Tuesday, December 2, 2008

department of lost letters

So, this afternoon I sent a story to an anthology (Interfictions 2... a name that, for some odd reason, I find very funny) because of the open submissions and the rather fascinating guidelines. Sadly, I've just gotten an email telling me that the internet is having trouble delivering my email. I think this means I've missed the deadline (why yes, I do love deadlines, particularly the kind that get really close and breathe down the back of your neck... how can you tell?), which puts a wrinkle into my grand plan of sending things out rather than stuffing them into drawers and forgetting they exist. Ah well. I can always send it somewhere else, preferably in a way that involves postage stamps and an envelope.

The story is a detective story, but not a mystery, and it indulges my fascination with beaches and collecting. The first draft was also incredibly opaque. I feel sorry for my friends who had to slog their way through it. Utterly baffling.

One of the most bizarre things about writing, for me, is how much trouble I sometimes have just saying what I mean. I skim over enormous things like connections and rules, and even bigger ones like desire and consequence, without noticing. At first, it's because I don't actually know what's going on. And then I have it so clear in my head that I forget to write any of it down. (This is when I picture Geoff shaking his head mournfully and asking whether I've thought about turning to poetry... An excellent motivation for trying to tell proper stories because I have never written a poem that was not truly and dreadfully horrible.)

I absolutely lust after story.

On Thursday, I'm going to see this exhibit at the SFMOMA. And because 19th C. science is one of my pet fascinations, I'm excited. Ok, I won't lie. I'm really excited. Excited enough that I hope it doesn't crush my soul with mediocrity. We shall see. If all else fails, there's always the (bizarre?) option of "free beer salons as social artworks."

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