Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Here we go again

This year, I will complete a novel.  It's important to me.  Here is a first draft of a beginning.  This isn't it yet but it is what it's about, I think.

I never used to believe in souls. Now though, I know they exist. Ghosts too, maybe.  Sure.  Why not?  It’s possible I even believe in God now.  I mean I think there’s something.  Not that it makes my day any easier to believe in something or someone.  Nothing makes my day any easier, really. And Heaven and Hell are still too binary for me.  I can say for sure though, in my life before the accident I never believed in souls.  But that’s before I lost mine. 

I don’t mean that metaphorically.  I don’t mean I did something unforgivable that made me feel like I lost my soul, though that may be true too.  I don’t mean I sold my soul to some devil at some crossroads who made all my dreams come true.  I’m not even sure what my dreams are anymore but I can tell you they are not anywhere near coming true.  What I mean is that my soul left my body.  I’m still here with my memories, my likes and dislikes, my name, my personness. I still have all my thoughts and feelings, my face, all my fingers and toes.  But my soul is gone and I have no reason to think it will ever return.  In its absence, a gray haze envelops every moment.  It’s a life without any living. 

I don’t mean to bring you down.  That’s not what this book is about.  But if you do want to cry, go off and have a good cry.  I’ll be here when you get back.  And we can start.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait.  These words exist right now and will continue to exist tomorrow, ten, twenty, thirty, fifty, eighty, three hundred years from now, until all the copies are burned up or people lose interest.  Come back tomorrow if you can, whenever tomorrow is.  Or five minutes from now.  Take a bath, have some soup, cry a bit and come back.  But don’t wait too long.  Because when you read this, I continue to exist, just a little bit.  I live on in memory, as they say of the dead.  But if you stop now . . . if everybody stops now, well that’s it for me.  No soul, no story, no nothing.  I don’t mean to lay all that on you either.  This isn’t a guilt trip book either.  I want to make you feel better.  I’m going to try to do that.  Okay?

Friday, June 22, 2012

this summer

I told myself I would have a draft of this novel this summer.  Wish me luck.  Word count is around 36812.

First paragraph of the day: 

Cindy’s relationship to you had changed since you started hanging out with Ryan.  Your change in appearance had something to do with it for sure.  Humans are nothing if not shallow.  Also something shifted the first time she saw you with the band.  You never saw her at that first show—that show you only knew about because of her—only went to save her.  And when she saw you in the mirrored halls of Escape with Ryan, with Marjory, with Ariana months later, there was a seismic shift at work.  It helped that you had stopped preaching to the deaf ears at work.  Your effort to fit in with Ryan’s group had carried over into your work life.  People stopped repeating everything you said.  There was even a twitter feed for a while, you think.  But now, the soulless khaki wearing lunkheads had moved on to harass the new temps and had forgotten about you. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

novel writing

Here it is five years from when I started trying a novel. 10 years since I started to write a different version of the same novel.

And what have I done? I have 4 different novels that I started. The one with the most work put in has about 30,000 words written which is maybe half maybe less, of what it should be.

I recently completed my 31st full length play. There have been 4 pilots, 3 full length films and a web series as well. Oh, and I wrote for that show for 5 months. (something like 5 episodes.)

So I haven't been doing nothing, but man, I wish I could finish a novel. Back to work.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


It's been a long time since I've posted here. I've written for TV, and a bunch of plays but now and then I work on the novel. I'm nearing 28000 words now. Here is the first paragraph of the day:

Somehow, he became hers, wanted only her. Somehow she was able to keep his attention, but she was constantly afraid it wouldn’t last. Another thing about Ariana—Her worst fear was that she would never be enough. She longed for something like him, pure and true and good but she thought every second he was about to slip away. He was her path to something bigger than herself, whatever that was. Transcendence. But she knew any moment he would see her for what she wasn’t, and then it would be all over. This gnawed at her night and day. She tried to hide it the best she could, and was mostly successful. Hiding her insecurity was one of Ariana’s god-given talents and she had honed it in her early twenties. Now it was nearly undetectable to all but the most expert observers of human emotion. Marjory was such a person. Ariana found herself as the weeks passed confiding in Marjory more than she was comfortable with. And when Ryan went mad in some sort of withdrawal state of mass panic and threatened her with a knife, Ariana could take it no more and broke down. Marjory carefully ushered her to Danny O’s after Ryan unceremoniously ran away.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm back at it word count 19181

I went back to the original novel I was working on. I started where I left off a new part in second person from a different perspective. Here is the beginning:

You are better than most people. You know this. And not just because you do a hundred pushups every night, though that is part of it. Most people are unclean. But not you. You live a life of purity, or as close to pure as one can get on this planet. You are drug free, alcohol free, dairy free. You do not get drunk and copulate with strangers on Friday nights. Not like your co-workers. Not like Cindy.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

starting again

OK, I just finished a draft of a pilot. Now surely i will be interrupted by plays and hopefully TV but now, i want to look at novel writing again.

Tomorrow i turn 31. Time to get serious.

Here is a section from the 2000 or so words i have so far.

This went on for a year or so. Then one day I brought a tile home. It was one of the first tiles I had created and the composition was pretty good, I thought. The main focus was a woman cut from a magazine, smiling but also sad for some reason. Very beautiful so it’s hard to look at her too long, but not the kind of beauty that looks like it was overly manipulated. She looks real and that makes the sadness all the more palpable. I tried to use subtle paint enhancements to show her sadness more clearly and her beauty and her realness, if that’s possible. I think it was fairly successful. There were other objects too. Balls she seemed to be trying to keep up in the air. Glasses of champagne she was about to tip over. And the whole thing had this faint diagonal slicing with these semi-transparent dots I had painted on. And in the middle but also in the corner in dark black letters it said “runk.”
Many people have asked me in interviews and in letters and at parties and on the street and in the supermarket and once in bed where runk came from. And I’ll tell you now what I said each and every time. I don’t remember. It was cut from a magazine and I know runk was not the whole word. It could have been “trunk,” like an elephant’s trunk or swim trunks or the trunk of a tree. It could have been from an article about crunk, because I think it was around the time when people were writing articles about crunk and crunking and saying things like, “isn’t it interesting, these people dancing?” It could have been Strunk, as in Strunk and White. But honestly, I don’t think it matters. The word runk just feels right in this picture and I can’t tell you why except to say it just does. When you see it, if you haven’t already seen it, I hope you agree. I think most people agree it feels right which was perhaps why the whole movement, if you want to call it a movement, solidified around the word. It was just the right word.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

novel writing

OK so I haven't written on this bloglet for a while. I was planning of course to get back to this novel and maybe I still will, eventually. Plays and film writing got in the way. But I decided again to figure out when and how (soon, I hope) to write a novel.

