Posts Tagged With: Act of Writing

For the True Listeners…


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I remember attending a Coldcut concert by  in the late 90s, maybe early 00’s, and for the first five minutes they played nothing but crap—just noise. You began to wonder what the hell they were doing—if they’d lost all ability to put together any consonant sounds at all. And sure enough, bit by bit, folks began to leave. There you had these folks who paid however much money to listen to this celebrated duo, and eventually they just decided ‘Fuck it—it’s just not worth it.’ So they left.

After the crowd had been substantially skimmed—after a good forty percent of paying customers had walked out—one of the Coldcut performers said something along the lines of, ‘Now that only all the true listeners are present, we can finally start the show.’ After which they proceeded to bring the house absolutely down—and it was great. It really was.

I thought to myself that if I ever produced anything—book, music, show, whatever—that I’d want to do something along those same lines. Because I obviously have no control over who decides to pick up The Call for Something—but I do have some control, at least, over those who decide to keep reading it, after they’ve the slogged through the first few chapters.

So that’s a little bit of what I was going for, with the first couple chapters of the book. To bore the casual reader out of continuing, until only those who care at least a little bit about what I might have to say are left.

I don’t want anyone doing me any favors. Don’t pretend to be my friend by reading this or by buying this (on Amazon or wherever). Buy me a beer instead. Don’t read this just because your buddy saw it on Facebook, and mentioned it.

As the title suggests, The Call for Something, particularly in its language, is necessarily vague and even hard to listen to at its outset; and you will not be able to appreciate it unless your own understanding—your self-understanding, when you decide to crack it open—is focused. Take from it what you will; but the first two chapters are programmed to guarantee that you’ll get nothing, if you expect to be given anything.

Categories: Anecdote, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Accident of a Cohesive Novel: How The Call for Something Came About.

Since I joined Facebook and announced to people that I have written and published a novel, I have been hearing from a lot of people I haven’t seen in years! I am thrilled and also a little freaked out by all the direct messages on my Facebook page, but I want to honor some of the questions that I received. They are a great excuse to post things to my blog, so I’m going to break them up into blog posts. The first one I will summarize as:

How did “The Call for Something” Come About? Here goes…

In general, The Call for Something came about as a result of a habit of writing – even a compulsion to do so. Circumstantially, at the time that I began writing, I found myself with a hell of a lot of time on my hands. And specifically, if the truth be told, I was pretty drunk in the moments immediately preceding the first words of the book. This last detail is arguably incidental; but if you’re curious as to the particular circumstances under which the story was conceived, I wouldn’t be telling the whole truth if I left this admission out.

The Call for Something was a long time in coming – I’d written so many poems, essays, short stories and ramblings by that time, that the accident of a cohesive novel probably had to happen sooner or later. Much like the mathematical theorem which asserts that a monkey randomly hitting keys on a typewriter will eventually combine to produce King Lear. I’m pretty sure that if you were to sleuth through all the literary verbiage I’d piled up prior to my tapping out this novel, you’d be able to find all the seeds of this story in that massive, gargantuan heap. But that wouldn’t be necessary. It occured to me, in those seminal moments just before the book’s beginning, that within everything I’d written so far, there seemed to be a unifying theme that had been tying all my ramblings together. Suddenly everything presented itself in a cohesive whole; I can actually recall a physical feeling when the idea seemed to fall into my lap.

There are three events in The Call for Something that did actually happen to me. Two of those I fictionalized as I went along; the third is almost entirely true to life, and yet so implausible it would have been considered bad fiction if I’d recounted it precisely as it happened, ironically.

Categories: In Case You Were Wondering, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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