Day 4: I woke up late today, around 11Am. Skipped breakfast. Opted for a walk instead. I walked for 80 minutes down route 22. The trails were muddy or covered in snow still. I was famished after my walk. Hurray for leftovers. I made an avocado salad and ate it with leftover pork tenderloin and white rice. One of the residents, a fiction writer sat with me. We talked shop a bit. He told about his experience with publishers and about his current project. We also talked about the big houses and how easy it is to terminate literary fiction projects once an editor leaves. The worst part is that once you sign with a house, they own your work whether you finish it or not.
These stories always make me feel better about my decision to stay independent. I’m not actively seeking an agent. But, don’t confuse me for a romantic figure. I can afford to write and not get paid for it because I have a full-time job. It’s a gut feeling (yes, I expect you to roll your eyes). Of course, if I were to meet someone who believed in my work, I would consider the person as a representative. Cold calling agents does not appeal to me.
After lunch, I went back to my studio and read McCarthy’s The Road. I took a nap before dinner, so that I could work later that night. After dinner, we talked about This American Life and the episode about Doppelgängers. In this episode a tip about a meat plant selling fake calamari sends Ben Calhoun on a quest to find out if fake calamari or bung (as in hog rectum sliced into rings and deep-fried) really exists. The conversation then turned to Star Trek, MacDowell (two residents went there), the Christian Slater movie “Pump Up The Volume,” and Samantha Mathis (oh, and her lovely tits). Then one of the residents asked me what my novel was about. “A crisis,” I said, deadpan. He laughed, thank goodness.