Sunday, February 15, 2009

Rainy Day Reading Doldrums

A weekend of enclosing myself. The rain has come blessedly. But it is also disorienting and deepens glum moods. Confusions. For example, I was disoriented enough yesterday to wake up early after a late night at a blistering, ear-splitting rock show (Murder City Devils), shower, get dressed, board an unusually vacant train toward Oakland, and walk towards my work....which was closed because it was a holiday. And I had forgotten, or assumed we didn't observe it. NO matter. The rest of the day I spent at a window-side table in the Outer Mission cafe I go to, reading Paul Bowles with my jaw dropping to the floor every sentence or two. More on him later.

Pondering the whole weekend long in an off-white room, keeping books and coffee within finger's length. Today at work the outside is wild and grey and rainy, with fiery, mother-of-pearl patches in the sky like the trees are on fire, but only cooly burning.

Indoors this weekend, hammering out story outlines and rough drafts. Time slips by, you adhere to a routine, it all becomes monastic. Plus the money situation compells a hermitage.

I'm curious how to assemble a short story collection in a market that isn't looking for them? My story sequences always end up becoming episodic novels to some degree. I like the idea of structure and tapestry and architecture in words. I like exquisite games that keep you re-reading, looking back, thinking like a detective. My own interest has pushed my reading outside into other genres: mysteries, roman noirs, science fiction, slipstream, genres that rely on games, I believe, more than "traditional" literary fiction.

My ideas sprout branches and then, lo and behold, another idea plops out writhing and whose demands I'll never meet any time soon. I told her my latest: Borges meets Quentin Tarantino!
The interlocked novellas of assassins in strange places creating mazes to lure unsuspecting men! Half-jesting but seriously. And then it will expand and deepen in my brain: and it becomes a novel about fate and death, two things I don't know much about, scarily enough.

Reading indoors: more Dubliners, Paul Bowles The Delicate Prey, more Delany's On Writing, Delany's critical works Silent Interviews and Shorter Views and just started the short novel by James Cain, The Postman Always Rings Twice and about to start an interesting older book I have yet to crack, Francine Prose's Reading Like A Writer. I'd like to explore what I'm "learning" from these books once my lethargy has shaken off.

No comments:

Post a Comment