A particularly soothing term, speaking sonically

I accidentally posted this comic without any commentary at all. No thoughts, no links or shared ideas, just out in the world and thank you kindly. Obviously I am fixing that now – by the time most people see the comic, these very words will be attached to the posting, and the only reason to know about the error will be that I’m telling you. I am my own and only watchdog.


This week I am coming close to finishing a couple of big things, and it’s an oddly scary feeling. I keep asking my friends: without this goal, who am I? (Luckily, most of them are too far away to smack me when I say this, and too nice to boot.) It feels ridiculous, even to me – I’ve always read interviews with novelists who talk about post-book ennui and thought I won’t be that way. I’ll be grateful, and glad. But my novel isn’t even quite done, and already I can understand it. There is a huge force of energy and momentum towards something, and suddenly that goal disappears. You cross a finish line, and discover there’s a cliff on the other side, and you’re floating.

So while I can certainly understand the desire to throw something out into the world pell-mell, as soon as it’s done, and get a reaction, now I better empathize with the need to perfect every piece, every word. Not to let go, because once you do, you’ve lost your grip.

Anyway. I have new projects in mind, big and small, and will probably jump right into them as soon as I feel like the end has really come – in fact, I look forward to that. But I am also looking to relax in a big way and catch up on a bunch of reading. Here are a few of the books I’m considering (note: some are more relaxing than others, but maybe I relax differently than you. Did you ever think of that?). Any suggestions to add?

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson
Red Doc> by Anne Carson
The Group by Mary McCarthy
Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
Chocolates for Breakfast by Pamela Moore (hey, I like a saucy coming-of-age novel as much as the next person.)
Umbrella by Will Self

I just now realized that almost all of these are by women, and it made me happy. Nice work, subconscious desires. (Though I do also really want to read that Will Self.)

In other news, this guy really doesn’t like Alice Munro. Sorry, guy. The quotes you pull out just make me want to read more Alice Munro. (Really, I sometimes find her a bit thematically repetitive as well, but I think she is emotionally insightful and craft-brilliant enough that I just don’t care. And I think this guy is perhaps mistaking his tastes for taste generally. Poor form.)