Friday, August 26, 2011



Less less less less less less less less less less less less less less.

I remember a farcical title for a book: Science Simplified to the Point of Inaccuracy.

That's about right.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Starting to close doors. Doors were already closing but I didn't know it.

The list of what has to happen is shrinking. Just because it happened doesn't mean it has to be written down.

Dread might be a fine motivation.

As it continues, search for clarity and inevitability and (contra-indicated) surprise.

No idea what the leap off the balance beam and onto the mat will look like.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


A golden-plate spike.

1. From mania to reflection: learning to think. This must just be self-evident. You can't explain it.

2. Giving up Leo. It hinges (now) on that.


The feeling is that I tried to make an automobile. I ended up with three round wheels and one square one. And that in this draft I have been adding wheels. So that it still has one square wheel but now there are wheels on the roof, the windshield, popping out of the trunk, wheels in the driver's seat.

Or: I read a book review in 1980 or so that slammed the novelist for saying that a character had been run over by a "lime green car." "Who cares that it's lime green?" the reviewer asked. It was cited as an unimportant detail thrown in to make something seem more grounded. I have had the fear of God in me ever since that the details I think ground a scene are in fact a fleet of lime green cars, in this case covered hood to boot with big, shiny, aerodynamically crushing wheels.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

127. But also: that Cocktail

So, you've likely noticed I don't tend to explain things much here. That's because this blog is for my own benefit, the equivalent of a perpetual first-and-a-half draft. The equation goes like this: first draft, for the author; every subsequent draft, increasingly for the world. But people keep asking me about this, so, courtesy of here is the amazing Cafe Flora Carter Beats the Devil cocktail. It is an amazing cocktail and though, kids, you can try this at home, it won't be as good as the Cafe Flora version.

Carter Beats the Devil
2 oz El Tesoro Reposado Tequila
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. organic agave nectar
1/4 oz. del Maguey Minero Mescal
20 drops (eye dropper) of chili tincture*

*To make chili tincture, cover Thai chilis with overproof rum for two weeks, strain.

Put all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, add ice, shake well and pour, straining out the ice.

True story: while I was writing Carter, I kept wanting to set a scene in the building that Cafe Flora later occupied. It's a great piece of Oakland architecture.

Friday, July 8, 2011


Will repetition of structure cause pleasure or predictability? Is there pleasure in predictability (well, yeah, I know, sometimes but not other times; it's semi-rhetorical). What I mean is: in this case, what I'm writing now, the risk I'm worrying about is that if I too often repeat a set of beats, will that be something a reader digs on or thinks is annoying?