The current plan is to put this one aside again and write something new from scratch. And the reasons are this: This is a complicated story. A story I've been trying to write for a long time and I'm not sure yet I know how to write it. I started to write it as a novel 7 years ago. Then I discarded it. I wrote 50 or so pages of it as a play but never finished that either. I thought for a while it might be a screenplay. Then I started writing it as a different novel and stopped writing that too, as you see. Part of the problem is that it is a story about God and I don't know what I think about God so I'm having a hard time writing. Is it a story about how God can be many things or about how God is nothing? I'm not sure because I'm still not sure where I stand on this whole God issue. So the novel will remain for the moment unwritten. And it will wait until I figure some stuff out and read some more about religion and feel I can properly capture what I'm trying to capture.

But that does not mean I have given up on writing a novel. Oh, no. I plan to write one soon and I think I know what it's about and I think it's loosely based on the 8 minute play I wrote for Ars Nova titled Bill Clinton about the 20 something guy who writes a book called Runk that becomes a hit.

When will I write this? Why in my spare time, between finishing the play I'm writing, writing the second act of the dog play, rewriting Searching and Temporary Everything and plugging in a couple new (but not yet written) short plays for Old Fashioned Cold Fusion. But first I have to do a rewrite of that screenplay that's been sitting there aching to be fixed and of course there is the day job. And the commission. But I plan to and hope to write this thing and do so in a somewhat timely fashion. I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

18039 words

first paragraph of the day:

Phil looked like he just woke up and I’m sure I looked worse. He didn’t recognize me at first but I got him to let me in anyway despite my death mask or maybe because of it. He was a druggist after all or he was something. In any case, I grunted something incoherent and pushed my way in. He stared at me blinking for a few seconds as I looked at the organized wreckage of his lab.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

word count 17663

Outlining a screenplay which is coming slowly. in the meantime, worked on this a bit. first paragraph of the day:

I don’t know if you know what fear is. Maybe when you were a kid in pigtails and pajamas with feet, you stayed up late to watch one of the Friday the 13ths at Lindsay Miller’s house and when the film was over, they turned off the lights and you stayed up not sleeping, at the bottom of your sleeping bag, shaking, terrified, and every sound of the cat or a shift in the sleeping bag beside you made you squeeze your face in your hands and even when you finally dozed off you still woke up screaming and for six months went to bed with the hall light on.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Ok, so I'm putting it off again

got to write a screenplay next, but I have not forgotten about the novel. i will finish. I swear.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

ok, so here's the plan

I need to finish my play for the fringe and write a 10 min play for Ars Nova by the end of the month and then I'm getting back on this novel fulltime (or as fulltime as someone with a fulltime job anyway) and try and finish by Aug 17. We'll see how it goes. I'm sure I will have to interrupt the writing to work on some play rewrites but it is theoretically possible to finish the first draft of the novel by my 30th birthday.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

the old novel attempt

Ok, So I will get back to writing this novel. i swear. In the meantime, here my first attempt to write a novel at the age of 23 or so. i was reading lots of Tom Robbins at the time. In some ways, it's the same story I'm trying to tell now. I'm just not using the same characters exactly or the same plot exactly. But in my mind, I'm just starting over and telling the same story. This is 18 pages double spaced.

The Tabington Breakfast Cult
By Adam Szymkowicz

Part I
Eggs and Marmalade Toast: How the Cult Got Started


Like he did at least twice a week, Tad woke at three in the morning or three at night, depending how you look at it. He clawed the plaid covers away from his plaid pajamas and sat up, running his hands through his dark shaggy hair while his wife, Phyllis, snored up a lung on the far side of the bed. Tad hated to be awake more and more this last year. What bothered him more than the price of gas, his thinning hair or the smile-and-chide boss at the insurance company where he phoned and keyboarded his day away was a feeling that something was missing.
Something unknown gnawed at his brain, especially at three-o-clock in the morning and night. Tad considered becoming an alcoholic, but remembered that his grandfather had been one, and had been fairly miserable. Perhaps alcoholism was not the answer. Anyway, these days they had prescription drugs to chase away whatever this void was. Though Tad couldn’t see asking a doctor for prescription drugs because he woke at night with a dread of death and a godless world. Maybe I’m not getting enough sunlight, he thought. Or vitamins. It could be vitamins. Maybe I should pick up some quartz crystal or start smoking something. Maybe there’s a religion I ‘d like. I haven’t really been looking too hard. So Tad went back to bed, thinking tomorrow he would go to the library and learn about the religions of the world.

Instead, the next evening, Tad sat in front of the TV with his cheap beer in one hand, ignoring his wife screeching in the kitchen.
“Fucking cat! You know what that fucking cat did?”
Tad finished his beer and went to the refrigerator for another.
“You know what that fucking cat did?”
“Who cares.”
“You better damn well care.”
“Phyllis, you could get a heart attack from standing too close to the microwave and you could die instantly and it wouldn’t make a difference what the cat did.”
“Why do you say things like that?”
“I could die too. I’m not saying . . .”
“Well, don’t.”
“I could die too. I could be dead when you wake up tomorrow.”
“Stop talking like that. Go back in there and watch your TV.”

That night Tad didn’t sleep at all. He rolled and turned, punched his pillow, twisted and rolled, stretched and curled and rolled some more. His wife’s snoring seemed to him like a jeering cigarette boat speeding past a dinky dinghy on a windless day. He nudged her, but she didn’t stir. He nudged her a little harder. She rolled with his punch, but didn’t wake. Finally Tad lifted his 5’10’ frame out of bed and shuffled to the kitchen. It was fiveish now, and he’d have to be up in another hour anyway. He may as well get a jump on breakfast.
Tad opened the refrigerator and examined his options: ketchup, onions, grapes, beer, tupperware containers full of leftovers he didn’t like the first time, old cheese, four slices of bread, a couple of oranges, eggs and cat food. He settled on the eggs. As he was heating the frying pan, getting ready to scramble his breakfast, he thought he heard a little voice. No smoking. Tad looked around. Did someone just tell him not to smoke? He didn’t smoke. Not since he was a teenager. Why would someone forbid him to smoke--and in his own kitchen at that?
By the time he had begun his scrambling, he had forgotten all about the little voice. When he sat down with his plate of slightly burned eggs, he dug his fork in and the eggs shouted, Ouch! What are ya doing? Tad jumped back, dropping the plate on the floor. His wife’s cat scurried into the kitchen and started to munch the spilled egg fragments. Tad picked up the cat and threw her out the back door. Then he got down on the kitchen floor and pleaded with the eggs to speak again.
“Please, don’t die. Tell me again--what were you saying? What have you come to tell me?”
And that is when he noticed his wife standing in the doorway.
“Did you put Mittens outside in this rain?” She demanded.


