Saturday, February 04, 2006

Well, at least I'm done with THAT...

Yesterday I finally finished the first chapter of my new
novel. I say “new” because technically this will be my
third novel. My first was completed when I was sixteen,
and the less I say about it the better. Let’s just say that
while I might have been somewhat prescient to tackle
the subject of socially-awkward teenagers getting angry
and shooting up their high schools, my actual writing skills
at that point were so dismal that I’m happy no evidence
remains of my maiden effort. One overwrought Saturday
afternoon, I shredded it to pieces and put it in the garbage
can. And not the garbage can in the kitchen, but the gar-
bage can in the alley, so that no one but the sanitation
people would have the chance to see even the scraps of
my adolescent artistic failure.

My second attempt at novel writing fared a little better
and I may still dig that one out. The problem is that it’s
hand-written and I have trouble reading my own hand-
writing. So to commit myself to the project of typing it
into the computer is basically to consign myself to a few
weeks of headaches and eyestrain. But I’m still pretty
proud of that one. It’s about New Orleans and, in it, I hit
upon my main aesthetic approach: start weird and just
get weirder from there.

This new thing I’m working on will be largely plotless, un-
realistic, and grotesque. That’s sort of what appeals to me
these days. I can’t tell you too much about it for fear of
jinxing it, but it will involve amateur surgery in public
restrooms, inappropriate political digressions, and at least
one parasitic, mutated infant gestating in a man’s large in-
testine. I’ve found that working in this mode can be pretty
exhausting, so I’m planning on “cleansing the palate” by
writing some short stories after each chapter I finish. And
of course I’ll continue to post here on a semi-daily basis, as
well as on the other site whenever I get around to it.

Because, after all, the internet would shrivel up and die
without my contributions...