Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Withhold / Reveal

There are bits of dialogue from LPT that I love so much I want to share them with you, here, but I resist. My small favorites reveal too much.

Part of what I'm trying to do with this novel is instill a want of particular notion for the reader. I want any future reader to want one certain thing between characters and when I read the draft whole I can't remember if I accomplished that or not. Probably not (yet), but I was so focused on other things I can't remember all of what I needed to observe.

What I do know, now, is that my feelings are hurt and I'm about to pour a Sapphire ginger and clean my loft and think about and think about and think about LPT. Because nothing much comes of a semi-messy apartment, a badly behaved best and an unfinished novel that--in its current state--breaks my heart.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Really Miss Reading

I really, really miss reading. I haven't been doing it because I like being able to focus on my story. But now that I'm nearly finished with my outline, I might start reading again. I want to. I have an entire list of books to read.

Just realized I've complained about this before. But... It remains true.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

More Coffee, Please

Am I going to go into work an hour early with my notebook and my computer, or am I going to stay in my loft and fuck around? I've been up and trying to work and it's this stop and start dance with the plot. Damnit. I went to sleep late and woke up late with a headache and something makes me think there's not enough coffee in the world to clear this up and I can't work tonight because I've got this run-through for the fashion show and packing and cleaning and my outline isn't right yet. And I really, rrrrrrrreally want my outline to be right, because then I can continue writing and... I don't know... finish draft 2 or something.

Fuck. I'm going to get up and get ready and go down and open the restaurant. And then I'm going to sit in the dining room and try to assert some order to this mess while fielding the incessant questions of idiot tourists.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Vice Interview- Bret Easton Ellis

James sent me the link to this interview with Bret Easton Ellis, one of my longtime favorites. Check it out.

Alfred A. Knopf, Ellis' publisher, today released the link on twitter with the note, " I, uh, can't quote most of it, so read it straight from the source:"

And please note that, throughout the descriptions of each of his works, that Lunar Park is described as one of his best. I TOLD YOU SO. I have always thought that. People didn't agree; when the book first came out, a review was written in Slate and the reviewer mentioned that she was among the few who really, really loved the book. (My best friend Elizabeth also agrees.)

--Ad Reinhart

It's been said many times in world art writing that one can find some of painting's meanings by looking not only at what painters do but at what they refuse to do.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Alexander Hall - Spring Open Studio Night


Please keep in mind that any reference to the current state of LPT is just that--current, and likely to change. Note: I suspect the opening of the novel will remain the same.

The opening scene of LPT is set in SCAD's Alexander Hall. The building houses the Painting department (both graduate and undergraduate), Printmaking lab and Ceramics studios. Positioned on the west-most edge of the historic district, Alexander Hall sits literally beneath Savannah's iconic Talmadge Bridge.

I am obsessed with "the first eight pages," as I like to call them (or, seven pages, actually, as I'm so involved with this part of the book I've micro edited it--it is no where near time to micro edit). I mean, fixated. The opening scene that takes place at Alexander was not originally the beginning of the book. In fact, I plucked the scene from a mere paragraph in one of Cameron's narratives and expanded it, fleshed it out to the plot-pushing scene it is now.

So when I caught word of the Spring Open Studio Night at Alexander Hall, I couldn't blow it off. Necessary research. And it's even better than a Gallery Hop (which is the event that opens the novel) because all of the graduate studios upstairs were open for exploration. As badly as I want to move to New York City, I'm glad I'm still living in Savannah for things like this. It makes researching so much easier--especially when you're examining, first hand, the reality of a pivotal scene.

There were certain discrepancies in the text. Of course I can't tell you too much but... Like a typical Gallery Hop, the opening event in my novel is a curated exhibit of student work, a group show in which Cameron exhibits one piece. It's a piece she completed that quarter (this is set during the end of May, near finals). In building the scene, I mention that there are "75 or so other people in the gallery," but when I read back over it I thought it might be too much. 75 people? Really? When Feifei and I slipped through Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea, there weren't be maybe 50 people, more like 40.

As I approached Alexander Hall I could tell there were over a hundred people in attendance. Cars were everywhere. Students packed the elevated sidewalk outside the parking lot. The lobby was bustling with viewers and SCAD faculty, staff and servers exchanged clipped, specific directions with guests. No alcohol was served, only sweet tea and punch, veggies and other unexciting hors d'ouerves.


I started (on accident) with ceramics. I can't believe how very good so much of it was. It all looked professional, as if for purchase (a fraction of it is). Unlike hasty student projects, the ceramics on display were interesting and varied and fun--I'm not interested in this art form in the least, but I did enjoy slipping through the crowds to inspect work and take pictures.



I thought Danielle Bishop's sculpture was the most fun, though the cowboy boots and gun-in-holster appeal to me personally. The stocky, short structure and mostly-boots nods at childhood dress-up memories, complete with toy guns and Dad's too big boots.


Danielle Bishop
Ricky the Cowboy, 2010
Hand Build Clay

There were, of course, the typical pots and bowls and things, all of which was more appealing and more interesting than the usual lot.

The undergraduate painting classrooms are downstairs. Only graduates have personal studios (upstairs). I explored some of these, snapping pictures in the name of research. They were exactly as you'd expect a room to be, when shared with college kids who paint: sloppy, flecked with multi-colored dribble in varying sizes, taped together, ripped apart, pushed around, mirrored.








I wasn't immediately impressed with the undergraduate painting. A lot of the subject matter was interesting, but the technique is... in training... However, here are some of my favorites:


Lisa Williams
Third Painting
Intermediate Painting
Oil on Wood

Some fat girl was standing right in front of it so I couldn't get a good picture. Which needs me to another interesting note: there is a space issue among the halls of Alexander.


If you are trying to seriously examine an artwork at the same time as someone else, it becomes sort of an issue. Especially because people are rude. (Also, I caught a lot of nasty looks from other women, but that's neither here nor there...) Anyway, Williams' brushstrokes are at first invisible.



Amber Zoeliner
First Project
Intermediate Painting
Oil on Wood

As I passed by these pieces, I overheard Zoeliner explain to a couple of viewers, "I was trained to be photorealistic." She said interesting things about switching brushes, when she used bigger brushes, but I couldn't write fast enough.


