Long (enough) ago I decided to let this blog languish in internet purgatory, for all practical purposes dead to me and anyone else. Tyler Gobble, however, has given me some legitimate license to drag it up from its grave for a moment by tagging me in his Next Big Thing post, in which I’ll answer ten questions about my (chap)book and tag writers (up to five) who I’d like to see respond to the same set of questions. Here we go.
What is the working title of the book?
You Are The Meat. It is a chapbook.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I mean, it’s poems. Poems come from all sorts of planets. Sometimes that planet is a drive home from a famous ice cream shop, sometimes it’s a Jimmy Eat World song, sometimes it’s Stevie Nicks. Several of these poems came from a series that I have a feeling isn’t done, is taking a brief nap, whose titles are abstract words that I’ve tried to focus on in some total intense whoa-ness that kinda takes that undergrad shame of like, “…so, I guess this poem is about love” and turns it into “Yeah this poem is about love and fuck it, I fucking love everything, here’s why.” Really, at this point in my life my central, “writing planets revolve around this star” goal with everything is to have that sort of total, thundering union between fragility and ferocity.
What genre does your book fall under?
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Jennifer Lawrence would play all references to music I primarily listened to in high school and my hometown prior to 2007. Aaron Paul (Jesse from Breaking Bad) is every reference to the post-industrial Midwest. Tom Jones simultaneously plays and eats a sandwich. Katy Perry and Stevie Nicks play themselves.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Slicing open your own belly with a pocketknife and landing on a continent that has never felt acid rain.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Everything in the chapbook got chopped and sewn and polished over the past three years on wildly differing timelines. Some things are not much different than their original drafts, some have emerged from a frustrating number of cocoons.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I mean, feelings? But really, one of the smartest things I’ve ever been told by a significant other (thank you, Tyler) is that I’m a “feeling it” writer and that I should run with that, hard. At times that’s a frustrating thing because, you know, you get that “write every day” or “schedule your writing time” thing branded into your butt from undergrad, but a simple, solid thing I remember Sean Lovelace saying during a large Q&A session at a writers’ event at Ball State University is that if you want to write, you just will. Scheduling and goals yes, establishing discipline is valuable yes, but if you ultimately don’t want to do this shit, you just won’t. That’s a comfort to me, because I know I don’t just want to want to write, I want to write. I haven’t been doing this very long but I know now dry spells are that, spells. I’ve learned to not brush off those tiny flames of feeling brought on by whatever–and sometimes they’re small, have to be fanned–and take down whatever it is that’s feeding them in the first place. That isn’t to say I never write when I’m not absolutely “feeling it,” or ascribe to, fuck no, “the muse,” because hard work and perseverance is of course vital, but I realize there’s nothing wrong with prioritizing times/moods in which my writing work is going to result in the greatest benefit for my effort, which for me just isn’t going to be every single Tuesday from 5:30 pm ’til midnight.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
One poem mentions three fast food restaurants and Joyce Carol Oates. Another says, “Voila, beef hat!”
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
H_NGM_N will be so graciously birthing this thing in the foreseeable future.
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My tagged writers for next Wednesday are: