It’s been a long, rough, itchy week, but things are looking up. I finished a couple of good books this week, did some car maintenance, played with the cat without requiring a blood transfusion (she was the problem cat at the shelter… really… we’re perfect for each other) and wrote a story that I really like. That doesn’t mean that I usually (well, frequently) go through long emo jags where I think everything I write is shite. I mean, I have so many people telling me that that it frees me up to actually enjoy my writing from time to time. But for some reason, I really liked this particular story. It’s a nice feeling, reading something and thinking “Holy crap, that was ME.” I recommend that feeling to everyone reading this blog.
However, next week’s is going to be a little different. This week I finished one of Flannery O’Connor’s two story collections (Everything That Rises Must Converge). On top of that, I started reading Best American Noir of the Century, starting with the horrifying awesome story “The Paperhanger” by one of my heroes, William Gay. Not only did he write smooth and deadly southern gothic, taking only the best parts of Hemingway, O’Connor, and Faulkner, along with a liberal dash of black humour here and there, he served in the Navy, taught himself the craft by ceaselessly writing, and didn’t publish until he was in his late 50’s. I’m not there yet, but I can still think of him as a role model.
On top of this ultra cheerful reading list, I also had a comment or two that my stories have been a little too cheerful, lately. Luckily, I have hopefully addressed these critics by going back to the notebooks I kept when I was an undergrad at STFU and I think I’ve found a couple of good ideas for next week. We’ll see.
Link salad tomorrow. The cat’s snoring and my books are calling.