Tracey always slept through the nights without difficulties, but keep in mind she dosed herself heavily with sleeping pills. She liked the little blue pills the best because she rarely woke before noon when she downed a couple of those bad boys.
Tracey didn’t mind not waking until noon. She hadn’t gone to any sort of regular work for a couple of years now and was living off the money of others, especially her parents. She graduated from the University of Colchester with a double major in Painting and Writing and had found it nearly impossible to find a job with credentials like that. She didn’t want to work for Disney or write her own children’s books as some of her peers had suggested. And she fumed at the thought of pretending her five years in college had never happened and waste her days away in front of a cash register or a computer. So she lived off her parents. They were rarely around anyway to bother her. So what if she was 24? She was fairly happy, bored sometimes, but that’s where the sleeping pills came in. And it wasn’t like she didn’t have her friends and her hobbies. She did spend an hour or so a day painting and at least an hour fucking one or two of her friends.
The only thing you could say bothered her was her lack of fame. Every morning she woke up and went into the bathroom, stood on her furry purple bathmat and looked into the mirror at her unfamous face. Then she looked down at her unfamous feet blocked slightly by her small unfamous breasts.
Tracey wanted to be Picasso and Van Gogh. She wanted to be Janis Joplin, Alice in Wonderland and Anais Nin. She wanted to be a porn star and a rock star and a star of the screen. But more than anything she wanted to be a famous painter. Not just an average famous painter, but the kind even unartistic people knew. She wanted her own movement like Surrealism or Dadaism, but bigger and bolder and a lot more famous. She would be a pioneer. Now all she needed was an original idea--an original view of the world. Then she would let her idea out in the world with her name tacked onto it and her feet and her face and her wrists would be famous. Photographers would come in their black sunglasses, black pants, black shirts and ties and they would photograph her famous feet against velvet maroon backgrounds.
Until then, she vegged and painted her day away. Her boyfriends came around because of her loud “I’m here, let’s dance” attitude. She only fucked one or two of them who she couldn’t resist. The others she just kept around because they made her feel good and they helped to entertain her, not to mention take her out to clubs where other men could look at her. She never had to buy her own drinks. But, she knew, that wasn’t just because of her attitude but also because of her red hair.
Some men wanted her merely because of her curley red shoulder-length hair. She was pretty in an innocent freckled way but she could never have been a porn star. She was too real. Her breasts barely crossed the threshold between A and B. Her ankles were too large, her legs slightly too plump. Her ass, she thought, was growing every day, but she kept it in tight pants when she went out and let it go where it would. At five-foot four, she attracted almost as much attention as she wanted because her red hair, untainted by blond or brown took the attention away from her muddy eyes and stunted strawberry blond lashes.
Tracey frequented the clubs, strolling in with one or two men and leaving with at least as many. She was at Orco’s when the S&M Doctors played two stoned sets and at the end of the night she took Streak, the lead singer, home with her. Tracey was also at Orco’s two months later, the first time Tad appeared on stage.


Ed lived alone and slept on the floor. He hated beds and told his acquaintances the floor was better for his back. It made him feel manly. It made him feel strong. The sad truth, however, was that Ed only lay on the floor for fifteen or thirty minutes before he got into the bed. It was one thing to sleep on the floor, it was quite another to spend the whole night there. Ed only slept 4 or 5 hours a night anyway. When he was younger he had slept an average of 3 hours a night, but he was popping up on 30 and found he needed sleep, so he played less chess and slept an hour or so longer.
Ed disliked people. They bored him and annoyed him with their stupidity. He rarely left his apartment except to go to work and to the store. He ate only wheat bread and tuna fish out of the can. Now and then he’d order a pizza, but that didn’t really count in his mind as part of his diet and he never fed his cat any of the pizza. Flippers, named in a night of irony, ate tuna from the same can Ed ate from. Ed used a spoon, so he wouldn’t accidentally stab Flippers.
Ed was a computer programmer who hated computers. He was a human who hated other humans. The only thing he loved was Flippers and Flippers often didn’t know when Ed was around because she was too old and blind and deaf.
On top of his dresser, Ed kept a list of people he thought should die. The pope was high on the list and so was the vice president. The list contained a number of people who were already dead and Ed, who didn’t read the newspaper, had never been notified. John Denver was on the list. He had also added a few fictional characters to the list before printing it out on his laser printer. Most of them were Disney characters. Ed hated the way Disney made all their animals and plates and things talk and walk around. Both Mickey and Minnie Mouse had asterisks next to their names, meaning they were fictional and it would be difficult for them to actually die. The pope also had an asterisk next to his name, but Ed only wished the pope were fictional. He hated organized religions like many bitterly intelligent people.
While Ed was not a virgin, he was not comfortable with sex and preferred his own hand to a partner of any kind. Although he considered himself heterosexual, Ed often masterbated while watching Conan the Barbarian, one of the two movies he owned. The other movie, which was still in its shrink wrap, was an instructional video on how to play the harmonica. He hadn’t gotten around to buying the harmonica yet.
He spent most of his time playing chess, moving the pewter chess warriors around the stone board. He hadn’t played against someone else in a long time. They were too stupid. He had played chess by mail and then chess by email, but had mocked his opponents until no one would play him anymore. Now he played himself and the games were much more intense and lasted longer.
The month when Ed started playing chess with three queens per side and no rooks, was when he first heard about the Tabington Breakfast Cult, as the newspapers called it. His co-worker, Josh, was eating an egg and bacon sandwich while Ed stepped to the table, head down to get some water for his tea.
“It’s ridiculous. Think about it,” said Josh to Denise.
“It’s like the burning bush though.”
“Sure. That stuff only happened with Moses. Anyway that was a little ridiculous too.”
“You think the Bible is made up?”
“Of course it is.” Josh turned to Ed who had procured his water and was making his escape. “Ed isn’t the Bible a lot of poppycock?”
Ed turned like a rickety chair. “Yes.” He looked to see if that’s all that was required of him.
“I don’t care what you say. It could happen.”
“What’s his name? Tabington?”
“That’s what they call him.”
“He’s hallucinating. Been smoking too much crack.”
And that had been the end of it. Ed walked away and didn’t flash back to that conversation until months later.


The evening on the day Tad’s eggs spoke to him, he sat on his kitchen stool talking to his best friend and neighbor,Toby.
“I swear to God, Toby.”
“I’m not saying I don’t believe you.”
“You’re not saying you do.”
“I believe you actually think your scrambled eggs told you not to smoke.”
“You think I’m crazy?”
“Over-worked, maybe. Crazy? Probably not.”
“I’m not overworked.”
“I haven’t slept too much recently.”
“There you go. Lack of sleep can cause hallucinations.”
“Yeah, but Toby, I’ve had less sleep.”
“You ever see weird shit?”
“Sometimes the paintings start vibrating.”
“There you go.”
“But they never spoke.”
“I don’t know what to tell you,” Toby said and took a sip from his beer.
They sat in silence for a minute, then Toby added, “If it happens again tomorrow morning I’ll believe you.”

