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My Dream It Lingered Near

 

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Three years ago, I started working on a new book. It was going nowhere fast and my husband kept saying that I had to use my blog voice. My what? My sociopath voice? My whiney vaginey voice? My pitted, potted, sometimes besotted voice. My childlike wonder, my hemorrhoidal idyll, my knock knock give a dog a bone. Short story long: my new book is coming out in May, 2016. It wouldn’t exist if not for the four years of writing here, the incredible love and support from our merry band. Even the guy who said he wanted to kill me and Patti Smith with a pitchfork. You gave me the chance to develop my voice, and as we say in these parts, I finished the fucker. Will say more about it soon. Until then, THANK YOU dearest readers of this blog. Love, Betsy

You’re Wearing Out Things That Nobody Wears

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No shit. Sebastian Junger shows up on The Affair. You know, the program I’m watching because I’m still in love with McNulty. Junger has a cameo. He plays himself and he says he claims to use reiki to help him write. Really? Let’s talk about this. I’ve never tried any alt methods to help with writing. On the contrary, I’ve always felt that writer’s block is god’s gift to man. I’m old school: the only thing that produces writing is writing. Plus, I love my demons way too much to release them. Plus, I’m ticklish.

What about you? Massage, meditation, yoga, long walks with a stick? What helps?

You’re Just to Good To Be True

I read this story by Ben Marcus on the way home from the city. I don’t really like short stories all that much, but I loved this one. In part because it was like a novel in a nutshell. Partly because I felt tense the entire time I was reading it. I also thought that the details had god in them; the narration so assured I did’t need to worry. And most of all it felt real.

Is is real or is it Memorex?

Tell Me Something Good

When do you take revision too far? When does your work start unraveling? When does writing become finger painting? Some people feel that revision is where the “real” work of writing gets done. Maybe. But there’s nothing like cracking a new piece of work out of your ass. Here’s my advice: Get lots of rest. Drink lots of water. Clear your desk. Trust your editor or readers. Keep a separate document for sentences you delete. I call mine: fragments. Do you have to kill your darlings? Execution-style.

Revision advice? Anyone?

Check the bassline out, uh-huh

One good paragraph today. Where is my Nobel? My Oscar? My Captain, O Captain. Is that the soundtrack to Chariots of Fire I hear in the background? Oh, the sweet feet of young, gorgeous Englishmen. I need a shower. I need a brace for my back. I need a teeth cleaning, someone to pull the burrs from my back. This writing is whack. The world is burning and tap tap tap. More valleys than peaks, more praying mantises and saddle shoes. When the balls goes crack. Keep your head down. Don’t try to kill it. Don’t get cocky. Follow through. 

More bad sports metaphors welcome! 

 

 

Don’t Cry for Me Argentina

You’ve heard the expression, “no tears for the writer, no tears for the reader.” What do you make of it? I kind of hate it. But you know I’m a feelings fascist. On the other hand I know it to be true. I have cried while writing shit down. I guess the question is: does that make it good. Just because you can stir yourself, will the reader be stirred. Does “authentic emotion” produce great writing. Or “true” writing. All of these quotation marks are a little sickening. What am I trying to say? If I make myself laugh, will I make the reader laugh? If I fall asleep at my computer? If I eat green eggs and ham? How do you really create feeling in the reader, by having the feelings yourself or manipulating language to be evocative?

 

LAST CALL to WIN a FREE copy of SAVAGE GIRL. Who is your favorite monster in literature. Author Jean Zimmerman will select her top three picks at the end of the week. 

The sound of a midnight train, wearing someone’s ring, someone calling your name (for H.G.)

A writer and a douche bag walk into a bar. Hi guys. Is anybody still out there? I miss you. I know a few writers whose mouths are filled with sand. This is the winter when five writers packed a lunch and hiked the foothills of Long Island. This is when a poem got unwritten. You are always in a mitten. This day started. A girl fell to her death from a building she didn’t know was there. I saw a play that seemed true. First you hear the sentence in your head. Then a girl steps up to the bar. You are easily awakened and fitful. A bowl of applesauce sounds awfully nice right now. Will the fiction writers please stand up. Will the choir do the preaching? One chapter a month. One page a day. One sentence in front of another. And then the sky goes dark and the lights come up and two girls in Speedos stand before lockers, talking trash.

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?