On Wednesday, 3rd June (tomorrow) at KGB Bar in the East village, my short story “Hinchinbrook” will be read to a room full of strangers. It’s part of an ongoing series called Liars’ League NYC that pairs trained actors with—and I’m quoting here—emerging and established writers.
During June of 2006 I was visiting an old friend of mine in India. He was a former teacher and I tracked him down online a year before. Tim had left the Anchorage school district under a cloud of controversy. Rather than push the boulder back uphill, he decided to pack everything and move to India, with a few years’ detour through southeast Asia.
A little excerpt from a bar scene in that never-ending project that I’m working on.
A girl that looked like she had been assembled in a white person factory was waving her hand at Alex. She had the nervous energy of a Yorkshire Terrier and the same dumb beady eyes.
“Okay, like, I want. Girls? What are you having? Okay. I want. Vodka soda. Wait—no. Vodka diet Sprite. Do you have Grey Goose? It’s okay. Ketel. Okay, like shit. One Ketel Diet Sprite, one but light, one—wait, Courtney, what? Ew. Sure. And one Jack and Coke. Got that?” She waved a credit card.
Alex grimaced and took the card from her. “Keep it open?”
“Close it. Hey?”
She fluttered her eyes and gave a fake baby smile. “Make it strong, kay?”
This was pretty much what it was like to be a bartender.
I am not a fast writer, but I would love to be one. Luckily it turns out that for a slow writer like myself, there are a few techniques that not only boost my word count, but help me to plot a more coherent story in general. If you happen to be a natural writing wizard who cranks out thousands of words per day, this post might not be for you. Which is fine, because fuck wizards.
A while back on Reddit a user made a post asking "How do you actually finish a story/book [or come up with plots]?"
Lookit all this, a shiny new blog! I’ve finally moved off Tumblr, which was a great platform but I felt like it was time to move on. Along with the change of platforms, I’ve also decided to approach this blog from a different angle. I’ll be posting more often and many of my posts will have to do with the writing process. I know, I know, just what the world needs, another navel-gazing writer writing about writing. Sorry about my narcissism. Smooches.
The other big shift is that I’ll be moving most of my short stories off the site. Where are they going? A few of the lucky ones will end up on Amazon after some heavy editing. The rest, well, sometimes you just gotta do that quality control thing. I’ve already done this with John Is Dead. It’s all about experimentation.
As for the new blog platform, luckily I have a few nerd superpowers so I can use tools like Jekyll to author my posts and Amazon S3 for hosting. The upshot of going this way is that I have a lot more freedom to format this site how I like, and hopefully I’ll do a bit better in the search engine rankings as well. The extra freedom will allow me to experiment more with things like SEO, mailing list signups, and whatever else springs to mind.
Cheers and thanks for being one of the literally dozen of people who read my blog.
Alex went to the table and opened the bottle. It burned in that just-too-clean way that Irish whiskey tends to. Each whiskey has its medicinal uses. Scotch for reflection. Bourbon for exhilaration. Irish for desperation.—The novel project that I’m working on.
As a model of this western world, grounded in the relativity and ambiguity of things human, the novel is incompatible with totalitarianism.—Milan Kundera, The Art of The Novel
Noted white person Jonathan Chait posted an opinion piece in New York Magazine decrying the rise of neo Political Correctness. Instantaneously, the article was roundly criticized, though the vast majority of criticism didn’t take issue with the ideas expressed in the piece itself. Gawker and Jezebel both published guffaws about how ridiculous it was that Chait was expressing his opinion, then proceded for several hundred words to underline how white, male, and privileged he is.
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