Saturday, January 21, 2012

when their sons uncomfortably venture toward asking them questions

I came back.

I needed to go away for a while.

When I was a kid, my parents neither wanted nor encouraged me to write shit down on paper.

I was created during the Age of Paper.

I have a number of friends who are writers struggling to be published.

I have this question for them:

What do you expect?

I'll get back to that in a while, but I want you to keep thinking about it: What do you expect?

And then what?

I bet you guys aren't even thinking two moves ahead as you toil over the positioning of your exploratory pawn.

Remember that stack of manuscripts I have sitting here in my office?

It got even bigger this week. I found another one. A version of The Marbury Lens from a while ago. I can't remember.

My office is very clean and open now. I should post a picture of it. Maybe I will, too, when I get back to that question that I want my as-yet-unpublished writer friends to keep thinking about.

I have a couple things I am obligated to turn in this year.

I have never, never, never written anything on assignment -- except for the stuff I had to do when I was a journalist.

I hated being a journalist.

I quit putting shit on paper and became a sort of bum with wanderlust because of it.

Someone -- harmlessly, I might add -- remarked something like Look at all those trees you killed! when I posted the picture of my original manuscripts (which is now bigger).

What can I say? I came out of the Age of Paper.

So, I am thinking I am going to write my next book by hand on the backs of the pages of my original manuscripts.

Somewhere out there, an agent and an editor just got a stomach ache.

My handwriting looks like it was done by a sleep-deprived seven-year-old boy on a tilt-a-whirl.


My dear friend, the copy editor who is working on Passenger, said something like this: Next time you write a book, you should provide a list of words you choose to freakishly mutate ahead of time, so your editors' heads do not become troubled.

Well. She didn't say it exactly like that, but I probably should do that because I do derive some sick satisfaction creating lexical centipedes.

Are you guys still thinking about that question?