Archive for November, 2009


From the Mad Men finale.


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I’ve seen a bunch of decent movies lately:  Zombieland (twice), Paranormal Activity, An Education, and the Swedish film version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which won’t come out in the US until March, but was available for a special showing here in DC last weekend.  I hadn’t read the book, but the film was pretty damn good.  More than 150 mins long, but it really flew by.

Been reading very slowly.  Reread A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, a formative book from my childhood that I read over and over.  I always forget the apocalyptic and pessimistic ending  —  I really wish someone would make a faithful movie adaptation of this book.   Not starring Martin Lawrence.  Also reading a book called Peace Like a River, which I chose as an experiment based solely on the title.  It’s pretty decent, maybe a little twee in spots. That’s one of the problems when your narrator is a small child who likes his family.

I’ve been doing a lot of journaling recently, not so much chronicling what I had for lunch but what Mrs. Nicholson in the 11th grade would have called “free writing.”  I sit down with my Muji notebook and just write whatever pops into my gourd for a page or so, sometimes more.  Whether or not it helps my writing, I do enjoy the process.

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Here I am back on the blog, who knows for how long?

I’ve started the painful process of revising a  longer manuscript, a novel tentatively titled A Perfect Wife.  I’ve been working on this for some time, and I was very pleased when I managed to finish a draft of it back in August.  On the advice of some book that I read sometime,  I then put the thing aside and worked on other things for several weeks — primarily a short story that just will not come together, which happens.

Picking up APW again, I’m not sure if the intervening time away from it was good or bad.   When I thought about the book, I recalled the problems that I knew existed with it.  They grew in my mind until they were like snow-capped mountains in the distance  that I knew I would have to climb someday.  But as time passed, they became higher and higher — from the Smokies to the Rockies to the Alps to the Himalayas.   At the same time, I also began to focus on how good the goddamn thing was, how it would just knock everybody over as soon as they saw it, which they couldn’t do until I got it into shape and released it into the world, a perfect butterfly.

And now that I’m reading it — ehhhhh, it’s OK, you know?  So far, the problems are mostly  in a single section, which is the part that I wrote a number of years ago as notes and which I’ve never gone back to change.  There are places where I’ve written things that don’t really make sense in light of later revisions, but that’s easily fixed.  So far, it holds up pretty well.  as far as blowing everyone away goes . . . well, we’ll just have to see about that.

So great, get to work.

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