Archive for September, 2010

a good sign that you have spent too much time writing today

I wanted to name a character “Cabel,” but I couldn’t tell if that was a name or not, so I spent like ten minutes looking it up on facebook, trying to figure out if real people in the world were actually named “Cabel” or whether I had just conflated “Cain” and “Abel” or what.

Then it just occurred to me that the name I was actually thinking of was “Caleb.” Since that actually IS a real name.


the cultural phenomenon of the century

Six and a half years ago, in the spring of 2004, I wrote a humor article for my college newspaper in which I said the following:

My mother often laments the fact that she wasn’t there for the destruction of the Berlin Wall. Similarly, my father cannot get over missing Woodstock 35 years ago. Never mind that he went to Altamont and totally saw people get killed and stuff. Woodstock was the cultural phenomenon of a century, he says, and it is a tragedy that he missed it.

This is how I feel about the first day of at our campus: The cultural phenomenon of the century.

This week, the opening paragraph to the lead story in New York Magazine reads as follows:

I poked Aaron Sorkin. It happened the day before we first met, and it seemed an appropriate initial interaction with the man who wrote The Social Network, the movie that’s about to become the unofficial origin fable of perhaps the defining cultural phenomenon of this still-new century.

The thing is, when I used that phrase, I was kidding.

This is not the first time I have written something, and then it turned true. But it’s still weird for me. It’s always weird.

a lack of catharsis

Yesterday I cleaned out my bookshelves. They were looking over-cluttered, and I sensed that pruning them would give me catharsis. I am constantly seeking catharsis. Plus, it seemed like I wouldn’t have to exert too much effort, which is definitely my favorite way to achieve catharsis.

I went through every book in my apartment and managed to part with about a dozen of them, which was not bad, I felt.

Then today I came home to a box of 35 copies of MOSTLY GOOD GIRLS. So… Maybe now I need to put those somewhere, too?

playing paperdolls

There are many things I enjoy writing. This list does not include boys’ outfits.

I guess I’m just not well-versed in the options for men’s fashion, but writing these descriptions always just bores the hell out of me. It’s the summertime, so this character is wearing jeans, or possibly jean shorts; and a T-shirt, or possibly a button-down; and sneakers, or possibly flip-flops. Right? I mean, what else do you wear when you’re a 17-year-old boy and you’re casually hanging out in the summertime?

It’s possible that I just write boring, mundane male characters, and this is why they only wear boring, mundane clothes. But really, like, can I give him an exciting headband? Would that be weird?

Important Notes

1. As you can see in the post below, I JUST RECEIVED ONE FINISHED COPY OF MOSTLY GOOD GIRLS. You don’t get yours until October 5th, but I got mine TODAY. I would love to lend you my copy, except for how I am never going to let it out of my sight. My roommate asked me if I was going to sleep with it under my pillow tonight, and I had to be like, “haha, NO,” as though that hadn’t been my plan before she even suggested it.

These photos don’t really do justice to its beauty. You just have to trust me that it is a stunning, stunning book, and if it doesn’t look it here, that is only because I am not a photographer. At all. These are possibly the first photos I have taken in the year 2010.

2. I went to the Brooklyn Book Fest yesterday, which was very fun, if rainy. My friend Rebecca and I co-wrote a recap about it for Brooklyn Based: Take a look if you want to relive the experience with us, even though mostly the experience we had seems to be about getting our hair wet.

Look, a book!