Back in 2005, I did one of those cliche backpack-around-Europe things. It was awesome, obviously. I met tons of people, saw tons of sites (including my favorite Renaissance painting, the School of Athens!), did all the cool things. I also read a LOT, a lot more than I ever expected because there’s a ton of down time when you’re not working, you’re broke–$40 a day budget–and you’re travelling 8-10 every few days. I don’t have my list anymore, but in 3.25 months, I read approximately 95 books. That includes the four times I read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire because I couldn’t find any other books.
While the amount of books I read was amazing, it had an unexpected side effect. I basically didn’t read another book for two years, besides A Feast For Crows, which came out the next year. I’d burned out from an overdose, which I never ever expected to happen. And yet it did.
I filled the time in between my reading, of course. I watched a ton of movies in this time and gave myself a nice education of 70s art films, like The Last Picture Show, Five Easy Pieces, Carnal Knowledge, Cool Hand Luke. I played a bunch of games on the XBox like, Knights of the Old Republic, Fable, Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude (don’t ask). I dated a lot. Like, I did stuff, But I didn’t read and yes, this affected my creative life. While I wasn’t the writer I am now, I didn’t write a thing during that time. It was weird.
When I started reading again, my writing picked back up. Whew! Close one. I thanked the stars it was a temporary thing and kind of knew it would never happen again. I wouldn’t be one of those people who, like, didn’t read. Those people are monsters.
Surprise! I haven’t read shit in the past couple months. And in the past 30 days, I’ve read comic books and half of some shitty fantasy novel and yeah. Not much else. It’s weird. Super weird. I just don’t even care. But I love reading and I love supporting authors and I am theoretically interested so my stack of books keeps on getting bigger.
But the past half a dozen years I’ve been all-in on writing, I’ve read nothing but books books books and they’ve all been awesome but holy shit, I think I need a break. So many books, all worthy of time, but my brain is finite and it’s full, yo. And that’s fine and that’s ok, but I was super afraid my writing would be affected. I even told a bunch of people I’m in a fallow period, just recharging the banks with tv and movies and art.
But I was lying, even if I didn’t realize it. I wasn’t filling the banks with other media (besides Fallout 4) and I was also writing. In the past month, I’ve written two brand new short stories, massively reworked another short story so it’s entirely new, finished two separate freelance pieces and have a draft of a couple poems somewhere that I need to look at. That’s like, not bad for a month.
And yeah, I’m still not reading literature, but who said reading comics was bad? If I want to read the full run of X-Factor and The New Mutants, well that’s my business. It’s still a couple thousand pages all told (I don’t feel like doing the math) and there’s some good nuggets in there. Especially X-Factor #70 – #100 which deals with abortion and AIDS and mental illness. It’s not like I’m sitting on my butt. I’m moving forward. That’s chill.
In publication and writing news:
More poems! The dope people at Hobart liked my David Attenborough poems enough to publish three of them. They’re sweet.
Another dark fanfic! This time about Manuel from the Fawlty Towers. Thanks, Barrelhouse.
The newest book I’ve published, Dave K’s The Bong-Ripping Brides of Count Drogado dropped on 11/4. Pick up a copy. It’s amazing.
Also for Mason Jar, we’ve signed three new authors: Erin Dorney, Tyrese Coleman and Danny Caine. The next year and a half will be
dooooooooooope. Get ready.
Last, I sent a bunch of query letters to agents for my two manuscripts. Nothing yet, but that’s not a surprise. We’ll see! I’m hopeful.
That’s about it. Check back in next month for more fanfic and maybe some of my freelance.
Books to look out for:
The New Mutants
Ulysses by James Joyce (probably)