Monday, December 17, 2007

Danger! Spicy Language Ahead

People keep asking me how the detective novel is coming along. Ha ha ha! Not really! No one has asked me! But I'm going to tell you anyway. As I have mentioned before, the detective novel may never exist in the real world. I'm working on it, but who knows if it will ever be finished... and if finished, ever published? (I'm a little uncertain about my grammar there, but this is a "blog," so who cares?) As for my other novel, AWESOME by name, I hear about the results of the final proofreading today. That one's in the bag. But the detective novel can't even be called a novel yet. It's a bunch of random pages, that's all. What I CAN tell you about it, though, is that some small parts of it will exist in the real world. (NOTE: Don't "click" on the next "link" if you disapprove of gutter language!) There are a few words from the nascent detective novel in Smokelong Quarterly right now, the issue guest-edited by Jim Ruland. They also include a mini interview with me. WARNING! The language in my little slice of fiction is very spicy and untoward. Once in awhile I let some of that saucy language slip through on the "internet," but it always makes me nervous. Crassness is generally better between the protective covers of a book, I think! Anyway, I'm not kidding. For such a short piece it is packed to the brim with bad things: some terrible words and disrespectful remarks that I do not endorse. ANOTHER excerpt from the detective novel - longer and somewhat less rude - will appear in the next issue of THE OXFORD AMERICAN. So, as I said, at least a couple of little parts of it will exist in some form, though its fate as a whole is still unknown. Hey, speaking of the OA, I had a piece in the last music issue (not the one that just came out, the one before that) about - in part - Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters' performance of "Tonight You Belong to Me" from THE JERK. I even used the word melismata in my article, which - as anyone will tell you - is very fancy. Anyway, from my recent reading of Martin's BORN STANDING UP, I learned that the quiet musical interlude is his favorite scene in the movie. I'm with him! Also, as long as I am rambling I will mention that, speaking of detective novels, I'm reading THE FAR SIDE OF THE DOLLAR by Ross MacDonald right now, and it is just great. One of my undergrads was lucky enough to take a noir class from Barry Hannah, and she (the undergrad) said that she liked Ross MacDonald the best because "he was the only one who had sympathy for his characters." I'm not sure that's true, but I know where she's coming from and it's food for thought, which we all enjoy, don't we?