Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Next Big Thing

This is a meme wherein writers answer a set of questions about the project that they're working on. I was tagged by eth press partner-in-crime David Hadbawnik.

What is the working title of the book?

Most of my writing energy goes into my dissertation these days, but I'm also working on two creative projects, off and on:

1. Three Novels: Russia, or Realism; New Mexico, or Romance; Tomorrowland, or Fantasy.

2. The nine project.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

1. So, I did this other project a few years ago called "1000 poems for THE LAND", in which I fragmented some old novels set around New Mexico. I then paired the fragments using an arcane system that balanced the relative obscurity of the words. Or something like that. The pairs of fragments (one in all caps, one in all lowercase) were scattered around twenty acres of land outside of Albuquerque; the idea was that people might stumble across them, the textual equivalents of a worn fossil or bone or arrowhead.

One of the poems for THE LAND

Anyway, I revisited these fragments recently, and thought about how, if they were bone fragments from a single species of novel as I had imagined, they might be reassembled into a skeleton. I had also seen a dinosaur exhibit recently, and been thinking about how the dinosaur's bones were being presented as a whole entity, but also as just the fragmentary remains of that entity—despite the fact that the bones on display might have come from different bodies of the same species, or might include reconstructions of missing bones, and that many decisions went into deciding how those bones ought to be assembled—but also how we were being asked to fill out the flesh and bones with our imagination while recognizing the power of the skeletons as skeletons. So they're paleontologicographical novels.

2. My last chapbook, Bell-lloc, had eight poems of eight lines of eight syllables, and so I thought it might be time to work with nines. I am also loosely thinking about Ramon Llull's use of combinatorics, and what might be done with that poetically. I've been thinking about this project for a few years now, though, and it's still in very early days.

What genre does your book fall under?

1. Poetry pretending to be a novel.

2. Poetry pretending to be poetry.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

1. There are lots of overwrought stock characters in this one, but I don't really watch movies so uh I have no idea.

2. I hope the number nine will be willing to play itself.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

1. Everybody suffers under economic inequality!; Some people will love the stranger who comes to town, and some will not; Everything endlessly spinning forever!

2. Connect the dots, la la la la!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

1. About a hundred years, but a lot of that was waiting for the source texts to decay.

2. It's been two years and I only have notes and thoughts and feelings.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

1. The original project came about thanks to David Abel and J.A. Lee; this version is inspired, as I said, by dinosaurs.

2. Ramon Llull, although I'm trying to get the basic idea to latch onto some other ideas.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

1. They're pretty short to read, at least!

2. Nine is three squared, and has lots of strange properties in our base ten counting system.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Ha ha ha.

My tagged writers:

Rebecca Stefoff, Anna Wilson, Michael Collins, Sam Lohmann, Emily Gushue Whalen

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