Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Welcome to the Monthly Update

Four more weeks. And then I promise to be diligent.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Experiment Setback

I've been so busy I don't even have the time or energy to write three new paragraphs. That's ridiculous. Man, I hate summer.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Here's an experiment - Part 4

"Last week," we had the sort of exposition and character development that a more skilled writer would've subtly woven into the very fabric of the story.

While the computer programmer spoke a remarkably gaffe-free version of American English, his accent was preposterous, and the American couple had to concentrate in order to process his words. The computer programmer, accustomed to speaking to Americans primarily over the phone, was in the habit of speaking English very slowly, which certainly helped matters.

The computer programmer explained that the daughter had only been away for a week, or possibly ten days, before the middle-aged guy had rounded up a pack of his friends for a counter-invasion and/or rescue mission. The computer programmer had not accompanied his fellow villagers on the raid, because he had a steady job and an employer who expected results, but he'd later heard that the middle-aged guy had personally taken the life of the man guilty of the abduction. This seemed to surprise the Americans, which surprised the computer programmer. He further explained that according to all accounts, the middle-aged guy had beaten the abductor to death using only his two bare hands. Confoundingly, this only seemed to increase the surprise of the American couple, as the American man slapped his forehead and the American woman gnawed on her handkerchief.

After a prolonged and somewhat uncomfortable silence, the computer programmer offered to take the American couple out to the shed. For the past two weeks, or maybe twenty days, he'd been coming by in the afternoons to take food out to the daughter. Not because the middle-aged guy refused to feed her anything--that certainly wasn't the case!--but because prior to her abduction the computer programmer had kind of had a crush on the girl. Ultimately he'd ended up marrying one of her cousins, who was much closer in age to the computer programmer, but that was neither here nor there.


Monday, May 22, 2006


And now let me say something about Cloverfield Press.

Cloverfield is a small press based in Los Angeles that puts out incredibly beautiful and incredibly tiny books. The books themselves are as much a work of art as the texts contained within. Cloverfield's stated goal is to promote the work of new artists, and to celebrate the short story as an art form. The folks who started the press, Matthew Greenfield and Laurence Dumortier, are two of the nicest people you'll ever meet if you ever get the chance to meet them. A case can be made that I'm biased, since it's entirely due to them that I'm now a World Renowned Published Author of Fiction. A case can also be made that just because a person is biased doesn't mean they're not telling the truth.

Speaking of truth, when I wrote The Cubist Infant I'd originally planned on it being a novella of approximately 80 pages. Ultimately, I scrapped a lot of the material (for instance, there was a lot more Gertrude Stein dialogue in earlier drafts... but I'm apparently the only one who thought it was funny. And then there was this big thing with Matisse and the Fauvists that turned out to be not as funny as I thought it would), and ended up with about 35 pages. I'd call that a Long Short Story. Some people, however, would call it a Novellette. I'm fine with either, at least until somebody does a study showing that people are more inclined to spend $15 on one or the other.

Anyway, I obviously want everybody to go to Amazon, Powells, or the publisher's website to buy my damn book, but I also want everybody to buy the rest of Cloverfield's books as well, because they're AWESOME. I've met the other Cloverfield authors (except Miranda July, who's too busy getting famous, and Haruki Murakami, who's too busy figuring out how he's next going to blow our collective minds), and they're all great people who you shouldn't feel bad about supporting.

So yeah, support independent publishing and buy some books.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


As far as I'm concerned, this blog is officially successful. I don't care how you define success--money, happiness, love, health, killing a man and getting away with it and then adopting his son and raising him as your own--in terms of what constitutes success, all of that pales next to finding your long-lost senior year Sadie Hawkins date.

Anyway, Dennis reminded me that I should probably be taking care of a few of the standard "This is what I think about that" issues, since this is a public blog and there's a slim chance that if it's being read it's probably being read by people who don't know me. People who do know me are sick to death of what I have to say, and rightly so--

But now I'm kind of out of steam and thinking maybe I should go toss on Sidehackers and reminisce weepily about the good old days. So the This Is What I Think About That posts will have to wait.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Here's an experiment - Part 3

Last week, the computer programmer tried to fill the American couple in on their host family's daughter-abduction situation.

Maybe I should backtrack here, because I don't know if I've been completely fair to the American couple. I should have probably made it clear that they weren't stupid or malevolent or bigoted. They weren't southerners, and they weren't plains staters. They weren't too old and they weren't that young. They weren't anything like what you would think of now when you think of Americans, except for the old fashioned ignorant sense of entitlement that's an enduring part of the national character.

On the other hand, they were white, from mixed European backgrounds. A little bit of French in the wife, a little bit of Italian in the husband, a little bit of Irish in the wife, a little bit of German in the husband, a little bit of Norwegian in the wife, and a whole shitload of English in the both of them. Which is why they'd chosen neutral ground for their first visit overseas. That, and because it was cheap.

They also didn't have any children. They'd been married for about seven years, and while they planned on having two kids at some point, they hadn't gotten around to it yet. They'd always imagined that they'd like to travel the world a bit before getting tied down with dependents, and so this trip was a bit of a test--if it went well, the kids would have to wait up in heaven a few more years. If, on the other hand, they found that travel wasn't all it was cracked up to be...


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I Google Me

Two guesses why this is my favorite thing anybody's said about the book:

"The Cubist Infant" is a sprawling fictional account of the friendship between Picasso and Georges Braque. Braque is sexually obsessed with Picasso and somehow becomes impregnated by him. All sorts of jackassery goes on between the two. The story is fascinating if oblique, and it contains perhaps the most stomach-turning birth scene - truly, it is disgusting - that I have read anywhere.

"All sorts of jackassery" makes the story sound 500% more awesome than it could ever live up to being.

Here's an experiment - Part 2

Last week, this American couple moved into this European dude's house.

The computer programmer explained that a great tragedy had befallen the Americans' host family. Several weeks earlier, a group of men from the village ten miles south had ridden into town and abducted the family's youngest daughter. Word had come down that the daughter had been married to one of those villagers. The family viewed this with some dismay, and her father, the middle-aged guy, had gone so far as to pronounce it "completely unacceptable."

The American couple was intrigued. They had been unable to detect any overt sadness or melancholy within the household, although to be fair they'd been there less than 24 hours and hadn't even met the middle-aged guy's wife or other children. But the middle-aged guy carried an air of pleasant resignation that in America could pass for contentment. The American couple marvelled that the middle-aged guy could be so calm such a short time after the loss of his daughter.

The computer programmer explained further that the daughter wasn't lost. She was in the shed behind the family's home.


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