Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Public Restroom Black Magic(k)

People I admire said nice things about my story, 'Other Sons.' I am still young. That sort of thing matters to me. After a while, maybe it will matter less.

I spent the weekend out of town. When I came back, the house was the same. Every time I open a door in this house, I expect to interrupt a party. This is probably because I believe the house is haunted. Our ghosts are polite. I think they spend a lot of time reading. They are very quiet ghosts. They are sometimes passive-aggressive. They hide Josh's library card. We have so many books already, going to the library seems like an extravagance. That's what the ghosts are thinking. We are of one mind.

I'm making a pizza tonight, maybe two. We have a pizza stone now. I expect things like that to change my kitchen life, but I pretty much just need sauce pans and mixing bowls. And spoons. God, I use so many spoons.

I have so many literary crushes. My literary crushes are amazing because I know they are sitting at their computers eating handfuls of dry cereal trying to think of something to write. We are in the same boat. My literary crushes just have the added burden of being SMOKING HOT.

If I started writing under a pseudonym, my pseudonym would be Will Suffice. I meet the minimum requirements for everything. I am just good enough.

I have a secret. I subscribe to two literary magazines. They are magazines of speculative fiction. I like reading strange stories. I like writing them, too.

A list of strange things that have happened to me or other people I know: The Spooklight. Spontaneous duplication of inanimate objects. Spontaneous invisibility. Ghost mice. Hearing my name in the sound of falling water. Prophetic dreams. Minor synchronicities. People other people can't see. Occult cupboard. Predicting the outcome of the 2008 Presidential election
with a pendulum in 2007. Disembodied growls. A box of magic(k) wands. Art. Roots shaped like hands. A mandolin playing itself in its case. Reflections in mirrors. Disappearances/reappearances. Shoulder tapping. Erotic auras. Crossroads offerings. Air that is heavy with violence. Tarot card pregnancies. Crazy shit.

But really, a guy in a public restroom once confided in me that he was a werewolf. I asked him to prove it. He said he would find me the next full moon. Every time a dog barks at night, part of me thinks it's that werewolf guy looking for me.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Devil Took My Language

I'm pissed, but I can do nothing about it. Warmer weather would make it better. I need to do my taxes.

On St. Patrick's Day, I got to sit on my front porch and drink beer with a friend. It was very nice. It felt deserved, though I'd done nothing to deserve it.

I feel like I have nothing to say lately. Like I've been saying it elsewhere, which is true, I've been writing a lot. I always write a lot, but right now I'm writing some longer stories and I think they're taking all my language. I've said this before. Sometimes, I just don't have the words.

I went to a delicious brunch last weekend. I feel bad because I didn't have words then either. I'd been up all night, which is a story for another time, but it's a story you have to understand in context. I don't think I can ever tell it to strangers. I certainly couldn't tell it at brunch and that's kind of a shame. The story is about having no shame, so maybe the story itself should have no shame. I do not know. Get me drunk and I will tell you the story.

I have ridiculous hope for the next batch of stories I'm preparing for submission. They are something else, I'm going to say.

I've been listening to a lot of blues, particularly Robert Johnson. I need more songs where the Devil makes an appearance. I think KE$HA should be singing
more about the Devil.

I made a quiche last night, like with a crust and everything. When I do that, I see the quiche and what I really want is a pie. I wish I'd made a pie.

Some people can play music, and how jealous does that make me? So jealous. If you can play music, please come to my front porch and play it. Especially if you can play the following instruments: banjo, mandolin, ukulele, fiddle, washboard, spoons, saw, weathered voice. I have bourbon and maybe or maybe not moonshine.

For having nothing to say, I just said it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hooked Gummy Worms

My brother and I are talking about GLEE. We're pretending it's not the gayest thing we've ever talked about. And seriously, we've discussed some very gay things. Because we're both gay. In the interest of sibling competitiveness, let it be known I was gay first, and I started watching, and hating, GLEE first.

Sometimes, when I mean to type "fair enough", I accidentally type "far enough", and people think they should quit talking about whatever it is they're talking about. They're right. They should quit talking.

I had so much bourbon on Sunday. I had so much bourbon, it snowed. Yes, my drinking made it snow. I went outside, drunk, and looked into the park. The light was just right. I felt clear and pinched like you do when you're sick. I had a moment. And then I realized how much I talked to my drinking friend and how much of that talk I couldn't even remember. I've spent the better part of three days wondering what I said to another drunk person. It can't have been that important.

I feel like all I talk about is writing and cats. I don't even have a cat. There are at least four cats, though, maybe more, running stray on our block. It's getting to be that time of year where they spend all day on top of my car. There's one new stray who comes to the kitchen door and screams whenever I cook. He seriously wants this chickpea curry.

I guess I'm going to read all the Hemingway books I can find. All right in a row. If I ask you to go fishing, say no. I won't really want to go fishing. Like most things I do, it'll be an affectation. If I start wearing a fishing vest, make sure I follow through by having something edible in every single pocket of that fishing vest. As a joke, make sure to ask me how the fish are biting.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Smelling My Fingers

I often wake up to the sound of a bell. Something about breaking the barrier of sleep, I guess. It's never an actual bell, only perceived. Still, I almost always check the front door, just in case.

