Magruders

From My Research Files...

One of the best things about writing MAGRUDER'S CURIOSITY CABINET was the excuse to spend ages staring at gorgeous photos like these, from turn-of-the-century Coney Island.  I have quite a photo file and there'll be much more to follow, so please come again!

The Helter Skelter ride at Luna Park, Coney Island. 1905.  (h/t,  Shorpy )

The Helter Skelter ride at Luna Park, Coney Island. 1905.  (h/t, Shorpy)

"Turning the tip" (which means, getting passersby to come see a show) at Dreamland, Coney Island, 1911 (h/t: Library of Congress).

"Turning the tip" (which means, getting passersby to come see a show) at Dreamland, Coney Island, 1911 (h/t: Library of Congress).

Dreamland (h/t Library of Congress).

Dreamland (h/t Library of Congress).

I loved this last photo so much, there is a whole bit in the book written about specifically this view, waiting to hurtle down the track and dive into the lake in the center of the park.  

 

 

 

Six Months Out, aka Writing is Failure.

So, Magruder's comes out six months from now.  It's a weird time, mostly just waiting for something to happen.  Trying to focus on future projects--too many ideas and not enough time--while fighting off the urge to check Goodreads one more time.  

And also, err, NOT fighting off the urge to check Goodreads one more time.  

Blogger reviews are trickling in, mostly positive and generous and embarrassing.  Some others, not so much.  But this book was never going to please everybody; it was weird when I started and stayed weird to the end.  

Some people don't even like guacamole, what can ya do.

ANYHOW.  This quote from Doc Hammer of the Venture Brothers perfectly encapsulates how I feel as I wait (and tremble) for June.  He's talking about painting, but if you substitute "writing" for "painting," this is it exactly.  This is why publication is both thrilling and horrifying at the same time.  

"Painting is showing up and dealing with sucking, that’s the big tip, that’s what I want people to walk out knowing.... Painting is entirely failure, and if your painting wasn’t failure then you're not moving forward and you are not correcting your own mistakes. What’s the point of making another one if you’re so good that you have painted your masterpiece already. Every painting that a good painter does, they hate it, it sucks, and that’s what gets them going to do the next one so they can learn. That’s a hard thing to do: to have your occupation, hobby, life, be a place where you suck and you know you suck....

"I know that inside me is better. Dealing with my sucking and proudly saying this sucks is how I get up and do it again. I can’t let that thing get out there, I have to apologize for it with my next piece."

Thanks, Doc.  I best get cracking...