Once upon a time, I blogged every day of the week. It was partly a way to keep writing daily and partly an attempt to build an audience for my fiction. To varying degrees, I did both. I managed it for a number of years until I fell out of it for all the reasons you fall out of a habit. Now, however, I am modestly trying to keep to a blogging schedule of every Monday. For the most part, I think blogs have shifted into other social media, and I use those a little bit here and there, but time is just not what it used to be, so I am pretty inconsistant unless asked a question.
At any rate: Welcome to a month after the Godless was released.
It’s a strange experience, still. Last week I caught up with a friend of mine. We met up in Glebe Books and he said, ‘Do you want to sign your books while we’re here?’ And I laughed and said that my books weren’t there. Then he pointed to the counter, where a stack of ten or fifteen were sitting, right where people would go up to pay for their purchases. It’s still pretty surreal to see a book of mine like that, really. Maybe I’ll never get used to it. I suspect not.
I heard on the weekend that Dead Americans had also had a bit of a bump in sales from the publisher, which I put down to the Godless. It is nice to see, regardless of what is responsible – a short story collection very rarely gets the love that a novel does, so in this way, for store presence, the two are quite opposite.
I watched the original Day of the Jackal and Serpico during the week, both of them cool films. Sidney Lumet, the director of Serpico, got two really fine performances out of Al Pacino in both this and Dog Day Afternoon, and while the latter remains my preferred, Serpico was pretty decent. Likewise the original Day of the Jackal, directed by Fred Zinnemann – it starts off a bit rough, but when it settles into itself, it becomes a pretty taunt thriller, and you could do a lot worse than checking it out.
Lastly, I finished Brendan Connell’s the Metanatural Adventures of Dr. Black, a collection of shorts and novellas that you could argue is a novel, and which follows the short statured, bearded, and cigar smoking Dr. Black through a set of adventures. At times slyly funny, at times surreal, and always with a deft hand at workplay, and a confident voice that is willing to break down the traditional structures of a story and a paragraph, it is a hugely strong book by Connell. His best? Perhaps. It’s certainly one of my favourites, and is of interest to anyone who likes a book that is both ambitious and aware of itself. Also, I’ll drop a small note into the design of the book, with features some sketches by the late John Connell, and which are worked between chapters, and on the back cover, adding to the air that the book is private creation, given out to a select group of men and women. Totally cool – totally worth scoring yourself a copy.