"I write out of a greed for lives and language. A need to listen to the orchestra of living. It is often said that a writer is more alive than his peers. But I believe he might also be a sort of narcoleptic who requires constant waking up by his own imaginative work. He is closer to sleep and dream, and his memory is more haunted, thus more precise.
My life seems precious, even though often sad, and crammed with mystery. My past seems a fine gray like good old movie rain. I forget almost nothing. Even when I was drunk I recalled too much, and hence was forced to relive events in an agony of shame. Friends and confederates are often astounded by what I remember of certain afternoons an age ago—weather, dress, music, mots. A blessing and a curse. I feel superior to nobody because of the gift, and in other talents I rank very low. I do not rate myself highly in thought, for instance. I find life too vivid for thought, really. Thus I go about preaching, of course, that thought is overrated."
The Fascinating Self-Portraits of 20 Famous Authors, over at Flavorwire. Above: Borges after he’d gone blind, Flannery O’Connor, Cormac McCarthy (the text says, I think, “Them old dreams are only in your head,” because sure).
Q: What does AWP stand for?
A: AWP stands for “Awkward Writers’ Powwow.” Some people will tell you that AWP stands for “The Association of Writers and Writing Programs” but if that were true, the acronym wouldn’t be AWP, so duh.
Q: Socially and professionally, what should I expect?
A: Expect the world, writer! The world, and nothing less! Whether you are distributing galleys of your self-published zombie romance novel; are looking for the right home for your chapbook of short stories narrated from the POVs of different household appliances; or you’re just hoping to make some like-minded, writing and reading-obsessed friends—you’ve come to the right place!"
Courtney Maum, AWP FAQs on the Tin House blog
Not headed to Boston? Don’t fear, Geek Week at HWBC has you covered with a literary and spelling bee, and Geeks vs. Nerds Trivia happy hour.
Novelist and Vanity Fair “Hot Type” columnist Elissa Schappell managed to write “a difficult letter that I hadn’t wanted to write,” while tweeting up a storm. (“Amused by some of the serious method ‘stroking my imaginary goatee’ going on.”) Both have quickly mastered the distractedly condescending air of a writer at work. “I have no problem with it,” says Schappell, getting into character. “’What do you think you’re doing here, in this coffee shop, which is my home office?!’” (via The Indie Film With a 43-Author Cameo — Vulture)
Elissa Schappell 4ever.
Eat Your Feelings with Jami next Thursday, November 1 (yes, next Thursday is November already, I know, my mind is also blown) and loads of awesome folks here, free, 7pm. Buy The Middlesteins you will love it, it’s so good.
"One of Truman Capote’s eccentricities was to walk into a liquor store and ask for a bottle of “Justerini and Brooks” scotch, which is more familiarly known as J&B, which is one of the most famous brand names in the liquor business. Even if a merchant told him the store did not carry the brand (as most people didn’t know what the initials stood for), even when it was likely it did carry the brand, Capote would not call it “J&B”, even if it meant that he went without it."
"If Colette were prepared to talk freely, it would be the meeting of a lifetime because she led such an incredible life (her biography, “Secrets of the Flesh,” by Judith Thurman, is one of my all-time favorites). By the narrowest of margins, though, I think I’d meet Dickens. What would I want to know? Everything."
"All writers are underrated. They’re all trying to do their best. It’s hard to finish a book."