Tuesday, June 28, 2005


I shaved my head today. Not to the skin, but as low as it could go. I'd been considering giving up on my thinning, balding joke of a head of hair for a while now, and my lovely Bosnian stylist Edina did the honors. I'm also on a new diet, for about a week now. This one's for all the chips. Poker chips, not potato - you get the idea. No more fucking around. My plan is to lose fifty pounds by Lisa's wedding in September. And then from there, the sky's the limit. That's the plan, anyways.

I've discovered a great new writer, Maureen McHugh who dabbles in my favorite kind of fiction, the kind where the fantastic intrudes on this supposedly sacrosanct area of literary fiction. Also, the host site, Ruminator does this great 'DVD commentary' type thing that Sugu and I actually talked about once, but not quite like this. Imagine if Shakespeare had done one of these.

And author Dennis Cooper has a lot of interesting things to say about the 'rules' of writing, but this caught my eye:

I saw a writer friend of mine this weekend. This writer teaches in a graduate fiction writing program. The writer told me that in this program, the students are given a set of basic rules for writing fiction that they're expected to follow. For example, one rule is that every story must contain a triangle (i.e., one character wants another character to love him or her, but that character loves a third character. Or, a detective wants to solve a crime but there's something in his past that makes his investigation go wrong.) Another rule is that dialogue can never be used to advance the narrative.

The hell? I've seen the good and bad of this in workshops, and he goes on to say a lot of interesting things on the subject, so check it out. Beware, though, some not work safe at all pics in some of the other posts. Yikes.

I've got another idea for a short story, one's making the rounds, and I've got a few in the chamber. I actually love the freedom from the pressure of SELL THE NOVEL that I've had for a month or so now, and the exhiliration of honing my craft. I've been reading so much short fiction lately, Charles Johnson, Joyce (always) Lorrie Moore, Dorothy Alison... enjoying every minute of it.

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