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Hi Stacey, What literary magazines do you read? Which ones do you like but can never find the time to read? What do you think makes a good 'zine?
Snarklegrump! I often read Zoetrope All-story, Tin House, Fairy Tale Review, Hayden's Ferry Review (which by some miracle I get for free), and Spork, RIP. I also like to buy McSweeney's when I find it. Since I can't read everything and don't want to anyway, I try to read the Pushcart Anthology every year so I can at least read a bunch of good stuff.
I think a good, strong, defined aesthetic makes for a good 'zine. That's what I like about Fairy Tale Review.
Hello S.R. my girlfriend left town for a week and I've barely left the bedroom I just watch TV and masturbate...does this mean I'm agoraphobic and which prescriptions should I go for? I would much rather be normal, thanks, much obliged.
Uh, I'm stumped...I thought that was normal.
How do you feel about comic books being called "graphic novels?"
I like "graphic novel." It's pretentious but cute. You can hear the adolescent angst in it: "Shut up! I hate you! It's not a comic book! It's a GRAPHIC NOVEL!"
i was wondering what a human smells like??????
A human smells like unwashed hippie feet!!!!!!
do u smell???
Hi Stacey! Is it okay for a TV watcher to like to read? Or should I just consider books to be script outlines that haven't been made into TV shows yet? P.S. May I play one of the Cavemen in Twin Stories: The Motion Picture?
Yes and yes. But you'll have to grow a big food-catching beard.
Hey Stacey! Wonderfalls was the EXACT show I was thinking of when I wrote my previous question. Anyway, another Q: What would Twin Stories: the Movie be like? Who'd star? Who'd direct? In what ways would it be dumbed down for mainstream appeal?
Whenever I think of Twin Study: The Movie I can't picture anything except Jennifer Aniston in a dual role. Jennifer Aniston with ratty hair, gesticulating, Jennifer Aniston with brushed-out hair, gesticulating. Eddie Murphy would direct. In a fat suit.
But wait, I just thought of an alternate version: Twin Study filmed on miniature sets starring rabbits dressed in human clothing. Oh my God! So, so cute. Amy Sedaris would direct, also in a fat suit.
Is it okay for writers to like TV? Of course I love literature, but there are some shows that excite me as much as my favorite books. Sometimes I feel like if I want to be a real writer, I should disdain TV as a low-minded medium.
It's okay with me. I was just thinking today about how much I liked the show Wonderfalls and was wishing it had had more seasons--maybe because Liam was asking about what to do with his life and that show was about a girl who finishes college and decides she doesn't want to do anything with her life. She moves into a trailer and works in a gift shop. That was an awesome show. I've never taken the distinction between high culture and pop culture very seriously. My boyfriend, who grew up in New York City and spent his whole life at Julliard, says that's because I grew up in Phoenix where there is no high culture. He used to try to talk about the finer points of these distinctions with me but I would stare at him blankly. I just think that things are good or they're not. I like reading because it's so engrossing and multi-layered and portable but TV glows in the dark and it's hard to argue with that.
Do you know that Randy Newman song wherein the singer, becoming Bruce Springsteen for a moment, says "I'm tired . . . could you be The Boss for a while?"?
I don't know that song but I like the idea of Randy Newman becoming Bruce Springsteen and then not wanting to be Bruce anymore.
