Friday, July 27, 2007

is this anything?

sometimes -- a lot of times -- it's hard for me to know if my writing sucks or doesn't suck. especially if i'm venturing into new territory. i didn't want to waste another day on my rural decay story if it sucked, so i decided to send the first 40 pages to my agent for some of his painfully honest feedback. this isn't the type of stuff he represents (YET!), but i completely trust his judgment as a reader for pretty much any kind of writing. so i was trying to decide how i would proceed if he called to tell me to put this project away. far, far away. instead, he called and said he really liked it. a lot. more than a lot. (paraphrasing here.) when i explained that it was really nonfiction, he felt it could be especially powerful if published that way.

so anyway, what a relief. i needed that honest feedback to give me the incentive and confidence to continue with the story. don't we all?

on the stereo:

innocence and despair, the langley schools music project


THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE -- 4 out of 5 stars

49 Up

THE DEAD GIRL -- 3 stars

and in honor of bush's colon:

The tunnel was dark and slimy underfoot. I wanted to pull out my Bic, but I could smell something rank, like sewer gas and a million farts. One click and this place could blow us both to Jesus. But maybe that’s what it would take. Maybe that’s what it would take to end the madness. No, that’s the drugs talkin’. Crazy talk. Crazy talk. So I move on. Just another night. Just another tedious, winding alley that will end in bad shit. It always ends in bad shit. And Poly? Well, Poly’s like a cancer. Might find her; might not. It’s the journey. Always the journey….


pattinase (abbott) said...

I wonder if any writer/artist/musician has radar that tells them this with infallibility.

Stephen Blackmoore said...

It's like Aristotle's cave. You don't know you're in it until you step outside and see it from another point of view. Only, you can't step out, so you have to call out to your posse outside and ask if the cave's too small, too big or full of bears.

Self perspective is a difficult thing.

anne frasier said...

patti, i wonder that too. and then you have the other kind of "artist" who goes through life thinking he's great, when it fact everything he produces is total crap. that's the one that really confuses me. and none of us want to be that guy. :D

stephen, love that analogy! it's so true.

Anonymous said...

In weird way, it's comforting to hear such an extensively published writer have these thoughts. But that's not the point I wanted to make. I've tried to quantify what's unique about your writing before. It's a kind of close perspective on the world from characters who always seem to be a step or two outside the frame. Like a disembodied arm and a Jesus sandle that makes it into the snapshot of the happy couple sitting at the outside cafe. Your character are sad, but also quietly amused that they're not in the picture. There's an underlying hope that always keeps the reader pulling for them.

Your writing perspective anchors you, and any story you choose to write will hold us.

cinderelly said...

it's good to have someone who you know will tell you the truth, though painful, when you are making something bad. (but you aren't so it's all good!) your 'colon' thing was too funny, while creepy at the same time! lol!

Jaye Wells said...

What Jason said. :)

anne frasier said...

jason -- jeez! i don't know how to reply to your comment other than to say thank you!! i'm still looking behind me to see who you're talking about, but i'm trying to stop!

jaye -- thanks to you too!!!

cinderelly -- and the problem is there are only a few readers i will completely believe. those are the brutal ones who always say what they think.

yeah, bush's colon. *shudder*

Elizabeth Krecker said...

Very cool that you tried something entirely different. Awesome to spread your wings over new terrain. Best of all--it was so well-received by someone you respect.

Hope we get to read it in its final form!

Kaycie said...

Anne, it's wonderful to know that your current project is something at least one other person on the planet values. Congratulations.

I love the bit about Bush's colon. Made me laugh out loud and startle the cat sleeping in my lap.

anne frasier said...

hi elizabeth! nice to see you! more and more i'm feeling like this could actually see print. that's a weight off me and frees me up to work on it with less financial worry.

kaycie, haha! my apology to the cat. :D

this is a project i didn't think i should write until i was on social security, but i'm beginning to think i might be able to write my dream project and make a living from it at the same time. maybe. hope hope.

angie said...

Yes, external, reasonably objective validation is always a huge boost. I've been excited to read this book since you talked a little about it way back when & I'm thrilled that your agent has given you a big thumbs up on it. So...yay, you!

anne frasier said...

angie: big hug!