Jayne R. Morgan
Realist Painting
Honey Bears
Oil

Everyone who passed this painting said, "Oh, honey bears!" or murmured some form of appreciation. I concur. What's not to like about a troupe of honey bears?


Also wandered down to the printmaking labs, which I swore off years ago. I made the mistake of sacrificing one of my precious open studio classes on Introduction to Printmaking. Obviously I had no idea the manual labor involved in this. Disaster. But I have a complete appreciation for printmaking now. Absolutely no patience for it, but loads of appreciation.


The presses have names such as "Henry Miller" and "Orson Wells."





Upstairs was the best, however. The artwork on display among the grid of halls and open gallery space was captivating, and I realized once I finally (finally) left (after nearly 2 hours) how interested I was in so very much of it. I suppose this has something to do with the lack of great gallery space in Savannah.

I was also arrested with the individual graduate studios. The white cubes (well, they start out that way) were so personal, so intimate, the spaces a reflection of both their occupants and the artwork produced there.


Note the mini fridge (not the only studio with one) and coffee maker.





Many closed black doors. Yellow cards bearing each student's name filled a slot on the doors. Others were open with notes and business cards and cleaned out platters where cookies and cupcakes were offered.

Among the narrow halls students discretely discussed their processes or lifestyles or finished pieces with viewers. "I've been painting everyday now," said one student. She was tired, shiny faced and complained of only eating once, much earlier today. That... does not make me miss college.



One thing I like so much about Alexander Hall is the view. It's sort of industrial, over there by the shipyards and ports, pushed down on the boarder near the strip clubs and Frozen Paradise, but when you look out there's a view of the Savannah River and the underbelly of the Talmadge Bridge that, unlike all the squares and picturesque monuments and Spanish moss that eventually blur together, these views around Alexander let you know immediately where you are. (Some of the undergraduate work reinterates this fact, painting landscapes immediately about the premises). It's a side of Savannah--and of SCAD--that you don't often recall.

"Why would you go there!?" Erin (who's an undergraduate painting major) exclaimed when we spoke after my visit. "It's awful and there are no windows and it smells awful, even though I love the smell of oil paint and..."

But I was entirely charmed.


Spring Open Studio Night

Will Most likely be checking the Spring Open Studio Night tonight. The novel opens with a scene at Alexander Hall, at the end of spring quarter (which students are quickly approaching). Should be interesting.


No Good at Working in Short Bursts

It's hard getting back into it. I've had so much play time in the past couple of weeks that I can't fully focus on work. I'm not really motivated, which is unlike me. But I'm not good at working in short bursts. I need an established routine, not a weekend here and there.

My lower back hurts. And I've been up since 6:48 and at work since 7:00 and it's only 9:37 on a Saturday morning and I want to go back to bed.

I really love the early morning. Think I'll make more coffee and enjoy it. Then sleep in the afternoon (or go to the beach) and come home, wake up, get showered and go down to Mercury.

Friday, May 7, 2010

--Jackson Pollock

"I have no fears about making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own.

Tell Me Do You Lose Your Way Each Day

I read a ton of book reviews and notations on fiction writing. Every-so-often there comes about mention of a novel written in "first persons" or rotating first person narratives. Different characters sharing the same story.

This is how I wrote the first draft of LPT. This is how I originally saw LPT--all except the ending. The end of the novel was always supposed to be in third person. And then, when I wrote the first draft, it turns out that the opening scene worked best in third person, also, and easily glided back into first. But I wonder... How horrible or how successful (or some bland medium between the two) would it be if I added more third person, leveling out with a variety of first persons... Will that jerk the reader around too much? Or will it be delightful.

The trouble with so many books in first persons--and even some of the best contemporary fiction in first persons, say Bret Easton Ellis' The Rules of Attraction or Elliot Perlman's Seven Types of Ambiguity, eventually, the voices blend together. It's as if the writer cannot detach enough from his/her personal voice to sustain each of the individual character voices. (I think the most successful account of first persons I've read is Melvin Burgess' Smack, which, albeit young adult fiction, is an excellent read).

The voices blended in my manuscript for LPT, also. Sometimes I forgot who was narrating, which made the story confusing. Not the point.

Rumor has it most people who read books are smart. But "most people" that I meet at random are idiots. They are. So if my first persons aren't full of personality, or have some dramatically different voices, or ... something... then I should probably review and revise the execution of my narratives.

Yes.

Well, because I know them, I'm going to go ahead and tell you that there is a lot of personality in this novel. Cameron is pragmatic and decided, then suddenly insane; Danny is quick witted and irritating; Ren... is a little bit of a bitch; and so on....

What I'm getting at is this: I think (though it seems a dangerous move) that I will flip between both first (first persons) and third depending on what the scene wants.

Somethings are just better off written in third person. And some scenes are just better off in first. I like action, literal scene written in third person. And I like character narratives to be narrated by the characters themselves--I do not want to be told information (especially background information) about a character in third person. That's boring. But something about the use of the word "I" make this acceptable (as long as the narrative is interesting and personal).

And there are just certain characters I'm not interested in writing about through first person. My hesitation may be due to lack of intimacy. But I'm working on it.

I think, every so often, I'll allow the characters of this novel to interrupt the story with their own thoughts, their own perspectives. For the while, I'm going to shift things into third person and see what I come up with.

Why is this such a conflict for me? Don't most writers know when they start writing if the book will be in first person or in third (or, God forbid, second)?

No. They don't. And by "they," I mean me.

This an isolated incident and it's sort of driving me crazy.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

--Adolph Gottlieb, Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko

"To us art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take the risk.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Unfolding the First Piece of the Map

Yesterday

Awake and working by 6:30 a.m. I didn't think I'd be writing/revising for a while now, but after a couple of hours of note making, I finally have a plan. I basically had to pick one layer of the story and work on it--establishing character relationships, figuring out the back story, knowing what happened in my character's lives before the story began. In the brief description of my novel to the right of this blog, there is mention of a family in decline. I'm working on that now.

Tempting, it is, to want to go to the Georgia Historical Society and research old families, see what I can find. I may do that. I want to. But I'm not writing historical fiction; the entire plot is set in 2006-2007, the era of a most recent art market boom. But a family in focus is one of longstanding Savannah residence. They are not, in any way, a suggestion or a symbol or an illusion of an actual Savannah family. So I don't want people getting confused, thinking I'm making a plot out of the So-And-So's misfortune. Not that I care what anyone thinks.

