On the mic last night at Camp Elasticity the podcast were authors Brian Evenson, Maggie Dubris, Mark SaFranko, and Duncan Barlow on memory and time in writing. Heather Fowler couldn’t make it, but will be invited to a future episode. Unfortunately there exists no recording of this event, which is my fault entirely, and I apologize.
I learned Evenson had been excommunicated from the LDS after an Elder had objected to the supposed “enjoyment of violence” in his first novel. I felt weird asking about it in case it might be too personal, but he answered without any trouble–I had intended this as a seque into how he wrote one of the screenplays for Friend of the Family, but it slipped my mind–and the conversation kept going. Maggie Dubris agreed with me that some of the best prose is founded in poetic imagery Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine would make a great film, but Mark SaFranko said he preferred the flat, spare narrative per Simenon or Mrabet. “It’s a matter of taste.”
“Those are good, too,” I agreed. “So Duncan, in your first book, every s is a double-s. Was that intentional? [Our mutual friend] Sara told me she thought it was for added creepiness.”
Barlow laughed. “God bless Sara for her kindness. No, it was an editing mistake. I told the editor ‘toward’ should be ‘towards’ but it was on the wrong setting and hit every ‘s’. New editions don’t have that glitch.”
“That’s good. I’m my only editor, and I keep finding typos in all the books I publish.” Lately very time I went to Happiness for any reason, I would find another one, as if the whole project were jinxed by my failure to connect in a meaningful way with the inter-dimensional being I wrote it about.
“Yeah, most books have ‘em.” put in Evenson reassuringly (for some reason I kept calling him Mr. Evenson, so this post is true to life), who also made a point of complimenting Duncan Barlow when it was needed and I was erroneously in mid-flight turning rapidly to another guest to make sure everybody got a good chance. “What do you think?” or something like that.
“Damn things,” we all agreed. None of us liked them.
Maggie Dubris said her last book had been co-edited with a team of her co-workers at the building and Emergency Medical Technician dispatch station it was a tribute to, which had helped her avoid typos, and Mark SaFranko said he was a meticulous self-editor, but when the European editors got done with his stuff, there were always hundreds of things he’d overlooked. No offense, typos—none of us woul be here without you.
Maggie and Mark were both New Yorkish to varying degrees and talked about 9/11 while west-siders Duncan, Brian and I stayed quiet. Maggie said she had to disconnect her memories from the narrative being pushed in the media of how you were supposed to feel about how it had felt.
After the podcast, Evenson and SaFranko sent emails saying they’d had a good time and asking for each other’s email addresses, then Carter sent Howard an email saying they should get together the next time he came to Denver. “Sure, let’s do it.”
These are a few snapshots. The cast went well, but I was wearing the better-looking glasses with the weaker prescription, apparently missed an unexpected cue, and no recording was saved, or this recap might be more precisely detailed (a disappointment but no great loss since everyone volunteered to make the next one with Joe Meno and hopefully J. Robert Lennon as guests) (or some portion thereof). All three of us knew the recording had failed, and in the morning I sent Maggie an email letting her know. She has graciously offered to send me a copy of one of her books and I’m planning to send one of mine back in exchange.
So that great cast was lost, but the next lit-focused one will be great, featuring even more big shots (some confirmed, some dealer’s choice).
If you came for the UFO?AP news, I’ve got something cooking there too, but I’m waiting until after they release the next UFO?AP report. Any second now.