(I stumbled on it because of a google alert pointing me to this guy, whose entry mentions King Dork as an answer to the Catcher Cult.)
In the latest installment of the email debate between Sam Harris and Andrew Sullivan about faith, atheism, etc., Harris challenges Sullivan to get God to guess a number between 0 and 9,99,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999.
If you want, and have the evening free, you can check me out on Friday Februrary 10th at the Make-out Room for Writers with Drinks.
Besides me, there will be:
Eric Spitznagel (Fast Forward: Confessions Of A Porn Scriptwriter) Marta Acosta (Happy Hour At Casa Dracula) Ahn-Hoa Thi Nguyen (Vietnamese Artists Collective) Angie Krass (Sex, Biscuits, Jesus & Me) Joan Price (Better Than I Ever Expected)
3225 22nd. St., San Francisco CA, from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM, doors open at 7 PM.
I found writing novels rather a lonely business. You very rarely actually catch anyone reading them. I've heard of a novelist who got onto the tube at Piccadilly Circus for the purpose of getting out at Green Park, a distance of one stop. And as he got onto the tube he found himself sitting next to a girl who was in fact reading one of his novels. And he knew that two hundred pages further on there was a joke. So he sat on till Cockfosters, the end of the line, in the faint hope of hearing a laugh which never came.I had a similarly dysfunctional experience the first time I ever saw someone reading King Dork in public. It was on BART. The reader was a punky, iPod-wearing girl who was scrunched up in her seat holding the book up in front of her. She was giggling, at the book or at whatever she was listening to - I know not which. I had never been more nervous and embarrassed in my life, and I mean nervous and embarrassed. The only thing I can compare it to is the first time I ever got undressed in front of a woman, except that this time, I didn't get kicked out of the public library. Thank God.
There was no danger of my disrobing, but I did have an unhealthy urge to stroll casually by and try to catch a glimpse of what page she was reading, just in case she might have been laughing at one of my jokes. In the end I chickened out, but I was so rattled by the experience that I ended up getting off at the wrong stop, missing my transfer and adding nearly an hour to my journey. This novel-writing thing definitely has its moments, but there are serious drawbacks.
I had never before seen this original version of the "Four Yorkshiremen" sketch, featuring two future Pythons, Tim Brooke-Taylor (later of the Goodies) and Marty Feldman. Thanks, Clive!
From a notebook found in Oakland:
I keep having these dreams involving this rabbit:
UPDATE: via Richard in the comments. I think this may be Rudi:
Posting has been light, and may be light for awhile, till (a) I fill in the rest of the words in this file entitled novel.doc; or till (b) I hit a wall and require distraction while figuring out how to scale it. So far so good, I think, but there's never enough time and you're never quite sure exactly where you're going or how to get there, no matter how much time you spend planning. Writing a novel is like doing anything else, I guess. Late manic nights of delusions of grandeur, followed by late mornings of at least partial disillusionment. Then afternoons of damage control and reassessment, and praying that you'll manage to swing another manic night phase soon so your soberer day self will have something to work on. At least, that's how it is for me. Maybe one day I'll learn to integrate my two selves and do this more efficiently.
In the meantime, Jim Testa interviewed me for Jersey Beat, and if you want to see the result, here it is. The interview was conducted some time ago, before King Dork had even come out, and long before I realized it was going to be something of a "hit." My feeling at the time was that I'd be lucky to get any press or even to be noticed at all amidst the thousands of books that were coming out. Looking back, it's still hard to believe how well things went in that, or really any other, regard. Thanks, Jim.
OK, back to work.
(via Little Type's Crumbly Packtress.)
Laurell K. Hamilton is, I gather, the author of a popular series of vampire books, only known to me because of this widely-linked (and possibly rather ill-advised) lengthy essay denouncing her "negative readers." Here's a snip of the section in which she responds to complaints that her books have too many characters and suggestions that she depopulate them by killing some of them off. As she correctly points out, this would have the infelicitous effect of ruining Christmas:
My characters are real to me in a way that makes me miss them. For God's sake, I'll be in the mall and see something, and go, "Oh, it's the perfect gift for (fill in the blank)." I've been in line with the present in my hand, before I go, "Wait, these are make believe people. I can't buy them a Christmas present." I guess I could, but there's no way to give it to them. They aren't THAT real. But they are real enough that I see things that make me think of them in the way you think of a boyfriend or a husband, or a best friend...
The holidays are only just past. Think back to the moment you stood in line, or saw in the window, that perfect gift. The one that you knew would make someone smile. That gift you knew, you just knew, would light their faces up. Remember how warm and happy it made you to find that present. Remember the anticipation of the joy it would bring the person you care about? Now, remember that I've done the same thing for many of the characters you would have me kill...
Or maybe this will not move you, maybe you do not feel for the loneliness of the vampires that have not known love for centuries...
(via Bookshelves of Doom.)