Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lookin' Rough, Robot

Been thinking about rough drafts lately.

I saw an article recently about the lack of rough drafts left in the world. (left? Leaft? no, left, odd word, that one...) Of course, I didn't read the whole article, just scanned it, but the jist was that, if it struck someone to do so, they could get their hands on a rough draft of War and Peace, Ulysses, and many other classic works of world literature (m.lady says-who would do that? those books are long!).

But with the arrival and popularity of these computer contraptions, rough drafts are being lost. Writers revise and save only the most recent version of their work. No more marks on paper. No more Kerouac rolls of speed-induced prose. Just typity-typity on keyboards.

I think of my own process and, scrolling through my work on my own computer, I find I have files with titles such as: "Palindrome_fuckitup" and "palindrome_workitout" and "Water_again" and "water_again_again"

These are my rough drafts. I save and save and save. Because I usually revise away everything I wanted the story to be, so I need to be able to go back and fix it by starting over.

And when I find that I've lost the original? Well I freak out, buy ice cream, and fall asleep in a dairy-induced coma, of course.

As my faithful readers (all four of you!...okay three....two...) know, a lot of my pieces start on lined paper, with doodles of robots in the margins:

(That robot is sad because he has no body to call his own.)

I have a drawer of notebooks over there in my closet. I can't read most of the handwriting, but, funny enough, sometimes when I'm working on something and I think "hey, I already wrote a line that should go here!" and I run to my closet and rummage through the drawer and can usually find the notebook with *the line* scribbled inside.

And if I can read the writing, and if it works, well then I do a little Rocky dance back to my desk.

Friday, May 11, 2007

It's like, whoa

I have a mini-book.

This makes me happy.

The story is called "Flash Flicker Fire" and was originally written as a response to fashion designs by Michelle Barone.

(Click the image to get to the page where you can download the book/donate $$ to the lovely dudes who made me part of the mini-book club.)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Letters to a young Whoopi, continued

As promised, pics of the Whoopi letter, in it's original form....

letter journal number whatever

Dear Whoopi...

Monday, May 07, 2007


I've written a couple of stories about wanting to start over. And I don't say why, just that I want to start over. And in my workshops, critiques, etc, several people have said that they want to know why. It's not about why.

I mean, don't we all have days where we wake up and say, Jesus, if I could only be born all over again? And do things right.

Or just days where we want to go back to yesterday and change the direction of the day.

It's not a foreign concept.

It's way too familiar, I think.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

on thoughts and thinking....

I was one of those people who refused to give up the tape. The mix tape, I mean.

Up until late 2004, I still staunchly held to my mix tape ideals.

I spread my cds on the floor around me and wrote down the songs that I thought would work for the particular person who I was making the tape for.

I would then organize the songs and start to recording them, listening to each song the whole way through and making sure that the song I had marked to follow, would indeed do justice to the mood of the last few notes of the previous song.

Making a complete 90 minute mix tape would usually take me about 5-6 hours.

and it was my most favorite thing in the world to do.

Now, with this itunes world we live in, people just put songs into a playlist, hit shuffle and burn, and go about their business. (I too have been guilty of this on occassion.)

And everything that was beautiful about the mix tape process became something that could be discarded in the name of efficiency.

What I'm really talking about is narrative.
What I'm really talking about is how narrative can be found in a group of seemingly unrelated fragments.