Here is the panel I was on a few weeks ago at the LA Times Book Festival. Can you spot me? It was a great session, moderated by Thomas Curwen of the LA Times, with authors Lisa See and Karl Marlantes, both of whom were lovely to talk to and sell a buttload more books than I do. Can I be them when I grow up?
It’s been a while since I’ve written an entry that justifies the title of this blog. Never fear, there is plenty of sophomore novel angst happening here! Ever since I finished my Romanian collective unconscious document I have been genuinely scared to address the actual narrative of In the Red. Is it because it collapsed so spectacularly last time? Partly. But I think it’s mostly because once I get started it’s going to tell me a bunch of shit I don’t want to hear. The consciousness of this book is so heavy. It has an existential obsession with human morality in the face of the void. So I’ll just be going around my business when the book will spontaneously say something like: “We all collaborate with our miseries. The only true gesture of negation is to cease existing.” And then I respond, “What? Are you telling me to eat a gun? Can you shut up while I play Angry Birds here for a minute? Jesus.”
I swear, it’s like I have Albert Camus living inside my braincase.
Also it really, really wants to talk to me about Capitalism and while it’s fun to channel that problem into goofy rants about toothpaste, this book does not want to be a goofy rant about toothpaste. It intends to be Serious. It also wants to talk about exile, history, repression, abuse of power, and all sorts of fluffy shit like that. Please send help. I want to write a book about puppies and rainbows.
(Don’t worry, potential readers, there will still be hot sex. I mean, this is me we’re talking about here.)
Okay, let’s talk about Lego instead.
Before I went away for the book festival, I admired this Lego set at Target:
I totally wanted it, but could not quite justify plunking down forty five bucks to buy this for myself since I am, allegedly, an adult. I mean, that’s what my driver’s license says. (It lies.) Fortunately, I have the world’s awesomest husband ever, so this set was waiting for me on my desk when I got home from the festival. I love him so much. There was a feature to this set that he, like me, simply could not resist. Take a closer look at the cargo the truck is hauling:
Yes, it is hauling tiny Lego sets for Lego people, among them sets of itself. Could you die? Okay, probably if you are not a huge dork, this does not make butterflies flutter in your stomach. But, I am not not a huge dork, so this makes me unreasonably happy.
Anyway I just put the set together last night, after a particularly grinding bout of unproductive sophomore novel angst. It was such a fucking fabulous experience. Everything clicks into place so satisfyingly, and it all looks exactly how you expect it to, and it gives you a sense of achievement. Why can’t life be more like that? I need more Lego. And maybe some Xanax, but mostly just the Lego.