I’ve started taking notes on new (or to-be-rewritten) stories for the first time in quite a while. I spent most of last year channelling my energy into editing and polishing old pieces. The stress and system shock of moving, however, has jarred something loose in me. I’m making things up again.
I don’t have a desk yet. I don’t even have my own computer. But I’m working.
Lately I’ve been asking myself questions like…
Are werewolves gluten-intolerant?
Is social anxiety partially caused by a hyper-awareness of social hierarchies?
Would a completely digitized public library bother to maintain any kind of physical branch space?
How do agoraphobes feel about underground spaces?
Do robots make good pets?
What’s a good A.V. setup for someone who almost never leaves a studio apartment?
And so on, and so on.
I’ve been getting a lot of responses to the “Goodbye, Invisible Man” draft I posted last weekend. A lot. On this site, via e-mail, and in person. They’ve been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve actually been quite touched by the intensity of people’s reaction to the piece. If the feedback I’ve gotten is any indication, this may be the strongest thing I’ve ever written.
I know who’s to thank. You were a muse and a half, boy-o.
This semester will consist of much more writing than editing. So the polished forms of most of these drafts won’t be done until the spring. In the meantime, though, I’m producing a lot of new material.
I’m working on “Win”, a nasty little story that’s a sister to “Goodbye, Invisible Man”. It also involves love, failure, sex, and killing the past, but it treats these subjects very differently. There is nothing fantastic in “Win”, there are only people. I won’t have a new draft ready by this weekend, but I will probably post an older story that hasn’t seen the light of the internet yet. It’s called “Knock Down Drag Out”.
Here’s some homework for you if you have any interest in writing and/or Dostoevsky. Go get a book called The Cambridge Companion to Dostoevskii. Skip to the last chapter. Read Gary Saul Morson’s “Reading Dostoevskii”. Start with the discussion of presentness versus structure, stick around for the stuff about process writing and intentionality. Brilliant. It hit on all the fiction/non-fiction tension I’ve been feeling lately.
Thank you, you’ve been a lovely audience. Here, have a functional index.