lately

Will Christopher Baer – The Age of Reason – Truthfully, I still haven’t read this story but I love Baer and I’m really excited for his non-fiction book that’s coming out soon(?) ish(?) on his time working in psychiatric institutions. And I’ll probably read it by the end of the day. If you haven’t read the Phineas Poe trilogy – get on it.

Plucking Apples of Silver and Gold – Interview with the amazing Clive Barker.

Weaveworld, though I only read it two years ago, has had a profound influence on me and how I want to create my fiction. It’s arguable that that book is a bit too long but so what.

Still working my way, slowly through the Books of Blood.

The Then and Now of the Russian Internet Research Agency – 20 Minutes into the Future.

I’m fascinated by the world we operate within and how I know far, far less of it than I really should. Reading articles like these and others from the same writer helps put things into some perspective.

George Saunders interview at The Paris Review – So many takeaways from this.

“The difference between a so-so writer and a good one, or a good one and a great one, is in the quality of the intuitive decisions she’s able to make at speed.” – George Saunders

And lastly, I’m obsessed with this song by Phoebe Bridgers… Have a listen.

… my job is to not chicken out.

“I remember years ago, working at Radian, writing CivilWarLand, thinking, Wow, I’ve been working on this same paragraph for five days. Is that normal? And then that wise little voice in my head asked, Well, is it getting better? If so, then yes. It may not be normal, per se, but obviously it’s what you have to do. And this light went on, like, It’s going to be as hard as it needs to be, and my job is to not chicken out.”

George Saunders, Paris Review

I feel like I need these words tattooed on the back of my hands so I can see them while typing.

Surmount all obstacles

I did some work on the novel this morning before work. Came up with a pretty great scene that takes place largely before the point at which I started my narrative.

I knew that scene was there, all along. Skulking in the shadows.

The problem–as is always the problem with coming up with new beginnings halfway through–is that it wouldn’t necessarily fit with the current narrative structure. It would require moving things there over here, replacing that with this and so on, and so on… But I think it’d work far better.

Writing, am I right?

Must he retreat into mysticism,
Or locate the base and climb?

Surmount all obstacles.
Progress.

Losing the Plot

A few months ago I had a really great conversation with Leo on the Losing the Plot podcast.

An aptly named podcast for the times in which we live.

It was a really fun conversation and we talked about all sorts of things including how no one asked us to be writers and how we probably shouldn’t be in politics.

Have a listen if you fancy.