Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Literary rantings

I decided that I need to have more adventures to write about. Lately I've been staying at home, editing my ass off and off this manuscript in an attempt to prepare, in the scenario that amazon doesn't want to publish my book, for agent hunting. But the long hours leave me with little inspiration and every day when I turn my attention to this blog, I find that I have no desire to write about the succession of repetitiveness.

Which is why, when a friend asked me to go to a book reading with her at the local (massive) bookstore, I jumped at the chance. Not exactly an adventure, I suppose, but a book reading! Visions of smartly clad New Yorkers milling about with cocktail napkins dance before one's eyes.

Alas. Wrong city. Wrong country. Wrong universe.

I've always had an issue with literature and more broadly the arts in this country. Say what you will about the New York Times review, the literati of south-of-the-border and their snobbery. At least it is a snobbery born of the pursuit of the best: pursuit of the best, the boldest, the bravest. Here, the arts are not put upon so much by critics and journalists as they are by the government. Endless government grants. And not for the first time I have noticed that this makes if not for mediocrity than certainly at least for towing the line of the government's agenda.

And what is that agenda? It is difficult to pinpoint other than that feeling I got as a child when I was home from school, feeling ill. That cobwebbiness of the brain that one from listening to CBC talk radio all day. Poems and stories on topics that perhaps 40 years ago would have been considered edgy, even dangerous. Now are all old, left behind by every artist outside these borders. It's the same feeling I got when I saw Margaret Atwood about a decade ago in Ottawa and she gave a talk about some feminist ideas that were about three generations gone.

This is a horribly negative opinion, as most of mine are. Is it too much to expect to be dazzled by life? Or is this all just negativity, jealousy for the fact that these horrible writers are not only published but talk about their breakfast bars and magazine subscriptions. All on the government's dime. What I wouldn't give for such abundance. So take of my opinion what you will. Thankfully when I came home I saw George Saunders on Charlie Rose. Perhaps not cutting edge, but at least it was much more my speed.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Just a normal day

It's like...getting ready for a party. Planning a big party with all your friends and then everyone costs and has a great time.

But then after you feel empty, or something. Like all that effort you put into this thing for so long is just gone. That's how it felt when I finished my manuscript and submitted. Of course, after sitting at a desk for 40 hours straight (barring microwave food preparation and washroom breaks) -- anything would feel weird.

So that's my ABNA experience. What was yours?

I was glad to clean the house after a week and a weekend of hard core work. I took a week off any writing at all. And now the next step comes: the next phase in editing (since the thing is not in publisable shape, but I need to take the risk anyway) and then trying to sell it to agents and online.

But I feel it is difficult to get back into it. I need to get back into it, but I need a tiny bit more distance.

Since then my life has been bland. Day job. Running errands like car maintenance and taking the cat to the vet to get her ear looked at (turns out she has a little infection). Boring. Feeling very uninspired. Take a walk, you say? Yes, why that does work every time. Too bad it's like minus one million degrees out!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

On a Deadline

Hardest thing I've ever had to do. Seven days left. How am I going to get this done in time? Worse than my master's degree, this level of work. Lots of conveinence food at my disposal, nothing else must be done for the next week. UGH!