But nothing happened the next morning even though Tad got up just as early and scrambled his eggs. It didn’t happen at all that week. Or the next. And by the time Tad had forgotten about talking eggs, that’s when his toast started screaming at him.
Tad was sitting at the kitchen counter waiting for his white bread to pop up brown when he heard a rusty voice coming from the general area of the toaster.
Tad, you’re a piece of shit!
“You’re a piece of shit,” Tad said without thinking.
I’m a piece of toast. You’re a piece of shit.
Will you shut up? said the first toast’s mate.
No I won’t. I’m talking to this piece of shit.
He’s not a piece of shit. He’s Tad.
“She’s right,” said Tad who instinctively knew the second rusty voice was a female piece of toast.”
Get me out of this hell hole and spread some orange marmalade on me!
“I don’t like marmalade.”
I didn’t ask you.
Now, sweetheart, watch your temper.
I will not watch my temper. I’m burning here. The bastard piece of shit is letting me burn.
Tad, could you take us out please.
And Tad popped the handle, lifted them out onto his plate, careful not to let them break or flake off. Then he spread butter on them.
He’s gonna eat us.
No he won’t.
Careful with the butter, piece of shit. That’s cold stuff you’re spreading around.
Tad continued to spread, then paused before lifting the male slice up to his mouth.
Whoa!! Whoa there! What are you doing?
“Having breakfast.”
Don’t you know that we’re sacred slices sent down from heaven to deliver a prophecy?
Floyd, don’t you think you’re spreading it a little thick?
We come to deliver a message from your creator.
I need a shovel, Floyd.
“All right, what’s your message then?”
I’m not telling you. You’ll eat me.
“You’re toast. What do you expect?”
The female slice shrugged. He’s right.
I’m not telling you anything until you promise not to eat us.
“All right.” Tad got up and put two more slices into the toaster.
And put orange marmalade on us.
“Over the butter?”
Yeah, over the butter.
Tad conceded and talked to the toast until his wife came into the room still in her robe, her dark hair twisted into uncomfortable knots. As she shuffled in, the slices went mute.
“Who are you talking to?”
“No one.”
“I don’t see any eggs, Tad.
“There aren’t any eggs for you to talk to Tad.”
“What do you want?”
“The toilet’s clogged.”
Tad left to unclog the toilet and when he returned, his wife had eaten his conversation partners.

Tracey was in her room riding a pale hairy stallion when, in mid-thrust, she suddenly got an idea. She leaped off him and ran to her moon-shaped table where she began scribbling away at her notepad, all the while ignoring his whimpers of unrequited love.
This was it! This was the idea! This was her passageway to fame. Now all she needed were several pieces of work implementing her idea and several thousand people coming to see it every day. If only she had taken that marketing class in college. But she was getting ahead of herself. She had to paint it first. Maybe a couple of sculptures, a manifesto or two. Then try to market it.
Tracey was so caught up in her new canvas, she didn’t notice when her toy left. She had completely forgotten about him until an hour later when she started wipe her paint-covered hands on her smock and realized she was naked.

That same night, after Ed did his seventy nightly pushups and stared for fifteen minutes at his bare white walls, he went to the closet, got a pair of rubber-handled pliers and began tearing his left hand with them.
He was testing his pain threshold. Pretty soon his hand started bleeding as he went from finger to finger. It was true that Ed’s father lost his left arm in a jet engine, and it was perhaps guilt of having a left hand that made him do it. Or maybe it was a general masochistic tendency he’d had since he was a child running through prickers, stung with the pain yet enjoying the exhiliration of feeling alive. Surviving. Or perhaps as his neighbors who heard him grunt in pain would later say, “He’s crazy.”

Tracey attacked the canvas in a way she never had before, painting with both hands and no brushes. She chose violent vivid colors and the product turned out much more abstract than any other work she had ever created. Only one object was visible in her color muddle: a slice of toast. She almost painted over it, but later she was glad she didn’t.

Ed wrapped his bleeding hand in an old blue dress shirt and fell into bed.
“Flippers!” he called to his cat, but she was too deaf to hear him. He didn’t sleep at all that night, the sting of his bleeding keeping him awake.


Father Dave was standing at his ironing board about to iron his black shirt when Toby knocked on his door. Dave had to squeeze past his ironing board and file between his cat scratched coffee table and chairs to get to the door.
“Father Dave, I don’t know if you remember me, but I . . .”
“Toby, you cut your hair. You cut off those beautiful blond curls.”
“I’m an adult now.”
“You can’t be more than 20.”
“I’m 22.”
“And Twenty-two year olds don’t have blond curls? It was your halo. I always said it was your halo. How do I look to you? Old, I imagine. Keep in mind I was just about to shave when you knocked so I may be a bit scruffy.”
“You’re not scruffy.”
“And I’m balding.”
“You were always balding.”
“It’s part of my charm. So what can I do for you? You’re not getting married are you, because I’m sorry but I don’t do that anymore, not that I don’t miss it mind you , but one must make sacrifices. Of course I could become a justice of the peace, but then it wouldn’t be the same, now would it?”
“I’m not here to get married.”
“Good. You’re so young. I didn’t want to say anything earlier, you had your mind so set on it, but you really are still quite young. Please sit down.” Father Dave led him to the gold and yellow armchair which had been methodically torn-up by the cats of the previous owners, then went back to his ironing. “There you go. Can I get you anything? Some juice maybe? Well, I guess you’re old enough for a beer now, though I doubt that would be your failing the way you’d scrunch up your face from the communion wine. Christ never knew he could cause such pain in young children. He probably would have made it apple juice if he could have. Of course, beer and wine have a much different taste anyway. You could adore beer and never touch wine for the rest of your days. Both of them aquired tastes anyway, really.”
“I’m fine. Thank you.” Toby smiled at the man he once knew. “The reason I came Father . . .”
“Are you selling something? I don’t have a lot of money, but you know I would of course do anything to help out someone from my old Parish.”
“I’m not selling anything.”
“I need some new knives, actually. Do you know where I could get some good steak knives? Not that I really need them, but it is difficult to cut a steak with a paring knife, not that I eat too much steak, but a good steak every now and then is good for the soul, don’t you think?”
“I’m a vegetarian.”
“Oh. Well, I guess I’m still a little bit Old Testament when it comes to eating animals.”
“That’s what I came to talk to you about.”
“What? Eating animals.”
“The Old Testament.”
“I see. How unusual. Are you selling Bibles?”
“No. You see I have this friend Tad and he’s telling people that his toast and eggs are talking to him.” Father Dave looked up from his ironing. “I was just wondering, I don’t know. Has God ever spoken to you?”
“Does God ever stop speaking? Never underestimate the divine.”
“So you think Tad’s eggs really are talking?”
“It’s possible. What do the eggs say?”

