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What’s your stuff?

On facebook, Laura Ellen Scott says, “Interesting novels have stuff in them.” She suggests that rather than advertising our texts with formal reviews, we make lists of the stuff inside them. So here’s your activity for the day: In the comment thread, let’s make stuff lists. Could be your own book, could be one you really like. Then maybe when we’re done we can like, I don’t know, come up with something to do with all that stuff.

I guess I should start us off or something, right?

Okay, here is some stuff from a recent project of mine:


stuffed animals


starched dresses from Talbot’s hanging in dry cleaner’s plastic

sled dogs

movie theaters

children’s torture games


anal retention

public restrooms

middle schoolers

field trips

houses and cars

OK… have at it!



13 thoughts on “What’s your stuff?

  1. Love it. From my current project:

    Rare white rhinos
    A Biplane
    The 1919 White Sox
    Wilt Chamberlain
    A gold-plated tie pin

    I’m also a big fan of Microsoft Word’s Autosummarize feature. Here’s a taste of what my novel in progress (43,000 words) looks like when compressed to a few sentences:

    Clara asks. Clara focuses her attention on Nia Patterson. “Nia?”
    Nia looks up with pleading eyes.
    Nia’s eyes turn from water to ice. “Nia?” Clara prods. Nia mumbles something, crosses her left leg over her right. “I don’t know,” Nia says. This surprises Clara. Clara prefers it in many ways. Sometimes Clara feels like nothing changes.
    Linda shakes her head. Clara nods, watches the fresh coffee drip into the pot slowly, so slowly.

  2. hehe this is a fun activity.

    the novel i’m working on:
    kidney stones
    bloodied eggs
    incestuous sisters
    adolescent queer obsession
    hysteria at the grocery store

    my chapbook c. exigua:
    wandering tongues (literally)
    the ocean
    the chicago kiss (open mouth kiss without tongues, contrasted with french kiss)
    mass waves of public vomiting
    sarcastic redemptive hetero narrative
    childhood female friendship
    color hallucinations
    head injury

  3. the video poem that’s taken me a year to get going on the soundtrack part:

    short-wave radio
    overheard conversations
    urban experience

  4. from two new poems:

    fountains of bleach
    chicken thighs
    labial scales
    starfish arms
    neutral spooning
    burnt steak
    sad sad veal
    rolls of twenty dollar bills covered in lotion
    laces and straps
    and more than one flock of sheep

  5. These lists are so fun! Here’s some stuff from the first few pages of my upcoming book:

    an asphyxant
    vacuum chambers
    interstellar space
    an extremely dangerous but aromatic book
    electronic adolescence
    a nodule of unrepentant significance
    the “æsthetic space age” of the dead

  6. Writing this while food-poisoned, weeee…

    Novel I wrote:
    Sappho and Aphrodite as illegal Turkish girls in Europe 2007
    Manic postcards from detention center in Europe addressed to women of Sappho’s poetry
    Foreign-girl-ness of Audrey Hepburn, esp. in Roman Holiday
    Fake German passports
    Justin Timberlake’s Futuresex/Lovesounds album
    August 2007 issue of Vogue Paris with Claudia Schiffer on the cover + interview with Carla Bruni (just before Sarkozy)
    Luxury hotels
    Voracious eating, constipation
    Shopping-terror at H&M
    Prostitutes and hotel maids
    Ovid’s Tristia, Dante’s Divine Comedy, Wittgenstein’s On Certainty +++
    English and German grammar/idiom guides
    French translation of Uncle Tom’s Cabin
    Ominous architecture
    Food poisoning
    Race riot

    Book of poems I’m writing:
    Bad translation of Voltaire’s Candide
    Candida, the internal and rhizomatic fungal infection
    Mail-order brides
    Sex slave camps
    Tortured monsters in Greek myth
    Masturbating in Versailles
    A cover of Hirata Toshiko’s poem “A Woman’s Life”
    Disappearance of Anna Lee Skarin of the Latter Day Saints
    Washing one’s face with menstrual-bloodied panties to ensure a lifetime of perfect skin
    How a homeless woman in Paris spit on me, then called me dirty, when I tried to give her a meringue
    Bad guest as revolutionary figure
    Radical refusal of sacrifice in Sailormoon
    Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody”
    Nicki Minaj’s “Blazin’”
    Missy Elliot’s “Get Ur Freak On”

  7. Let me say first, the list of stuff in Laura’s forthcoming novel sounds really great. I won’t attempt it, but hopes she posts about the dying wishes.

    From my forthcoming novel, The Snow Whale:

    Office cubes and desk doodles.
    Past lives and ballroom dancing.
    The oldest continuously settled town in North America.
    The eating of raw bacon.
    A Russian sub.
    A top secret Navy sonar station.
    A bowhead whale migration.
    Global warming.
    A DNA ancestry test.
    A Bennigan’s.
    An Inupiat chief with a glass eye and a grudge.
    A seventeen-year-old aspiring filmmaker.
    A white whale.
    A dream sequence.
    An REI.
    A last line copped from Chekhov.

    Atticus Books – July 2011.

  8. Stuff my short story chap-mansuscript, six stories:

    kiwis (yup, kiwis the strawberry-banana fruit) as weapons
    lungs clogged with powdered sugar
    diet soda as aphrodisiac
    fitting room fantasy
    tender young girly-feelings
    brown ripped abs, late August

  9. OK, my current novel project, which I don’t think is the shiniest example of this sort of thing:

    nomadic family groups
    spelling bee hosts in bad bee costumes
    homo-erotic wrestling matches
    french fries flavored with human spit
    a full lunar eclipse on the winter solstice
    a bald man in a Santa hat who may or may not survive to the next draft
    chase scenes
    death-defying leaps
    more fight scenes than I can currently figure out how to choreograph
    a biologist in black and white striped stockings
    a car crash
    a midnight race
    unanswered questions

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