I don't. But you knew that already, didn't you?

In a couple of hours, I figured out what to change and how to make this work (at least for the next phase of this novel). I finally have a map. Now all I need is to do the work.


Today

I set my alarm for 6:30 again but that didn't happen. Try quarter of 8. Anyways, I'm awake now and it's a quarter to 9 and all I've done is get dressed, make coffee and write this irrelevant blog post. I was supposed to get something done. After work I've got to rush home and shower and get pretty for my date. We're going to the Gallery Hop tonight.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Cupcake and Tartt

Right now, what I need is a little pick-me-up. Sugar. Cinnamon cupcake (sponsored by Emily), organic raspberries.

I am hopefully going to have a long, productive night of working. Sometimes, when I fret about the crawling progress, I think about being in college--at art school, and remember how I would pack things into the day--eating overlapping with class and homework and how I'd switch frantically back and forth between reading and writing and so on... I was sacrificing sleep. I should sacrifice more sleep. Sleep?

I can't believe how much I don't know about my characters... This doesn't sound very promising, but I'm working on it. I should probably really know them, having written the damn thing (or, at least a draft of it) BUT like I said... I'm working on it.

Also, I need to be reading. While I let my own characters wander around in my head I flick through pages of novels that I've read and want to read again, literary gems of our time--Donna Tartt's The Little Friend in particular. I don't think I've ever read a better novel. It has everything. Character, setting, plot, suspense, theme and motif on and on. At mention of her work years ago in the classroom, one of my former professors shuttered. He said, "That is the book that almost made me stop writing," as he feared he could never write so perfectly.

Long ago I read somewhere that it took Tartt ten years (or something wild) to write this book. I was unaware of her before the publication of The Little Friend. But her debut novel, The Secret History was a sensational introduction (she was young, hooked up by undergrad buddy Bret Easton Ellis, publishers went back and forth at war over her copy, her agent, Amanda Urban, is literary royalty...) The novels are very different. I think the second one to be much better and though people complained about the wait--I'm guilty, also, of wishing her along with a third--I think it's important to note that sometimes time does make a valuable difference. If an author really spends time with a book, and lets the novel take both the writer and the reader where it needs to go... These things don't just happen over night. I'd be foolish to think my first copy was my final copy. That I could stop now, that it is finished.

Certainly not.

Although I hope it doesn't take me ten years BUT AT THE RATE I'M MOVING--"MOVING" IT JUST MIGHT.

A Course of its Own

Having only written Draft 1, and prepairing the outline for Draft 2, I feel like the novel is ready to take a course of its own. Finally. The characters are now really becoming their own characters, not reflections and guesswork of their inspirers. I see glimpses of plot, new scenes that didn't originally exist. We are wondering further and further away from the origins of inspiration. I don't fear it; I think it's good. This novel isn't about me, anyway. This book is about an artist and a family and the city of Savannah. This novel is about a painting.

There is still so much more for me to figure out. I am hoping to do some serious work on it tonight to bring these new scenes, and eventually a reconstructed outline, to life.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

--Harold Rosenberg

"At a certain moment the canvas began to appear to one American painter after another as an arena in which to act... What was to go on the canvas was not a picture but an event."

Slowly Avoiding That Category

In the past few months, I've been reading more and more industry (MY industry, so writing and publishing and visual arts) blogs. I can't believe the vast majority of blogs pertaining to writing novels are all about the publishing process and little to nothing is actually said about writing. While I think it's a little boring to write about writing (my blog not excluded--and that's about to change), and the author risks giving instructions or sounding too schooled... I think what a lot of people miss is the soul purpose of the craft--that is, to write a really good book. Something that fills the heart and inspires the reader. Instead we are very concerned about whether self publishing or a publishing house will make us rich and famous. I'm interested in publishing because it's something that I one day want for my work, but I'm mostly concerned with the writing. I mean... the state of my novel, how good it is... it is what matters most. So I really hope I don't get caught up in the potential glitz and inevitable headache that is publishing and marketing and mass appeal. Nor do I wish to adapt some graduate school micro-audience over-workshopped state of mind, the kind where I think I am above publication/a general audience.

And anyways, now is not the time to be considering this. I don't care what you have to say about it. Between all the day job and cupcakes and kisses and sleeping and errands I've got to do, isn't it more than enough just to ask for a little time to PLOT the fucking thing? Please? For the moment, I can't drink coffee so unless I can exercise or otherwise get some energy tonight after work, I'm useless.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A New Direction

I think this blog is boring. No, really. I understand some of you are very interested in my process, but the process of writing a novel (at least, for me) is intimate and internal and doesn't translate well via blog (because if it did, I'd be telling too much information). What this reduces down to is a lot of me griping about not having enough time.

So. I think I'm going to just start blogging about art because those are the posts (albeit, few and far between) that really get me excited. Or maybe I'll write about other, seemingly unrelated things. I think it goes without saying but I have a lot of confidence in my writing-- I'm just not interested in updating a boring blog. Writing about writing... isn't really for me.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sleep, Work and Updating the Outline

Not enough time!

Seriously, never enough hours in the day. I wish my body didn't require so much sleep, I'd probably get more things accomplished. (Actually, it would be great if I could just nix the day job. I mean... if I have to sacrifice 8 hours...)

BUT I've had lots of good ideas today.

I have finally begun to rework my outline for Draft 2. So exciting. I'm really happy to be at work again and while I haven't finished the outline yet (I've shifted and cut and added and worked my way to point 12 on what was originally a 79 point outline) I'm making a lot of progress. Wishing I had more energy to work tonight. Once I redraft this working outline, I'll go back into the copy and rewrite the manuscript for Draft 2. There's some reading and research that needs to be done. A couple of books to buy. Lots and lots of work (read: love).

Yawn.

Okay, goodnight.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Little Spark of Progress

It's amazing how one small detail can change an entire plot.

Maybe not an entire plot, but... Today at the restaurant I had an idea. A small change--seemingly nothing major. And now I think it's going to instantly improve the novel. This is a breakthrough and now that I've had this thought and I've worked it into the plot, I can't imagine going back on it. It seems a little early to be making such a spark of progress but I'm not going to refuse it. It completely restored my confidence after feeling a little anxious and vacant (post reading).

