Oh no! An extreme close up of a very annoyed dog! That must mean it’s Zimmy Sunday!
Yes, I know, this picture isn’t the most attractive picture ever taken of a golden retriever, but I really couldn’t help posting it. I mean, really. That is an *intense* look he’s giving the camera. You can literally see straight through his golden eyes and into his doggy brain where he’s going “Alex. I’m playing with a really dirty tennis ball. Leave. Me. Alone.” How could I *not* post it?
Now, to the more serious matters at hand. This has been a decidedly unproductive weekend when it comes to basically everything regarding my writing. Maybe it’s because school starts next week for the local kids and I’m feeding off of their “cram all your laziness into the last weekend of summer because you’re never going to have fun or be lazy again…until Labor Day…which is next weekend…but whatever, we’re going to cram it all in this weekend anyway!” vibes (kids think much more verbosely than we simple adults), but it’s been really difficult to get any writing work done. I definitely spent more time taking these pictures of Zim than I did in writing my novel today. Alas, as of now that shiny new notebook I bought for working on it last week still rests in the bottom of my purse, completely empty except for one bad line that was crossed off. More than a little disappointing, I must admit. Who knew that shiny new notebooks with pretty Japanese artwork on them don’t instantaneously inspire you into cranking out the second two-thirds of a novel? Not me, obviously. I’m not giving up though, mostly because I really want to finish this stupid novel before it starts gnawing away at my brain…and partly because the notebook was $15 and I don’t want to waste the equivalent of three Starbucks drinks.
That said, my miscellaneous ideas notebook has a couple of nifty little experimental flash fiction pieces in it now, one of which, titled “I Wish We Could’ve Been Better Friends,” I expanded and posted on Friday in my Freaky Friday post. All of the pieces have been in the same vein as “I Wish We Could’ve Been Better Friends,” i.e., creepy, and it’s been a very energizing process. Unfortunately, right now I’ve only been able to start writing them about 15-20 minutes before I go to sleep, so they’re still extremely short and I haven’t been able to carry that momentum over into my novel. But, honestly, I’m just excited that I’m writing anything again. Baby steps, guys, baby steps.
Because the writing has been relatively slow, i.e., snails-paced, most of my time this weekend has been spent reading. I’ve gotten about halfway through A Storm of Swords, and am I believe about 100 pages away from the infamous Red Wedding scene, which I’m really, really, *really* excited to read because the set up in the book is already pretty different from the movie so I can’t wait to see how it is done in the book series versus the HBO series. Also, because I’m a Millennial, I’ve spent a lot of time cruising the Internet machine reading up on a myriad of different things. I won’t go into all of them (lucky you, you’ve been spared my political rants!) but I do want to end this week’s Zimmy Sunday with an interview I saw this morning that Junot Díaz did with Noah Charney for The Daily Beast. Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, is one of my all-time favorite writers, and his short story “How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie” in his collection Drown helped give me the idea to write my story “Zurück Bleiben Bitte” in the second person, a decision that ultimately made that story special enough to place first in a writing contest and win me $250 (which went straight into my tuition expenses. Thanks UC Davis.).
Anyway, in his interview Díaz talks about many different things, including his daily routine, what he looks for in great short stories as an editor for The Boston Review, what medium he prefers to write in, and even what he wants written on his tomb stone. The link to the entire interview is here and I’d highly recommend you take a gander at it. It’s short and sweet, and definitely worth the 5-10 minutes it’ll take you to read.
That’s all for this week’s Zimmy Sunday. Here’s one last less homicidal but still annoyed picture of the Zimster to (hopefully) make you smile as much as I did taking it. And don’t worry: after this picture I did let him go back to playing with his dirty tennis ball. I’m not *that* bad of a dog owner.