Tag Archives: mucus

Loins of Judas

Here I am announcing to the world that I ate an entire loaf of banana bread for lunch for I have no shame.  It was delicious, and I regret nothing.

There is a great interview of me up at Fiction Writer’s Review; they asked the best questions!  If you’re into books and authors, definitely look around that website, it is full of interesting, well-written stuff.

I just heard a cat throw up in the next room, but for now I am going to pretend I didn’t and continue typing…  A couple of weeks ago, I was one of five featured authors at a scholarship benefit for the Christamore House in Indianapolis.  It was an amazing trip: we raised over a hundred grand and I sold (and signed!) nearly three hundred books.  I completely winged a 10 minute speech in front of a crowd of 1000 people–and I happened to be AWESOME.  I only found out after that my image was projected to the audience from a GINORMOUS SCREEN above the stage, and I am exceedingly glad I did not know that while doing my thing up there as the self-consciousness of that knowledge would have definitely dampened my gregarious awesomeness.  (Seriously, imagine the zits and lines on your face blown up like a bajillion times for an audience big enough that you can’t hold it all at once in your visual field and you will see what I mean.)  Anyway, I had a grand time hanging out with the other fabulous authors (Meg Waite Clayton, Michael Koryta, Louis Bayard and Victoria Brown), being shuttled around in a gigantic limousine, cramming hors d’oeuvres in my face at a shameful rate in a room filled with women each wearing jewelry whose cost exceeds my annual income, and generally living someone else’s glamorous life for a couple of days.

I came down rather hard on my return home, as I caught quite an extravagant cold on the plane back, which is only now abating.  I’ve extruded a truly stunning amount of coagulated-pea-soup-looking mucus during the interim; I should have saved it all in a massive glass jar and submitted it to the Museum of Modern Art as an “installation.”  But, I bet Marina Abramovic already thought of this.  (Probably she mixed the mucus with accelerant, drenched her body in it, set herself on fire while chanting L’Internationale, and called the piece “Loins of Judas.”)

Tomorrow I am flying down to Los Angeles for the LA Times Festival of Books, where I will be performing “Loins of Judas.”  For now I am off to play a really exciting game called Find The Cat Puke, Hopefully Not By Stepping On It With My Bare Feet.


Entropy is strong with this one.

Last week, my writing ground to a slow halt.  I was all depressed and wondering what was the matter with me.  Then my throat began to feel sandpapered and every hollow in my head and lungs filled with mucus.  Aha.  A cold.  What is that icky taste on your tongue when you get sick?  Is it all the white blood cells who died bravely on the battlefield?

This is the sort of thing that reminds me that I’m really just a meat puppet; any high falutin’ aspirations I might have about art and intellect completely evaporate when the body is displeased.  My thoughts look something like this: bleaaaaaaaaaaaarghaaaaaaaaaa*snort*help! Sorbet is ambrosial to me this week: it’s fruity, it’s cold against my flaming esophagus, and it won’t make me puke.  Oh, fruit sorbet, I love you almost as much as Sudafed and the six-year-old codeine cough syrup I’ve been sucking down in a little plastic shotglass.  (Yes, that means the cough syrup is extremely expired, but I like to think of it as finely aged.)

In non-snot related news, my agent made it to the London Book Fair last week despite the fact that Iceland exploded.  So, possibly I will soon get news that 13 rue Thérèse was sold to some more foreign markets–I hope!  So far it’s been bought by the UK and Italy.  I get asked if I intend to do the French translation myself should France buy it, and I always laugh–hell no!  I’ve done a bit of translation and it is bloody hard, plus French is pretty much the only language in the world this book can’t be translated into since it has French sprinkled in it, and it is partially about translation.  (I guess there’s a moral here about how you can never go home again.)  So, to whoever might translate this thing into French one day–good luck and godspeed.  I will ship you a bottle of JD.  Or codeine cough syrup, whichever floats your boat.

In this computer I have a translation I did of a collection of prose poems by Paul Valéry.  I also wrote an accompanying introduction and conclusion about the pleasures and trials of translating it.  Technically, if I wanted to submit it to an academic press somewhere, there isn’t that much more work that needs to go into it.  But, I am lazy.  Also, I am guessing submitting it will be a lot easier once I have a book out.  It was a fun project, the challenge of finding a voice for it was much the same as finding a voice for a piece of original writing.  The voice had to be based on Paul Valéry, but of course it could never be him.  It was something like how I imagined he would sound if he spoke English, or rather, how he would sound if he spoke French in English.  So, you can imagine this endeavor gave my brain something to chew on for a while.  Anyway, the professor who supervised me while I was doing this thing said he hoped I would finish it off and try to publish it even though I am leaving academia.  He is right, I should.  But, as stated above, I am lazy.

Right now I am picturing Darth Vader standing over my prone pajamaed body pronouncing: “Entropy is strong with this one.”  Yes, yes it is.  I am hoping if I chug enough cough syrup I will dissolve right out of consciousness.