Chaos Attraction

Professional Storytelling

2003-11-04, 12:16 a.m.

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My weekend was pretty well industrious, as you can see. I managed to crack the 10,000 word barrier in TWO DAYS!!! Which is an outright miracle for me, and not only the most I've ever done in a weekend, but the most I've written at all in a day. Wowee! I had fun writing a lot of scenes putting my poor lead character through the wringer. So far she's had a boss who's anal about her wardrobe and coffee, another "touchy feely" boss, mouthed off to a mother, and threw a hissy fit about being called a boy when she was five. It's all a circus here. The more I write this, it's fun, but I don't think it's gonna be publishable after all. Big shock, eh? Or at least, I'm writing it in an interesting fashion, but don't know if it can be ordered into a good novel form. Plus it's not exactly major crisisville. Oh well, it's not like I get up the nerve to submit to much, eh? (Though ironically, I did hear some good news regarding a webmagazine and future publications, but that's for later.) At any rate, glad I've got a site up for it after all. Dave was very tolerant of my writing till 3 a.m. and writing all day long and basically ignoring him for most of the weekend.

Alas, I promptly ruined it today ;) by not writing at all. I met up with most of the other Davis NaNo's and we had a great gossip session instead of ahem, writing. Great fun though, hope we do it again. I wanted to get this entry written anyway, so I'll just work again tomorrow. I'm ahead a few days anyway, right?

I was a very good girl and did not go shopping all weekend, much as I REALLY REALLY WANTED TO. I did get paid on Friday, but sadly, it turns out my raise doesn't kick in until December 1. Waaaaaah. So much for doing major shopping, though I keep looking at stuff here and here and on iTunes and on here. I've already bid on three things over there, though as a cost-saving/fear measure, if anyone else bids on them I'll bow out. (I'm too scared to get into a bidding war over an object if someone else wants it too, actually.) Which reminds me... I don't have everything up yet (the necklaces are taking longer than expected), but my stuff is here. I'm working on it, really!

Anyway, last night we went to see David Sedaris. (Fortunately, they did not ask for ID when we turned in our tickets. Hah.) Much to my shock, David Sedaris was actually out in the lobby signing books when we got in! No, I did not get in line, as (a) I lose autographs, and (b) it was way too long anyway. I did, however, poke Dave and go "That's David Sedaris." "Who?" (I have tried to introduce him to his works before, but it seemed to have whizzed over his head somehow.)

Yes, he's as short and as tweakily-voiced as you heard about. I had fricking awesome seats in the middle of the orchestra, which rocked.

He read us four stories from his upcoming book in June, currently titled something like Dress Your Family In Corderoy and Denim (after a random dream his boyfriend had, and his boyfriend saying a book like that would never sell. "We'll see."). They may have changed by the time they come out, but they were:

(1) "The Undead." This has one of the best story openings ever- "I was out on the front porch drowning a rat at 3 a.m. when the van pulled up." At which point I'm all "Drowning a MOUSE?! At 3 a.m.? Why?!" Anyway, what it goes into is that when he's home alone he's afraid zombies are going to break into the house, and he remembers a story about how a burglar died up someone's chimney. He's home alone in the country one night when a mouse ends up in a trap. David goes out onto the porch with the mouse and tries to set him free, but he's afraid to touch the bar with his hands, so he tries to free the mouse via foot and broom handle. This only proceeds to slam the bar down on the mouse's neck..."The second, third and fourth tries were equally unsuccessful." At this point the mouse has been freed, but in David's opinion is not long for this world, so he decides the humane thing to do is to drown the mouse. So he gets a bucket and sticks the mouse in it, only the mouse is still determined to live and keeps on swimming! He's trying to hold down the mouse's tail with a broom handle when the aforementioned van drives up, and it's full of a bunch of lost old Dutch people. The driver gets out and says that they've been looking for a friend's house in a "willage" for hours now. (David kept trying to get him to repeat "willage.") So the dude comes up to the door, naturally spots the impending murder, and says, "Oh, you have a swimming mouse. My wife and I have a dog." Uh.... So David brings him inside to go find him a map, and suddenly realizes that the inside of his house looks like the home of a serial killer:

