Behaving Well Around One’s Idols

Sunnyside, Glen David Gold

Got up early this morning to head to Seattle for the Cheese Festival at Pike Place Market, so I’ll keep this one relatively short (hey, it’s a weekend anyway, so it’s already a bonus post!). Last night I got two great messages: one a text message from my friend Alee who’s been plotting a graphic novel of his own. I’ve just given him some meager advice, from my own scant experience. But he’s totally run with it and he just texted me last night to tell me he’s finished his synopsis, and will send it over to me soon to check out. He should be ready to start writing it. I’ll beg his understanding if I divulge only that it’s a sort of cyberpunk-with-psionics (psychic powers) story, with plenty o’ intrigue. Expect good things from this artful man.

On another note, I got a response from Glen David Gold, a novelist whose work I greatly admire. He is author of the excellent novel Carter Bears the Devil, and the positively meaty story The Tears of Squonk, found in the pages of Thrilling Tales published by McSweeney’s. I wrote to him a few weeks ago, as I was coming out of my post-layoff funk and beginning to write and explore MFA programs in earnest. He apologized for the brevity of his email, but he answered my questions about the quality and utility of MFA programs and UC Irvine in particular, and what he was working on now. He’s just finished Sunnyside, which I found and ordered before he told me about it (please do yourselves a favor and read this novel about Charlie Chaplin), and is currently working on “plays, an opera, short stories, but mostly walking the dog.”

I’ll omit the rest; the point is this: even though I spent six years a book publicist; even though the magical aura surrounding “authors” has long since faded for me, as they’ve become just a diverse group of clients; there is still something about those novelists I read and love—creators of the books I still disappear into, the craftsmen I adore and strive to emulate (or surpass?)—that really just reduces me to a waddling puddle of gushy goo. I turn into such a fan. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.

And I think that’s a good thing. One needn’t be cynical, skeptical, droll, nonchalant, or dismissive when one discusses or even addresses one’s gods.

Okay, Angie’s ferrying me out the door. Time for cheese. More later…

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  1. Great to read your blog Zak! Isn’t it amazing what happens when you cast a stone… Hope all continues to be well 🙂

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