That Sunday Phyllis tried to drag Tad to Church again.
“But what if I don’t believe in God?”
“Of course you believe in God. Everyone believes in God. I promise you the Christ wafers will talk to you if you go.”
“Shut up about that.”
“Put on your shoes. My mom will be here any minute.”
“I told you I’m not going.”
Phyllis went to the bathroom to remove the cat hair from her black pants and when she emerged fifteen minutes later her husband was missing.

Tad had decided to go on a walk thereby avoiding Phyllis’s mother and the Catholic church and so he could grab a bite to eat. He stopped in Sam’s Diner, enjoying the ring of bells as he entered and quietly sat in the farthest corner below the moosehead which seemed terribly out of place in the 50’s style of metal walls and table jukeboxes--almost as out of place as the bowling trophies behind the counter.
As Tad was sipping his tomato juice waiting for his hashbrowns and eggs to arrive, he heard a deep grunt. Tad was about to run to the door away from these noises he knew would only bring him ridicule when he heard the voice say, “Don’t get up.”
“I wasn’t going to,” Tad bluffed. He looked around to see if anyone could hear him talking to himself.
“Oh, you’re a rookie at this game. Don’t be playing with me,” Tad heard the booming moose say without moving his mouth.
“What do you want?”
“I want you to listen to my story. No more. No less. When I’m finished you can eat your breakfast in peace.”
“My food isn’t here yet.”
“I know. The service is terrible, isn’t it?”
“Yeah. It is.”
“I would never eat here.”
“Sometimes you can’t be picky. So what’s your story?”
“I’m getting to it. Hold on.” The moose took a deep breath. “Once upon a time there was a frog named Edgar who didn’t get along well with the other frogs. He was always pushing tadpoles around and stealing flies away from little frogs, running around calling the elders ‘Wartboy’ and ‘Cheeseface.’ No one would do anything about Edgar because he was a big teenage frog and all the little frogs were afraid of him. And he was an orphan so he didn’t have parents to yell at him and keep him in line. One little frog named Jay thought he’d try to teach Edgar a lesson. He waited til Edgar.....went into deep water and Jay got eaten by a big bass.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

and then

word count 15968

first paragraph of the day:

A half hour later, Anthony was still staring at the unplugged TV and I had realized that I was God. I didn’t say anything to anyone just then. I didn’t want to seem like I was bragging. Also it’s hard to fit into a conversation. It’s something that has to be revealed slowly piece by piece. Because the human mind just can’t take it. I loved my friends and did not want to hurt their human minds by just out and out mentioning that I was God so I just said nothing for a while.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I start rehearsal today for incendairy

I know the novel writing has slowed down but i couldn't keep booking at the rate i was going. Also I ran into a part where i wasn't sure what was supposed to happen next and I was having other problems related to having never written a novel before and not knowing what i was doing. what better way to learn than to do it though? and then read a lot of novels.

I have to figure out a better time to get up. 5:00 is not realisticc to sustain for the whole week and 6 doesn't give me enough time to write. although I may be coming home from rehearsla late so who knows if I can even get up before 6:30 this week and still write. Or maybe i should take some time off.

Although there is a play claling to me so maybe I should take time away and write the play. or perhaps I should try to do both like i was doing before.

So you see.

I did write a paragraph today. Not my best but it exists. word count 14951.

I walked to Jake’s apartment. It was cold and clear and quiet. I could see my breath in the streetlamps but no one on the street. Something like that is supposed to be unsettling in a city but I’m from a small town so quiet to me is calming. I was in a pretty good mood when I got to Jake’s.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

2 days of early morning bleary non-writing

word count 14885

first paragraph

I went into my room. My bed frame was on its side. The mattress was duct taped to the wall. The desk was upside down. My chair was hanging from the ceiling by what looked like fishing line. I changed my clothes quickly and walked out into the living room. One of the lawyers (Craig?) and his friend were playing a war game on the computer. One of the other lawyers (not Stuart) was watching.

Monday, January 08, 2007

noveling up a river

a little more done this morning. word count: 14511

ist paragraph:

“No. Not confused,” she said to the wall, “More like fascinated with. Interested in. I’m someone who gets interested in things and people and I have to paint them. I guess if I really understood what it was . . . I guess I wouldn’t get fascinated.” She turned to me then, the brush in her left hand, some red paint on her right breast. “I’m going to take a shower. Why don’t you make us breakfast?” And then she put her hand on the back of my neck lightly and she kissed me. I took her upper lip between mine and she took my lower lip between hers and when it was done we were both smiling uncontrollably.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


I'm so far behind. But I got a lot of playwriting stuff done yesterday. stuff that needed to be done. a revison of incendiary and a curtain raiser for bee eater. so I don't feel like a total failure even though the novel has taken a backseat of late.

Word count 13910

first paragraph written today:

Chapter 4

When I woke, Ariana was naked, standing on her toes reaching up, a paintbrush in one hand, lacquering a matchbook from the Red Light on her wall. I watched her from behind. Her claves curved like a runner. Was she a runner? Who was this girl? I followed her legs up to her round ass. I tried not to make any noise so I could just enjoy her there and watch her work. I noticed some fresh paint besides the matchbook. It took me a second to realize that it was a version of me, in reds and blues, like an early Picasso. My mouth was open and I was crying tears down the wall which became a river and ran into a lake buzzing with motorboats and water skiers.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

same day

I did some more writing 13579 words.

here are some of them:

“Yeah I’m sure. Let me up. I’m going to sing some more.” I got up and the room burst into applause. Anthony started the beat for Clowns Undercover and the others joined in. When it got to the part I was supposed to sing I was right there. No white lights came up. I didn’t collapse. I just sang it as loud as I could.


You know it! You saw it! The space in the basement
They hide in the cupboard. They hide in the floor.
You know it! Confront it! The place where the face went.
They’re in there! They’re out there! Board up the door!!!

Cause once they come in here there’s no way to stop them.
They don’t listen to reason, don’t listen to rhyme.
They are knocking you over. They are pushing you under.
This time they will get you. They’ll get you this time

holiday, i get nothing done

word count: 12833

first paragraph of the day:

The Red Light looks like a demented Chucky Cheese bathed in red light. Formerly operational robot animals holding musical instruments lurk in the center, in the corners, in the bathrooms, behind the bar, all of them looking at you with red glowing eyes. Jake was playing pinball when I arrived but before I could say hi, people I barely knew were surrounding me, buying me drinks, asking me questions. I had a headache, but started drinking anyway.

