First word that comes to mind is happy. The man is genuinely happy. A pleasant, positive, smiling fellow--putting to rest all the rumors that real writers are depressed recluses. Picture the opposite of Edgar Allen Poe.
Palau de Musica. My friend Kathy and I ran into Jake and his wife attending a Flaminco Opera show here.
He's Bronx born, Harvard educated, and Jake's debut book, a memoir about his absent father called Bourgeois Blues, earned him the Lyndhurst Foundation Prize, awarded to, oh, you know, people like Toni Morrison and Cormac McCarthy! What. The. What. Just when I thought this program couldn't get any better.
|Where I wrote at Ateneu Barcelones.|
|The view from the cable car as we were hoisted up Montjuic.|
- Be aware of the weird music of how people speak.
- Every character is composite.
- Date everything you write. Revisions too.
- Write a story off of a voicemail. (Guess who is now self-conscious of her voicemails? This girl.)
- The details are never as important as the overall feel.
- Kill the darlings, as they say.
- Writing exercise: begin a story with the line, "I love you, but..." (my sentence read, "I love you, but I draw the line at home enemas.")
- From Jake's memoir and something his dad once said: "I'm an escapee from a garbage can."
- "Want to see my nose flute?"
- "You don't want to be sued by the Village People."
- "Teens have the proclivity to...and the hormones to..."
- A Spanish man strums an air guitar, says, "tacka tacka tacka".
- "Language is archaeology."
- "I am telling my son how to build the Guggenheim, but I am not telling anyone's son." --Cesar Martinell
- "The only Sting that comes to mind is 'do-do do, da-da da da dad'." --Aleksander Hemon
- "Once upon a time" is the promise of something extraordinary.
- Pauses are ok, but story needs fuel.
- "I was sitting next to you last night at dinner and you had a...loaf of meat?" Fred asked.
- "It was more of a log."
- "But you liked it."
- "For newspapers [in Spain], der is an agreement not to speak about suicides." --Ramon Olle
- "Unfortunately dey pendulum is swinging from Christ to none." --Ramon Olle
- "But how will I know what everything is?"
|The ceiling. How does this building even exist? It's an enigma.|