I'm reading Hemingway's A MOVEABLE FEAST. A lot of my tendencies as a writer probably come from my love of Hemingway's work. I recognize that. I own it. I abandon it when necessary. A MOVEABLE FEAST isn't what I expected at all. People sometimes talk about the masculinity of Hemingway's work like it's a bad thing. I see that masculinity as honesty. (I don't mean truthfulness, as I don't think A MOVEABLE FEAST is a completely truthful account of Hemingway's early adult years.) Maybe it's because of the culture of internet writing, but a lot of the work I'm reading online values brutal honesty. These writers aren't shying away from sharing some truly nasty things about humanity, some things they could only know from experience. I don't know. Maybe I'm comparing apples to the petrified orange slices in a dish of potpourri. I don't have an MFA. Excuse my ignorance.

I don't cry all that often. Sometimes when watching movies, I cry. Last night I got accepted to a literary magazine I respect and adore so much. They even tweeted nice things about my story. I was excited all night. It was almost like being high. When I went to bed, I cried into my pillow. I mean, Jesus. Sometimes things turn out to be really important. I've had eleven stories accepted
for publication by different literary magazines. Eight of those stories have already been published. This latest acceptance makes it feel real, like those other stories weren't flukes, like maybe I'm really good at this. The story will be up in July. I'll keep you posted, of course.

My fingers smell like curry. I cooked Indian food last night. I have not showered today. I will, I promise.

I really think I want ice cream tonight. I almost said I deserved ice cream. I wonder if Hemingway ever thought he deserved ice cream. And by ice cream, I mean sex, sex, sex.

I have a story on SmokeLong Weekly. People have been curious. It's mostly fiction. I did come out to my parents when I was a teenager. That experience resembles the story but doesn't mirror it. The response from people I know has been a sort of pity. Well, no thank you. That adversity has proved invaluable.

Sometimes, the cat upstairs sounds like something bigger. Like when my neighbors leave, maybe the cat becomes something else. It sounds like there's a person up there. I know that's silly. I'm so silly. That cat, walking on its hind legs like a person, is so silly, too. It goes up and down the stairs, which are right above my head, and I swear it's wearing heels.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Wrong Midwest

There's this argument (sort of) on HTMLGIANT about a group of young literary assholes being young, literary, and assholes. Except, duh, they're young. Some people are giving them a hard time. I understand the compulsion, but it's kind of tacky to pick on people for being young and impressionable. I don't know. I just try to stay out of it.

I'm writing a novella. Ice cream is one of the main characters. Kind of like how NYC was one of the main characters on SEX AND THE CITY. It was the character the girls talked about fondly but never invited to brunch.

I got a nice rejection this week. Not frameable or anything, but very supportive and sweet. The editor told me not to be discouraged and to keep submitting my work to literary magazines. It's like my mother wrote that rejection. Maybe my mother is secretly an editor.

I also got the best acceptance I've ever gotten. Not only because it's from an amazing magazine, but because this is how the acceptance was worded, "Very odd story here, but we're big fans.
" Ha!

I'm trying to talk to writers I admire. It's working. They're talking back to me. That's all I really want. To talk to other writers. I don't want to sleep with them or anything. OK, some of them maybe.

There's a new chapter in the blender saga. My mother sent us a new blender. It's sporty and red and actually came with an instruction manual. I immediately blended the only things I had to blend: frozen blackberries, milk, and a little sugar. I can confirm that the resulting mix was frothy and delicious but full of seeds. The last swallow, especially, was thick with little black seeds. Oh my God. I know how that sounds. Like zombie sperm or something. Anyway, this blender's the real deal.

I wish I could be in Chicago tonight. There's this reading that's going to be INSANE. If you're in Chicago tonight, go to The Underbar for Invasion::Response. Go because I cannot. Tell me all about it later, but don't be smug.

I might go to a writing group on Tuesday. I want to see what it's like. One of my friends runs it. I might go in disguise and sit at a different table and just listen. I've tested the waters in more embarrassing ways, believe me. Unfortunately, my only disguise is "lesbian". Maybe I can push it and go for "lesbian pirate".

Someone from the United Kingdom found my blog by Googling, "You never know who's listening." Eek. Mysterious.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

High Praise

I had two stories go up over the weekend. One on and one on decomP magazinE. They are depressing stories. People seem to like them. People I don't know and people I do know.

Other things that happened over the weekend: drunkenness, sexiness, sadness. In that order.

A family member revealed something to me about her future. She is ill and her life will never be the same. Everything I do seems so small.

Today, I saw a man released from prison with time served. He posed for a cell phone picture. I want to know what he was thinking. I almost said, "How do you feel about posing for a cell phone picture?" But a bus drove by. The man watched the bus go. It was a big moment for him, I think. (I shouldn't guess at what he was thinking. Other people know him better.)

I'm obsessed with ginger beards right now. There are some men who don't have red hair, but when their beards grow out, their face is on fire. This one poet has a ginger beard. He's too skinny, and he tweets too much, but I don't care. He's a total fox.

I never participated in a circle jerk in high school, but it seems appropriate that the circle jerk I participate in now (the online literary community) has replaced jizzing on a cracker with jizzing on a book the size of a cracker. I'm talking about xTx's new book NORMALLY SPECIAL. It's a wonderful book. It deserves all the jizz people are piling on it. I had to read each story out loud, which is a good thing. They were like devastating fortune cookies that way. The book is now in its second printing. You have been given another chance.

I'm surprised when people my age refuse to eat certain foods.