Friday, December 22, 2006

another day

word count 12104


I turned on my dusty computer and I wrote out a “Manifesto For a Clean Apartment” which included phrases such as, “Don’t leave your shit out. I will throw it away,” and “Throw out your fast food wrappers or I will put them in your bed.” And “If this place ever gets in such a stage again, I will go apeshit. You don’t know me. You don’t know how psycho I can be.”

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Day whatever

This is slow going now. Lots of other things demanding my attention but also when i can sit down and work on ths thing, it's moving slowly and not flying from my fingers as I wished it were.

Word count: 11740

1st paragraph of the day:

Then I looked at the fucking mess my roommates had made of our living room and I got pissed. I put on a Sad Fingers cd—the only one they ever made—and I started cleaning up. The floor was littered with beer cans, fast food wrappers, socks, a shirt or two, a pair of boxers. I got a big garbage bag and filled it with the contents of the floor. When it was full, I filled another one. I started to sing where the lyrics were supposed to be.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Day 19

word count: 11002

first paragraph today:

Chapter 3

When I woke, it was dark out as it is apt to be in early evening at the beginning of winter. Every time I wake up, I hope for a little bit of snow like some kind of kid who gets out of school or something. Or work. I guess I was out of work for good. Somehow this didn’t unsettle me as it did a few hours ago. Nor did my bald head upset me when I caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Day 18

Ok, so i missed a lot of writing last week but I finally got up into 5 digits: Word count 10236.

Here is the first day's paragraph:

It had been a long time since I’d had such a great date. Was that considered a date? There was food. It ended in kissing. No, I hadn’t actually called her up, nor had it been planned out ahead of time but the food had been my idea and it had gone well. Who cares if it was a date or not? She was beautiful and fun and we had had a great time and that’s what was really important, right? Her skin was so soft. Should I call her today? Tomorrow? I was pretty sure I was going to fuck this up. Yeah right now I was pretty high from taking the stage, from the conversation, the kissing, the sleeping in her bed but I could feel my inner fuck-up getting ready to ruin everything. Also it hit me right about then that I had quit my job in the most egregious way. What was I going to do? I couldn’t even call up for a reference with a departure like that. I had thrown Albert’s desk down shaved my head sang in public and then slept in Ariana’s bed? How had this happened? I was tired, had a headache. I felt like I was hungover but knew I wasn’t. It just felt that way because of the waves of embarrassment that came over me when I remembered specific details from the previous day. Before I left Albert’s office had I said “By the way, you’re overweight”? I sang the whole night. How could I have sung the whole night? I can’t sing, can I? I’m sure I can’t. I remembered my voice cracking and I had the vague sense the entire audience had been laughing about it as if to say, who does he think he is? Who did I think I was? Ariana probably thought I was an idiot and just couldn’t get away from me because I was clinging to her. I should just forget the whole night had ever happened. I should just go home and try to figure out how to get a job and make up something to say when they ask at interviews why did you leave your previous job?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

day 17

Ok so i haven't worked on the novel for like 5 or 6 days but i have been working on the play and I've also been getting home late and not getting enough sleep. it's been hard. but today i got up. word count: 9729

First paragraph of the day:

Then we left the diner and walked and walked. At one point I took her hand and she took mine and the rest of the way we walked with our hands pressed into one another. I wasn’t thinking about anything and we weren’t talking at all. We just looked at our breath mingling under the streetlamps. Then she stopped at a crosswalk and looked me hard in the eyes and then we were kissing. I’ve never had a kiss like that before or since. It was direct, all consuming, completely unfettered and free and lovely and minty and pure. And then it was over and we were walking again and my mind was not racing but my blood was surging through me and it was laced with something foreign and good.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

day 16

finally got the chance to write some today. word count 9114. Here is the last paragraph of the day:

At the all night diner, she ordered French toast, I suspect as an excuse to ingest as much syrup as possible. I had two or three grilled cheese sandwiches and a mountain of fries. All that jumping and shouting had taken a lot out of me. We ate and we looked at one another across the booth and we talked. We talked about books we’d read, bands we’d heard. We talked about our parents and their faults and things they had said and done and the things that went unsaid and the mystery of their lives before we came along. We talked about love and disappointment first crushes and long arguments we’d had late at night that led to break ups some of which led to off again on again relationships which took years to finally end when someone finally realized it was a bad idea and then had the nerve to tell the other person. We talked about winter and snow, about band aids, Kleenex, rollerblades. She told me German words that don’t translate into English. I told her about sledding as a child and hitting a tree, breaking my arm in two places. She told me about her childhood imaginary friend Phillis and how she swears she can almost hear Phillis whispering sometimes and imagines one day if she turns around fast enough she might see Phillis again. I told her about how I lost my job and how it felt to tip over my boss’s desk.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Didn't get a lot of noveling done this weekend. K got sick and I had to take care of her. when I did get anything done, it was on the play I'm writing. But this morning I went back in a rewrote and added to scenes that went by too fast. word count is 8537. here is a paragraph.

And when Sad Fingers began to play I climbed the six inches that is the stage, took the mic out of the stand and began to sing.

You told me how to get there
The road was winding west
I slipped out of the party
You slipped out of your vest
My hands were cold and shaking
Your eyes behind your hair
You bit my lip, I lost my grip and we tumbled through the air

Tumbled through the air

Caught me unawares

Tumbled down the stair

Eyes behind your hair

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


word count 8245. I started out hating everything i was writing but then I got into it and now i feel good again about this whole writing a novel thing.

At home I was feeling good. I’d been wanting to quit that job almost since I started and now all the reasons to stay evaporated. I lied down on my bed and thought why not do whatever I want for the rest of my life? And I couldn’t think of a single reason why not.

