My dad is nagging me to write a book. Does he even realize that if I write a book, he's going to be in it?
Naw, seriously. He's only in half of it. Or three quarters of it, tops.
I haven't written the book yet, mind you. Just thinking about it gives me anxiety. You see, I have written books before. Terrible books. Fiction books. I sit down, and I say, "I am going to write a book," and I come up with the latest gimmick method (snowflake), and I have to win a Nobel Prize in literature, and get it published by a major publishign house, and everyone has to like it, and, and, and, and, and... nope. I write books not worth reading, actually even embarrassing- embarrassing to myself, not to other people, like this current book.
I have the *title for the new one, which is going to be the truth. And I have the cover art. It's not that I believe in starting at the beginning and proceeding until I reach the end; it just happened that way. I did something unrelated and realized it was perfect. And this time, I'm not going to use a method. It's just going to be you and me, folks. Just like here. And this time, everyone is going to hate it, which is fine. It's my punk rock magnum opus. Scream swear words at me, everyone. Scream them. It's all good.
When I first started writing the blog, I did not at all mean it to be funny. I meant it to be poignant, touching, meaningful, I was going to make you cry, goddamnit! And then this troll stopped by and left a comment once, "You think this shit is funny? This isn't funny!" And I thought, well, no, I didn't think it was funny. Who said it was funny? This random anonymous person just said it was not funny, which must mean it seems like it's actually really funny, because this person feels really bad about himself and puts people down for doing what they do best and then he says it's not funny, which must mean it really is funny, so maybe I should work on being funny and stuff?
I am always unintentionally funny. When I try to be funny, people hate me.
I've noticed something about writers: they happen in clumps. Look at the crowd in Paris in the 1920's. Consider the Dorothy Parker and the Viscous Circle in New York. Or how about Harper Lee and Truman Capote?
When I ran into Alex Bledsoe in the library the other day, which is incidentally where I met him a few years ago, his kid playing with my kid, I felt nervous in the presence of such greatness. I didn't used to feel that way at all, because I hadn't yet read The Hum and the Shiver when I used to feel normal around him. And now that I have read the Hum and the Shiver, I get nervous in his presence. I stuck my head in my tote bag. And then I thought, I really need to act like a normal person right now. So, I took my head out of my tote bag and talked to him like a semblance of a normal person. Alex Bledsoe did what anyone would do right then: he pretended I hadn't just stuck my head inside my tote bag like an ostrich.
Mr. Bledsoe was a guest speaker in one of my classes a long time ago, which was a huge favour, and I read his books the way you read the books of people you know. I felt a sense of duty, when I started. And then the vampire books were so sexual that I was shocked and amused. The fantasy books were fun. The Hum and the Shiver, though, was in a class of its own. It was a fantasy that you could believe to be completely real. And it was about the power of music. As the daughter of a musician, I sort of loved it. And later, when I saw the author, I stuck my head in a tote bag.
The next book in the The Hum and the Shiver series comes out this week.
What if, you just have to wonder, what if the next great place to be is right here and right now? This is Paris, this is New York, this is San Francisco when the beats were on top of the world... this is right now. This is where the there is. Me. You. This.
* The title is, Don't Mind Me; I'm Not Really Here Because, you know what, let's face it: I'm never where the there is!