I've spent a few good hours today making notes. Before I had my good idea, I did a chart of characters and how they connected. That chart in the picture is not right, by the way. It needs to be redrawn. However, it definitely helped me to visualize things.

Earlier today, when I told Elizabeth about this new idea she said, "What is it?" But I can't tell you, which is what I told her. It's one of those big things that should have been there all along. It changes lots of little things and while I'm playing it off now, as if it were always there, I know when I look back on this book once it's finished, and maybe a couple of people have read it and they'll ask about the writing process, I'll say, "You know, originally, in the first draft, Trey and Dalton were not brothers!"

But they are now.

Notemaking and the Day Without Progress

Augh yesterday! I did not get ANY work done on my novel. Not even a note. Two trips to the DMV (the first of which occured at 7:30 am) then to the doctor's office and all the run around, drop by a gallery, work, DMV, dinner with family, a visit with my whitty gradfather, errands errands errands, gin cocktails at Elizabeth's while she cleaned, stopped by Aligator Soul to hand off Emily's car keys and FINALLY back to my loft where I showered and called James and got into bed, exhausted.

What kind of a day is that? One without LPT and thus one that is lacking.

Today though... Today I will get work done, even if my work right now means making notes and assessing the outline and reconfiguring the plot... It is good to be back.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Off at the Start

"I hope you like what you read but remember, the magic is in the editing." My smart ass editor friend wrote that in an email he sent days before I read the manuscript. Such a great quote.

I haven't updated since Saturday because I don't officially have internet at my house. However, there is now a signal, and thus an update...

It took me close to six and a half hours to read the entire manuscript. I swear I thought it would take less time. I didn't make many notes--focusing instead on reading and assessing what I have (or don't have) in the text. People keeping asking me how it went and what I think... It's very hard to explain. I knew before I read that the manuscript needs a lot of work. That's what happens when you're dealing with Draft 1. I had accepted that there would be a lot of work to do, but I wasn't necessarily prepared for the level of work involved.

My suspicions were true. I love the beginning of the book. And I think, that after a little bit of work, the ending is going to be brilliant. But everything in the middle... Well... I'm scraping most of this stuff and I'm moving on and making it better because this really is the fun part, figuring all this out. I am so glad to be back at work on this book. So happy. So in love.

I was stressed out and anxious moments after reading. In no mood for celebration, I sat in Ellis Square with my notebook and assessed what was wrong with the plot. I can't help but think of it as an equation. I like the beginning and the ending. I know where I start and I know where it ends, now down what paths do my characters take to end up there? What methods do they need to endure?

I forgot how hard this is.

People marvel over the accomplishment of finishing a first draft. But most people don't know what they're talking about; I mean, they have no idea what it means to write a book, or what it takes. When I have revised the first draft into the second draft, that's when you should be impressed. The hard work ahead of me makes the hard work behind me seem simple.

"I have no idea what I'm going to do with this book," I say.
"Yes you do," the author in me says, "You are going to make it better."


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Reading the First Draft of LPT

Today is the long awaited day! I am reading the first draft of my novel, LPT. The pages are printing now and I'm so excited.

My boyfriend and friends are the best. Yesterday and this morning they were all sending me well wishes and griping about my phone being off.

"Not off," I said, "On silent."

So you can still text and call and send me things, but for the next few hours (or majority of the day) I'll be unavaliable.

As Emily says, "It's all for a good cause."


Printing

We are printing!





Lady and Julip are very interested in the printer.



I can't wait to read! Ok... I need more paper....

Friday, April 9, 2010

Test




Testing the new ink for major printing (ie: 348 pages)

"That should be one of the front pages in your book when you publish!" Emily laughs.

Sigh




Guess who's getting ready...

Closed Until Tomorrow

That notebook.... Uhhhh....

This entire time--since I finished the first draft of LPT until now, the notebook for my novel has been sitting closed on the corner of my desk.

By the cover you can tell it went everywhere with me. It's stained with red wine and sunscreen (I think this may go without saying, but I drink gin poolside); the spine is banged up and bent from the inside of my bag.

Since I finished the draft, it's been parked on my desk.

I don't so much miss carrying it around. It's big. It's a Canson 9x12 sketchbook so it's not exactly "pocket size." It just so happens I have a best friend who makes handbags, and the last big bag she made me, along with the one she is soon to construct, is just big enough to hold this book.

I prefer it to be as it is, on my desk. Waiting. The temptation to open it and root around is nearly intolerable, and why I've left it sitting here, torturing myself I don't know. Except that this notebook is the same as all the other notebooks I keep for my novels, so if I were to have it anywhere else besides my desk, I'd be forced to look through them to determine which I'll need on Saturday.

THAT'S TOMORROW.

God, I'm so excited. And I know it would appease me, even a little, to open my notebook and explore some of my thoughts. But that would ruin me for the reading. I think I should have plenty of distance, so it's cold, so I can better see what I have in this draft but the thing of it is I can't forget about it. Like, it won't go away.

I'm sick of being cut off. Please applaud me for my self-control.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Excitement > Preparation

I am reading the first draft of my novel on Saturday. I couldn't be more excited. Or less prepared.

I need ink. I have paper, but I need ink. And then I need to decide things like format and whether or not I want to hole punch and put it in a binder or if I just want to keep it loose and shove it all in a folder (most likely what will occur). But I am going to print. And then read, uninterrupted. My plan is to wake up to a perfectly clean loft, make coffee, breakfast and lunch and get comfy.

What will I do after I finish reading? Oh, that's obvious. I'm going to open a bottle of Yellow Label, shift through my notes and sort out the amount of work that needs to be done.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Metal Letters



LPT. James and I arranged these metal letters while waiting on a fitting room at Urban Outfitters.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Reading? Reading??

I think I'm supposed to be reading.

I am waiting. Waiting. You'd think I have dedicated myself entirely to the task, to waiting on next weekend when I can read my manuscript.

Hmm-mmm, no. I think I'm supposed to be reading other novels, various things. I can't bring myself to do it. I don't know why. Perhaps it's because I still can't shake LPT out of my head. And I don't want to, really, because I love the characters and the story so much I really do want to sit around and think of it all day.

