Posts tagged writing process
Posts tagged writing process
This past week, I was pleased to announce that an essay I’d written appeared on one of my favorite sites, The Bygone Bureau. All they do there is publish really smart, enjoyable nonfiction, so the fact that they thought my piece was BB material, had me thrilled. Since you can check the piece out at the site, I just thought I’d take this space to add two quick notes that might help flesh out what you see in the final product.
1. While my essay is about the strange power Arrested Development had in my wife’s and my lives, I think most couples have — or should have — something like that, a talisman that serves as a gentle us-against-the-world reminder. For some, that role is most likely filled by children. For us, at that point in our lives, it was a TV show.
2. I come to realize one of the reasons why BB publishes such great writing is they’re very good editors. I was working with Kevin Nguyen, who gave my piece a thorough going-over. One of the main points he raised was that the framing device I’d used to start and finish the piece wasn’t working. Fortunately, he was able to see the merits of the piece despite the shaky intro, which is something not a lot of editors would be able to do. So a big thanks to Kevin for helping make the piece a lot better than it was when it started out.
Anyway, if you haven’t yet read it, I hope you’ll check it out. I’m quite proud of it and pleased to see it’s found such a good home at The Bygone Bureau.
It’s indulgent and unseemly for writers to talk about rejection — perhaps even bad luck in some circles. Listening to someone prattle on about it is like watching someone give a wedding toast where they only talk about themselves. And the fact is, 99.9% of the time, rejection is totally boring.
But every once in a while, a rejection letter comes along that’s noteworthy. Here’s one I got last month (with identifying information redacted):
Thanks for letting me read W******. Lately, I’ve been submitting a lot of work myself and have found that personalized and flattering rejection notes tend to be paradoxically more discouraging and invite the sort of neurotic over-analysis that is generally not in any way healthy or productive, and so I hope you’ll accept this 100% neutral and non-encouraging (but also non-discouraging!) note as an indication that we will not be running your submission in B*****, but this choice of mine doesn’t reflect negatively on you as a person or as a writer, and is instead the result of a totally fucked up and subjective system which we all, for some reason, agree to perpetuate. Thanks for thinking of us.
I just got word that the audio short story I recorded for WordPlaySound has been accepted for publication next month. Actually, I’m not sure if publication is the proper term for a recording… Maybe I should say my audio short story drops next month. Anyway, the upshot is that people will be subjected my superfluously enunciated podcast diction and my nascent audio mixing skills. Should make for an interesting listen.
Like any list, there’s always stuff you end up leaving out. In fact, just as I was putting the finishing touches on this post I realized I hadn’t included any Cloud Cult, which, if you know me, is a huge oversight. Regardless, I’m going to stick with the list I originally came up with. So..
Here’s Part 2 of my novel soundtrack.
9. 5 Years Time, Noah and the Whale
10. Last Stop: This Town, Eels
11. There Will Be No Divorce, The Mountain Goats
12. Weighty Ghost, Wintersleep
13. Birdhouse in Your Soul, They Might Be Giants
14. Welcome Home, Radical Face
15. Mighty Little Man, Steve Burns
16. P.S. You Rock My World, Eels
As my manuscript wends its way through the twists and turns of the publication process, I’ve been toying with something I’ve always wanted to do: create a novel soundtrack. It’s one of those projects that starts small and should realistically take an hour at most, but then I got completely geeked-up over it and it’s ended up consuming way more time than is reasonable.
I was attempting to come up with a set of songs that’re thematically or tonally tied to the story (duh), but I also wanted to get a mix of somewhat obvious choices with somewhat more obscure ones.
Here’s the first half of what I’ve come up with:
1. Unsatisfied, The Replacements
2. This Year, The Mountain Goats
3. I Hear Noises, Tegan & Sara
4. Young Adult Friction, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
5. Afraid of Everyone, The National
6. Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues, Eels
7. The Recognition Scene, The Mountain Goats
8. Mi Fido Di Te, Jovanotti
(Part 2 will be coming shortly.)