Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Life after MFA

So far I made a bunch of writing resolutions for the coming year, MFA in hand. They look good on paper. Still trying to get out from the quagmire of paperwork that has been left unattended for the better part of two years. Threw out the fifteen renewal notices for the New Yorker to find one that says I authorized the magazine to renew my subscription automatically through my credit card (didn't say which one). Then why did they waste so much paper?  I went along for the ride. Maybe I'll actually make time to read it this year. Gary hates 90 percent of all the fiction in the New Yorker especially Joyce Carol Oates, who has a piece he despises in the latest issue. He pretty much despises everything she writes.  Gary's favorite quote about Oates comes from his MFA colleague Les Edgerton: "Joyce Carol Oates. Nothin' in her wastebasket." Gary  once proposed making tee shirts that read STOP JOYCE CAROL OATES. On another note, Gary's being very secretive about his new creative work, which is nothing new, given that he never tells me what he is writing about. It kills his creative chi.  (He's a real artist). But he likes to flex his new biceps, which he is acquiring at the gym, at every opportunity. "Look!" he exclaims, shocked and awed by the bulging protuberances. I'm more into abs and Gary is convinced he will be ripped before we head off to Puerto Rico in February. I suspect these new-found muscles to be the source of his latest creative surge. What a little narcissism can do...It's funny all that fuss the media made about Obama's abs. Personally I didn't see any abs. He has pecs though. I did twenty sit ups tonight and ate a coconut macaroon dipped in dark chocolate. My belly feels a little lava-like at the moment. 

1 comment:

  1. Oates writes too much; it's like some kind of occupational therapy: "Look, I made another clay ash tray!" But no one smokes any more. As to the New yorker, the editor mainly likes foreign writers ... on the subject,this might amuse you (It's from my big fat Hollywood novel);

    “It’s a specific little Hollywood dream come true,” Jim told Rachel. “You see the name of somebody you lost touch with in the trades and just stare at it. You call them and they’re glad to hear from you. They read your script and six months later somebody from High School is reading your name in Variety.”
    “So it comes full circle.”
    “No way. Are you kidding? If that happens? I’m a hotshot now! I’m a big man. I can’t have some little geek who worked on the yearbook with me taking advantage like that. I tell him, ‘You have to put in your time. There are no shortcuts in this town.’ I’m serious Rachel – that actually happened to me the last time somebody I knew got successful. He told me ‘to pay my dues’. I couldn’t believe it. I started screaming at him. I told him I’d been working in L.A. for ten years, busting my ass and getting nowhere. He writes some little story about a bi-sexual math whiz who makes dirty movies so his grandmother can restock the bird sanctuary on her roof, and gets it into the New Yorker new fiction issue. Out of nowhere. The guy’s been living with his parents for years, working for the post office. ‘I started doing pornography when the pigeons died.’ That’s the first sentence. It stuck in my mind because it’s exactly the kind of first sentence you’d expect to see in the New Yorker new fiction issue.”
    “Cool and quirky.”
    “And hip, and post-modern - and phony as a three dollar bill. So anyway, some insane producer reads the story, buys it for the movies and gives him a huge development deal. Now he’s got his own office at Warners, he’s driving a Z3, eating at the Ivy and telling me to pay my fucking dues. I wanted to strangle him.”