In New York City, in any city, there are a lot of spaces in which to communicate a particular message. A billboard on the road to the Queensborough Bridge; a sticker posted on a ‘walk’ sign; a face in chalk, or a hundred faces, as is sometimes to be found in Union Square, for reasons I have yet to discover. What is interesting is when some of these images are removed from their locales, their meanings can alter. These, for example:
An Informative sign that lends the subway an air of existential dread.
Contra, this one cries out an affirmation -"Live, Disregard the previous sign!"
And if I told you what this was for, would you believe me? It's on a newspaper booth in East Midtown, and is one in a series of handwritten mysteries, all promoting the wonders of the New York Lottery.
I suppose my thoughtful point was to do with the choice and placement of phrases, identifiers of culture and class, and indeed the choice and placement of ‘foreign’ characters (by dint of national or chronological origin) in The Book of the Alter. The English, homesick Aida as consciously foreign, the Lowery/Coronada family as unfamiliar territory to me etc., and something to do with how I worry about the validity and success (at this early stage) of my efforts.
Really, it’s an excuse to post some amusing pictures I took.
Filed under New York, Theory
I have received a rejection for Kilea from an agent whose represented the author of a book I admired. Ah, momentary pause for sadness and reflection.
I had sent her a partial, but it did not live up to my cover letter premise for her. I understand, and like every other author, try to keep my head up when someone does not care for Kilea. I don’t love or even like every book I read. I doubt there is anyone who loves everything they read.
Although I believe it would be a fun life for them, bursting at the seams with epiphanies:
“Wow, this treatise on hammer pressure in relation to depth of nail implantation is soooo intriguing!”
“Did you know this cereal has iron and foliates in it? Iron! I had no idea…”
But people have preferences and while I envy the joy of the person above, totally indiscriminate love of words in arrangement verges on the deviant.
Imagine them wandering the library of Babel forever in ecstasy…
It’s been an odd few days, which is why I have not posted.
Mildly encouraging news from an agent, and one expression of disinterest. Epic bouts of sleeping through the cold spring afternoon, and finally, the build up of desire to write, which swings me through high and low moods, until the keyboard is actually under my fingers, and the words push through.
The first beginning has begun. For Kilea, there were eight beginnings that made it to 8,000 words, and too many malformed attempts previous to that.I have the vain hope that this novel will flow from my fingers like water, without the clumsy, torturous birthing of the first. This morning I wrote 422 bleary words, but now it is the afternoon, and when I return to them I shall see their failings.
For the moment, I will pretend to myself that the beginning is really the beginning, and not, as it really is, only a staking out of the ground, with match-sticks, in the heavy wind.