Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Since I last wrote here, I:

Got a knew MacBook computer. I love it. It's like I was using a hammer before and I've just been handed a nail gun; it won't help me create anything better but it will ameliorate the process.

Read three books, two amazing ones (Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Joshua Ferris's Then we Came to the End) and a sub-mediocre one (Robin Cook's Critical).

Received feedback on my first 15 pages. I'm reluctant to write too much about my Writing Salon class because some of my classmates may end up reading my blog. But I will say that it was a fantastic experience, and overall the feedback was positive. Of course, we're instructed to focus mainly on the things we like about each others' work. But it was still reassuring to get good feedback on some of the aspects I'd been worried about, such as whether my dialog seemed natural, and whether my characters had distinct voices. It's nice to know that my writing makes sense to outsiders who haven't been living and breathing the story for the past few months. In the writer's head it always makes sense, so it's hard to be objective. It was weird though to hear them talk knowingly about my characters. It was as if people who'd never met my family were talking intimately about my mother. If I ever get published, I assume I'll get used to that.

There was a part of me, I have to admit, as I imagine every beginning writer could, that secretly hoped the teacher would find me after class and whisper, "I couldn't say it in there because it would make the other students jealous, but that was truly brilliant. Your writing made me weep. You're dangerous, Brian. I think you're too good for this class. There's nothing more I can teach you. Please let me show your manuscript to my agent."

When I left the class, I envisioned that scene in Top Gun when Kelly McGillis chases Tom Cruise through the streets of San Diego, he on his motorcycle, she in a convertible sports car, and when she catches him they say:

MAVERICK: Jesus Christ, and you think I'm reckless? When I fly, I'll have you know that my crew and my plane come first.
CHARLIE: Well, I am going to finish my sentence, Lieutenant. My review of your flight performance was right on.
MAVERICK: Is that right?
CHARLIE: That is right, but I held something back. I see some real genius in your flying, Maverick, but I can't say that in there. I was afraid that everyone in the tax trailer would see right through me, and I just don't want anyone to know that I've fallen for you.

Well, maybe not that very last part, but you know what I mean.


  1. i never get top gun references in my mind, but i am curious why i should read heart of darkness. also, does anyone force themselves to finish books that are sub-mediocre? I do. I hate it b/c I read it slower, but i want it done sooner. and then my reading goes downhill and i end up reading my cactus journal over and over, or every single page of The Atlantic or go to the library and check out a book about magnolias or (the worst yet) decide to watch tv or check facebook. that sucks. fuck. anyways, brian, i can't wait to read your book. i have no clue what'll be about and i don't even know your family

  2. Ameliorate? is that even a real word? I enjoyed your post this week bro. Keep it up. Your dangerous.