Long time, no blather.
So the other day I got an email from this lady, Lori Jakiela, a poet from Pittsburgh whose writing I adore.
And by adore I mean, when I finally got to meet her in person and while she tried to make polite conversation all I did was squee and fangirl all over her about how much I loved her writing.
It was not one of my finer moments.
This was me meeting Lori:
This was Lori:
But she handled it with grace and decorum and didn’t call the police for which me and my family are thankful.
Imagine my delight when Lori asked me to participate in a writing blog hop. Was I thrilled?
OF COURSE I WAS THRILLED!!!
Lori is an extremely talented writer and a part of an extremely talented writing duo – her husband is Dave Newman author of, among other things, Raymond Carver Will Not Raise Our Children.
When I got my hot little hands on Lori’s book of poetry – Spot The Terrorist – I was blown away not only by her amazing writing but also her style – a wickedly wry scene of humor mixed sweetly with a wistful melancholic backdrop. It’s top notch and I highly recommend picking it up.
(Note: In full disclosure it was after finishing Spot the Terrorist that I decided to challenge myself and got to work on the thematic poetry book How to Be An American, which I hope to one day actually finish. Perchance to dream.)
So anyway (what was that about blathering, Ally?) Lori tagged me in a blog hop (you can read her answers here) and of course I said yes. So here goes:
What are you working on?
I’m working on The Book From Hell. Seriously. It’s called Palimpsest but really I’m changing the name to The Book From Hell if and when I’m done. I was just having dinner with a good friend the other day and he, being familiar with the book in question, asked how revisions were going. I told him well, and that I fully expected that by the end of the month to have enough useless discarded drafts to set a large bonfire on the 68th street pier in Brooklyn before hurling myself into the estuary.
That’s how well he understands this book.
The book is called Palimpsest – which is by definition a manuscript or page from a book where the text has been scraped away in order to be reused. The script that is scraped off is called the scripto inferior. Considering the number of revisions I have done, the books itself has now become an actual Palimpsest.
How does your work differ from others’ work in the same genre?
Palimpsest is a science fiction book that doesn’t take place in the future or space. It contains time travel which breaks all the conventional rules of time travel and has a good guy that might be a bad guy and a bad guy that might very well be a good guy. It combines Nietzsche, Proust, philosophy, the Matrix, physics, the theory of the Big Bang, multiple dimensions, doppelgangers, Alice in Wonderland and chess.
I haven’t come across too many other sci-fi books like that. Course that’s probably cause it’s un-publishable.
Why do you write what you do?
Because it’s what came to mind. My first novel was a middle grade urban fantasy about a girl who finds out she’s the last living descendant of Shakespeare and who is joined by an immortal Muse by the name of Jonathan to help protect her from Shakespeare’s greatest enemy – the descendant of Kit Marlowe – who wants her dead.
My second novel was a sad quiet story about one boy’s nervous breakdown when his girlfriend and the love of his life is kidnapped. It’s a book about loss and, hopefully, about forgiveness.
Palimpsest, my current sci-fi book is, as I said, about Nietzsche, Proust, philosophy, the Matrix, physics, the theory of the Big Bang, multiple dimensions, doppelgangers, Alice in Wonderland and chess.
If you can tell me what binds those three books together, you win the grand prize because I have no idea. So since we can find no common theme, I’ll just say I write what I do.
How does your writing process work?
The alarm goes off at 5 am. My husband wraps me in a bear hug and whispers in my hair that it’s time to get up. I mutter something that sounds to him like “five more minutes.” He says “You got it, dude” a la Michelle Tanner. In about 12 seconds, not five minutes mind you, he’s again whispering that it’s time to get up.
We get up.
We put on the coffee and tea kettle.
We feed June the cat, who is circling between our legs daring to trip one of us.
I open the door to the closet off my living room. I turn on the little lamp my sister Stephanie bought me years ago. I turn on my laptop. June comes in and curls up on the floor.
In the other room I hear my husband’s radio flip on. He puts on his computer.
The kettle whistles. I pour my tea and his coffee. He hugs me, kisses the top of my head.
We say, “good luck, baby” at the same time.
We meet up in the kitchen an hour later for more tea and coffee. We trade stories about the morning.
We go back to the our rooms. I can hear him typing from my closet. I delete a paragraph. I change dialogue. June meows and tries to climb in my lap.
At nearly 7:30, two and a half hours later, I hear him call.
“Time to go,” he says.
I save my work. I turn off my computer. I coax June out of the closet.
“How’d it go?” he asks.
“Alright,” I tell him.
“Fair to middling,” he says. I turn on the shower. The water hisses. We get ready for work.
Tammy McKee, author of the newly released Bone Treaty is also the editor at BookFish Books. She’s a bit of crazy (and always hilarious) and that’s why we love her.
And Erin Alberts is an editor and the author of The Prophecy and the upcoming The Outlanders from Muse It Up Publishing. She is an active member of the “Grammar Police” with a badge and everything.
Tune in next week for their answers!
Love your whole writing process and am quite interested to hear more about Nietzsche, Proust, philosophy, the Matrix, physics, the theory of the Big Bang, multiple dimensions, doppelgangers, Alice in Wonderland and chess. Our husbands have something in common…lovely ways to wake us up. But 5 am? What. The. Hell? So people actually get up at 5 am? I thought that was a myth.
We can certainly talk about all that provided I Ever. Finish. This. Book.
and yes….5 am is real. Too real, in fact.