I completed the first draft of LPT on March 13... I will be reading the manuscript next Saturday, April 10 so that's roughly a month. Not a lot of time, exactly, but I knew I wasn't willing to wait too long before I went back to work. (Really, I can't wait any longer.) So if there's not that much separation in literal time, should I be more detached psychologically? I think maybe. But then again, I don't know. And I'm not necessarily looking for the best answer, either.

There exists, in my apartment, a stack of soon-to-be-read art magazines that I will most likely entertain. But... Should I read other novels?

Perhaps it would be good for me to read other stories and detach. Making too big of a deal about this, maybe.

Desoto Strut II



Join us in Starland on Saturday night, 5-10 for the second Desoto Strut. There will be exhibit openings, live screen printing, music, open studios, etc. No excuses.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Happy 25th Birthday!

The most important thing I did at the age of 24 was write my second novel. LPT. I wrote a novel about a painter. Still, I am in awe over the topic. There's simply nothing more I love than writing novels and learning about art... The two together leave little to be desired.

Age 25 means time to revise.

But I still need to let it rest. I was going to read the manuscript this weekend (too soon? I can't stand it, I can't wait) but with an influx of friends to town, I'll have to postpone. Next weekend, same story. So-oo... mid April? God, that seems like so long...

There have been no blog updates because my mind is on repeat. I can't wait to read my own novel, that's all I can think.

The deadline was met. The word.doc awaits.... Everything is going according to plan.

I did have a great birthday. The E's and I--Elizabeth, Emily, Erin and I gathered in my loft for a surprise bottle of birthday bubbly (thank you Michael!) before dinner at Garibaldi.


Emily, me, Erin & Elizabeth
Elizabeth saw this and asked, "What were we double fisting?"
"Um, Honey and Yellow Label..."
And Erin says, "Honey + Veuve = bad, bad news..."


Apparently these guys sang me Happy Birthday at the table. I don't remember this, per se, but they're some group in town for the Savannah Music Festival.


And, again.


"Blurry," pretty much sums up our experience at Bacchus. Note the switch to Blue Moon.


Congress, on the way to my loft/Mercury/the boys.


Birthday surprise from my neighbor. Plan on sharing that this weekend!

Thanks to my friends for making this night so great! This was so much fun. And I haven't even mentioned the cupcakes! My best friend and my mom made cupcakes. I literally received three dozen cupcakes on my birthday--chocolate with vanilla frosting (a la Liz) and lemon poppy seed with lemon icing + chocolate with peanut butter filling and chocolate mousse frosting from Mom. Delicious. It should really be my birthday more often.

Or maybe, for each complete draft of LPT that I render, we should celebrate this way. Dozens of cupcakes included.


*Thank you EMILY PIKE for taking pictures. Xo.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What to do?

I don't know what to do, I'm at a loss.

Whenever someone suggests doing something, or asks if I have plans, I say "yes" or "no" and then "but I have to work on my novel." My mind goes immediately to the task-- the novel. The first draft. But now I'm finished. I have to wait.

I don't want to wait. It hasn't been 24 hours and already I miss LPT terribly. There is this entire list of books, novels, on art and artists that I've composed. I've wanted to see where my own work fits in. Probably, I could begin reading novels from this list, but the only novel I want to read is my own. I whined and wished to read and do other things while I was writing, but now that the first draft is finished... I want... to write it again.

God, I don't know what to do.

I suppose I'll straighten my hair for Emily's party tonight... Now that I have an extra 55 or so minutes for the task... Uhhhh

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Draft 1 is Finished

When I woke up today, I thought, I'm going to finish the first draft of my novel.

Fuck, yes.

348 pages / 75,198 words. Draft 1 of LPT is complete.

Wait, What I Love Most Is Writing

I can't wait to wait a week. I can't wait to print it. I can't wait to put it in a pendaflex folder and wait a little while (a very little while, I can't wait) and take it out. I can't wait to tape it to the wall, mull it over, slice and arrow and scribble every which way in the margins. I can't wait to make this manuscript fucking perfect.

But I can wait to complete the first draft. Shifty copy.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"Inside the Painter's Studio" by Joe Fig


If only I had more time for original research. If only. Hanging around in the studio while an artist works is something I absolutely love. It's so intimate and intrusive. No matter who I visit, I know, I'm most likely getting in their way. Naturally curious, I ask lots of questions. If you've ever had a casual conversation with me, you might notice the word I repeat most is "Why?" Because I like explanations, I like to hear it in your words. I want quotes and when you're around me, do know, anything you say or do is subject to my note taking and this unstoppable passion.

A couple of Sundays ago, I stumbled upon this book, Inside the Painter's Studio by Joe Fig. The book is a compilation of 24 artist interviews and detailed photographs of their studios. Originally intended to serve as research material for Fig's personal artwork, the author realized the information for the gem it is and transformed it into a book.

It's just the sort of thing I've been looking for. With interviews of such artists as Chuck Close, Eric Fischl and Joan Snyder, among others, Inside the Painter's Studio portrays artists that are already in art history texts or on the brink of the renown.

Preceding the interviews, Fig published his template of questions that he asked each artist. Some of the questions include:
- When did you consider yourself a professional artist, and when were you able to dedicate yourself full-time to that pursuit?
-Did you have a plan for the layout of your studio or did it develop organically?
-Please describe a typical day, being as specific as possible. For example: What time do you get up? When do you come to the studio? Do you have specific clothing you change into?
-What advice would you give a young artist that is just starting out?

I will absolutely be stealing some of these questions--they're so very good. A lot of this is the sort of stuff I bother artists with already. But... I mean... I don't know what it is these people do with their paints and their little jars of fumes and liquids.

I find myself imaging answers for Cameron. I think I'll take the template of questions and answer them all in her voice as an exercise in character development. Although, at this point in the game, I know her fairly well--how long she's been in that studio, the situation of her painting table, that she works off of a slab of glass for her palate and will paint in whatever she happens to be wearing, be it pajamas or the rare cocktail dress.

My one complaint is that Fig offers no insight or specific example of the artwork. While it's great to have a book solely focused on the painter's studio, I'd like some general context on the actual paintings. However, I am surprised to read about how many artists do not use, or have just started using, an easel. Who prefers to mix their paints in kitchen mixing bowls and who likes a disposable cup or paper plate as a palate. The central focus is really the painting table which, I'll admit, I am usually most taken with when visiting a studio. The best part about this book is that it gives me the chance to snoop around in the studios of famous painters during dull moments in the Garibaldi dining room.

