Thursday, October 15, 2009

Reality Bites

A few days back, I decried being mired in non-fiction. Well, guess what? It continues. As I promised myself I’d do when I finally finished moving in, I sat down with Stephen King's Under the Dome and a cup of strong, black coffee. I’d pictured a weekend day, easing into this five pound chunk of fiction with a nice, post-breakfast caffeine buzz. Because it was Tuesday after work, I brewed Starbucks Decaf House Blend (I’ve secretly been craving the light body and clean, acidic finish of the South American coffees lately; don’t tell nobody). I lounged in the window as the sun went down.

The first few chapters were everything I’d hoped. Mysterious, tantalizing, violent, and ominous, filled with the archetypal and offbeat characters we’ve come to love. When I got in bed to read before dropping off, I switched to Rhoda Janzen’s Mennonite in a Little Black Dress. Memoir is speaking to me the way fiction once did. For now, I’ll accept that. Mostly because it can’t be helped.

Continuing the theme of garnering attention for my non-fiction over my fiction, I received an email from Harper Collins’ mighty Carl Lennertz. He loved the Florida essay I wrote for the bookseller’s version of State by State. A couple days later, I received a package in the mail with a finished copy of The Great Lakes Reader and my five-pages covered with Carl’s chicken scratches. It’s the first time someone like Lennertz has taken that much time with my words. It’s flattering, to say the least.

All profits from the books’ sales will benefit the ABFFE.

The video of my Lip Service performance is up on their website. I was able to watch the entire thing, which tells me I’m more comfortable with myself. It’s better than I thought it would be.

My non-fiction efforts have given me enough attention to know I haven’t been wasting time at my laptop. But I have stories to tell unlimited by anything as dull as What Actually Happenened (or even, This Could Actually Happen).

So today’s question is whether I’d rather write a hit song I secretly hate, or a beautiful song no one ever hears?


  1. Hullo AJC

    I think you need to live, so I'd prostitute myself for the shortest time possible then pull the good stuff out of the back pocket.

    But here's the rub.

    Can you ever be a tart and not be pigeon holed?