Keepers v. Purgers

I like to think of myself as a purger, but my garage and my Google drive betray me. My garage is a mess–mostly full of old boards or tools, things I swear I will need at some point. There’s a tire with a hole in the sidewall that I keep thinking I should make into a swing. I’ve got probably 100 square feet of boards that had to be culled when I installed new floor this past summer in the kitchen and laundry room–but they look project-y, right? Not to mention old tents, busted kid-toys, chunks of sheetrock, a regular cornucopia of junk.

My Google drive is similar. (I should stop here to admit I have a filing cabinet full of spiral and composite notebooks too, but for the sake of this post, let’s stick to the digital.) This is the great thing about cloud storage–it doesn’t seem to take up any actual space (unlike my garage) so I can keep everything and not have to worry about parking two cars in there. Today, in an attempt to avoid working on some new and old short stories, I found this file, titledĀ Ideas. It was a .txt file, which means I had it on my old PC that I used early on in graduate school–the file info swears it was started 10/6/10, which would be 5 days after Judah was born, which doesn’t seem quite right, but I guess I did take two days off and then went back to work after he was born, so maybe I did the same with graduate school? Anyway, here’s the list:

1. Good news is no news
2. Baked goods and long nights
3. Control
4. It should have gone like this, I should have screamed
5. Windmills
6. GB tattoo
7. I hate heaven
8. Neighbor at the Bottom of the Stairs

I have no idea what 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7 are. I vaguely remember #2 which sort of turned into the story “Almond Bark”. And number 6 and 8 correspond with “Painting Elephants” and “A Pretty Good Gig”. (All available, of course, inĀ The Northwoods Hymnal.)

Anyway. That’s all. If 1, 3, 4, 5, or 7–or for that matter 2, 6, and 8–seem like good ideas to you, by all means, write away.

Told You I Was Back At It

Only a nine day layoff this time around.

Here are some things:

  1. The novel–The Birth of Birds–is indeed finished. I’ve been in the midst of an 8 month search for an agent (did I mention this? I think I mentioned this). It’s actually gone well–about 20% have asked for a full or partial manuscript–but alas, I’m down to the last half-dozen or so that have those full manuscripts and where I used to get about a rejection a week (or more), I’m getting like a rejection a month. And some of them are so kind, kind enough to live off, probably for the rest of my life. But I have an ego, like everyone else I suppose (those possibly bigger than the average ego), and it is feeling tender. So what to do?
  2. Start something new. I’ve been working on both a new novel and some short stories. I’m afraid I’m much more suited for short stories–either because of my attention span or because of the precision they require/share with songwriting. Both processes have been enjoyable and I wish I had a better memory for that because I tend to go days (sometimes 9 at a time) without working and start to get a weird brain-buzz until I get to work again. It’s good to have the work.
  3. I started playing in a band about six weeks ago. The Ruralists. We’ve had a handful of shows (including one tomorrow night) and have been working on an EP/demo and fleshing out songs from The Birth of Birds. It has been a salve or a balm or something like that. Straight up calamine lotion. I’d become so accustomed to the brain-buzz that accompanied not playing music that I’d almost gotten to the point where I could totally ignore it. Almost.

Hopefully I’ll have something more than complaints and updates in the near future. Gotcha catch a flight home from Michigan now.