It's True

I was standing downstairs in the dining room at work, talking to Emily. "You should have called me," I said, "I was up until 2 a.m. writing."
"On your novel?" She asked.
"No. On something about the mural."
"I don't know how you can stay up until two a.m. just writing. I'd have to be drunk or... I don't know, I'd fall asleep."
"Writing is the love of my life," I said, and it's true.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Meddin Mural


Tucked away on Savannah's west side, down Louisville Road, is Meddin Studios, a former slaughter house turned digital media production atelier. The brick and cinderblock building is pretty basic, nondescript. Unless you're focused on the western facade, marked now with the large scale art of Hebermehl and DrZ.

In case you don't know, artists Matt Hebermehl and "DrZ" James Zdaniewski are a pair of former SCADies who often collaborate on large scale works. Locally recognized for their on-street projections (animations which they spontaneously depict on the sides of Savannah buildings), these two have put on exhibits together, ventured to the Art Basel fair in Miami and often join forces with the other young and happening artists in Savannah. Though Zdaniewski relocated to Charlotte, NC, Hebermehl keeps a studio on Desoto Row, in Starland.

They work close together. Each artists' style is distinct but complimentary; Hebermehl's art is often pattern-influenced and organically drawn, focused on shapes, line and color. Zdaniewski, art director of Whack Media Design, takes a more graphic approach to his work. Their design for the mural is easily broken down: Zdaniewski drew up the clusters of steer head while Hebermehl, drawing upon his looping patterns, designed the "SAV" at the center of the mural. They sketched separately. Hebermehl took Zdaniewski's design and photoshopped a couple of options until they were satisfied with the image.

Though they've assisted famed artist David Ellis on other murals (in Savannah, in Miami), the Meddin Wall is the first official DrZ/Hebermehl collaborative mural. It took them three long days to do it, working 10+ hours each day on the last weekend in February.



On Sunday, February 28, I had the chance to stop by and write while the boys painted. Wind whipped around on the cool, sun-struck lot. The day was pretty and crisp, perfect for painting. I sat on the gravel lawn while Zdaniewski balanced on scaffolding and Hebermehl danced on ground, wielding his paint brush back and forth, face close to the wall. He sang one lyric ahead of whatever music played from a stereo nearby.

For a pair of artists who seem to have so much in common, they executed their designs in a completely different fashion. Zdaniewski rapidly blocked the image, sweeping a section of outlines before moving back to compare the mural with his study. "I'm use to work being vectorized and perfect," he said, stepping back several feet from the wall. Hebermehl, on the other hand, was right up on the mural, concentrating on brushstrokes, his visual reference tucked away in his sketchbook, out of reach.



Mostly, they were reticent. When they spoke, it was playful and encouraging banter. "Well, that looks a lot better," Hebermehl said, finally leaning back against the chain link fence that outlined the lawn, several feet away from the wall. It was mid afternoon on the second day.
Zdaniewski continued painting.
"Lookin' good buddy."
Zdaniewski nodded. "Gettin' there."
"Tight," said Hebermehl.
Zdaniewski painted, Hebermehl watched. They decided not to rush, to extend their work one more day. Hebermehl glanced at me from his post at the fence. He said, "It's a big boy mural," and resumed his brush.

Such a nice and inspiring circumstance, to be out-of-doors observing while these artists carried on. What happens in a studio can be so intimate. It's often important that artists shut out others, shut out themselves and the world while they work. But the requirements of a mural are different--it's larger than the artists themselves and by scale, also physical, the necessity to climb the wall, up and down, all over... The action attracts attention. Hebermehl and Zdaniewski seemed encouraged by the attention of onlookers. I certainly wasn't the only one who hung out while they worked, though I suspect I was the only nerd there with a notebook. I spent about an hour with them, taking copious notes and interrupting with questions.

I won't show you the finished piece. You'll have to venture down Louisville Road and find it. 2233 Louisville Road in Savannah, GA.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Day Off

"How much trouble can we get into on a Monday night?" I asked Emily. She was laying back on my bed while I dressed for dinner. She said nothing, narrowed her eyes. We thought we'd go to Garibaldi and sit in Roscoe's section because "It's going to have the best results for the least amount of money." So Emily thought.


Can't you hear the cava in my voice? I have no idea why I took this video.

Gruet at Circa and Sapphire at Bacchus inevitably followed. At one point, I slipped home to write an entirely useless paragraph "for the novel" and went back to the bar. I was laughing about all of this until about two today, when the hangover kicked in, leaving me incapable of most anything, much less finishing the first draft of my novel.

Not much more writing to do for the first draft!

I have roughly a week's worth of work to do. Today I have done NOTHING, thanks to this hangover but tomorrow I plan to fully resume. It's unlike me to take a day off. For every day I miss, it takes about three days to get back to where I was. right now, I'm writing some exciting stuff. Already thinking of making changes but I need to finish and wait and read and see. So excited.

(I had other stuff to write here, just a paragraph about a phone interview with an artist for a piece I'm writing, but Julip laid down beside my computer and erased it with his head on the delete key. This sort of sums up my day. Uhhh...)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Preoccupied With An Unfinished Book

As I write LPT, it's difficult for me to read other novels. I like having my head fully focused on the story. I tend to get sucked into books; I'm a fast reader, and if I begin reading a book I won't stop until I'm finished.

For so long, the only novel I wanted to read was the one that I'm writing. I wanted a good book about an artist, the art world, and artistic experience. I composed a list of relevant books (I will post the list in the future) and began working my way through them. What I was curious about was where my work fit in.

I am now writing exactly the book I want to read. I was looking at the outline and looking at the calendar and--maybe it's the relief of having turned in my South Magazine documents but... I know I'll meet my deadline. I'll finish up the draft, have cupcakes and Krug for a very merry 25th birthday, celebrate St. Patrick's Day and work my ass off at the restaurant (we are entering the treacherous wedding season). My newly married, life long friend Ashley B. Tracy will visit at the end of the month with her mother--we're going to have a fantastic time together. And then, then I can read my own novel.

I absolutely cannot wait.

