T-Minus 17 pages on SlapStick & Superego, 113 pages in to Breathing Room

December 1, 2006

     I just completed another monster about books called ‘Literati’.  Clocking in at 7 pages, I’ve only got 17 pages left until Slapstick & Superego is complete (in theory).  My average essay length for the last five years has hovered right around three pages, and now that the structure for the next book has changed, they’re billowing out.  It’s a little scary to think that I’ve written over 100 pages in three months.  I don’t even know how that happened.  People ask me how in the hell I can’t write a book and I always tell them that it’s one essay at a time, like setting up bricks sequentially to build a house.  I’ve never written this much in my life, nor have I ever looked at a body of work and not found filler, stillborn prose and pieces that I regret.  This is the best book I’ve written so far, and I’m very proud of it.  It’s a shame you won’t be seeing the bulk of it until 2008.  Maybe I’ll keep going beyond 150 pages, but I’ve always felt that essay collections get boring once you hit the 230 page mark.  While If They Can’t Take A Joke is damned good, Slapstick is ten times better than anything I’ve done.  Maybe that’s just the Spielberg Syndrome talking.  It’s almost scary to think about how quickly this book came together.  I had thirty pages this fall after coming out of ten month block and as of today I’m looking at 133.  Maybe I’ve finally grown into my britches as a writer.

     As for Breathing Room, my poetry project, it’ll be a long time before you see that unless I decide to focus on writing poetry for a few months after completion on Slapstick.  My plan is to write 300 pages of prose or more and have a respected poet and friend take a wrecking ball to it, cutting out a minimum of 70 pages.  I can’t stand tiny poetry collections, and there’s something cool about a big, sprawling poetry collection.  We’ll see how it goes.  Perhaps I’ll work on getting more of that published once the promotional junket from If They Can’t Take A Joke ends some time over the summer. 

-This kind of productivity is a bit scary for me…


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