This winter has sapped my energy level, but I’m nearing the end. Finally. It’s been getting slower and slower, my word count has dropped steadily. I finally figured out why. I’m going to the badlands. My wife said the book wasn’t that dark, but as it nears the end, it goes so past dark that you can’t even see dark in the rear view mirror. When everyone has died, when
Having DFW as an instructor wasn’t exactly Chicken Soup for the Soul. He didn’t care about your feelings, as he told one girl. She said, “I’m having a real hard time in my personal life right now.” He responded, “This isn’t psychotherapy. Nobody cares about your personal life. We’re going to talk about your writing, and if you have a problem with that, drop the class.” Dave was a grammar
Let’s set the way-back machine for 1994, the first day of advanced creative writing class with David Foster Wallace. Hmm, are we there? Good. First impression. Who’s the guy in the doo-rag and the NKOTB t-shirt? And, why is he chewing tobacco like a fiend? I’m in trouble. I don’t know what otiose, fecund, or inchoate means. Why is this guy leering at all the girls? He keeps saying if
Sometimes my word count comes easy. Other days it’s pure torture. An interesting thing I’ve found is that my writing when I’m inspired doesn’t read any better than my writing when every word is a bloody victory. It’s all about BIS. Butt-in-seat. If you can get your butt in the seat and get your word count, all is good in the world.
I love a lot of ancient literature, but there’s a special place in my heart for Oedipus Rex, or Oedipus the King. Some may know of the Oedipus Complex, old Sigmund’s idea that a boy will grow up learning male behavior from his father, until he figuratively slays the father and supplants his father and marries the Mother figure. Unlike some of Sigmund’s other ideas, this one isn’t a just
So, what to say… I’ll start simple. I learned how to write from David Foster Wallace. He called me Mr. Swaim and I called him Dave. He’d return my stories covered in comments from his red pen. I’d tell him what I was trying to achieve and he would tell me how I failed. But, he never told me to stop. In fact, he told me I had the potential to be