4/21/08: Out of nowhere

So about a month ago I quietly snuck away for another two weeks of Writey Camp to work on something. (Okay, there is a book. At least one book and maybe another book.) I guess I didn’t say much about it (the book, and the maybe-other book) because I didn’t want to give anyone the impression that I would be returning with a book, a finished and fully realized entity with a title cover page printed with that classy Garamond font, because that’s still a long time from happening, people. This thing (the book) is really only a few months along and not yet viable outside parentheses, so please continue to go about your business, because, well, it’s gonna be awhile. Right now all that exists are some printouts that frankly looked a lot better when I was at Writey Camp, because apparently there’s something about artists’ colonies that gives you literary beer goggles when you read your own stuff. But still! It’s progress. And it felt good to be doing more than flailing around, or at the very least flailing around on a consistent schedule and in a picturesque location. Somehow by 8 am every morning I managed to be at my desk, showered and dressed and working. And holy crap, just the thought of that is so stupidly inspiring it makes me want to close my browser and work on the you-know-what, but just for you I’ll carry on.

In the middle of my time at Ragdale I woke up one night feeling something weirdly alive going on under the floorboards and hearing things in the house softly rattling. I had the vague sense that there was a lot more going on there than ought to be in a very old house in a semi-rural neighborhood in the middle of the night. I thought, well, that was something, and I went back to sleep. In the morning I found out it had been an earthquake. An earthquake! That means I got felt up by the world and you better believe I’m thrilled.

But now I am back in civilization, where my windows rattle from the boomy bass Albany Park cars driving through the alley, and I am working to get caught up with the rest of my life, in addition to being deep in the middle of doing a column and critiquing manuscripts for a writing conference in Portland next weekend. So I’ll post here when I can, but I feel like I’ve been tuned to a somewhat different frequency at the moment, one that isn’t much good for public broadcast. So please stand by. Before too long there will be another little seismic shift that will bring me more fully back to you guys, but for now I need just a bit more time to do my real world work, as well as listen to the things that are softly rattling in my head.


  1. says

    I know what you mean about the writers camp beer googles. I wrote some really awesome stuff at a retreat and I look back on it now and wonder who is this ridiculous writer with my handwriting? Good luck with (the book). I’m right there with ya.

  2. Kara says

    Man, if you can guarantee a classy Garamond font, I’m totally buying your book!

  3. Wendi says

    But the real question is — did you get any Dark Lord? I waited in line for 4 hours, then they sold out. So I waited in line for another hour, and they sold out of Dreadnaught. Then I waited in line for another hour and bought some of their other offerings, because I was going to get beer, dammit! and they don’t sell a lot of their other beer anywhere else. I did get a glass of Dark Lord on draught, though.

  4. Wendy says

    We only got Dark Lord on draught, too! That line was pretty horrible. But I’d never even had the beer before, and Chris had tried only a sip several years ago, so just a couple glasses was a lot more Dark Lord than we’d ever had. It was worth it for the people-watching.

  5. Chris says


    How many times did you hear the words “Hops,” “Hoppy,” “Hops shortage” or “Beer podcast” when you were in line? We counted about 62…each.

  6. Wendi says

    I probably said some variation of “hop” about 30 times myself – hoppy beers are my favorite (hence the trip – I live in WI). It would have been a lot more fun if it hadn’t been so cold and windy. My friends and I tried to play cards in line, but with the wind and the line moving 6 inches every 5 minutes, we decided it wasn’t worth it.

    Some guys behind us in line came all the way from Alabama to buy Dark Lord and Dreadnaught. They got to Munster Fri night, but overslept and ended up in line behind us, so they didn’t get either one. But they did get to stand in line for 5 hours in Indiana, and that must be worth something, right?

  7. Lori says

    I can’t find anywhere else to ask this—in your twitter you mention the Sloane Crosley book….please tell me you didn’t like it. Someone, please. Tell me it’s not just me.

  8. Margo says

    Garamond? I don’t just expect Garamond, I want some schmancy rough cut pages and french flaps.

  9. Wendy says

    Lori: I haven’t read the book yet! But from what I hear, you’re not alone. She’s supposed to be an incredibly nice person, though!

  10. Jess says

    Lori and Wendy: yeah, I have and…ugg. Sloane Crosley is actually the funniest woman. Really. It’s….great. I bought it a week ago and finished it already.

  11. says

    quote of the day: An earthquake! That means I got felt up by the world and you better believe I’m thrilled.

    good luck with the new projects.

  12. says

    I got felt up by the world once. We were slow dancing to “Stairway to Heaven.” The world puts its hands on my butt and… it was delightful.