When I awoke, it was the nighttime. I listened to the twelve or so messages Jake had left me in the last three days and then I went downstairs to the bathroom and smiled at myself in the mirror. Why did my life suddenly seem full of possibilities? I located my roommate’s clippers and I shaved my head. Then I took a shower and went to go see Sad Fingers play at Doughertys.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

day 13

some words today. not tons but some. word count 7605.

first paragraph of the day:

Outside, I had the sudden feeling of excitement. I realized that I couldn’t wait to stop sneezing. Why hadn’t I done this years ago? I opened the bottle and looked inside. The pills seemed to vibrate. I picked one up. It was silver on the inside surrounded by a clear green coating. Like a pill within a pill. Like Mercury in Gatorade. It looked too complicated for a placebo. I took my first pill right then without water so it would start working right away. Then I went home and went to sleep.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Day 12

Ok, so the day number is only the 12th day of writing. Not in any way the 12th day in a row of writing. BEcaus eI have other things to do. word count 6997.

first paragraph of the day:

I was on my way to the address Phil had given me over the phone in a soft-spoken stumbling way. The problem was I was in a residential part of Brooklyn. It couldn’t be right. I couldn’t see a pharmacy anywhere. I stood in front of the house that bore the address Phil had given me. Was he a pharmacist out of his house? It had taken me an hour by train and another twenty minutes of walking so I figured I better ring the bell. But I almost didn’t. I almost turned and walked the twenty minutes back to the train. I almost threw the address away, almost purged the whole conversation from my mind along with the embarrassing fact that I had fallen for some sort of bait and switch involving a supposed pharmacist and a long train ride. I would just have gone home and never spoken of it again. My hair would grow and I would forget. And I would probably never again see the disheveled hipster who had given me the number or if I did, I would pretend not to know who he was and part of me wouldn’t know.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Day 11

At the rate I'm going, and the lenght I estimate this novel to be, it will probably take me between 4 and 6 months to write this thing and I'm only halfway through the first month and I'm tired.

The good news is, however, that I think I just came to the end of a chapter which seems good.

word count is at 6526.

first paragraph-like thing of the day:

On the sidewalk, someone grabbed my arm. He was in a black trenchcoat. It was dark so I couldn’t see his face well. His voice sounded like gears. “I hear you got allergies.”

I nodded.

“Call this number.” He handed me a slip of paper.

“This is an allergist?”

“No, a pharmacist. Call him. He’ll hook you up.”

I looked at the slip of paper. It said Phil and there was a phone number with a 212 area code. I looked up to thank the man, but turned his back to me and walked into the club.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

day 10

So I worked on a play yesterday instead of this and then i had to work late last night for an event and didn't get in until midnight and even thought I don't have to get to work on time, my word count is low today. total is 6122.

first paragraph of the day:

And so on. At this point I was feeling pretty bad about my appearance and about myself in general and all dreams of becoming a hair stylist went out the window. I went into the bathroom and splashed water on my face. I looked in the cracked mirror. Yeah, I had to admit, the hair was uneven, too short, at odd angles. I put water in my hair but that didn’t seem to help. It made it worse. Maybe I could go outside and buy one of those I heart NY hats or a trucker hat at one of those ridiculous headshops on St. Marks.

Monday, November 13, 2006

day 9

The writing is slowing down some. I didn't write on the novel yesterday but i did get some other stuff done that needed doing.

At the rate i'm going, based on how big (or small) a novel i think this is, it willl take me between 3 and 5 months to finish this thing. And since I've only been workin on it since Nov 1 and I'm sure some plays will begin to intrude soon, i have a long way to go. I may be a tenth of the way through at this point. Or an eleventh. or a twelfh.

word count 5835

Here is the first paragraph of the day:

Which is how Jake always gets me to go out. He always did that. He had a way of getting me to do whatever he wanted. I tried to resist, tried to be my own person, but he would always lure me into his world. And he knew if he said he’d introduce me, I’d go. Would he actually introduce me? He was always too busy at these things to pay much attention to me. But I was a born sucker. I thought about that for a while, unhappily. I went to the refrigerator to get another beer. I took it to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. I looked bad. I needed to shave, but if I shaved completely I would look young. I needed that I-shaved-three-days-ago look. But I didn’t have three days. My hair was also getting long in a bad way. I needed to get a haircut, but where was I going to get the money for that? I took the scissors from the cabinet. Maybe I could just trim it a little. I took a drink from the beer can.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Day 8

I didn't write yesterday. i was toooo tired. For a while I've been trying to figure out how to make a show out of some of the 30 or so short plays i've written. i think I finally figured out the right combination and the order they should go in. So I polished that up today and then I went to wrok on the novel. Word count 5394. Here is a paragraph.

If you need anything in this city, an apartment, a job, a date, the best thing to do is talk to everyone you know, or in my case, complain to everyone you happen to see until someone offers a solution or gives you a phone number to call. But I was in no mood to call people up and in no mood to go out and complain about how I couldn’t afford health insurance. No one could. I would get no sympathy. And if they could afford health insurance, it’s not like there was a secret someone could impart. You pay the company and then when you go to the doctor, it doesn’t cost as much. I guess I just had to figure out how to start paying for health insurance. That or risk losing my job. But I hated that job anyway. Maybe I should just look for employment elsewhere, not that that is any easier than finding an apartment for example. It was a headache and I hate headaches. If my school loans weren’t so high none of this would be a problem.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Day 7

word count 4829

Last night I was at the Dramatist Guild event for playwrights currently in programs at Marsha norman's house. I'm a little hungover and a lot tired. So the word count sucked today. so tired. a little hungover. here is a paragraph. you may notice a theme.

You might judge me because I don’t have health insurance even though I’ve been working at the same place for three years but I just can’t afford it. Not if I want to pay rent and eat and drink alcohol on a semi regular basis. And perhaps it’s because my job sucks that I get stressed out and need to have a few drinks and then I need the job to pay for the drinks and then I go to work hungover which makes the job worse and makes me hate it more and then I have to go get a couple of drinks that night to forget about how bad the job was that day. So the job is really the reason I can’t afford health insurance. That and the high cost of living in New York.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


I just discovered by a simple google search that there is another site called the naked novelist. A woman in london is writing her first novel on webcam live naked.

This means I have to step it up.

But I don't strip for free. nor do I have a webcam.

Can I get a patron please?

day 6

Here is the beginning of what I wrote today. word count is 4373

“You’ve been here a couple years now”

“Three years.”

Albert had the talent of talking to you without seeming to hear you. He didn't acknowledge my contribution nor did he pause. “How’s everything going? Having any problems at all you want to talk about?”

I looked at his gigantic hands spread out over his desk. “No. Thanks. Everything’s going fine. How are you?”

“Because Tosh tells me he asked you for an order yesterday and is still waiting for it.”

The order! I knew I had forgotten something. “Honestly, sir, I completely forgot about that. The phone rang and I was just about to get it for him but there was a customer who needed my attention and then when I got off the phone, Tosh was gone and I realize I should have made a note so I would have remembered to give it to him but it slipped my mind completely. It’ll never happen again.”

“You know Tosh is an important member of our team.”

“I know that.”

