Bill Cotter: On Ritual
Writer Bill Cotter (left) with writer Annie La Ganga
“I wish I could start this piece with something like ‘An ordinary, workaday writing session for me begins with an hour of meditative levitation followed by guttural sounding and a pint of warmed duckling bouillon paired with a cruller, and then I sit on my brambles and dip a bamboo quill into some homemade oak gall ink and pen away on ivory calfskin vellum until I’ve produced a substantive, holistic, polished, and, if possible, already-sold piece of writing etc. etc.,’ but I can’t, because my writing process is neither workaday nor interesting. For me, a typical writing session will begin in the evening (the daylight hours being spent putting off the session till the last practicable instant), and continue for three hours. I write on a laptop. I’ve been doing so for so long now that writing out the rent check every month is the only act of penmanship I can perform without cramping and blistering, the point of the pen wandering off midword when I suddenly forget how to draw a letterform.
“The last couple of years I’ve been working in an old leather chair, a relic from the den of a childhood home. The chair’s seat cushion is torn, exposing a crumbly, noisome foam that will transfer its odor to its sitter if the sitter is not protected with Tyvek or some such. Apart from that, the chair is adequate, and set at a profitable angle of repose–too steep for napping; just shallow enough to maintain a level of discomfort suitable to the writing of fiction. The room in which the chair is located is also my day-job workshop (book restoration), so in order to block out the many distractions, I keep the room dark, and the arm-sweep around my chair bare except for a big ice coffee. It is from this dark, smelly, uncomfortable leather hole that my tedious, unsalable, self-conscious, derivative, and unrewarding fictional worlds spring.”
Tomorrow: Annie La Ganga On Ritual.
All this year: Happy 2011, ever’body! Hope yours is shiny and bright.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Aaron Burch, Beat the Dust, Bill Cotter, Freeda Sangra, Guy Morgan, Isy Suttie, Jarred McGinnis, Jonathan van Tulleken, Joshua Mohr, Kim Parko, Matthew Robins, Melissa Mann, NOHNO, Off Season (film), Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Salman Rushdie, Sam Knight, Sam Taradash, Simon Crump, The Satanic Verses, The Special Relationship, Tim Key, Tom Basden, Two Dollar Radio on October 23, 2010 |
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(Read about Episode 1 & Episode 2, + check out the show’s Facebook invite)
…The reason the show is called The Special Relationship is because two of its organizers are American, while two are English. And other Trans-Atlanticness has been occurring: by posting these episode reports on Big Other, the UK-based writers that we’ve invited to perform have gotten some attention from folks back in the States.
All this time, I’ve been trying to figure out how the reverse can work with a live event. How can I expose our London-based audiences to writers and writing from the States? The US authors I like are unlikely to be touring the UK any time soon: Bill Cotter (Fever Chart), Kim Parko (Cure All) or any writer in the Two Dollar Radio stable such as Joshua Mohr (Termite Parade). I had a conversation with Aaron Burch (How to Predict the Weather), and we planned to show a YouTube video of him performing:
…but the quality, when projected, didn’t hold up.
That said, if any of you on the US end of this post have any ideas about how we can involve more US-based writers in the show, I’d love to hear them.
But, for now, onto:
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