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"We need to make books cool again. If you go home with someone & they don't have books, don't fuck 'em."--John Waters

I'm the author of more than twenty novels including SHADOW SEASON, THE COLD SPOT, THE COLDEST MILE, THE MIDNIGHT ROAD, THE DEAD LETTERS, and A CHOIR OF ILL CHILDREN. Look for my next one THE LAST KIND WORDS due out May '12 from Bantam Books. Contact: PicSelf1@aol.com

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

In the Middle of My Funk

A couple of nice things happened this morning while I was in the middle of a particularly cruel funk (and no, nothing really happened, I was just feeling funky). I received the first copy of THE COLDEST MILE hot off the presses. And yes, I realize how ironic it is to use "coldest" and "hot" in the same sentence, but hey, that's what writers get paid for. To use artistic license like that to make a point and call attention to ourselves.

Also got a mock-up of the cover for my next novel SHADOW SEASON, due out in October. It'll be tweaked some and have blurbs added, but as is I think it's wonderfully rendered and encompasses the same kind of atmosphere that the novel itself does. There's a bleakness to it but also a real moody beauty to it. You know you've got a good cover when you worry if the book will do the art fucking justice.

Okay, so--

Facebook has been sort of derailing me lately. I've been on there six or eight months, something like that, but it seems like everyone from my past has suddenly joined the site in the past few weeks. Old buddies, school chums, ex-girlfriends, you name it. I've got a natural inclination toward nostalgia, good and bad, and lately I can't quite keep as focused as I like to be because I'm dwelling on the past. I mean dwelling on the past even MORE than I usually do. A ton of memories have come surging in and, being the hyper-sensitive weenie that I am, I've been getting a little kicked around by it all. I've been lost in playing Let's Remember and thinking about the laughs, the heartaches, first loves, first lays, big fallouts over nothing, the wasted time, the damned and the dead, the initial call to be a writer.

So all you other funky people, does this shit happen to you? You ever hit a patch where you just can't pull yourself from the draw of the past? When your head is filled with the faces of people you haven't seen in ten or twenty or more years? Some of whom you can still reach out to and some who are long buried? What funky stuff have you been into lately?


David Jack Bell said...

I bet once it all shakes out you'll have some new material to write about.

Anonymous said...

Whoa, Tom, has this post hit a chord!
Been doing the funky dance for a while now. Ever since the job losses/financial woes/health issues have hit Dee and the kids and I, I do nothing BUT dwell on the past: when things were more stable, friends we had back where we moved from, life before diabetes...and I gotta tell you, it does a number on you.
Add that to the fact that my mother moved in with us when we came to NC, and she's ALWAYS dwelling on the past, everything from her crappy childhood to life with my alcoholic father.
Been almost impossible to get my head into the present, and stay there!

ronnoc said...

Well, I'm your best buddy on facebook, but you've never met me in your life, so I don't think I'm contributing to the problem :P

Anonymous said...

Nostalgia seems to be an affliction of the Y chromosome... I think. And I may be wrong on this one, but a lot of the time, the word nostalgia is interchangable with REGRET.

djande said...

You're not alone in riding the nostalgia train. Problem is, dwelling on the past doesn't really go anywhere, because the past is the past, and there's very little one can do to change it.

I made the mistake of typing an old flame into facebook, turns out she's happily married and has a new baby. Why does that bother me so much?

Phantom of Pulp said...

I'm usually happy to learn that old flames are happily locked away in a marriage with a bunch of kids.

As for Facebook, I've recently backed away because, quite honestly, there is too much emphasis on the boring minutia of life, and I've also been getting Friend requests from people I hardly knew and never liked when I did hardly know them.

Tom, I can understand the pull of the past you're confronting. There is a novelty factor to it and it can be fun catching up with people who vanished at some point.

The up side is it's all good source material for something in the future.

Phantom of Pulp said...

'Shadow Season' cover is striking.

I like the blackness of the figure.

A sense of remoteness and the stench of trouble lurking.

Unknown said...

Facebook is one of the biggest time sucks on the planet. But sometimes it's cool to reconnect with people from the past, but you got to limit it. I went through a similar stretch around the holidays when all I was doing was hitting facebook and ignoring crap like deadlines and such. It can be a pain, but if you pretend it's not there, it actually works sometimes. And don't get too funky, Tom. You usually have so much going on that once in awhile it's more than okay to take a break from the daily grind.