Oh, but it’s been a long long time since I’ve written— I’d like to say it’s because I’ve been on a whirlwind tour promoting my book, but really it’s just been Life: a new writing class at Los Angeles Writer’s Workshop, the Olympic marathon that is Thanksgiving, high school applications and tours, the annual clusterfuck of holiday events and shopping and year-end minutiae.
However, there have been a few work-related events to savor in the dwindling glow of 2015 (how, I repeat, how can this year be over?) I gave my first lecture as an Author for UCR Palm Desert Low-Residency MFA program (Doug is a recent grad; being grad-adjacent comes in handy) The program is pretty impressive (my presence there notwithstanding); many of its teachers and lecturers this year won a slew of prizes and year-end accolades.
My lecture was on “Mixed Media in the Novel,” and I talked about the uses of photography, graphics and typographical art in primarily text-based adult literature. Fancy, eh? I even found a grad-worthy, twenty dollar word to describe this kind of book: ergodic literature. It’s literature that “takes a non-trivial effort by the reader to navigate.” Incredibly broad, I know, but it sounds good. During the talk I got to go on about some of my favorite works in that vein:
The students were very enthusiastic, and I ended by having them create their own graphic novel panels based on a page of The Sweet Hereafter. Doodling! Who doesn’t love doodling?
and a doctor with shady dealings going on in his clinic.
This was one of the first games where Ben was able to find me almost right away. I was the guy crying in the corner. “I shot Dad!” Ben declared, with utter delight.
A bonding moment?
And though Still Life Las Vegas didn’t receive any year-end accolades, I did get a most lovely mention from New in Books: I was designated one of their favorite authors on Instagram. My category was literary fiction, and the reason why? My cooking photos! Ah, I knew I my baked good would lure them in…
Oh! And just yesterday, a lovely birthday wish came true: I checked my email upon wakening to find a great review from Lambda Literary. Thank God it wasn’t a pan– that would have been a pretty awful way to start my birthday. Luckily, it was the perfect beginning of the day.
Happy Holidays, everyone!