Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Ah, writers

I was reading Salon.com this evening and saw the most fascinating article featured on the front.
The blogger who loathed me:
My cyber-nemesis had been trashing me for months. Then we met, and I had a chance to take a terrible revenge
. by Steve Almond. Yes, Steve Almond, that guy who wrote Candy Freak and I did that radio interview with on Radio Open Source back in August.

What gets the story into true weirdness-mode is the blogger he’s referring to in the article ... Mark Sarvas. You know, the guy who writes The Elegant Variation. Okay, you may not read his blog. Actually, I don’t read his blog. He has one of those blogs that as a writer I feel like I should be reading, but I just can’t. It’s not that I don’t read much fiction, but I can’t stand his writing style. The imperial we, the distancing ... gah.

When I worked in development (not the money raising kind, the reading scripts for movies kind) I read a lot of screenplays and a goodly number of novels, manuscripts and plays. I also met a lot of writers. Eventually I found that I could tell how mentally stable a person was by their text, even their neuroses if I read more than one work.

I’m not saying that Mark Sarvas is nuts, because I don’t think he is. He’s actually very sweet. I met him before he started his literary blog, back in ‘03 when we were ramping up for National Novel Writing Month. He and I exchanged emails and he came to our kick-off party and though he wasn’t going to be noveling with us, he donated three functional laptops to the cause.

But something has always put me at a distance from his writing, so I might look at the blog, but I rarely read it, because I can’t.

Anyway, back to the article - it’s basically about Steve and Mark finding themselves on the same reading panel at the Writer’s Faire. And of course Steve documents all the intricacies of his devilish mind, because that’s what writers do, they open themselves up to us, whether as themselves or through their characters. It’s risky business and neither Mark nor Steve look like sweet-smelling roses at the end of this. But I was able to read Steve’s account of it and enjoy it. Mark’s ... well, not so much. I see Mark has already posted a response.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:29 pm     Curious News

Comments
  1. Good gawd! I had no idea Sarvas was such a tool!
    Will Campbell | 10.13.05 - 10:38 am |

    I agree with you 100%. I can’t seem to read it, either, and knowing I should doesn’t seem to change matters. You’re spot on.
    swashbookler | 10.13.05 - 1:45 pm |

    “...being one ourselves…”

    Ick.
    W | 10.17.05 - 7:57 am |

    Yeah, we can’t read him either. That would be the royal writerly we, of course. Eesh.
    inkgrrl | 10.24.05 - 12:32 pm |

    Comment by Cybele on 11/16/05 at 7:15 pm

     

  2. OK, so I gave Sarvas’s blog a try… and I’ve got two words: No, thanks.  Leisurely reading should not feel condescending or like a text book.  I’m not even close to a “real” writer, but I know hoighty-toighty when I read it.

    Comment by jennifer on 12/15/05 at 1:43 pm

     

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During November it's all about me writing a novel. Sometimes it's about whalewatching. You know, and then there's other stuff.