Sunday, October 17, 2010

Reading, Writing, Rehearsing, or: The Post-Book Blues

1. I turned Yoga Bitch in to the publisher nearly three weeks ago. Final draft. No more changes. It's done.

2. Since then, a publisher in the Netherlands has decided they would like a Dutch Bitch. I am very happy about this.

3. I have been writing, sort of. Notes and notes and notes for the new book. These notes are staring at me right now. Notes that read: "The burden of history," and "Failure as a noble pursuit," and "Sex should be funny." (Still trying to remember what I meant by that last one.)

4. I have been reading, sort of. Here's what:
A. C.S. Lewis: what a man!
B. Colette: what a voice!
C. Christopher Isherwood: God, I love him. I was thinking about him the other day, and it occurred to me that I finally had an answer to that question: If you could have dinner with anyone famous, alive or dead, who would it be? I've never been able to answer that question-- too much pressure. I mean, it would be fascinating and all to meet Cleopatra, or Jefferson, or Tolstoy or Shakespeare, but over dinner? I don't know. I think I would get heartburn from the stress of thinking up intelligent questions to ask them, and then I wouldn't enjoy my dinner. Plus, what would we eat? Drink? Who would do the cooking? Certainly not me, so would we have to hire caterers? And what if Tolstoy has disgusting table manners? Would that ruin Anna Karenina for me? Couldn't we have a coffee or a drink first, and then see if we want to progress to dinner? But dinner with Christopher Isherwood would be like meeting an old, dear friend. We could talk books, or not. But I think we'd enjoy ourselves. I'd start smoking again just for the occasion.

5. I've started preparing for meetings in New York in a few weeks. Now that the writing of Yoga Bitch is done, it's time to start thinking about the selling of Yoga Bitch. August 23rd, my book will be on the shelves. That thought is exhilarating and terrifying and, for the moment, ever-so-slightly paralyzing. New York will be just the shot in the arm I need: I must journey to the land of shameless self-promotion and drink of its waters. When I come back, I'll be slicker'n cat shit.

6. I've been staring at the cover of my book! I must say, I have a bit of a crush on it.

7. You know, turning in a book must be rather like sending your child off to school for kindergarten. On the one hand, I wonder how my child will do in the big mean world, where I can't protect it from the bullies, and on the other, I wonder how I will ever fill the hours that have been devoted to its care. I'm a bit adrift. This book has taken up room in my head and heart for a long time, and I long to be engrossed again.

8. Ah, but here's a final note-to-self staring at me, written at some point in the last two weeks, perhaps on my first day back at the desk:

"Guess what else was hard?" it reads. "Writing and revising and rewriting and revising again until YB was done. You didn't always know where you were going or what you were doing. If new stories feel hard, it's because ALL WRITING IS HARD. Keep working."

On that note, I will try.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's Fall, Fuckers!

This is great. From McSweeneys.

Carving orange pumpkins sounds like a pretty fitting way to ring in the season. You know what else does? Performing an all-gourd reenactment of an episode of Diff'rent Strokes—specifically the one when Arnold and Dudley experience a disturbing brush with sexual molestation. Well, this shit just got real, didn't it? Felonies and gourds have one very important commonality: they're both extremely fucking real. Sorry if that's upsetting, but I'm not doing you any favors by shielding you from this anymore.