?

Log in

No account? Create an account

[icon] Alright, so, I never post. I went to AWP this past weekend-- this… - Kat — LiveJournal
View:Recent Entries.
View:Archive.
View:Friends.
View:Profile.

Security:
Time:11:36 pm
Alright, so, I never post.

I went to AWP this past weekend-- this annual writing conference that generally functions as a vehicle for a bunch of writers to get drunk together. There are panels and readings and the like; the panels tend to be fairly awful, the readings fairly good.

The two panels ended up being mediocre and awesome, respectively. The former was interesting in its own right (a bunch of authors discussing how New York culture has affected the gay literary community over the years), although the presentations tended toward anecdotal conversations instead of really heavily thought-out speeches.

Oddly, though, I ended up with what I think is my first literary obsession. I don't know how to explain it, but I've never been very good at keeping up with the names of contemporary literary figures because, honestly, even big names in the literary community are nobodies everywhere else. Gleaning through all the different potential authors in search of an idol is difficult, because it generally involves searching out obscure books printed from small presses.

Anyway, as it were, I walked into this panel and one of the authors caught my eye immediately. The author, T Cooper (who, being some form of transgender without the hormone use and operations, prefers not to be referred to with pronouns at all), ended up talking about this book spanning multiple generations of Jews, from a woman obsessed with Charles Lindbergh to her grandchild, a transgendered Eminem impersonator. I picked up the book (Lipshitz 6 or Two Angry Blondes) at the bookfair, and while I haven't started it yet, I'm looking forward to it.

A few factors really fascinate me about Cooper:

A) I did read one of Cooper's stories that appeared in The New Yorker last year, about a man who accidentally kills his son and moves to Cambodia. Fabulous stuff. OMG. Cooper weaves together the threads of the end of the narrator's marriage, his affair with a new woman in Cambodia, and the woman's cousin's whale-killing business in this magically non-melodramatic narrative.

B) Cooper and Cooper's girlfriend have managed to achieve this celebrity status in the gay community, even garnering a photo spread in Curve magazine. I think the reason this interests me is because writers, much less writer couples, get little attention in the mainstream media when they're not authoring best sellers. Generally speaking, the authors who do get the attention have work that's easily accessible, which, from what I've heard, Lipshitz 6 is not.

C) Cooper used to be in a boy band. Hello!

D) Androgyny = attractive in my book.

From the writing stand point, I like have somebody who awes me with their skill. "Swimming," the story from The New Yorker, was more carefully constructed than anything I could fathom piecing together on my own at this point. At the same time, since Cooper's still only thirty-something, it makes me feel like I have a specific level of ability I can strive for-- Cooper definitely has a lot of experience on me, but unlike with the demi-gods of contemporary writing (read: people my parents' age), it still seems achievable; I only need a few more years' experience to see results, not a lifetime.

I haven't been submitting since I came to grad school, which is something that bothers me. At the same time, I don't feel like any of the stories I've written have been worthy of the magazines I enjoy reading-- nothing I write really strikes me as something I'd want to read. I'm finally putting finishing touches on a story that I DO like and could see myself reading for fun if another person wrote it. The submission envelopes are stacked on my desk, labeled to go to my favorite magazines. After spending the first half of my grad school career feeling as though I'm floundering, I'm finally reaching a solid level of confidence in my current ability and how I can continue to grow as a writer.
comments: Leave a comment Previous Entry Share Next Entry


animiko
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-02-05 03:37 pm (UTC)
It's nice to see you posting!

I'm glad you're finding some confidence; sometimes it's hard to see how far you've come in something when you are always looking up at people you admire. I've always been blown away by your writing and in my mind there's no doubt you're going to get to whatever goals you set for yourself.
(Reply) (Thread)


karmia
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-02-06 03:34 am (UTC)
Thank you! Like I said in my response to Rob, I think it's really just a lack of confidence because I do compare myself to others too much. I'm in school with a lot of writers who are older or just have more experience, so it gets to be intimidating.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


jedibubbles
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-02-05 04:10 pm (UTC)
Well at least one panel really rocked your boat!

And, damn, woman; I think you just said more about your reading preferences and writing goals in one post than you have in years. Awesome.

And hooray for having written something you like! Now get that story out there! *chucks stamps in your direction and chivvys you off to the post office*
(Reply) (Thread)


karmia
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-02-06 03:35 am (UTC)
I know! I don't think I've ever felt this excited about an author. I can't even place what's so different from other writers, but it's great.

*huggles!*
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)

robsomebody
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-02-05 08:37 pm (UTC)
A) You're right, you don't post often. So I'm glad to hear from you again!

B) Boy band?? Which one? It's hard to imagine there are "underground" boy bands who buck the mainstream and go on with their faux-musicianship in dingy bars and clubs.

C) You've got great focus on your goals now, which is what someone with you level of talent can really thrive upon. Like Miko, I've always loved your writing and also have never doubted your future literary success. I've always considered my own writing the equivalent of fan-fiction to your literary prowess. Of course, we always critique our own work the hardest so don't let your head get in the way of these new, very worthy goals.

D) Seriously, which boy band? Is "Cooper" actually Lance Bass? Maybe it was one of the dudes from C-Note or one of those other boy bands who were a copycat of the copycats. Inquiring minds want to know!
(Reply) (Thread)


karmia
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-02-06 03:30 am (UTC)
B and D) The Backdoor Boys. They're a drag king group. Observe. I think the main reason I love it so much is that I've always loved the idea of an androgynous woman being in a boy band.

I appreciate the support on my writing-- it's really been the transition from big fish/little pond to minnow in the ocean that's been most harrowing for me. Not even that; people are just a lot more judgemental here. I've just finally gotten to the place where I think I can ignore them. Something about thinking people doubt my ability always makes it harder for me to perform well, you know?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)

sophhia83
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-08 01:19 pm (UTC)
Did you read MY LJ?
(Reply) (Thread)

[icon] Alright, so, I never post. I went to AWP this past weekend-- this… - Kat — LiveJournal
View:Recent Entries.
View:Archive.
View:Friends.
View:Profile.