hang on. You don’t stop to consider how well it floats. It’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and it keeps back the Long, Dark Tea Time of the Soul and the perpetual fear that I’m going to wind up working in a tire factory, grow old, and die and never manage anything.
Anyway, that’s the sum total of anything like angst which I might have. I’m terribly cheerful. For one thing, The Nondescript is going well, and I’m having the best time writing it, and I know without doubt that these are the best words I have ever put down on paper. Whether they’re actually good compared to any other standard isn’t up to me, but I feel like I’m doing good work. I’m also doing slow work. It comes sweet and easy, but slow. It’s thick text. Plus, I feel like I’ve never written before. My writing habits and tricks have entirely deserted me (and that’s fine; I have a suspicion they were just chains on my legs, while I’m floundering in the above mentioned ocean. Screw ’em.)
My wife and I have been going through boxes which we have in storage, the past couple of days. Mostly, just to make more room, Lord knows we need the space. Partially because I want to condense the boxes in the storage room enough that I can then put our boxes of stored books in there (there’s about twelve of them at the moment, Lord knows we could fill at least eight or nine more, and still have books on the shelves).
This is fun, because we get to throw old crap away, always invigorating. But especially cool for me was the sheer amount of office supplies of mine which I discovered.
4 reams of printer paper, 1 ream of legal printer paper, 6 untouched and unused legal notepads, 12 70-page notebooks, 1 5-subject notebook (I adore these. I just bought a new one, a week or so back. Now I have two!). About eighteen wonderful pens. 1 fountain pen I forgot I owned. 2 Clipboards. And a box full of old stories and serial work. Take all the old stories and serial episodes and stack them, you get a stack around a foot tall, maybe more. And that’s just one box. I know I have two more boxes, in the storage room, with my stuff in them.
It was nice. It was like a wild spending-spree in Office Depot, with the sheer amount of stuff I now have. It makes me happy. Maybe that makes me a really sad person, to get that excited over office supplies, but poo on you.
Lori posted a link, and an article about it, awhile back on her blog. She talked about the Writers’ Rooms page, over at The Guardian. But do you know that they update, sporadically and without announcement, but they do update? They do. I visit the site more than I’ll admit in public. here’s the link, go check out the new additions, then come back later and maybe find more.
Also from the Guardian, this article on the proposed discontinuation of hardcover books. I’m not sure what I think of it yet, and I do think that the pictures the author of the article paints is a bit bleak (but not necessarily inaccurate, for all that). Personally, I find hardcover books to my preferred format. I like the bigger size, I find it easier to hang onto, and easier to read. Pocket books don’t fit in any of my pockets, so that doesn’t do me any good. But, as much as the article sort of bugs me…I realize that without hardcovers, I’d just buy more trade paperbacks, which satisfy the same desire as hardcovers for me.
Sick of Guardian links yet? I hope not. Because here’s a terrific page about why authors write, and what started them on it.
And last, but foremost among its fellow links: A Gene Wolfe podcast interview from Balticon, from 2006. Gene Wolfe is one of my heroes of writing, not to mention as a human being. I think that, if I can land somewhere between Gene Wolfe, Les Stroud, Mike Rowe, and Neil Gaiman, then I’ll do okay. In particular, listen at the end to his advice for writers. He is very wise.
There you go. Now, I’m going to go write some fiction novel!