New ideas

I’m already brainstorming the next novel, but I haven’t edited the first one yet… I think the process of creating will always be the more fun part for me, rather than the ‘selling’ side of it. It’s always a matter of being a salesperson. Even if you’re not self-publishing, you still have to try to sell the idea to an agent or publisher. And that side of it is something I’m just not good at/have not much interest in.

Can’t always enjoy or be good at everything, though, that’s for sure.

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That’s great writing…

I’ve started on another Nabokov novel, and just from the first pages I’m already smiling. The way he writes is just somehow so humorous and beautiful at the same time. Not funny like jokes or goofy characters, but funny because you can imagine someone just like that, or you can see that little quirk or familiar behavior in yourself.

I hope to write something some day that can affect someone with a smile or a cringe or a shudder or a laugh or a tear, or make them think…

DELETE

I’m in the mood to destroy words! I think I’d better not, though, until at least a couple other people tell me the targeted words are bad. Otherwise I might just erase everything…

Starting at the action

I’m listening to Kafka’s Metamorphosis, and the first sentence is him waking up as a giant insect. This is how stories should be told.

So many other writers, amateur or not, would write however many thousands of words about the day before it happened–but why waste time getting there? Since the story is about him as this creature, that’s where we start.

I love how to-the-point it is, with all aspects. Something to consider in my own writing…

A trial on my nerves

I’ve started reading Franz Kafka’s ‘The Trial’ and just from the beginning am already feeling upset and unsettled. I think this book may not be for me, but I’ll continue for now.

I’ve heard this book described as both a funny satire, and an existential horror story. I’m wondering if this depends on the kind of person reading it. So far, it seems like a horror to me but I can see how it might be found funny.

Being completely helpless inside the giant bureaucratic machine we live in, is pretty horrific, when described this way. I feel my anxiety rising as I go through the story. I hope I can handle it.

Book Points

While I’m forcing my way through The Glass Bead Game to make sure I can add a point to my ‘books read this year’ score, I’m really enjoying the Crimson Petal and the White.

I’m two thirds the way through the 900 page monster, and loving every chapter. It calls me back every time I put it down, and keeps me peeking at my phone for a page or three.

Shouldn’t that be the defining mark of a good story? I’m reading two–one of them I care what happens next, the other, I don’t (unless I’m hearing ‘the end’ and can move on. )

Maybe I’ve grown less patient for stories after reading so many. Maybe it’s not aimed at me. Maybe. But I think Glass Bead just is too far up it’s own ass with meaning to care about entertaining the reader, while Crimson Petal  has me laughing and gasping and cringing and turning pages.

Just my opinion…

The New York Trilogy, by Paul Auster

I don’t read a lot of (or any, really) literary fiction. But I was recommended this book, or, trilogy of novellas, I guess, by a friend and was impressed by its strangeness.

It grabbed my attention right from the start by being about a writer who seems to be confusing himself with his characters. Then gets even more interesting when that character starts getting phone calls from someone asking for Paul Auster… who is the author of the book I’m reading.

The ‘weird’ in these three stories is very subtle and very subversive. You don’t really notice how it is getting under your skin until it’s there, and you have no idea what is real and what is imagined and what is a metaphor and what is literal. The stories all seem to be connected, without really being connected on the surface. The stories all seem to make a deeper kind of sense, though the meaning is just out of reach, like a word on the tip of your tongue.

The theme seemed to be one of isolation and obsession. The characters all end up becoming overcome by some task and locking themselves away from the world to complete it. They then seem surprised that their lives have fallen apart in their absence.

I quite enjoyed this but I don’t think it is for everyone. If you want a story where you close the book with all the answers and the story is complete and done, then this one may leave you unsatisfied. It will stick with you, you’ll wonder what it means, and will be thinking about it long after you read the last word.