I finished Divergent last night, and to say the very least: it wasn’t for me.
Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman’s home on Remodelista, because I’m in a nesting phase..
FFF Results Post #374 — Archie Goodwin, via The Comics Reporter:
On Friday, CR readers were asked to “Name Five Stories You Like Scripted By The Late Archie Goodwin.” This is how they responded.
Ahhh, this is helpful to my earlier question.
This movie and this book also had a profound impact on me. I was a freshman at St. Bonaventure University and my then-girlfriend (my first real relationship), and I went to see this. We had to wash down the taste of Fight Club, which disturbed and amazed us both so we went into this. By the end of this film, I couldn’t help but see so much of my future self in Grady Tripp. Was I going to end up like that guy? Being eighteen, I wanted to be Tobey Maguire’s character. Worse, I felt that I had to be, that anything less would be failure. And I think that’s quite a lot of what’s hung me up over the years is that need that the movie and book implanted. When it should have just been—do good work, rather than think about how you want to play pretend in someone else’s story. But this movie and then book was my introduction to Michael Chabon, someone who still shapes my writing life and someone I study as I make my way as an English teacher in higher education.
Are MFA programs asshole-making machines? The contributors Harbach has assembled for MFA vs NYC offer up some interesting answers to this question. They explore whether fiction programs can turn established writers into jaded teachers, cashing the paychecks necessary for writerly survival while caring little about students’ work. They consider whether MFAs can make talented younger writers into producers of bland, indistinguishable, commercially viable books. They explore the extent to which it might be better to stay in Iowa working on draft #143 of your masterpiece, rather than schmoozing at NYC publishing parties, and they ask—to quote from George Saunders’s own contribution to the book—whether, as MFA programs continue to proliferate, there’s “something gross about a culture telling a bunch of people who are never going to be artists that they maybe are, even if only by implication.”
What was it that grabbed me? I guess the system of turning out writers into writing teachers, a system I’m a part of, and seeing that as a necessary result. Teaching needs to happen, teaching how to help people communicate with one another and see another perspective is a necessary result to making a living. Just like garbage getting picked up, I’m getting paid to read other people’s writing, which helps me understand them and what they need to do well. It helps me understand what I need to do well so that I can support myself. Austin Kleon, talks about how you’re not entitled to do what you love, doing what you love creates a better life, but it doesn’t owe you financial success. Fortunately, I find myself at a crossroads where that’s not true. My job helps me be compassionate, and it spotlights when I’m being unreasonable. It trains me to recognize my ticks and spasms in other people and it’s so time-consuming that it provides a framework for finding the time for me and my art. That taking the time, the hour to sit down and write every day is necessary to my mental health, because the entire day can’t be all about other people. I don’t really care that much about whether the book I’m writing now will ever see a bookstore. It probably won’t, but it’s not something I’m worried about, it won’t see a bookstore if I don’t make an honest effort and try to get better.
I haven’t read MFA vs NYC, but I want to see if it talks about anything outside of these two paradigms, that there is space between these two literary powerhouses, because unfortunately it seems like the thesis is narrow.
I woke up this morning at 4am. I’m staying at home with my parents to help pre-empt the flooding that always occurs during April. Mud season. We go right from awful March, my least favorite month, to April where there is mass flooding. It’s awesome.
I woke up and started reading John Jeremiah Sullivan’s Blood Horses, because I’m so into what it is he does. I really enjoy his work, and I can’t quite get enough of it. You know a writer is for you when you read something and say, “Yeah, me too.” I say that all the time when reading him and the thing I’m learning from him is compassion. A willingness to empathize with people, all people of various shapes and sizes, and their interests.
This quote literally sprang me from my bed, all of his sports-related anecdotes could have been pulled whole-cloth from my own athletic misadventures.
About a year ago, I had a meeting with a production company, who wanted me to host a show for them. The concept was simple, I thought it had the potential to be incredibly funny, and I really liked the people I met with.
“I can’t just be a host, though,” I explained. “I’ve been producing Tabletop for two seasons, and if I’m going to be the public face of a show, I need to have a hand in its…
This is fun, so much so I’ll go as far as looking at syfy’s website to watch this since I don’t have cable.