Journal Entry

Tuesday, May 4, 2004

Back from Blue Heaven

Yes, I'm back from Blue Heaven. Chance has posted about it here and here. Chris has posted about it here and here. Here's Paul's. Here's Lisa's.

Do you really need anything else from me?

It was lovely to see last year's running jokes become this year's revered institutions. It was fun to see how much fun it is to play "I Never" (the storytelling version, not the drinking version) with a bunch of writers -- not just the cleverness of the telling, but the unjudging eye writers bring to all the disasters and absurdities and follies of their lives, once they begin to tell them as stories -- the fascination with human beings being human which dispenses with all apology or censure or boasting or justification.

The Surrealist Oracle and the singalong and wrestling on the lawn and the talking and talking and talking (and it was not all me, no matter what they try to tell you...) Lovely to be with the pack.

Beyond that, we did a lot of work. Evening sessions on agents and publishers and marketing and community building and so on (one of which inspired me to think more about how to use this site, hence the new Movable Type interface). And the critiquing. Much, much critiquing.

As for "Library of Souls" -- the novel I brought (same novel as always, yet another title): it survived. They loved the concept, they loved the prose, they appreciated the structural improvements from last year. They loved some of the characters. They still hate the main character, and what's worse, he's gone from reprehensible to bland. Ouch. And generally things just don't cohere as well as we want them to. I fear that, daunted by the hugeness of a novel (as opposed to short stories), we overarchitected it, with the result that major character transitions feel forced -- the hand of the authors interposes itself too often.

I expect this can be fixed.

I'm taking a month off from the book to work on stories ("A Siege of Cranes" and "The House Beyond Your Sky" have been demanding attention, for two). After that the sleeves will be rolled up and the critiques waded through. Hmm.

Posted by benrosen at May 4, 2004 09:38 PM | Up to blog
Comments

1) I've read chance's posts about BH. I want to read yours. And,

B) There's no space in the first pop-up window for comments. It doesn't show up till you hit the "Preview" button.

Posted by: Jim Stevens-Arce at May 5, 2004 12:05 PM

I give up.

Posted by: Jim Stevens-Arce at May 5, 2004 12:07 PM

Okay Jim, I have added some more details.

I will mess with the styles, too, and perhaps we can get the comments page working for your browser...

Posted by: Benjamin Rosenbaum at May 12, 2004 09:08 PM
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