This Is What I’m Up To

Sunset on the Pacific

I believe I’m three quarters of the way through the first draft of my new novel. If I’m following the outline (which has become more like a well-thought out list of well-thought out suggestions rather than an actual set of, you know, instructions that I’m supposed to heed), then I’m three quarters of the way through the first draft and the temptation now is to not think too hard about what I want to do or fix and just get through the first draft and then think about editing. A first draft is about bleeding. Editing is about stanching the wound; cleaning up the blood.

I have been posting some drops of blood on ello. I mean, no one’s going to see it, right? Then I posted a Meerkat (can we stop for a second and think about the idiocy of social media nomenclature for just a second? Twitter still sounds stupid. When I hear a journalist on television talk about a “tweet” I don’t laugh, not anymore, but I cringe just a little bit). Anyhow, here’s a screenshot from the Meerkat session. It was of me typing. That’s it.

Fun, no? (And let’s just stop here and acknowledge how great it is that “horny guys” are already looking for other “horny guys” on Meerkat. Sex is like water: it gets everywhere and it gets there first.) And, yes, it would appear that I am “watching” myself on Meerkat but to be honest, the tab was open on my laptop. I wasn’t watching myself. I was typing away. Really.

What else? I’m leading a workshop in Montreal next Saturday about social media and writing. I’ve been asked to judge a microfiction contest (though at 500 words, they are pushing the limits of the term “micro”). The poster’s nice:

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 4.21.02 PM

I went to southern California with the family and recharged. I spotted my book at the great Skylight Books in LA. We hung out in Joshua Tree and I drank a lot of cocktails by a pool in Palm Springs. We drank in the sun more than anything. After a winter that has tested the patience of the most winter-hardened among us, that warm SoCal sun was something else. I mean, sure, the entire Southwest is suffering through a drought and all and might run out of water at some point (or not), but HUMANS DON’T PLAN AHEAD. (I also note that none of the water apocalypse stories in the media point out that maybe the Southwest has too many people – I keep reading about how water intensive almonds are but there are a lot of people living in a desert and at some point that’s going to catch up to you especially if the new normal for weather is less rain and less now for the mountains….and, let’s face it, the real problem is that all the overpopulation folk have ugly websites¬†and you don’t win the PR war with stuff that looks like garbage…)

And now it feels like the homestretch for the first draft of this thing. It’s big, even though, in the end, it’s really a portrait of a family. I described it to a friend (over Twitter!) as being about “a family and about change. And boogers. And art. And self worth. And cheap figurines. And mid century modern furniture. And old industrial chimneys. And gentrification. And dicks. And venture capitalists. And meatloaf. And bikinis.” It’s probably the best description I have for it so far. I imagine that’s what I’m going to have to tell the agents on my next agent search. Because, yes, I’m going to search for an agent again (though, to be fair, some contacted me immediately after the Giller longlist announcement but I don’t have one because I don’t really have anything to show, not just yet). Because my previous agent retired. So I think my next agent is going to have to be young. Or at least not ready to retire just yet. And awesome.

And finally, Waiting for the Man is coming out in paperback (there’s also an audiobook version now – here’s a preview). I think the cover’s kind of sweet if you ask me. It’s out later this year, in August.

ECW11 Waiting for the Man Paperback Selected.indd

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