It’s been too long since I’ve run a contest. And, since I just finished my novel and sent it off to those who requested it, I thought today would be a good day to give out a prize.
Okay, take a look at the photo:
First person to guess this upcoming LitPark guest wins a day on my blog. I can either interview you, or you and I can discuss together how to feature you and the project of your choice.
Here are the rules:
1. One person, one vote.
2. If you have prior knowledge of my guests, please don’t vote or comment.
3. I will only count votes that appear in the Comments section here (no emailing, calling or MySpacing me).
Good luck, and have fun!
It was neat to see your responses to the question of the week regarding collaboration on artistic projects. In general, it seems that those of you who can stand to collaborate with others enjoy creating something that extends beyond your own imagination or skills. And as someone mentioned, when one of you gets stuck, you can ask the other to jump in.
Interestingly enough, most of you who mentioned that you’re doing a collaborative project with another writer or artist also mentioned that you have not finished that project. Hmmm, I found that very curious. It was also interesting to hear that working together on a project does not satisfy that fire of doing the hard and private work of your own novels or memoirs.
I was about to come here and say that I’ve never done a collaborative project. Certainly, as an editor, I’ve worked on stories and manuscripts that needed so many rounds of editing, it felt like a collaboration. But just as I was about to say I’ve never done such a project myself, I got the following email:
Looking for an exciting, and yet still sobering, book to read? Well then look no further! Issue four of Monkeybicycle is about to hit the bookstores and it’s just what the doctor ordered. With a killer lineup that includes the huge list of names below–and then some–this is going to be our best issue yet! Preorder it today. And check out these contributors if you’re still not sure:
John Leary, Susan Henderson, Sean Carman, Todd Zuniga, Bob Arter, Pia Z. Ehrhardt, Samantha Hunt, Shauna McKenna, Ryan Boudinot, John Warner, Steve Gillis, Tom Jackson, Steve Almond, Terry Bain, Scott Southwick and many more. Get it now!
I’d forgotten about this project entirely. Maybe because this giant collaboration happened so many years ago – I guess Monkeybicycle just now got the funding to print it. And if any of you want literary magazines to stay afloat, let me just encourage you to subscribe to one or two a year.
The collaboration was the wild idea of my friend, the super-fabulous McSweeney’s writer, John Leary. (His Christmas letter cracked me up more than any book written in the past decade.) So Leary came to me and said, “Do you want to be a part of a collaborative writing project about robots and baseball?” And I said, “Oh, Jesus, no. Robots and baseball? I’d rather shoot myself.”
This was the same response I had when someone asked me if I wanted to write political satire as dictionary definitions. Obviously, I’m easily persuaded.
So this turned out to be a fun thing. I don’t know one thing about baseball, so I ended up writing about a town that was in a financial depression, and the hope and the mess that was created in the town when some baseball-robot thingie picked their town for some big Stanley-Cup type playoff. Leary and the others helped me when I got stuck with the baseball bits. I was writing the story around the same time Green-Hand Henderson got pecked near the eye by a rooster, so that went into the story, too. It’ll be fun to go back and read the stories, and it’s heartwarming to know how many of these writers have since gotten book deals.
I understand all of the reasons people have for not collaborating. It’s so fun to stay in your pajamas and be a hermit and listen to the stories that want to gnaw their way out of your head. But I’ll say that a collaboration gets you to create something outside of your safe zone, and that’s an amazing experience. As always, thanks to those of you who answered the Question of the Week: Simon Haynes, Lance Reynald, amy, Bass Reeves, Aurelio, Robin Slick, girlgrey, Aimee, Jesse Lee, Brent Robison, Carolyn Burns Bass, patry, Julie Ann Shapiro, Jennifer McMahon, tao, Sarah R. Roundell, Bruce Hoppe, Jason Boog (great to see you at KGB, Jason!), Lauren Baratz-Logsted, Gail Siegel, mikel k poet, gayle brandeis, and Jonathan Evison.
And thank you to my talented, generous (and too cute to believe) guests this week, Enrico Casarosa, Ronnie Del Carmen, and Brian McEntee! It’s an honor and pleasure.
Have a great weekend everyone. And don’t forget to stop by tomorrow and see who Lance is chatting up.