August 29, 2005


I exist. A troubling weekend. My grandfather died, the patriarch of the family. I can’t be greatly sad about it because he was turning 94 in September and he died peacefully in his sleep. If there’s a good way to go, that’s it. He lived to see two great-grandchildren. There’s also been some other stuff going on in my family. I don’t want to write about it directly because it involves someone else’s life, even if it impacts my own. I don’t like writing fiction directly about people either. Let’s just say it’s been a heavy weekend in the Baum family.

I’ve been in revision purgatory. Finished my novel, finally. I ordered another copy which my wife is going to read to see if there are any typos or glaring embarrassments. Also doing double time with my job, rereading the stuff over and over again to make sure it’s perfect because I don’t want to lose the job. If you’re wondering, I write copy for websites. My daughter’s out of daycare so I spend the morning at the park building sandcastles at the park in the 90 degree heat and then try and work when she’s napping in the afternoon, and then again after she goes to sleep at 7:30. I am a monster of responsibility.

Now I need to work on the revision for the story that’s going to come out on Cloverfield Press. I hadn’t looked at it for months and it needs some work. Good thing I’ve got my revision eyes going.

I would love to read something by someone else, so this weekend I went to the library and got:

Chuck Palahniuk, Survivor
Will Self, Grey Area
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
Gordon Lish, What I Know So Far
A.M. Homes, Things You Should Know
Ann Beattie, Secrets and Surprises

Mostly stories, from discussions at Reader of Depressing Books. For someone who’s read a fair amount, I’m not very well read. Certainly not like Jenny Davidson.

I’m probably going to have to duck out of here again.


Spiral Stairs said...

Sounds like a lot of intensity in H. Baum's life. Sorry to hear about the bad stuff; glad to hear about the good stuff (novel progress, time with daughter).

I'm pretty poorly read myself. On your list, all I've read is the Gordon Lish book. I went through a Gordon Lish phase and read, I think, three of his books.

Writing continues to be absent from my life. Instead, I'm trying to decide which of these two options I will pursue as my next distraction: (1) take a drawing class at a "arts workshop" type place near my house; or (2) try to learn to play the piano. We have a piano because my wife plays it, but I've never played any instrument at all. (Except an abortive attempt at guitar.)

Spiral Stairs said...

By the way, it suddenly strikes me that, on the off chance you haven't read it, you must read Dear Mr. Capote by Gordon Lish. I actually own it, started it, but never finished it for reasons I can't recall. But I think it's right up the OCG alley.

Jenny D said...

It is not so much that I am well read as that I am addicted to reading...

Henry, I'm sorry to hear about your grandfather. Sad. Best of luck with work and family stuff meanwhile--cross our fingers that good things happen with the novel.

dahlia said...

I have reading phases, as crazy as that sounds. Times where i am constantly reading, then times where i can't read a page. Is that normal?

Sorry about your grandfather. I thought about my granparents today. This was before I read your entry. What if my grandma died tomorrow? I hardly ever talk to my grandparents. They live half way across the world!

Cool blog, though. I like your style. Keep it up.

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