But reading a manuscript is not the same as reading a published novel. First of all, there will be mistakes in the copy, grammatical things, etc. al. in need of correction. It's work. But I look forward to reading the story and sorting through the text to see what I have. So much time is spent writing with one-sided knowledge of what is there. Reading lends an entirely new perspective.

Probably, I'll read a couple of those books off my list before I sit down to read the manuscript. But what am I talking about? I need to finish the rough draft.

27 days.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Upcoming Good Stuff



Guess who's taking a break from her novel to check out some art?

Thursday night is the Collective show presented by The Co-Lab, a group of young and fashionable artists.

And on Friday, check out Desoto Row artists Matt Hebermehl, Kellie Walker and Rachel Raab, among others.

Added bonus: Bottles & Cans will be playing at Mercury Lounge beginning at 10 p.m., on both Thursday and Friday nights.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pragmatic and Cool

I am sitting up in bed now with kitties--Julip laying almost on my MacBook and Lady snoozing at the edge of the bed. I was hoping to work more on my article. Normally, I don't care very much about the quality of my freelance work. Oftentimes, when you write for a magazine, your voice is watered down to match that of publication... But this time, I happen to care a whole lot about what this artist thinks of my writing. He's an artist that I admire and besides the fact that he's adorable he's really very talented and has a huge sense of community. It's inspiring. I want this piece to be good but I have zero motivation to work on it. Whenever I open the document, I race through my work, incapable of composing an outline or staying on track with notes, thinking only hurry hurry hurry, as I'm running out of time--Draft 1 of my novel must be finished soon.

The truth is I really have a lot of writing to do in order to complete my book. Well, the first draft. And then the real work begins. It's beginning to bloom--through its faults, its strengths, I believe in this story more now than I ever have. There are some changes that must take place. I'm gambling on some of my larger techniques--the multi-character narratives, the third person writing that opens and closes the book. Its unusual and I wonder, will it work? It's not as if it's so avant garde or far fetched. It simply isn't practical, to lead the reader through third, through a variety of alternating firsts, and back again to third. But the transitions are really quite pleasant. I just want to know if it actually works.

I prefer to write in third. But I'm nearly at a point where I can't see the novel being any other way--this first person POV thing (that's not to say I won't make appropriate changes if need be--I most certainly will. What works for the novel works for me.) I love writing in Cameron's voice, and in Danny's and Dalton's and Ren's. It's strange and sometimes startling, the way some characters turn out. I never would have expected Ren to be so dry and indifferent. Certainly bitchy. And Cameron--Cameron I knew from the start. She is easy going and chill. The word "cool" best describes her--cool in the sense that she is pragmatic and casual, easy to accept. She is fearlessly dedicated to her medium.

Because I've been sitting down to work on freelance, and accidentally working on my novel, I've been writing random scenes from the outline. Not staying in order. This has something to do with the amount of research required to accurately write the scene I am supposed to be writing now. But there is a lecture on Tuesday at Desoto Row gallery that I'll be attending, in effort to learn more of the business side of things. I don't know if it will give me exactly what I need, but it sounds insightful.

Until then, I'm writing away at whatever strikes me: an image of Cameron standing on the sun struck sidewalk across the street from Forsyth Park, or in a waiting room, sketching a likeness of a woman beside her, frantic phone calls between characters made late at night, stretches of dialogue. It comforts me to know I'm making progress.

What I want more than anything is to lend myself entirely to the task. If I could write and write and not go to work or dinner or any other little errand that takes me away from my story... If I could just write and write...

Soon.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Yikes

I have a lot of writing to do before March 15.

My birthday is March 16. What I want more than cupcakes and Krug is to have finished the first draft of this novel. God help me.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Masterpiece Gallery/ Tuxedo Rental

This is the sort of thing you find if your venture south of DeRenne.

I just wanted to share this picture I snapped in the Oglethorpe Mall. Just last week, I discovered an art gallery that also offers tuxedo rentals. How did I miss this two months ago? Obviously, I would have included this fine art gallery in the South's Guide to Getting Around the Galleries if only I'd known. I should go to the mall more often.

Real post later when I have time (ie: after I write this article. God, freelance. Yesterday I sat down to write this feature and ended up only working on my novel. Oops. But the rough copy is due tomorrow so-oo seriously, no more fooling around/hanging out with Emily/blog). Peace.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Something Screwy


What the hell is happening in this outline?

For draft 1, I spend the majority of my efforts meticulously composing the outline. The outline is the skeleton of the novel, the structure on which the organs of literary devices, the muscles of plot, the flesh of characters and the soul of its intentions cling.

What happened is this: When I began seriously writing this novel (roughly 5 months ago) I drafted an outline. Now, as I continue writing the first draft, I'm fine-tuning the outline to make sure all of these little details add up. In LPT, many of the characters are traveling different places and particular things must be perfectly aligned in order to drive the characters into action, through complications and of course, set up the climax.

Now all along I've got to discover who my characters are, determine what, specifically, they want, what they're willing to do to get it and what complications will stand in their way.

Of course I have some general-to-specific knowledge of how this is supposed to go. I do not begin writing a novel until I have watched the entire story from start to finish like a movie in my head. I know the first sentence, the last sentence. Everything else in the middle may tentatively shift until all the parts are perfectly in their place.

Nearly two weeks ago, I was zipping right through the index, checking off points, nearing the end. Then I discovered problems in my outline. Small problems, little things. Details. The order of events I was adhering to was off, but just by barely. Things weren't making sense. Fruitlessly I tried to reconstruct the story so that it was correct. I thought I had until I unearthed this list--this outline I wrote long ago when this novel first cracked open inside of me. Apparently, three years ago, I was a genius. There it was, this little list, a vague but significant index, directions that would help the final outline come to fruition.

So what's the problem? Perhaps you're wondering, Why blog about this?

I had to rewrite the outline, and consequently rewrite a fraction of the novel. What I ended up rewriting amounted to fifty fucking pages. Still, there's something screwy with this.

What's askew?

I've spent a few good hours today, scribbling away in my notebook, trying to justify my corrections and inspect, from every angel, each new idea. There exists a working outline. But I wonder--is it right?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

South Magazine & The Year Four: Arts Issue


Last night at Savannah Station, we celebrated South Magazine's fourth anniversary. Out now, the February/March 2010 issue is the first Arts Issue.

