Sometimes I wonder if I should have gone the whole “trying to keep it as real as possible” route with my writing.
Sure, instead of doing research on historic time periods and digesting the latest climate science with an eye on extrapolating geopolitical and social effects thereof, I could have just as easily done a book about things in my past and turned it into a novel. Easy peasy, no fuss or muss.
And then I’d be getting all sorts of praise for doing some interesting, maybe getting the kind of press Alexander Maksik got for You Deserve Nothing , or even a movie deal like Kathryn Stockett got for The Help.
And the good thing is, it all happened to me, so I can talk about what I was like the same way Maksik discussed his affair with an underage girl in his novel. And maybe I can discuss my story like Stockett did, or at the least use someone else’s story to build my book and then cut them out in the end, and in the process be on the way to that big Time Book Review piece and maybe a film option for this work.
Yeah, of course there’s a few problems with doing that…
…like not having that interesting a life to pillage in the first place…
Forgive me a sec if I take a moment to whine a little…
I find myself coming back to the writing after a few days off, concentrating on the mundani mundo and doing all sorts of things to keep me from getting some stuff done. I get a few moments to do some work, and I end up doing anything but work. It gets so bad that when I, a person with a tendency to be lazy frankly, start to worry about my output, it’s a problem.
Sometimes you need to hit bottom, lose what you love most and go through some considerable pain and suffering to get yourself together.
Thankfully I didn’t.
For me, bouncing back came about from hearing this old song and seeing this piece in the TIMES about a performing couple at the Cafe Carlyle. Would that all dry spells were this easy to come through, and there’s probably going to be some big Robert Johnson-esque moment down the road right before I get my big break, probably consisting of some work-for-hire for three romance novels due next week…
But still, I’m saving the first two links above for those not-moist-enough spells down the road.
I’m hoping you all have what you’re thankful for, and that you’re still moving forward with what you love.
Well, one of these is something that I’m probably going to worry about; performance anxiety and all…
Of course, in terms of what we can all share, there’s a report on a survey among conservation researchers that showed considerable pessimism among them about near-term future biodiversity. It’s something I try and touch on in the new novel; there are some pieces I originally wrote that go head-on on how the species count has diminished, though not having the right characters to observe this detracted from the narrative. So as a result, I put those aside to find someone who would be a better speaker for the trees. Maybe someone short with a bushy mustache…
As for my own personal worry, it concerns doing a public piece. Writing, you see, isn’t just sitting down and typing and hoping people like you. It can also involve sitting down and typing something you read aloud and hoping people like you after that. If you’re looking for examples of writers that do that, there are regular reading events held over at KGB Bar and Symphony Space in New York; if you’re out on the West Coast, there’s Charlie Jane Anders MC’ing the Writers With Drinks events in San Francisco, which come highly recommended; some day if I get out there the right night, count me in.
And then there’s this event:
Friday, November 11, 7:30pm
Shabbat Service followed by
Cultural Program and Pot-Luck Dessert
Guests are welcome.
THIS I BELIEVE: City Congregation Members Join the Conversation – Round Three
For years on NPR, and in the 1950s on Edward R. Murrow’s radio show, celebrities and ordinary people have participated in an extraordinary conversation about their core values. More than 60,000 of these three-minute talks – ranging in title from There Is No God (by Penn Gillette) to An Idea of Service to Our Fellow Man (by Albert Einstein) to Be Cool to the Pizza Delivery Dude – are now collected on the This I Believe website (thisibelieve.org).
In our program an eclectic group of City Congregation members will offer their own three-minute reflections. Moderated by Carol Sternhell, TCC member and professor at the NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. This was such a successful program the last two years that we are repeating it again this year.
14th Street Y, 344 East 14th St., between 1st and 2nd Ave
7:30pm Shabbat Service
followed by program and Pot-luck Dessert
No cost for attending the service or program.
Guests are always welcome.
Members and guests are encouraged to bring enough
dessert for themselves and at least one other person.
We won’t complain if you bring more!
For kids ages 5 and older pending sufficient enrollment.
Please let us know by Wed., Nov. 9 if you are bringing a child
or children with you. No charge.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Call 212-213-1002 or email (email@example.com).
Yes, you can come on down this Friday and watch me make a
spectacle of myself presentation that I hope will be worth the price of admission. If nothing else, it’s a way to get a clue as to what gears are missing under my hood…
And who knows, today the 14th Street Y, tomorrow Symphony Space. Or at least the corner of 95th and Broadway as I babble to myself; either works for me…
Yeah, it’s a little after Halloween for me to suggest scary reads; this has been the Year of Missing Holidays for me.
In any event, I did want to pass on some light reading to keep you awake at night…
…mainly this piece about the forthcoming International Panel on Climate Change’s report on extreme weather. For anyone who doesn’t handle scary stuff well and needs spoilers to be able to deal with it, the main point the IPCC makes in the document is that one of the most dramatic impacts from climate change will be less the overall ambient effects than the increasing frequency of extremes. Thus, we more often will see large storms, longer droughts, and plenty of items to add to NCDC’s Billion Dollar US Weather/Climate Disasters List more frequently.
Hell, coming right after Richard Muller switched sides, this is not something to allow for a sound sleep. Especially if you live south of the Mason-Dixon Line and can’t up and leave gracefully when it starts getting unbearable. And yes, it’s likely; we’ve already experienced what happened the last time we had forced migration thanks to drought, and how that played out for decades to come, and there’s nothing to say we won’t see it again.