by Shelton Bumgarner
Editor’s Note: I really am writing a novel. And I generally do writing like this when I’m feeling completely overwhelmed and need to release some stress. So, please, don’t get spooked by this post because I mention Alexa Chung’s name, for fuck’s sake. I’m extremely harmless. Leave me alone and let me work on my novel in peace.
The more serious I become with this novel, the less I care about anything but producing the best tale I can. I don’t care about any possible eventual interest by Hollywood (ha!), I don’t care about preening on Twitter about how many words I may have written. I just care about pushing myself to my creative limits.
One thing is for sure — I have a lot of difficulty taking myself too seriously. It’s just not in my nature not to giggle when a “normal’ person with an actual traditional career sniffs that I’m too big a loser to help in any shape, form or fashion. I’m thinking, of course, of Jodi Kantor’s recent polite but clipped 1 line email response to me. I didn’t want much of her time — maybe five minutes at the most — but she made it very, very clear that I was a complete waste of ANY of her time and good day to you good sir.
Generally, anything idea for the novel that makes me laugh — even if it’s actually rather dark or serious — I put in. So, I’ve decided to study Ms. Kantor as best I can so I can, at least in terms of her career and public persona — reproduce those two things in my female romantic lead. So, in a sense, while in real life I can’t even get her to help me in any way, in my fevered novel’s phantasm, she’s going to fall in love with the proxy-me Hero. Haha! Ms. Kantor is rather intense, to say the least. But any inspiration she’s giving me for the character I have in mind is simply how someone like her thinks about the world. I’m not really using her appearance or personal life — just her professional life and maybe her demeanor.
This novel is completely for me at this point. I’m throwing my heart, soul and nearly complete personal history into it. I know a little bit about a whole lot of things — my knowledge base is extremely wide but rather shallow. I can have a cocktail party conversation with virtually anyone about virtually anything. Or, at least, I like to think so.
Anyway, I don’t know. I’m putting as much work as I can into this novel. Only time will tell if anyone else cares.