One of four covers

I've been contributing arts related pieces for the past year and a half (last 10 issues... now working on the 11th) and so I'm thrilled the current issue has a full art focus. As usual, I wrote the Gallery News & Notes, a feature on the amazing sacred artist Dan Bonnell, a short little something sweet on George Dawes Green + The Moth, and The South's Guide to Getting Around the Galleries-- None of which is available to read on the website, so you should probably pick up the print addition. Yessss.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Quick Trip


Oh, how I love Manhattan.

When I visited New York last autumn, I divided my time between shopping, cocktails with friends, lunch dates and participating as a judge at the Moth. True to New York-- I didn't have a chance to see everyone, to do everything--what I missed most was the chance to look at art.

Last Friday night, Saturday and Sunday morning, I went back with plans to check out some galleries (+ etc.) with my friend Feifei Sun. She suggested we meet at the corner of 20th & 8th down in Chelsea. From there, we wove our way in and out of the early twenties as dusk settled over the city.

One exhibit of particular interest is The Camera as Consolation, Carl Johan De Geer and The Swedish Underground 1964- 1971 at the Steven Kasher Gallery. The intimate photographs and hastily scrawled lettering, literally on the wall, arrested our attention. These were photographs that seduce; images of blooming marriages, proof-positive affairs, other-women's-children, self portraits, random items of immediate interest, old apartments, narrow unmade beds, chipped china... "These are amazing," Feifei said. Other viewers were similarly engaged; a couple moved through the gallery alongside the gallery director, poised to purchase an image.



Narrating titles indicate stolen imagery-- flaring flash after the sinful, desperate touch of skin, the deep breaths of relief after acts of deception, an affair photographed, the shutter snapped as a momentary deceit-against-deceit, one image that solidifies what was supposed to be secret (no proof) but, having happened, should be photographed, too. All acts serve to feed the eager artist. And there are other images, as well: dinner parties, buildings, busted cars...

De Geer's photographs are the sort of images that make you wish you had photographed more moments from your own life-- That you, too, could submit images of your personal history in effort to evoke memory, thought, inspiration in anonymous viewers. To supply a moral picked from some long ago, fading instance that would educate or generate hope in another.

As a writer, I do much the same with words.

"Did you take pictures?" My best friend exclaimed, driving away from the Savannah airport.
"No," I said, sadly, "I wanted to. I wish I had."

Images in my mind I wish were still frames: The flurry of passing buildings on Park Avenue, headed south, through the frame of the back window of a cab (an image that reappears in my mind each time I hear TV On the Radio's "Wrong Way."); the bored expression on the bleach-blonde Asian boy hostessing at The Half King who I had effortless conversation with; Feifei's smile as she clasps my iPhone in her hand and squeals in delight at dinner, post champagne; the pair of gallerinas in Gagosian Gallery, each dressed in black-and-white floral patterns, serving the flock of people standing at their shared desk; interior of a crowded p.s.450; blurry movements behind the bar, servers dressed in all black; Todd, with an eyebrow raised, mischievous smile, hand reaching on instinct for the bottle of Sapphire; a self portrait of myself frantically getting dressed, black lace, slender white pants, a flirtacious and enchanted response to the text message, "For gods sakes, hurry." I'd snap an interior shot of the French bistro where I shared a bottle of white wine and escargot at 4:30 am... The look this guy gave me across the kiosk at Delta check-in at Lagaurdia where I, disheveled and hung over, muttered at the machine, "God damn it... Don't do me that way," for failing to find my boarding code and a corresponding self portrait of the smirk I shot him back before he turned and walked silently towards security check-in. Also, a final image of introduction: making a new friend in Manhattan at Gate 13A, the kind smile of the guy from the kiosk when he sat down beside me and asked my name. But there is so much more.

Next time I go back I'm taking pictures. Late March, that's the plan.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Studio Visit With Anna Fox Ryan



There is so much mystery to painting. Throughout all of the books I've read, paintings I've viewed, words I've written-- I am still trying to recreate what is so utterly hypnotic about the act, how convincing and seductive a painter finds her substance, the literal alchemy of said substances, the blithe of blending, the pushing and pulling of paint across canvas, across the panel... The madness of when it goes wrong by a stroke, the suspense of knowing that sometimes, everything depends on a few, brief moments of contact.

I am no stranger to art's imminent passion. But technically speaking, I know little about painting. To help curve my knowledge, painter Anna Fox Ryan graciously opens her studio to me and every once in a while we'll get together for what she calls a "creative jam session."

Sunday, after eating lunch, we settled down in her studio for an afternoon of art. As Anna begins the laborious set up of solvents and oils, the meticulous selection of color, I tip-toe up with my notebook and ask that she explain everything. Anna graciously answered all of my inquiries, explained all of her actions and inspired me with her stop-and-start method of approach. Conflicts of color, trial and error to revise negative space--our time in the studio was certainly insightful. After taking notes and observing, we settled into the silence of her studio, Anna painting and I writing.

As an aside: A few days ago, I applied my outline to the calendar and configured what I would be writing each day. Strange how things worked out--the day I was scheduled to write a scene of Cameron in her studio painting was the same day I had scheduled my studio visit with Anna. And the days that I'll be in New York are the same days I'll be writing the scenes of Cameron's New York trip. Interesting.

THANK YOU to Anna for letting me come over and hang out. I can't tell you how helpful it is to watch you work. Love.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bottles & Cans

I stayed in Friday night to write. Saturday night, knowing Bottles & Cans would play at 10, I did a little research at the Mercury Lounge.

And by "research" I mean me, wearing second skin black jeans and an opera length pearl necklace, stretched out in a leopard print stool at the bar drinking Honey Bourbon neat and casually singing along with the music. Twangy blues, Southern jazzy; god these guys are good. I don't pay much attention to local bands or live music around town but I always check for when Bottles & Cans plays at Mercury.

Rarely-to-never do I fail to influence others into this bar when the band is scheduled for a show. Likewise, one of the characters in LPT, Ren Massey, is capable of similar persuasion. At one point in the novel, Ren invites Cameron to accompany her friends to Mercury Lounge where Bottles & Cans is performing. There, she meets a plot-changing character. I can't imagine mentioning another Savannah band except for maybe... Dope Sandwich... But since when does Dope Sandwich play at Mercury? Exactly.

The following is a terrible clip of a great band. My iPhone just doesn't do them justice.