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Day 5

I didn't write yesterday. word count total is 3502.

here is first paragraph

Her dancing became more frantic in a way that killed me. Maybe she was dating Anthony or Marjory who liked to say she was “flexible.” Or worse, maybe she was dating Jake. I could just ask her, I thought. When the song was over I could just go over and be like hey, I’ve never seen you at the other concerts or do I know you? “Do I know you?” might work. Or I could say something like “Nice dance moves.” That’s weak. “You look good on the dance floor.” “How do you know this song?” “I like what you were doing with your feet during Anthony’s xylophone solo.” Or just ask her if I can buy her a drink. I should just, yeah. That’s the best, just asking to buy her a drink. “May I buy you a drink,” I would say. Or maybe that’s too formal. “Can I buy you a drink?” Or, “I’d like to buy you a drink.” “ I can’t help but notice you’re not drinking. My grandfather was an alcoholic.” No. No. Definitely not. “Do you drink and if so can I buy you one? A drink that is?” Would she even be able to hear me over the song? She was enjoying the music so much. And so was I. I didn’t want to make it seem like I wasn’t enjoying it by disrupting it. But maybe she’s here alone and would love to talk to someone though. I could ask her if she wants to meet the band afterwards and then if she was dating one of them that would be the time for her to say it.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

day four

I worked on the play yesterday instead of this. and i watched a lot of Tv. But i got in some time today. word count totals 2776. Here is the first paragraph of the day.

And so my cluttered cubicle was stacked with paper being held down by empty Kleenex boxes. My filing system was not so much a system as a non-system. So when one of my bosses came to get a hard copy of an order, it was not easy to find. I should mention now that I have a lot of bosses. Pretty much everyone there is my boss, even though I was there three years. They’ve all been there longer. I think staying too long away from the light causes withdrawal. I know Tosh was blinking a bit too heavily when he asked me for that hard copy.

Friday, November 03, 2006

day 3

Ach, so I didn't get up til 6 today. but I managed to get some words in. not sure how many but my 3 day total hovers just under 2000. (1999 to be precise but maybe I'll go add a word now.)

Here's a paragraph. as always, it's a first draft.

You could now just as easily make the case that I’ve been an adult for a while and that I could have gone to the allergist on my own and you’d be right except that it’s not hard to find an excuse to not do something, especially when that something is going to the doctor, especially when you’re afraid of doctors. I wish there was a specific story to explain why I avoid doctors but it’s more of a feeling. The antiseptic room, the silver instruments, tongue depressers in jars. I’m a person who doesn’t like to be prodded, poked or stabbed. Oh, there is that. I sometimes faint when the nurse tries to take my blood. Or vomit. Sometimes I don’t faint and I vomit instead. Either way It’s unpleasant for me and the nurse. Last time I vomited all over the nurse, and let me tell you I enjoyed it a lot more than fainting but it’s not something I’m looking forward to doing again anytime soon. Which is not to say that hives feel much better, but I guess it’s easier to do nothing than subject yourself to weekly allergist appointments involving scratching and prodding and probably blood taking which would only make my life better—of course it would do that.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Day two

here is the first paragraph of the day. word count 839 new words today.

My job, though. I can’t tell you what my life was without mentioning my job. In Queens in a neighborhood full of large warehouses made of faded brick, all the buildings seem to lean one way, and then you turn the corner and they lean the other way. You approach a particularly faded particularly leaning building and step inside. Imagine a fluorescently lit room segmented into of rows and rows of small white cubicles. Now, however many fluorescent bulbs you first imagined, double that. Then double it again. Yeah, yeah, that’s about right. It is always very bright and always very depressing. The company is called Fluorescence™. The light scheme is part of the concept which is misleadingly much more interesting than the function of the company which is to sell wholesale fluorescent bulbs to distributors. Fluorescence™ is one stop in a series of middle men and perhaps they shine the light a little brighter in all the offices and the warehouse so that the company is not completely forgotten. Sort of like when the middle child is the loudest and has to put on the funny glasses and the wig just to not be ignored. Fluorescence is like the middle child who won’t stop with the glasses and the wig but goes for the clown nose and white makeup and the big clown shoes. And yet it’s still not funny. Working in a place that’s constantly trying too hard is not the best job to get right out of college, nor is it the best place to stay working three years out. Especially when you’re not really sure what you’re doing. The jobs are predominately filled by young overstressed people unsure of what they are doing with their lives. In addition, the company is populated with a certain kind of cheery desperate person constantly trying to prove herself so she can someday move up to one of the few darkened offices away from the glare and near a window where sunlight might sometimes reach

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

day 1

first paragraph on teh first day. 769 words total. not that I'm trying to break a word record. I'm trying to write a story. and I have officially begun.

I want to stress, first of all, that I am ordinary. Perhaps you will have trouble with this fact but I swear to you it is a fact. At first glance this may run contrary to everything that has happened up to this point. At first glance this may make your brain bleed when you think about it, but let me be clear from the start, I am an ordinary man. I have no special talents. In high school I learned to play the bassoon, badly. I never excelled at anything and was never singled out for anything at any time, except perhaps when the occasional ordinary girl would take an interest for a short period of time. And then, after high school, when I left home, as ordinary as ever, to attend an unremarkable college, there was no sweetheart who was sad to see me leave and no real friends, not even those half friends who say “God, Ryan, I’m gonna miss you,” the night before you leave while you sit beside them in their neon Datsun as they run a red light, narrowly missing a collision and you think to yourself what a fuckup this half friend is and you spend the night sharing a bottle of Jack smuggled from his father’s basement and when you get to school you never hear from him again even though you call once or twice. No, I never even had that friend. I spent the night before moving to college watching sitcoms with my parents until my father fell asleep and my mother got tired of disapproving of the television programming and went to bed herself. My parents were likely mildly disrupted by my absence but they went about their schedules and I am sure my absence made no more impact on their lives than my presence had.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Advice from Larry Kunofsky after I told him my concerns about how I’ve never written a novel and about how I’m not even sure I can write prose again:

Advice from Larry Kunofsky after I told him my concerns about how I’ve never written a novel and about how I’m not even sure I can write prose again:

it's good to have a notebook.

and, if so, a pen.

or you could use a pencil.

if not, you could get a computer.

try to write something that oprah will like.

it's good to accumulate facts about yourself for the dust jacket.

When devising a plot, it's good to devise one that is compelling.

ultimately, fuck it, just write prose instead of dialogue. you don't need to learn any more.

what IS a character anyway? I'm not sure I've ever met one or have even been referred to as such.
I was planning to finish drafts of those two plays i'm working on before starting the novel on the 1st but it looks like that may not happen and I will just try to do both.

I am unsure I actually know how to write a novel, but my short fiction always went over well and it's somethign I want to try before I turn 30 so wed morning I plan to get up at 5 am and see what I can do.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Starting Nov 1

I will write a novel. Yes, I'm starting at the same time as the NANU people or whatever their initials are exactly. i'm not sure. I am sure however that writing a novel will take me longer than a month and I want to try to write something good so I'm not limiting myself to their time tables or their word counts. I will however start writing a novel on NOV 1 and if I remember I will post each day's beginning paragraph here. Or maybe i won't. In any case, something will happen.