"Ask and Ye Shall Receive: A Chance for You to Screw With Liam's Life (Quick preface: I wrote this quickly without much consideration for punctuation, spelling, etc.): So, I just had a breakdown-sort-of-thing this past Spring, dropping out of college and moving halfway across the country to move back in with my parents (which feels simply awesome considering I'm in my early-mid-twenties). I've now decided that even though I love English (especially writing), I don't want to go into any career involved with English (other than reading stuff, then writing stuff that people pay me lots of money just to read and tell me how great I am and how much they love me and how I deserve all the prestige I've attained and deserve every penny of the aforementioned enormous amount of money they'd cumulatively given me to be so amazing, etc.). Instead, I'm applying to hospitals in the hopes of starting a possible nursing (or, if you will, "mursing") career. Some of the best experiences in my life have been working with people with disabilities, and I think my energy and personality would be well-suited for working with people who are probably a little upset, uncomfortable and trying to heal. Plus, the "mursing" field is far more stable, lucrative, and consistently fulfilling /spiritually-rewarding than that of what I imagine the common struggling writer/adjunct/alcoholic's to be. The thing is, I feel like I'm getting away from my "true calling in life." Oh, and here's an extra twist: I also love film and think that I should maybe pursue writing/polishing screenplays as a foray into directing. Sometimes I even think film-making's my calling even more than writing, since it's a hybrid of so many arts that I enjoy. So maybe I should pursue my dreams head-on by trying to write short-stories and enter short films into festivals while working a stultifying job that pays the bills. But wait, here's another point: Once I become an RN, I'll be making good money and can shape my own schedule. The nurses I know get tons of time off. And don't even get me started on the travel opportunities! Not to mention, I've always felt that full-time writers end up writing too much about writing itself, and I don't want to one day turn into that middle-aged male failed-writer/professor trying to sell his novel about a male middle-aged professor/"creatively-blocked" writer who seeks solace from his students, whom he secretly loathes, and his family, whom he loves but they "just don't get him", by indulging in his infatuation with a 20-year-old student with some quirky name like "Penny" who's witty and bright but has such low self-esteem that she needs the guidance and, yes, romantic attention of this aging professor to show her how beautiful she is and for her to show this same professor that, sometimes, it's okay to start over. BLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I'd rather die, Stacey. (Be my friend and promise me you'll take me out with a high-powered rifle if I ever become that guy). So mursing could be a helpful way to avoid potentially becoming stuck in an academic, literary bubble, while still providing steady income and experiences with people that would serve to widen my horizons as a writer and a person. Sounds GREAT! But here's the big catch. I get that sick feeling in my stomach that it might be one of those mid-life-crisis-fueling-mistake to, in any sense, defer my dream of writing what I want to write, and getting bogged down in a career that I chose because, at the time, it seemed like it would work out for me. It's the same feeling I get whenever one of my friends gets engaged to someone I know they aren't really head-over-heels in love with, but they do it because they have been with each other for so long and marriage just makes sense. It's a decision that seems to invite fate to teach you a big lesson in the meanest way possible. Is this silly, Stacey? Am I being stupid? I mean, I don't even believe in fate, and I know that sometimes love doesn't manifest itself in a head-over-heels fashion and that marriages built on that fanatical love don't always work out better than the merely sensible ones, and that the jobs we end up with are part planning and part improvisation and a million other things, but I just want to feel some sort of assurance that, if I go in to mursing, my career won't come to define me, that I can leave it all behind and chase my "true calling" whatever the Hell that is, whenever it should present itself (should it ever...), even though my life will have changed so much and I'll have so much more to risk than I can conceive of now. And since I can't find any real assurance of this, it makes me want to burn my clothes and live as a bohemian shaman in the middle of nowhere and never speak of what I could have been had I rolled the dice (of course, I have neither the balls nor genuine will to do this).
So let me just get to the main questions: Is writing worth it? Is it just an exhibition of our cleverness to win a higher position in the herd, or can it be sublime? If it's the latter, do you think my "dreamy-dreams" might die if I go into mursing? Is it just as likely to die if I go into the English/academic/etc. field? Does the mursing gig sound good to you? Do girls like guys in scrubs, even if not as much as ones in lab coats and stethoscopes? Do I need to just "shit or get off the shitter" and hope that I'll be able work things out as I go along? Direct my life, Stacey. I'd hate to mess it up by myself.
Your Faithful Fan,
Liam "Who's Usually Not this Wound-Up" G.
Oh yeah, be a murse, that sounds great. There is such a lot of satisfaction to be had in helping people who need your help--you may want to look into it carefully and shadow someone on their shift a few times to be sure it's for you but it sounds like a great job. I'd love to do something like that. You'll have to have some discipline to write in the morning before work (which is how Nicholson Baker wrote The Mezzanine), or during your lunch hour (which is how Aurelie Sheehan wrote The Anxiety of Everyday Objects), or after work or whenever, but it always takes discipline to write. No one wants you to be an academic, Liam. You don't want to be one, I don't want you to be one, your friends probably don't either. Besides, you have to publish a book to get an academic job anyway and while you write it you can support yourself as a murse.
And: the only way you can abandon your writing dreams is to stop writing altogether; having a job will not physically stop you from writing. With time your ambitions may change and you may be more/less into creative endeavors but you can worry about that when it happens. There's no need to worry about it in advance. No need.
Film...film. Do you have a camera, at least? And an editing program on your computer? Play around with those. There are lots of creative jobs in Hollywood but most people don't end up being directors, and if you want to go to film school and try you need to be sure you love, love, love it, and know that you might end up doing post-production sound recording, or something like that, for the rest of your life.
Finally, you can change your mind. Life isn't that short. You can be a murse for a while and then do something else later if you want.