So Here’s What Happened This Week (April 27, 2012)

 

What I Did: FINISHED the first draft of my novel, SINGLES VS. BRIDEZILLAS!!! 330 pages, 89,706 words.

What I Read: In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

Chasing Ghosts: Texas Style by Brad and Barry Klinge

Faith No More by Phil Zuckerman

I HATE WILLIAM FAULKNER

As an English major, I had to take an entire class on William Faulkner. I hated him then and I still hate him now. Before taking this class I had read some of his short stories, which were halfway normal. Nothing to write home about but nothing to get all up in arms about either.

Then I was introduced to his novels. It wasn’t long before I started referring to him as the Dark Leader of Literature. I wore all black clothes and listened to the Darth Vader theme music on the way to class (I really did. It was like my own inside joke and helped me get through the misery).

I really really hated him.

If you’ve never read any of his books…you’re luckier than I am! Haha, I kid.

No I don’t. I wish I never heard of the guy… Anywho, in case you had nicer teachers than I did and you were never subjected to his work, Faulkner’s novels are written in some kind of wacky, stream-of-consciousness, incomprehensible way that lots of people think is brilliant but I think it just reads like old Willy was sniffing glue. Half the time you can’t figure out who the hell is talking and you can’t decipher what they are prattling on about.

Seriously, reading his books is like trying to solve a math problem. Not exactly fun to cozy up with a cup of tea.  I was too busy throwing the book at the wall and shaking my fist at the sky (when I should have been shaking it at the ground. At least that’s where he should have ended up after putting me through a whole semester of torture.)

Faulkner1

It just annoys me when people go on and on about how brilliant Faulkner is and about how his wonderful books are a superb commentary on the South and all that. I’m sure there’s some brilliance in there SOMEWHERE, but I’m too busy trying to figure out what the hell is going on. It’s hard to lose yourself in a story when you can’t even tell which character is talking and you find yourself fantasizing about setting the book on fire and slowly watching it burn….

I confess it’s been eighteen years since I took that class. I’m older, wiser, and have written five novels and ten screenplays (Fun Fact: William Faulkner was a failed screenwriter. Hahahahha! Sorry…back to the blog…) I’ve read a lot and written a lot since then. Perhaps I should go back and read some of his work as a mature adult to see if my opinion has changed.

Yeah. Not gonna happen.

If I’m not getting graded and I don’t have to write a paper on it, I’m not going near Faulkner’s books.

On the plus side, Faulkner’s dead so he can write any more books!

Faulkner2

Sorry, that was mean. But I’m okay with it.

If you wanna talk classic literature, this guy is way more my speed.

Faulker3

“My books are water; those of the great geniuses is wine. Everybody drinks water.”  – Mark Twain

Well said.

Suck it, Faulkner.

  • Linda Fausnet

P.S. I wrote this article several years ago and I am happy to state that nothing has changed. I STILL hate William Faulkner, and have enjoyed my Faulkner-free years with much verve and gusto.

I was in Barnes and Noble a few years ago and, just for funsies, I took a look in the fiction section to see where my books might end up should I ever get traditionally published. Looking under the FAU fiction section, it dawned on me that my books would be smack dab right next to my good buddy Faulkner.

As a self-pubbed author, my work isn’t exactly on the shelves of Barnes and Noble. However, my debut novel *is* on the library shelves:

QHFaulkner

I get a huge kick out of the fact that my rainbow-colored novel about gay equality, QUEEN HENRY, is nestled snugly next to Faulkner’s “classic” novel, THE SOUND AND THE FURY.

I don’t know if Faulkner is chuckling or rolling in his grave, but this sure made me smile…

 

 

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So Here’s What Happened This Week (April 13, 2012)

What I Did: Wrote 6000 words on my novel SINGLES VS. BRIDEZILLAS, sent out more queries for my novel, QUEEN HENRY, got one more  rejection for QUEEN HENRY

What I Saw:  HOP

Cool Links I Found:

No Such Thing As No Time To Write

Notes From The Revision Cave

Publishing is No Longer a Job or an Industry: It’s a Button

Are Self-Published Writers Happier Than Traditionally Published Ones?

