Blog

I love lists

Things I am thinking a lot about right now:

  • I just finished a draft of a textbook chapter that compares and contrasts image-based flash versus character-driven flash. What I've learned is that sometimes it's hard to turn off that small voice that feels like asking: are you sure you're smart enough to write a textbook chapter?
  • Answer to that question: yes, yes I am. I just feel bad that I even have to ask that question.
  • Mixed drinks. Last week I made a gin and soda with cucumber soda. I feel like there should be a savory element added to it to make it even better. (Salt something? Pepper something?)  But I can't figure out what I would actually do.
  • The opening to Eric Andre's New Year's Eve spooktacular where he comes in and just go nuts. He throws himself on the desk, takes a trombone and throws it, breaks a Target style bookcase. And his band just keeps playing. The crowd stares at him blankly.
  • The edits for Arcade Seventeen. My editor, Natalie, is so smart. She is also my favorite kind of editor, a poet. She has ideas for syntax and surprise that are exciting and interesting and make me think not just about the stories in a new way, but the way I wrote them.
  • Race and writing. A lot of people have been discussing J.Franzen's latest interview where he talks briefly about race in writing. And I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I was like yeah, I don't really want you to write a novel that you (emphasis on the you) think is explicitly about race. But at the same time, I agree with a lot of the writers (mostly of color) that have also commented that the majority of his novels are still on some level about race. He's very interested in white middle-class people and how middle-class whiteness is performed. I mean, that's The Corrections. (I'm not even going to get into the explicit race stuff in that book) In Freedom, the novel, at least as I remember it, encourages you to question whether Lalith's death is because of a car accident or an incident of racial violence. And I was thinking about how reflective that is in general about the way I've noticed a lot of very educated people react to race. They think race and racism is still the arena of people who do not identify as white.  There's still an onus on many writers and artists of color to perform the injustices, the suffering, to perform a sense of otherness. And I think one way to change that mentality is to get people (and I think this applies to anyone who is writing realistic fiction, whether or not the character are racially identified in the text) to consider after the fact what they're saying about how people live, how they perceive life, etc. after the fact. 
  • How I felt about Ghostbusters. I am angry with myself because in a way this feels like letting the trolls win, but I actually didn't like it very much. I couldn't turn off the writer brain when it came to plot stuff. Some of the jokes were funny. Some of the special effects were gorgeous. But I mean on a basic level, here's one of the thoughts I couldn't shut off while watching this movie: why did we go through all that beginning nonsense with Zach Woods to find out he was just fine, with a little bit of stubble later in the movie? Just tell us he disappeared! It's a PG-13 movie, it's fine to have some stakes! And another! Why are there so many blank pages in that ghosts are real! book? Is it just so the villain--who really should have just gone to art school and started a catty anonymous blog to let out his frustrations--can show off his incredible art skills sometime in the future?
  • House stuff.
  • Chicken tikka masala potato chips.