(a) One of those Visible Man models on the table,

(b) True Crime magazines on the couch. One is open to a French crossword puzzle. The first and only word David had ever figured out in a French crossword puzzle happened to be vagina, and in his joy at solving it he'd drawn a bunch of exclamation marks around it and circled it,

(c) Meat hooks in the fireplace,

(d) An animal skull,

(e) A meat cleaver sitting on top of a photo of a neighbor's grandchild,

(f) In the drawer with the map, there was a rope and a pen shaped like a bloody finger...

You get the drill. The story ends with the guy fleeing into the night, the mouse finally drowning, and David being too afraid to dispose of the mouse in the dark.

(2) "A Can Of Worms," which is going to be on a This American Life episode, "Overheard Conversations." David, his boyfriend Hugh, and a friend of Hugh's are in a restaurant in LA called The Apple Bin and David's bored while the other two yap about acquaintances, and starts listening to two people going on about how wouldn't it be cool if worms could talk. This leads into Hugh's friend telling David he should eat pies upside down and wish on the point, and David going "wouldn't my life be different if I'd wished to be Indiana Jones?"

(3) I forget the name of this one, but it was about them getting a new apartment. I think it's coming out in the New Yorker soon. They'd wanted to buy theirs, but the landlord insisted on saving it for his granddaughters. (David kept hoping for a playground accident.) David wanted to stay there because it'd be quite a while before the kids grew up, but Hugh insisted on finding a new apartment they could actually buy. (David felt like they were cheating on their nice apartment.) Hugh falls in love with some ratty fixer-upper and they buy it, and while David hates it, he likes to lord it over his friends that he OWNS something. Then they go to Amsterdam and tour Anne Frank's Secret Annex, and suddenly David falls in love with the place and wishes he could buy it and goes around mentally decorating it. Yep, that was a strange story.

(4) I also forget the name of this one (it was in the New Yorker recently), but it was a story about when he was a kid and they had a neighbor family, the Tomkeys, whose father "didn't believe in television." David is fascinated by this family's strangeness and likes to spy on them at the dinner table. For Halloween, this family goes away to the lake and leaves a can of gumdrops outside their door with a sign saying "Don't be greedy!" This pisses David right off- who'd want to be greedy over that crappy candy? The next night...the Tomkeys show up at their door, with the kids IN COSTUME. Yes, they've decided to trick-or-treat one day late. David's mom is all "Oh, that's fine, kids, go get the candy." "What candy? We gave it all away last night." "The OTHER candy." "You mean, OUR candy?!" The kids freak. The girls run off entirely, but David goes into his room to sort his candy by priority. He's allergic to chocolate (gives blinding headaches immediately upon consumption), but he refuses to be left out and ranks the chocolate #1. While he's still sorting, he overhears his mom having a strained conversation about boat trailers and hinting with that "get out here NOW" voice. At this point, David starts cramming all of the chocolate into his mouth, and Mom walks in to find him with chocolate dripping out of his mouth like doody, and of course takes some of his candy. After that, he hated the Tomkeys.

He did a little promotion afterwards about the book Birds of America (apparently she made a story about someone who killed a friend's baby by accident end funny) and told us we should all register to vote to make other people feel bad. After that came the Q and A, in which we found out that he was impressed with our crow population, that he and Amy weren't collaborating on anything any time soon, that he won't do Billie Holiday (duh), he thinks the English are weird because of their wigs and tacky newspaper headlines (i.e. "Sex and the Titty."), no, he didn't really vacuum his cat's ashes up, he probably just swept them up. He may change the end of the mouse story because it didn't really have an ending, and he tends to slow his voice down on the end of a story when it doesn't really end per se. Oh, and the Rooster now has a baby girl (chick?) and is cutting down on the swearing. Regarding his wife after the birth, he said, "She's got tubes sticking out of her pussy, but it's all right."

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