Periscope Depth

everybody told her it was sweet and good

Some stuff about writing:

#: I’m maybe ten to fifteen thousand words shy of the first section (of three) of The Levittown Barbecue Club. Already I’m much more excited about this novel than I am my last one. So much so, in fact, that I think I might pass around this first draft to readers before I let anyone see a page of Three Born In Eden.

Why? Levittown feels more polished, already, than Three Born in Eden. Part of it has to do with the genre, no doubt – this one’s a thriller set in the modern day; the first one was a surreal horror novel set, well, somewhere weird. Further, Three Born in Eden was inspired by a dream I had, which gave it miles and miles of creative juice but not much in the way of coherence. But above all else, the very fact that I wrote Three Born in Eden first means that I have 110,000 words of experience going into this novel. I’m at least 5th level already.

I don’t think that Three Born in Eden will prove to have been a waste, even if Levittown becomes the first novel that I feel comfortable showing other human beings. The experience alone made it worthwhile. So I guess if there’s an object lesson in all this, it’s that no writing is ever wasted if it makes you a better writer*.

#: A conversation I had with Victoria the other day reminded me of why I want to write:

Victoria: I was talking about mcsweeney’s and open letters with a coworker who was unfamiliar.
Victoria: and I went to find one that has been my favorite for a long time.
Victoria: so I was rereading it and got to the end.
Victoria: and started to laugh.
Professor Coldheart: that’s how you and I hit it off so quickly – you’ve known my name for years
Victoria: must be the case. my coworker is still laughing at me right now.
Victoria: well played, Professor. well played.
Professor Coldheart: I set that one up years in advance just to sting ya

I enjoy talking about writing with friends and peers. But that’s not why I write. I write because I hope someone’s going to find my writing, before they ever meet or know me, and say, “Damn – that hit the spot.” I don’t want to be a cool guy who also happens to be a writer; I want to be a writer who happens to be cool.

I know that my lifelong dream – to see my name on the cover of a hardback novel on a stranger’s house or in a bookstore in a foreign city – won’t be the End-All of everything. There are thousands of people who hit that step and fade into obscurity. But humans aren’t built to achieve One Perfect Moment and then die quietly. We’re constantly seeking new goals. We’re always moving.

So I don’t consider Getting Published my lifetime dream. It’s my dream for now. And I’m making slow progress.

Postscript: That ended a lot more after-school special than I thought it would. Short version: positive feedback on my writing makes me happy; accidentally discovering that I wrote something you love makes me happier still. I suggest randomly searching the forums on RPG.net and then IMing me when you find something funny: “did you write this?” Odds are I didn’t.

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* Except Head of the Class fan-fiction. C’mon, Kev. I mean: seriously.