 

A Day With the Orioles is Like A Page from My Book…

Last Friday I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Opening Day game for the Baltimore Orioles. I’m a huge baseball fan and had been counting down the days until Opening Day just so I could watch the game on television. I could hardly believe it when I got the email that my Girl Scout (well, Brownie) daughter had been invited to walk the Orange Carpet ON THE FIELD on Opening Day and, as her doting mother, I got to attend the game!!

I am an avid baseball fan. So much so that I made one of my main characters in one of my screenplays – turned novel – a Baltimore Oriole. That adds an extra layer of excitement for me when I go to the ballpark, an experience that is already magical for me. I don’t know what it is but when I go to a baseball stadium, or really any sports arena, I get the same sort of feeling that I get when I go to a library or a movie theater. Now when I go to Oriole Park at Camden Yards, it’s like stepping into a page from my novel. I can almost see Henry Vaughn, Jr. dancing with the Oriole Bird on top of the O’s dugout. That’s one of the really cool things about being a writer – you find adventure absolutely everywhere. I find myself making up stories everywhere I go, particularly if it’s somewhere new or someplace that is full of excitement like a sports stadium. I’ve always done that for as long as I can remember, way before I realized that I wanted to be a writer. Now it’s even more fun because once in a while those daydreams become a reality – at least on the page.

The baseball novel is called QUEEN HENRY (this would be the novel for which I am posting my rejection numbers on Facebook and Twitter. 45 as of this writing…) and it’s about a homophobic, macho, MLB player who takes part in a clinical drug trial to treat his asthma. The experimental drug has an unusual side effect: it makes him gay.

Flyer from The Hippo, a gay bar in the heart of Baltimore

 

This is my favorite story that I’ve written. It was first a screenplay (which was a Finalist in a national contest) and then I turned it into a novel. It’s a very tough sell to try to get published, but that’s what I expected. Gay-themed stories are hard to market because half of America is still so hostile toward gays, though it is slowly getting better. Not only that, the story doesn’t easily fit into any real category. It’s kind of light and humorous, but you can’t really call it chick lit because it’s mostly about men. Baseball books often sell well to die-hard fans, but very few straight men would be willing to go near a book involving a romance involving two guys.  Too bad, because that’s kind of the point of the novel. It’s about a macho guy who thinks the idea of two men together is totally gross, until he becomes gay and falls in love with a great guy and learns a lesson. I didn’t write the novel to change anybody’s mind, though. I always knew that the people who could benefit from reading the novel wouldn’t go near it, but that’s okay. They always say that when you write for everybody you please nobody. So true. This novel isn’t for everybody. I think it’s mostly for me. That’s why I wrote it. That’s why I love it.  It combined a lot of my interests in one place: gay rights, baseball, drag queens, romance, and humor.

Hell yeah, that’s a tough sell.

But I think the story is a lot of fun and I hope I’m not the only one. I’ve pretty much decided that I will publish QUEEN HENRY one way or another. I really don’t want to give up traditional publishing, but I am willing to self-publish this one as a last resort. This is the one story that I really do want to share with the world (which is why I browbeat my family and friends into reading it, while with my other stories I just let them read them if they’re interested). I hope I can someday find an agent and/or publisher willing to take a shot at it. There are a handful of publishers who focus on LGBT, so that could work. Time will tell.  For now, I’m going to keep plugging away and collecting my rejection letters (and working on the next novel, of course). For my other novels (one written, one in progress, probably lots more to come) I plan to pretty much pursue traditional publishing only. Publisher or bust. But QUEEN HENRY is different. Someday, one way or another, Henry and I are going to tell our story.

Go Orioles. LET’S PLAY BALL, HON!!