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Author Updates

Monday, May 24, 2010

Received e-mail two days ago from new acquaintance that ended with: “…but as a friend, I have to confess I couldn’t make it through Alternatives to Sex.”

Since general attitude toward own work is ambivalent at best, not exactly stunned by news or especially peeved. What rankles most is words “have to.” Have to? Really? Or what? Sentenced to fiery pits of hell? Audited by IRS? Plague of gnats?

Have many writer friends and inevitably respond to work of some with muted enthusiasm. And yes, sometimes give up half-way. But generally feel more compelled to say nothing or find something to compliment and move on.

As means of exorcism, had to recount humiliating words of new acquaintance in exaggerated form to several writer friends. (“HAVE TO CONFESS I threw the book across the room halfway through.” “HAVE TO CONFESS I almost wrote you to demand my money back. “HAVE TO CONFESS I hated it so much I didn’t even want it in the house.” Etc.)

War Stories abound of similar bouts of honesty: “I like the new one, but I hated your previous two.” “I wish you’d write another one like your third. The rest have been so disappointing.” “The book is usually better than the movie, but in this case, I thought the movie was better than the book. I really did.” “I got the feeling your publisher was pressuring you to finish this quickly. Am I right?” “Were you having chemo when you were writing this?”

Oh well. HAVE TO CONFESS anxiety about new novel coming out. Always fear new one not as good as previous. New acquaintances words give hope however. Perhaps he’ll be able to finish it: Insignificant Others is 40-pages shorter.

Posted by Stephen @ 05:24 PM EST

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Invited to Chanel boutique for cocktail party and showing of fall collection last night. Seemed important to go since invitation made absolutely no sense to begin with, given financial situation and shopping habits. Also, invitation sent from two charming people, one of whom (male) is named Bingo, other fantastically stylish. Also, you never know who you'll meet or what you'll overhear.

Cocktail party companion canceled at last possible second and was afraid that finding a replacement for her at last minute would be insulting. Called new assistant Sean Michael to see if he was interested in attending. Allowed as yes, but insisted on need for thirty minutes to "clean" and get dressed and also asked to be picked up. Arrived at agreed upon time and was kept waiting additional twenty minutes while Sean Michael decided on which pair of identical tight pants to wear.

Champagne and such at Chanel and some 6'2" women modeling clothes in a discreet way. (Theme of this fall's collection--Shanghai. In case you were wondering.) Some spectacular clothes, hipper than I'd assumed, and all identifiably Chanel. (The price tag.)

Astonished at the number of young women trying on 3000$ cardigans as if it were Macy's. ("Oh that is awesome. You should definitely get it.") Tucked into crowd, more of what I'd been expecting--elegant women of a certain age who'd undoubtedly been wearing Chanel for decades. A few wild looking people and a few young men in Prada with very clean, polished faces and dirty looks in their eyes accompanying them.

Sean Michael had four champagnes, passed out postcards for upcoming play, and left with three phone numbers.

Afterwards, walked up the street to Banana Republic and dismayed to see prices still to steep for current bank balance. Sean Michael complained of having been dragged from cocktail party too quickly, so made peace offering of scarf and new sunglasses. ("These look awesome on me. You should definitely get them for me.")

Posted by Stephen @ 09:17 PM EST

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy news--- S won Ferro-Grumley Award at Publishing Triangle event for best LGBT novel of 2009 for The Hour Between. Am now in position to try and ride his coattails at several upcoming joint appearances. We shall see.

Due to a number of projects in the works—imminent release of Insignificant Others, ongoing teaching obligations, series of novels written under an assumed name (details in semi-near future), and general inability to keep up with blog to degree necessary—have hired part-time (very) assistant to keep papers in order and write occasional updates of his own on this site with information about reviews, readings, and such. Will still be posting here with some frequency, but assistant will post own blog entries of updates and such. Will be clearly labeled to avoid confusion.

By way of introduction: Assistant is Sean Michael, recently a student at Emerson College where he was studying creative writing and acting. Somewhere in the sub-twenty-five neighborhood, but prefer not to inquire for fear of being asked same question. Originally sent an email asking if I knew how to contact Jennifer Aniston (answer: No) and then exchanged some messages. Also working as barista and will soon be opening in a play with the word “naked” in the title. Interesting young man.

Have begun working on new novel set in first half of 20th century. Dates keep getting more vague. Have been reading up on 1920’s and watching endless tapes of people dancing Charleston, certainly most fin (and exhausting) looking dance in history.

Went to buy new air conditioner for rental property in Cambridge before new tenants move in. Have always scorned people who buy air conditioners in middle of a heatwave (how about planning ahead?) but realized standing in empty air conditioner aisle of Best Buy that have all a/c units have been purchased under these circumstances. Perhaps new assistant will help co-ordinate.

Posted by Stephen @ 10:00 PM EST

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